Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


The Risk to Blossom

Last night, while writing, I became aware of the the fatigue and eye strain I was feeling. I was seeing rainbow tracers across my vision, a whole arcing line of them. I went to bed feeling the effort of my yoga practice and heavy with the size of the change in my life.

This morning I woke up and my head ached from the sinuses, to my jaw, and wrapping around the base of the cranium. I got up, showered and headed in regardless. Under the fluorescent lights of the office it began to feel as though I'd been both hit in the face with shovel and as if the skin of my scalp was too small. Some ibuprofen at 11AM helped for about 30 minutes but by 12:10 I was about as bad as I'd been when I first got there. Finally I just went home and attempted writing some documentation instead of the code I'd been working on.

I am feeling a bit more scared today. Have had time to consider the enormity of the tasks at hand. I'm grateful to not have to try and get them all done in the next few weeks, but even working on them over the next months seems a little overwhelming.  It is trying to figure out the details that feels like too much to manage.

I found myself considering a quote from Anais Nin today, "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”

Today I do not feel like I'm blossoming. I can certainly see that I was feeling the irritation at remaining with what is comfortable, safe, and has the trappings of societal approval -- in the bud, as it were. I don't know, perhaps all the pain of change, the pain of knowing, seeing, and admitting the truth, that is all the pain of blossoming.

I've not been known for my risk-taking. Even in my daring I was a cautious child. I would only sink into the thrill of something only after I'd assured myself that I'd be safe doing so, at least when it came to the physical world.  I can recall not being so cautious with my emotional body, throwing myself into trying to be popular, talented and smart, but not ever really fitting in with those groups in school.

I don't feel safe in these changes right now, like I've not tested the route, checked for the safety features or anything. It feels like nothing but risk and very uncomfortable.  Part of me would like to just check out, not be present for these changes, distract myself somehow.
What keeps me present, aside from abiding Love, is the direct knowledge from my combined practices that distraction doesn't work.  In asana the mind tries to take off, abandon the effort of the body. That very effort, and the direct experience of it, draws the mind back to be present to the discomfort.  The understanding I had found that all the distractions of my 20s could not alleviate the fear and sorrow I felt inside is what brought me to Zen, that and knowing I needed help in knowing what to do while being present.
So here I am, I don't feel like a blossom but at least I'm present for the changes.