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

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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

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Tarot Tuesday: 4 Walls

PlayshopBannerHappy Tuesday everyone! How is everyone? My week is just starting (and also never really ended last week).

I’m feeling a lot of feelings.

I had a lot of… what’s a more positive word for conflicted experiences?

I’m feeling exhausted, invigorated, spent, and fed from a solo trip up to the queer promised land this weekend. I did a little time in the East Bay talking gender, race, and power with 11-13 year olds, and then re-processed those talks with peers over Burmese and Ethiopian food amongst a lot of young bearded and dreadlocked white folk. I engaged in triggering and inspiring conversation with other “professionals” around a community that I’m simultaneously near, in, and serve. I caught some donation based (but very physically focused) yoga. I had a quiet girlfriend night where we laughed, and cried, and hugged over roasted broccoli, whiskey, online dating, and the way not being walked to our cars after a date can make the most liberated of us feel like shit.

P.S. Just in case you need it, ladies. Here’s a (warning: very obscene but perfect) love note from Elle King.

I pulled tarot when I got into town and should have been unsurprised to see the Four of Bones staring back at me.

unnamed

“There is a lot going on in this card. Here is the cyclical structure of the seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Here are the changes each of those seasons bring, and their constant return to the beginning of the cycle wherever we may perceive to be…. at the center.. the human heart. There it lies shielded from the elements, truth at the crossroads; the calm inside the storm.

The Four of Bones is about structure, cycles, boundaries and borders. With this card we have the power to protect ourselves and others. It represents the power of four walls. With these walls we can build a shelter or a fortress, a cozy bedroom or a prison cell. The challenge of this card is to know the power of limits and boundaries, and know how to use that power in positive ways.” 

The Collective Tarot

The mystical, strong and fluid, shifting walls of The Four of Bones stayed with me throughout the weekend, my drive home, and I suspect are still hovering nearby this morning.

I’ve been reflecting on what this trip marked for me- the cycle and the season of the year past. I thought about the space the solo nature of it serendipitously brought (as much as I intended and desired it to be a little escapist love getaway). I’ve been attempting to discern what feels like protective boundary setting and what feels like oppressive rigidity. I deconstructed the work that I saw being done in and around community and tried to find gratitude and “balance between the power of freedom and the power of structure.”

{Image Credit: https://www.tumblr.com/search/dogma%20gif}
{Image Credit: https://www.tumblr.com/search/dogma%20gif}

And, Lord Alanis knows, I’m trying my damn-dest to step up to the challenge of knowing “the power of limits and boundaries, and.. how to use that power in positive ways.” 

I stared back into the center of The Four of Bones and wondered if the heart was really “shielded from the elements?” And, if it didn’t feel that way, if this was a sign I needed to build better boundaries or “knock down some walls; loosen the hinges on {my} heart. Allow {myself} to move into the next phase in the cycle of {my} life?”

The Four of Bones (or more classically The Four of Pentacles) exemplifies the contradictory and process instigating way that tarot offers us reflection and guidance. It doesn’t give us the answer but rather challenges us to look towards places of growth through introspection. It warns us that anything to it’s extreme– to rigidity can be unhelpful– and also carries the truth of constant change. Any season will eventually cycle through to the next and (eventually) back to itself.

I’m meditating on how to keep myself in a cozy bedroom.

A shelter that protects me, comforts me, and offers me rest. I want to intentionally create sacred space and feel safe asking others into it as well as feel content and fed sitting in it alone. I want to be able to kindly and lovingly ask for my solitude as well as lean into the risk of requesting company.

It’s not quite finished but I’ve heard home improvements last for as long as you are fortunate enough to have a home.

Currently laying blue prints for my four walls,

Traci

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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…”

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