Go within, it’s the only way out.
My house in Melville had a beautiful square courtyard, surrounded by high walls and absolutely private, which I planted up laboriously with indigenous plants – I was a purist indigenous landscaper at the time. I say laboriously because the soil I was planting in, consisted of shale and making a hole deeper than a slight indentation required a good-sized pick as well as hammer and chisel. I was dealing with some anger issues from a failed relationship at the time, so let’s just say, I sported a pair of respectable biceps when it was all planted up.
I decided to round my flowerpot bed off with a sand bath for the birds in the centre. White, best-quality playpen sand neatly raked into a circle, I settled into my hammock with a good cuppa eagerly awaiting my feathered visitors – when my cats smartly beat them to it. Chuffed with their new VIP toilet facility, they put it to good use straight away. I wasn’t going to spend the rest of my days fishing out cat turds, so the the bird sand bath became a firepit – in which I burned pinecones – a relic from my childhood – and around which I drummed my djembe and danced to Loreena McKennitt. There – now I’ve shared my gypsey side with you. Try to keep it between you and me? – I don’t quite know how to fit that part of me into the rest of my personality yet!
I remember sitting there one night, staring into the embers, feeling completely mentallly and emotionally exhausted. It had been an absolute rollercoaster of a few days, leaving me so drained by the intensity of my own feelings that I was desperate for a way out. I had reached my ‘enough’ point. I was done playing in the web of mind and the mental-emotional interpretation of sense experience it kept dishing up for me. I needed to go ‘home’ to rest and re-group. I closed my eyes and shut down my senses and felt immense relief. I retracted deeply into myself. It felt like an inner room had opened and I sat like that for a long time – just resting. Eventually I locked up and went to bed all with eyes almost closed – open just enough to vaguely make out what I was doing, but not enough to allow the world and with it, mind about the world, to come barging into my peace.
That night, the journey inwards happened spontaneously, but usually it’s a fight. When I am overstimulated by intensity, I find it extremely difficult to return to centre. Although I am exhausted, I feel lost without the tension and excitement and deliberately perpetuate it to postpone the inevitable ‘come down’. I call it the ‘stretched elastic syndrome’. In this state, I grab at other people for stability, which doesn’t work, of course, neither for me nor for them. Holding on to something external to steady myself, does not build inner stability. It weakens it even further.
Self is silence and stillness is source. We cannot find ourselves in any of its manifestations.
We all need to periodically ‘stop the world’ and go within. Sometimes, it’s the only way out of the madness. I create space for this by withdrawing from all but the most essential interactions and ‘create no more karma’ in order to investigate what is actually going on in me underneath all the busyness. Then, from my centre, I live more consciously from the bottom up and the inside out, instead of the usual ‘top down’ and ‘outside in’. I respond from my core and re-build myself from there. This usually coincides with a spring cleaning and de-cluttering my belongings (and sometimes people!) to align with the internal shift that inevitably results.
While I am supposed to love travelling at my stage in life, I find I don’t gain much by traveling horizontally into new experiences (outer travel). Since my goal is to wake up, travelling vertically (inner travel) is far more interesting and useful to me. Besides, it’s painfully clear that wherever I go in the world, there I am – with all my stuff, just with a different background scenery.
In my external search for stability, I realized that what I was looking for, is actually instantly there when I manage to quieten my mind. I felt like a lost little ray of sunshine searching for the sun until I woke up to the fact that I actually am the sun. Now I know that when I feel lonely, it simply means I haven’t been ‘at home’ enough. At home, ‘chez moi’, means ‘at me’ and not ‘at my mind’. Until I discovered being ‘chez moi’, I hadn’t been home much. I had been ‘away’, lost in thought. Spending time in my centre and in my body balances and grounds me. For me, the worst loneliness is not to be comfortable with myself.
Going within is scary. You might be thinking – ‘What if I can’t deal with what I find?’ or even worse, ‘What if I don’t find anything?’. I’m here to accompany you with tools and training to de-mystify the journey – you don’t have to go it alone. Drop me a mail or book a free chat on www.freetoflylifecoaching.com.
I was a real waterbaby growing up and absolutely loved swimming in the ocean. After I got mercilessly dumped by the waves a few times, I quickly figured out that the best way to meet a huge wave is not to try to break through it, but to dive under it. I have found this tactic to be useful elsewhere in my life too. When a wave comes, I go deep. I go deep within myself into my centre to bypass the surface turbulence of my mental-emotional reactions. This is not an avoidance tactic. Think about it: What if ‘to understand’ a situation means to ‘stand under it’ – to look at it from underneath with the clarity that comes from being centred?
Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes – Carl Jung