Sunday, July 9, 2017
I hope you had a good week. The summer is passing and this time soon after the solstice when the light is not quite yet noticeably less always brings a sense of melancholy. This year especially I have been in love with the light. I have noticed it in all its colors and splendor. This season though like all seasons is part of a larger wheel and it is turning.
Summer it seems brings with it nostalgia for days gone by. As time marches on for the personal clock my life it is in this season I think of my youth the most. For me it is not so much a longing to be there again, but regret for the missed opportunities. My youth while mostly untroubled (particularly in comparison to a majority of souls on our planet) was not a happy one. I suffered a profound sense of isolation and loneliness. It is only within the past few years that I have built any decent relationships with people. My life did not follow the pattern that most people's lives follow. Hiding my differences had me coming to myself much later. Sometimes I think that I was simply more aware of the illusory nature of the self that we present. So many of us become our roles completely and we live under the delusion that they are the real us.
It is no easy task to find our place in this world. Blessed are those who come to themselves early and stay true. Lately I have noticed that many of the goals I set forth in the past few years have come to pass, and yet I feel largely the same. Don't get me wrong I am grateful that things have been working out well as of late. As I strive though I have to ask myself if I am doing it because it excites me or because I think it will change me into who I think I should be. I mean exactly when did being Thomas Mooneagle become not good enough? The pattern of perfectionism continues to unfold for me and I have to work through it, or is that just another form of the delusion? Perhaps it is navel gazing. Certainly previous generations would look at it as such. They were more focused on action, but if action serves no deeper purpose why act at all?
One of the most helpful things I heard a teacher say was about their own mentor. The Grandmaster I learned Tai Chi from was quite a character, and he loved to share the occasional anecdote about his teacher, a living Taoist Master. (Except technically now he is a dead Taoist Master). He told us one time as we were sitting in his office after practice that his teacher came to him crying and said, "Why am I so fucked up?" So when I am holding myself to impossible standards and feel like a complete failure I try to remember this story. If the Taoist Master felt like a mess odds are I'm due to feel like one too. Which is great because so often I do feel like a mess. I'm not sure it is something you get beyond, or if it is something you just learn to accept and honor.
Our lives are composed of patterns, both large and small. Sometimes the tiniest motion can have larger consequences. Knowing what patterns we are running in the calculations of our lives is key if we wish to stop living the same life over and over again. We tend to run patterns in the same time or place we first encountered them, so things like nostalgia and even regret can be useful markers if we pay attention.
So why am I telling you this? Well, while we can't escape patterns, we should be more mindful of which ones we allow to shape us. If we find ourselves repeating the same mistakes, or the same heavy thoughts and feelings then it is time to take action. Sometimes a small movement is enough to shake the pattern loose or bring it into sharper focus. So this week as the summer skies fill with the warm light take some time to reflect upon where you've been, where you are, and if you are going in the direction you desire.
Peace and Blessings,