At the end of 2019 I made the decision to get on a plane and step out of the life I had been building for almost four years. I left because I have a deeply ingrained pattern that triggers a flight response whenever things feel too comfortable. Life was terribly comfortable and I had settled into a groove that until now I wasn't able to identify as santosha (utter contentment). I have all sorts of stories about what this means and how it lands in my body but I'll reserve all of that for another day. Today, sitting in all the chaos that choice brought into my life, I want to reflect on the most powerful of practices. Being Here. Now.
I originally began writing this piece in July 2020, back when the world was more, and less complicated than today. From then until now, I've been taken in a billion different directions. I could have never imagined when I decided to get on that plane that a few months later the entire world would shut down and life as I knew it would change in such drastic ways. So many slates wiped cleaned. So much seeming confusion and chaos yet recreation of order. In all honesty I've begun looking back at my reclamations from last year into the beginning of this one and there seems to have been an eerie hindsight. The hindsight of 2020.
The ending of 2019 met me in a particular pattern of behavior with an old mentality I thought I had long ago unwound. Something happens when we attempt to go back to a world we had long left behind. I spent a good portion of the months leading up to the falling apart running into old versions of myself and feeling terribly disconnected from the choice I had made. Each time I attempted to open a door it would shut forcefully in my face. This whole experience wasn't doing much to build confidence in my giant decision to uproot my life in search of "something more." Little did I know how much more was yet to come.
The truth of the matter is throughout the past year, I've been forced back into the present moment over and again. I've continually battled with fight or flight and sitting in one place for too too long. The only constant I have found is the return to the breath again and again. Breathing in. Breathing out. It captures the only truth that resonates in a constant cellular harmony amidst the dissonance that surrounds this entire year. I've all but lost my own personal practices, lost many who I thought were my nearest and dearest, lost my own sense of self and identity; in essence there have been many little deaths over and again. But the breath, it remains. Please do not mistake any of my words thus far as indicative of moving through this particular year with any form of grace or clear navigation. Everything seems to be falling apart around me and the breath continues. This one constant momentary flow that holds true again and again.
How have you fared through this initiation? I personally feel like so much has disintegrated in front of me. In many ways, I'm unsure what "out there" looks like or how to navigate it. Has the world really changed that much? Maybe it's me. I recently made the decision to return to Jamaica. Nothing was aligning in the US and with the impending election and the increase of intensity I felt I needed to shift. I knew in my return that there was no "going back," that if my intention was to return to the life I had left behind I would be sadly disappointed. I have learned through my lifetime of uprooting and moving that there is no going back. Everything changes, even in world quarantine and pandemics.
So here I sit, in a cottage on the sea. Still unclear, feeling more and more each day that what I thought I knew is but dust in the wind. Watching as the world seems to continually fracture into more and more division and disconnect. And yet, the breath remains. Holding constant. And I remember that this one element of our humanness connects us all. Life is really challenging right now. So many of us have hit a wall and are spinning. We have watched layer after layer fall away leaving our hearts and spirits raw and open, longing for a deep cleaning and healing. The systems and structures continue to fall away and fail. But this moment, this Here, Now. It remains.
What I am beginning to understand is that the impact of the now and my ability to bring myself back here again and again is all there is. It is this moment, ripe with possibility and all that has not been done or known before awaiting my arrival. And so, I breathe and listen. And move as the tide calls me home.