Friday, July 31, 2009

Anicca Yearnings

I feel the urge to write some kind of up-date-on-my-life post here, since it has been so long (since mid-February) that I did such a thing and much has taken place in my life since then.

However, when I think about itemizing & explaining all of the different changes and developments that have occurred in my life, I really have no interest in going through it all. I have talked with a number of different people in-depth about these things, and I have thought, worried, emoted, mourned & rejoiced - gone through the whole theatrical deal - so the possibility of writing it all out now feels something similar to filling out paperwork. I'd hate to see our relationship degenerate into something like that.

So I'll write something different here, while hopefully still relatedly on-topic. Hopefully you will be able to figure out what's what - or at least enjoy the confusion & your own varyingly vivid imagination.

Tomorrow (August 1st) is the last day of the "school year" here at Camphill Soltane. After that, people are then released, different folks are moved around to different places, and everybody gets a new label as to what their status is. There has been very much anticipation and excitement leading up to all of this all-around. The day after tomorrow my "August break" begins with various plans, commitments, and intentions hopefully kicking into place. Come September, we all return in a new constellation for a new "school year" to begin again.

I too am eager and excited for this new phase to begin. Perhaps I have been looking forward to this too much. Perhaps we all have. But I am getting ahead of myself.

At this point I actually feel exhausted and depleted - physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I am needing relief, rest, and rejuvenation. I am also wanting to integrate all that has taken place over the past couple months, but I do not know how to do that without first attending to these three "R"-needs.

I suppose that part of my feeling of energy-depletion comes from how I have been living with four developmentally-disabled people who habitually turn to the volunteers of the house for attention, direction, and orientation. Usually this takes the form of them asking questions, and usually these questions are very similar and repetitive. I suppose that I have not learned to respond to these ongoing patterns in ways that are sustainable for me. I realize now that, over time, this has worn me down, and I am unsure of how or why this has occurred.

It seems to me that some of the most important things that I want to look after now are ways for me to honor and reinforce my own personal energy, focus, and momentum. Without these, everything all goes to hell, and I have seen/gone-through it enough times now to know exactly how this happens.

Looking after these needs, personal energy, focus, and momentum, seem to be of the nature of a spiritual practice - as well as a getting-things-done practice. Interesting, that. But as "interesting" as that may be, all-too-easily my attention can be snagged by the inane, the irrelevant, and the unnecessarily burdensome. This has happened to me, now. Or rather, the leading-up-to-now.

Right now though, literally speaking, I find myself in the familiarly-unique experience of conceptually clearing the fog from my head and realizing all that I have before me, options-wise and wisdom-wise. The path (or paths) to personal energy, focus, and momentum can be seen here.

Recently I have been reading the book "Don't Push the River (it flows by itself)" by Barry Stevens. In it can be found this quote:

"I think I need to be reminded of things I already know more than I need to be told things I don't."

That applies to me here as well.

When I wrote my last up-date on this blog about my life at Camphill Soltane, I was still in the midst of a kind of euphoric I'm-in-love-with-this-place state. Now, I am in more of a settled this-is-my-home-despite-all-the-weirdness state. Settled as well as in flux, because the whole thing is in flux. The "settled" comes from a great deal more familiarity and depth & variety of experience with the place.

Friends from different places often write to me asking me how I am doing, how things are going, etc. I really don't know what to say to that, really. I often respond by not writing back, ie, overwhelm = mental shut-down due to the encroaching waves of cascading thoughts & my attention going else-where to retreat to "higher ground". Or, I feel like answering their question with one four-letter word ("good") and then following that up with a long personal ramble that answers their question more fully but in an indirect way.

Another pertinent quote from "Don't Push the River":

"Whatever clarity I achieve is refined out of so much confusion that I am often more aware of the muddle than anything else."

Interactions with other people can help me to achieve clarity - or at least the kind of clarity that I want. However, to get this is not just a matter of "interacting with people", but is more about "interacting with people in particular kinds of ways". Usually I come to associate these "particular kinds of ways" with "particular people", which due to circumstances immediately begins to narrow down my options for support for clarity. I want to break this open - open it up - for more to use for everybody. In other words, if these "particular ways" really are supportive, why not share the wealth? And then, how can I do this meaningfully?

This then leads me to how often I adopt the missionary approach to whatever it is that I am into. Spread the Gospel, Teach the Faith, Reveal God's Word (even if the word-on-the-street appears to have it all be atheistic in nature). So now I am wanting ways to help others to help me (and to help themselves & help each-other) achieve clarity. Earlier I said that I want to find ways to more sustainably meet my needs for personal energy, focus, and momentum. Chances are that if I found ways to do that too, I'd want to share them, reproduce them, get others to get into it too. So what is that? Missionary-ism? Proselytism? Yet another wingnut pushing yet another cause?

I'd like to think that we all can go down together, and we all can go up together too. And the building-up part can happen consciously, by choice. The opposite usually happens through the opposite way, that is, sleep-walking off some cliff. Or listening to the voices in our heads instead of really listening to those around us. Or, particularly in my case, listening to the idle chatter of bored/nervous people instead of listening for deeper meanings.

I feel like I am burned out because I have burned up all of my own sense of personal meaning more quickly than I could generate it. And I generate it by "really listening", or really feeling, which is a kind of listening. When I distract myself by gazing entranced out the window at the pretty scenery moving by, I am not keeping an eye out on my fuel-meter - or watching where I am going for that matter!

About a week from now I will willfully lock myself into a series of cages (metaphorically & somewhat literally-speaking) to help "force" myself to more fully practice / immerse myself in all of what I am going on about here. I will do that with the help of these two organizations. I am eagerly looking forward to it, which is perhaps an unhealthy way to look at it, from a number of perspectives. In other words, I am intending on getting myself back "on track", and plans are in the works for that.

Also from "Don't Push the River":

"We set up all sorts of difficulties for ourselves like a barricade, haul ourselves over them, then pat ourselves on the back for our accomplishment."

Yes, that is what I am doing. I suppose that I am wanting to do this a bit more intentionally now, with the idea being that through doing so I would then be able to better appreciate the clear path for when it is clear. And to notice when I am habitually reaching to clutter up the path with fragments from a dead mind - another form of busy-work.

My energy for writing this has gone, and I am too, seeya.


Marcus said...

A delightfully spontaneous and refreshingly honest post! It's inspiring me to similarly get my own thoughts onto (electronic) paper without letting them get clogged in my internal-editor-filter along the way. And I'm not going to end this comment with something clever or go back to edit what I've written to perfection. Thanks for sharing.

Tina said...

Thanks for sharing "how you are now" with us...
I appreciated the insights about (self-generated) things that get in your way...and also seeing how I do the same things.
I will be anxious to read the "Don't Push the River" book. The quotes you shared are high recommendations...