Life and death as one

life and death

Not taking risks, avoiding what we perceive as ‘risky’ implies that there’s no freedom in our choices only a stagnant, familiar and constrained. Life imprisoned is like constant death anxiety. Surely the more death is feared the more we should embrace life yet we ignore it as if death is not present in life but something of a distant abstract idea, concept that is never to materialise.

Being free in life means being free in death, not afraid of taking a turn unconventional, perhaps, but something that calls us in the moment. Mistake, you say? That’s an instant regret about choosing freedom. That’s beating yourself up about having courage to live in the moment. There are no mistakes only a decision taken in the moment, a choice. How we take that turn is up to us. Will be go for it unconditionally and without attachment to an outcome, or cautiously with a degree of fear in the background. Both are valid to some extent and both are possible.

Read More

Searching for…

img_0255

Searching for what I know not

The invisible, senseless, shapeless something

Grabbing on to nothingness of what’s there

Where? Here? Not now, not yet, not ever…

What do we search for? Meaning, fulfilment, purpose, love, joy, happiness? Moving towards having our needs met, things, adventures and people that make our lives full and our hearts singing, feeling useful and present in life, noticed, heard and seen. What do we want? We want to live and not fade into nothingness, that scary uncertain place no one wants to talk about, but let’s. It is not nothingness or empty when a life lived fully can be felt in our blood and expressed even in our last breath. Dying well, dying knowing and conscious holding on to love and vision to the last moment. Preparing to travel to places unseen and unknown.

Searching is a natural element of life, like a flowing river always on the run not knowing where it will end or will settle, but it does, I am sure it does and perhaps, then the flow begins again? Like trees stripped of their foliage every year come back to blooming again at some point. Trust, faith in growth and movement of life protects and comforts and it is jumping on board of the train seemingly running away into nothingness or river flowing into place unknown, it is that jumping into life that will carry us through and will lead us to whatever we are searching for. It is a journey of searching, questioning, which contains periods of peace and settled feeling, contentment, slowing down, picking up pace again. It is in the mixture and variety, colour and moments of dull despair and the darkest night there is life itself, which is the meaning of it all. Life is the meaning of life.

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

—Mary Oliver

Existential…

crosby-jan2012-0050-640px-wide

We are born, we bloom and we die. What of those in-between spaces? That is day-to-day living, those are the moments, of which life consists.

Today, it feels like the past is gone and the future is doubtful and uncertain. There is death anxiety present and struggles with staying in the present moment. ‘What if, if only, can I, when this and that’, how will I, what if I don’t, I suppose I will have to’, etc. – these phrases run through the mind over and over.

Yesterday I had a vision of my life going forward. I have seen what is there potentially on offer in the next 20 years and it felt good, comforting, grounding and certain, as opposed to feeling very unsettled and doubtful in the last week. It looked contained, structured with challenges and transitional points clearly outlined, but what it didn’t outline was the way one would deal with it and what the actual outcome would be. That is life and no one knows for certain. There weren’t that many things out there, to be honest, it felt clean, clear and peaceful and would present a good life path for anyone, in my opinion. I like that existential language, which often sounds harsh and direct, which goes ‘this is your lot, this is what you’ve got at your disposal, what are you going to do with it or about it?’. I used this with my own clients a few times and it has that vibration of ‘wake up and smell the coffee’. It is startling, but refreshing if allowed to be present with. It is calling to look at life and present circumstances in a very real way (reality check) and see what can be done and how and be aware of the feelings. It is very ‘present moment’, life here and now and what can we do now in order to feel alive and really living. It is calling us to define in a way what we are about and what we want from however many years we might have. I like the idea of knowing what your purpose is and living it out, so to speak, similar to making a decision and sticking to it. I like that vibration of decisiveness and clarity of route.

I haven’t been in this place before, I don’t think, and if I have been it didn’t come through in the same way. This is really existential. Having gone through a spiritual journey and revival of my soul nature (transpersonal approach), which continues every day, and having looked at childhood set-up and my past (psychodynamic psychotherapy) and worked on self-growth and potential (humanistic approach) what is coming up now is the look at life as it is currently with all there is there, facing cross-roads and defining meaning (humanistic) going forward. It offers options and when one can see a potential path of how things could play out. It gives you certainty to a degree providing one is happy with the vision of their future. I am happy with it for now, as who knows what tomorrow will bring. There is safety in knowing, for sure, and fear in not knowing, absolutely. Both are very valuable. Security and certainty provides a good feeling and so does a vibe of adventure, freedom in a sense of not knowing anything at all. Providing I make it through the years and those around me make it there is a strong chance we make the vision a reality and what a lovely picture that is. In the meantime we live every day as if it is the last doing our best and feeling present and meaningful in our interactions and activities we partake in and feeling ok on the inside. Notice how ‘I’ became ‘we’ in the last few sentences, as I write completely intuitively. There is some meaning in there somewhere pointing towards a collective, community purpose with myself playing a role.

This phase can be scary and they don’t call it an existential crisis for nothing, as one of the most common descriptions. This, however, really resonates with my personality in terms of questioning, finding meaning and certainty within and following a natural course of life with a few challenges and hardships, but also bagging joyful and precious moments of any day like a beautiful sunrise and a good night sleep, a good meal and a smile of a child. It is all in that in-between space of life, in between we are born, we bloom and we die.