So much conversation these days about cultural polarization. Red states and blue. Big pharma and science. Vax and unvax. Righteousness abounds. Personally, I reside in a bubble that affords me scarce opportunity for exchange with the other pole. The issues are uber-complex, so much is at stake in this deep, barely navigable river of separation. How do we find middle ground?
Just for now let’s drop this exhausting argument, this detached discussion out there. Just for now let’s invite it into the realm of in-your-face personal. The polarity waging on the inside. Because we’ve all heard some version of this quote by Ezra Taft Benson, right?
within the silent chambers of your own soul.”
Polarity: the state of having two opposite or contradictory tendencies, opinions or aspects. And who doesn’t have that festering in some way, shape or form internally? For the last 3 months I’ve spiraled ‘round this one again, avidly tracking a personal polarity. For a week this scrutiny supported by Esalen days filled with soaking and dancing, natural beauty and meditating, good food and expert guidance. Working side-by-side with Lucia Horan allows me to be in the sweet spot: being in service balanced with being held in practice. The statue of Kwan Yin (above), travelled out of my studio, first time in thirteen years. She exuded mercy and compassion and grace throughout the week.
Inside me there’s a little numb one who took shelter way at one end of the pole. Surviving by letting nothing in, allowing nothing out. This early learning shaped me in many ways. It affected the way I moved with deep loss. Through my middle years, chock full of family and work responsibility, grief squeezed its way into available holes in my schedule. Truly. Listening to those of you in the throws of mid-life, it’s a relief to know this experience is not unusual. However greased the wheels were by my early childhood training.
But grief more toward life’s end gives me access to a different experience: the opposite pole. Now there is time. Here there is space and perspective. Here there is a semblance of emotional wisdom. This other pole—letting everything in and everything out—feels like uncharted territory. It has been liberating to feel with intensity and a relief to let out a bucket of tears. Passion and tears that have been languishing for decades.
Now it is a sensation of a wound healing. A somatic scar tentatively binding raw vulnerability. A developing understanding of empathic distress. Curiosity about how empathy informs compassion. An embodiment of how much is at stake in this river separating numbness on one shore and overwhelm on the other. And that this great battle fought within the silent chambers of my own soul is giving birth to a more mature navigator. More skillful at self-witnessing, self-regulating. A capable steward of this oh so tender heart.
Sigh…this is what consistently paying attention reveals. And paying attention with the support of like-minded community just ups the ante. Inviting you along for three opportunities to pay attention in sangha this week:
- Wednesday Waves in person breaks the format mold in this final chapter of 2021. Two hours 6:30-8:30, but only one hour for dancing a wave in the middle. We’ll open with my guidance, gently prepping the body for motion with rollers and balls (all props provided). And we’ll integrate at closure with Majica guiding us through creative art expression. We begin with a focus on the feet November 10. This first Wednesday is FREE if you have never done 5Rhythms at Clara. Drop in to any session for $25 or pre-enroll for all five for $100. Please check link for nitty gritty details.
- Essentials Friday 10:00 on line deep dives into the pelvic floor. This week an introduction to the geeky diamond-shaped anatomy…so beautiful. Every week a gentle breathing variation on releasing, core toning, stretching and how this informs simple yoga poses. The Video Library is there to dive in any time spirit moves you.
- Sunday Sweat Your Prayers 10:00-noon in person & online. Thanks to a generous community benefactor, we are still practicing in the garden space bordering the Sacramento River. If you have yet to join us in this enchanted land, you are so welcome. Check the link for the nitty gritty. I’m up this coming Sunday.
It’s in the silent chambers of our own souls where peace commences. Let’s seek that middle ground together. ❤️Bella