ALL CHANGE!! (Chaos)
“The time between when you jump and when you land – that’s God.” Gabrielle Roth
We get these turning points, don’t we, where something has to change.
Sometimes change comes as evolution, feeling natural and easy, Flowing-style. But sometimes it storms through as a Chaotic force. We can feel our moorings being swept away, our foundations being shaken, our hat being blown off. We can sense we’re being asked to let go of the old with no guarantees over where we’ll end up. We may not even feel like we have a choice, and find ourselves torn from the hand-holds we’re desperately clinging to.
When this comes on the dance floor – when we’re already physically fluid and connected, when we’re already emotionally open and vibrant – even then there’s often a moment of hesitation, of resistance, of “Oh no, not really?!? Am I really about to become that alive???” Then before we know it we’re over the edge and it’s happening, we’re breaking through and it feels amazing.
In day to day life though, it’s a bigger ask. It comes on a timescale of days, weeks or even longer, so the impulse to change bumps up against our sludgy suppressions, rigid routines, and addictive avoidances. We get to encounter the force of life as it tries to move through a self that is not as integrated or brilliant as when we’re on the dance floor: less embodied, less emotionally available, less willing to be moved freely. We’re afraid of coming off the rails.
Thank God for our practice. And Gabrielle. Essential medicine to take all that mind-chatter we can get into, and turn ditched-up into danced-out. To take all those emotional states back to the beat, whether volcanic or fragile, and give them the space to move, express, and create. Most of all, to just get physical again: to be that simple. Like this we have a hope of remaining on the surfboard while life does its extreme sport phase with us.
But like all things related to Chaos, this style of awakening doesn’t involve a whole lot of control. We can make ourselves ready by developing a good grounding in awareness practices, and by literally practicing the dance of Chaos, so we have some choice about how we respond to what comes, but we don’t get to control the outcome. We’d better just practice surfing day by day so we have the muscles, consciousness and courage to ride the big ones when they come.
Long ago, late one night at a certain large festival in a desert somewhere, dancing the night away with a couple of very sexy women on a podium, I found myself in one moment thinking “this is soooo cool!!”…. until the very next breath when it all turned to ashes, and the world stopped for a second. I suddenly saw all the flashing lights, the cacophony of sound systems thumping for miles around, the heaving bodies dancing frantically – all of it as a hugely elaborate and dramatic distraction from our pain. My pain. I wandered off into the night to sit by myself. I sat very still and felt how deep my loneliness goes.
Sometimes awakening happens in a flash. Then it’s a matter of setting about clearing up the mess we’ve made whilst thrashing around in our sleep. Open the curtains. Stretch. Tidy up. Ask for a little forgiveness. Say a little thanks. Make some tea. Turn our focus to Awakening #4.
Note: It can be incredibly useful to get some specific individual support at times like this, either from a trusted 5Rhythms teacher, or from some other modality. We sometimes need help to deal with the way our fear, vulnerability and shame kick in, meshed with deep rooted wounding, defences, and blinkered thinking. Sometimes doing an intense workshop can trigger this kind of whole-system change: do remember to ask for help if you need it. Sometimes we need to find a damn good therapist, or a wise-woman healer, or a friend to just their arms around us on the sofa for a while.