2016 for me was one that has been full of highs and lows. Good times and not so good passages of play. It has however moved on from 2015 and was leaps and bounds away from the fateful period of 2013. That was a bad year and one that I have referred to a number of times, so no need to go over it here.
So, to recap 2016; it started out tough, eased up a little, got smoother and towards the end of the year there is a feeling of being a little battle weary and drained.
That’s the dance of life though … tough isn’t it?
2017 however has been a LOT smoother and for a number of reasons.
With the passing of the years we find that there is an inevitable ebb and flow to this thing we called life. There is a passing of time (if you believe that it is actually such a thing as time) and an inevitable “changing of things”. Impermanence is a big thing in Buddhism and is the declaration that in this world there is nothing that is fixed and permanent. It all changes. That can be quite a difficult concept to hold onto, or is it let go of?
The notion that we can’t control what is or indeed what isn’t going on in life is quite a complex one and to try and work out what areas we are in control of has the potential for us to lose our minds. The simplest approach is to not take any position and accept that life is in constant flux and change and that we are NOT in control of what happens. We are in the flow of life, but life dances to its own tune and we have a choice.
If you try and make structures of solidity, rules and laws that are impervious to change, it can be quite destabilizing to your Own True Nature (OTN), your core sense of self. This core essence of you is deeply connected to the flow of life and it is ONLY through your strong, and misinformed connections to EGO and personal ideals, that you find there is a tug between what is “conceptually real” and “really real”. If you look at life from a fixed position you will struggle. There is no wiggle room for real life to have its ‘dance’ and you will find your “constructed life” sat looking miserable by the side of the dance floor, arms folded and un-engaged.
We often believe that all want it to be stable, safe and for life to be mapped out. In effect, watch what is going on around you from a safe and protected position. Or so we think, but the reality is that life isn’t set up like that and perhaps all we really want to do is dance, unencumbered by shame and the fear of embarrassment.
In 2017, I took a slightly different position to my old way of thinking and one that I hope will carry me through 2018 and beyond. I slowly, and it was and still is slowly, started to look at life as an ever changing, variable and exciting opportunity. I have realised that life is a dance that needs my “shapes’ to be cast upon it. To deliver a bit of dad dancing upon the dance floor, all arms and legs flailing in wild abandonment, and I needed to do it because it felt good, I needed it for my soul (head and heart) and I had to show to others that shame and fear are stages to work through, not reasons to stop.
Like any dance, “Life”, if entered into has an immense power to it. If you step into it, rather than simply observe it, you can feel its movement and its energy all around. You will get a sense on a micro level of the connected and inter-dependent nature of you and your surroundings and as a result you will start to feel safe in the knowledge that you are part of something much bigger and not simply an unimportant observer of it. You will become resilient to change because you are part of the whole and not apart from it. Your previous immovability to life’s push and pull fades as your acceptance of life’s impermanence reveals itself more fully. You are part of a much bigger dance yet your moves are welcomes, honoured and accepted.
So, when 2018 comes around, don’t do the usual New Year Resolutions ‘thing’, do something radical. Just let go of your attachment to control and simply fall into what is. Take part in life. Observe it with open and conscious eyes and fully awaken to the changeable nature of the world around and dance with it. You’ll find it’s a caring and considerate partner.