Sunday, July 3, 2011

Travelling Through Life: The Alchemy of Time

Since arriving back in Arizona, after a short visit to our home in Taos, I’ve noticed changes in my stance toward life and the future. Perhaps a change in location encourages a different perspective. When I’m at home in Taos I am whom I am used to being. Habit saves energy and time but it has some serious drawbacks. One of these drawbacks is that we become habituated to using the same mental and spiritual tools for every personal discomfort even when they obviously don’t work. I suppose it has to do with the secure feeling of familiarity. It is powerful medicine to step outside one’s accustomed identity. Too often we forget that we are part of the environment of our existence and have much to do with making it what it is. On the personal level we really do create our own reality even though this phrase has been seriously compromised in the New Age market.

I’ve noticed recently that even casual encounters with old enemies no longer carry the punch they used to carry. By old enemies I’m thinking of those pressures to conform to some external ideal. Also, I recently had a birthday and even though I don’t consciously think about it, getting older is bringing new perspectives just as a road trip moves one through a constantly changing landscape. Appeals to vanity are losing their, well, appeal. When I see an add for a new miraculous product or technique for reversing age, removing wrinkles, flattening the tummy or losing pounds I notice that it no longer stimulates curiosity. Much to my surprise I’m now OK with the way I am and not particularly interested in meeting standards of perfection set by the fashion and marketing folks. In other words I now see these manipulations for what they are, ploys to make money for someone at the expense of my self-esteem. Perfection is an empty word because nobody really knows what it is. This vagueness leaves the word wide open for manipulation.

We are organic beings that go through many stages during our journey through life. To become fixated on one stage of this journey is unnatural and it is done to meet the standards of someone, even possibly an imaginary someone who has convinced you that they have the power to pass judgement on you for failing to defy nature.

It’s not that I don’t want to change anything about myself however. It’s that the reasons are different and are beginning to fit like a well made shoe. We are part of the entire universe and what we do and especially who we are is either in sync or out of sync with the whole. Or less cosmically put, to my surprise and delight I'm acquiring the ability to feel the natural rhythm. Instead of an uncomfortable dissonance the inside and outside are in communication even if not yet in perfect harmony and its easier to correct a bad note.

I tend to be a background person. Astrologically with four heavenly bodies including Sun and Moon in the 12th house I started out way back in the shadows. Much of my life has been a fight to get out of the shadows and into the light of recognition. Now I’m facing the fact that this may never happen and it’s not entirely a bad thing. After all the shadow turned out to be merely a perception. After years of envying people who expressed themselves easily and charged out into the world to accomplish their dreams, I’m learning that much of this is secondary in value to awareness and self-knowledge. I’m referring here to Self with a capital S not the ego self we generally believe we own, although it is an amalgam of pieces acquired here and there since birth. The upper case Self is the part that is connected to the process of creation and leads us beyond expectations, hopes, dreams and whatever we can’t yet imagine.

The distance between inside and outside, near and far is gradually closing as I recognize that it is all about perception and how that perception is applied.