That feeling you get when you make a choice, and then life seems ‘different’ in a way that’s just not quantifiable. But the flavour of it is distinctly different, and mostly pleasing.
This story is adapted from an original piece published by Petah Raven on Medium and Steemit, in
The silver lining still remains,
The sights I’ve left to see
So trust that with this end,
A new beginning’s waiting patiently.
— The Dear Hunter
Back in January, I woke up one morning with the profoundest sense that I had started a new life.
Kind of like the feeling on the first day of a new job, or a new house. Something like that.
What I was feeling was a deep, internal sense of peace — because there was nothing ‘new’ happening that day in my external world.
Meditating on this feeling, I realised that it was the culmination of about 8 weeks of fairly deep introspection and personal change-work.
A Hero’s Journey
I’ve always felt that healing from anything — be it physiological, emotional, mental, or existential — is reminiscent of the mythological ‘hero’ who heeds a call, travels into the Underworld, and undergoes many trials and challenges with the help of guides.
In my cases a few months ago, it was a deep malaise and dissatisfaction with how many (but not all) aspects of my life were.
Mostly, it was my career that was dragging me down. There is a difference to being challenged, and having the very life-force sucked from you.
The ironic thing is, I was doing the ‘entrepreneurial’ thing: running my own business, calling my own shots, making my own hours, etc.
It was rewarding in many aspects. It was paying bills, I was getting satisfaction with serving others in need. It was fitting my lifestyle… sort of.
There were some key bits missing. But those key bits were of very high value for me. I soon realised that I needed to leave the profession I loved dearly. Because it was no longer serving me.
Yes, it would bring different challenges. Yes, it may also mean I have less time and money (theoretically). But what I was doing was preventing me from living well.
‘Cause you are the beginning of another time
Yes, you are the beginning, the only friend of mine
— The Soundtrack Of Our Lives
Wellness is not about which gym class I go to, or which diet I’m following. It’s about meeting my deeply-held Values and internal needs.
What do I need to change in order for those to be met…?…And in this moment?
That question was another key part of this, I discovered.
Taoist philosophy suggests we need to be both firm (yang) and flexible(yin).
What was missing was the flexibility. This was my capacity to change, and to change at the drop of a hat.
This faculty is a key part of a modern business. It’s what drives peer-to-peer (p2p) technology, and the purpose behind decentralising systems such as in Holochain and Blockchain technology.
Because of course, that’s how nature works.
Adaptation is the key feature of The Tao.
To live well, I need to create systems and frameworks — a rhythm — that can contain my flow, but also adapt to whatever arises in any moment.
Searching for me,
You look everywhere
Except beside you.
Searching for you,
You look everywhere
But not inside you
— King Crimson
At the risk of sounding cliché, what I have come to understand this year is this: what I had been seeking for six years of intense personal development and change-work was already there.
Of course, I knew this intellectually — it’s the basis of Taoist Alchemy — but I didn’t know it in an embodied manner. That is to say, I couldn’t feel the truth of it in a deeply felt manner.
So when I was trying to implement changes in my life and set up systems and frameworks that would enable me to live and work in flow, what I was doing was using other people’s frameworks. It may work for them, but it wasn’t working for me.
I spent so much time reading books on productivity, business, etc because I did not trust my own ideas about what might be best for me, from a wellness perspective. Ironically, this was the essence of what I was teaching to students and clients, all to good effect. I wasn’t practicing what I was preaching.
Abandoning all those, even for a brief period, has been the most marvellous reset. Stepping away and switching off from social media was the best thing I could do to help me get back to having an intimacy with what I value, and what is important to me in life.
I’ve settled into a rhythm now, one that flows, but is also highly-adaptable to change. We live in a society that is changing constantly, and we are only now starting to understand how to match our lifestyles to such constant change. Luckily, we have some seriously good models to draw on with the I Ching and Taoist philosophy; and those models are all based on systems that are found in nature — all we need to do is observe how nature and the universe works in order to find our rhythm.
Get rhythm, when you get the blues
— Johnny Cash
Here’s to a naturally-flowing rhythm!
Take care, y’all 😊🙏🏽☯