Core Work: Changes

banneryoga

Changes

“There’s many reasons
we are
what we’ve become

I’m going through changes
ripping out pages
I’m going through changes now

I knew it once
but I forgot
I’m going through changes now

We want everything but
what we’ve got
I’m going through changes now”

~Langhorne Slim + The Law

It has been oppressively hot, especially these last few weeks of summer. It hasn’t rained here in Southern California in a good long while.

I’m sitting here in front of my computer while the rain pours down.

I woke up to a text/wish from a partner that we were cuddled up enjoying the downpour from somewhere other than where we were. I cooked breakfast with a partner as we reflected on the changes rumbling at the fault lines in our world. They were starting to shift the plates in our universe in a way that made the landscape look ( at times terrifyingly and at times divinely) different from the one we intended to build. Sometimes, as happens, you have a profound moment of clarity over tofu scramble and coffee.

I looked out the window at the rain. I confessed to my breakfast company that while there was nothing that should make me feel particularly incredulous about that morning’s weather, something deep down in my bones felt awe and disbelief. What is it in our bodies that tells us our moments of discomfort will never end? Sometimes it’s a heat wave, sometimes that moment when you’re so sick (hungover from substances or life), or when you’re in a particularly dark period that something in your gut makes the definitive statement this is just the way things are going to be: forever.

For me the discomfort recently has been transition– ironic given the nature of my work and the number of times I process with folks around how we are all ALWAYS in transition (Side note for anyone I’ve said this to: please know, I don’t rescind the truth of this statement but I do know how ridiculously uncomfortable it is, like a deep down crawling feeling under your skin). I had a particularly frantic day yesterday. There was a power outage so I had to transfer my work space to a temporary location. I rushed back to teach my yoga class transferring my awareness from computer brain to mindful body. When I got to the studio it was a particularly busy day as one class of students got out and the next class transitioned in. I had a meeting around transferring part of my practice to a new space. I had a family meeting around transitioning our family meeting to a new time.

Towards the end of my long day yesterday I felt like an angry little tea pot. Whether it was the heatwave, the growing saturation of the clouds, the pressure cooker of managing the discomfort of change, or the push towards the next plateau of life, I could hear that deep guttural squeal of steam starting from core center. As I sipped my coffee to the rain’s calming meditative rhythm, I was able to take a full breath past my throat, down into my chest, deep down into my gut. I flipped the spout of my teapot so it wasn’t squealing, I turned off the stove, my world got a little quieter, and I had a few insights:

(1) Things always change; the weather, the seasons, our lives. Things were bound to turn around.

(2) Yesterday, at the end cap of the heat wave with the clouds pushed to their breaking points, something in my subconscious said it was never going to be cool or rain again, ever.

(3) The tension I felt in my person had some functional marking points, but at its core it was based in my desire to be somewhere other than where I was (read: not in transition) and the belief that I would never be anywhere else than where I was (read: in the discomfort of transition forever).

The only thing that changed this morning, other than the precipitation, was that I had evidence that change was a constant. To a certain extent I would be in transition forever, but I wouldn’t necessarily be in the discomfort of it, as long as I chose to be in a little bit of healthy debate with my sometimes nay saying and catastrophizing bones.

In case you’re needing a little reminder that core work starts when we can create spaciousness and safety around leaning into these moments of transition (read: life), know that from the time I started this post to the typing of these last few sentences, my playlist has re-started, the rain has stopped, and a sun streak just came through the clouds.

In case you’re someone that needs an appropriate soundtrack to help shake the dust off that old belief that it is discomfort that is permanent and constant rather than change a little playlist help:

Ripping out pages,

Traci

———-

Traci Medeiros-Bagan {She|Her|Hers|They|Them|Theirs} is currently in the depths of intentional core work to build a conscious practice. They are a therapist, yoga teacher, and human in progress. Information about where, when, and how they share this journey with community can be found at compassionaterevolthealing.com

Advertisements

Tarot Tuesday: Growth in The Tower

PlayshopBannerWhen I found tarot, in a functional sense, I met it with wide eyed optimism. I’ve heard some folks new to tarot express some fearfulness around accessing this source of wisdom and healing, and I never really experienced much of that. Looking back I wonder why I didn’t. {Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1Iq974y}{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1Iq974y}

I was going through a period of immense change- to many around me I imagine it might have looked a bit like disaster rather than Disaster.

For someone who didn’t have much experience with the positive aspects of faith I realize the blindness and readiness with which I moved into a tarot practice was actually quite uncharacteristic of me. Perhaps it was the time, a particularly good fit, or just the relief of having accurate queer reflection from The Collective Tarot (my first deck and the one I still use almost exclusively) staring back at me.

Whatever the reason both my universe and my tarot pulls requested (kindly and lovingly) that I lean into Disaster or, more traditionally, The Tower. {Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1JoQkVK}

The Tower is the 16th card in the Major Arcana. It is a card about inevitable change and the way we experience it. This might be actual change around us or a shattering of our perceptions– ways we’ve come to know, understand, and explain our world. The literal representation of a tower that shows up in decks is described by Jan Woudhuysen in Tarot Therapy: A New Approach to Self-Exploration:

All of us feel the need for protection from the cold inhospitality of the world. We build defences of some sort or another. We build a tower, strong enough to withstand rain and storms from the enemy with his arrows and gunpowder. We gain security, but only for a price. That price is our ability to move, to grow, to develop. p.81

Later, in the same passage about The Tower, Woudhuysen questions whether, after forced by “disaster” to rebuild our towers if we’ll use the same broken stones? It immediately made me think of the Audre Lorde quote: “For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” I often think of The Tower as a space for new growth but also a call to check in on the soundness of the structures I’m building and/or confined within. Sometimes utter demolition is needed and sometimes it’s a wake-up call to realize I live in earthquake country– roller bearings, got it. 

There are so many levels of what we might be called (or demanded) to deconstruct and reconstruct, and it’s going to take all of our attention to do so well. If we’re busy struggling, trying to keep our tower from falling, are we going to be able dream and manifest a more accurate version of our safest spaces? It’s going to take radical vision and innovation to live in and design institutions that hold and heal the queerest most divine versions of our authentic selves.

So, I offer you The Collective Tarot’s challenge to lean into Disaster:

“You are free. A flash of enlightenment. A release of energy. Lightning of revelation, inner truth… If the mind becomes closed, so that we cannot see the world outside, then it becomes a prison of pride and illusion…. When you turn the compost, it is uncomfortable, but growth and newness awaits.”

In honor of Disaster,

Traci

———-

Traci {She|Her|Hers|They|Them|Theirs} is a yoga teacher, therapist and amateur tarot enthusiast! They try to believe in the power of their inner Magician, stay inspired by the Fool’s spirit, understand struggle through the lens of The Tower/Disaster and always stay reminded that, “The Star Awaits…”

———-

There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the photographers and websites who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the subject’s or artist’s identity or beliefs. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email compassionaterevolt@gmail.com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.