I’ve been focusing a lot on energy this past year: creating good energy, trying not to absorb the bad, energy and space clearing, energy channels, energy blocks… . All the talk of late in pop culture and beyond about quantum physics and metaphysics points us in the direction of acknowledging that everything, even our thoughts, are merely different forms of energy. This may all be news to Oprah, but Patanjali recognized the importance of the energetic world thousands of years ago when he wrote the Yoga Sutras, laying out the ancient, yet still-viable approach to achieving the even-toned state of Samadhi to which this practice can bring us. And to harnessing the light contained within the practice. These are the truths which provide so many of us a roadmap to contentment as well as creativity.
And still, with all this focus, sometimes it seems the balance will not come to rest in the middle. Sometimes despite our best efforts and intentions the balance falls left of center, hanging heavy and low, seeming to actually absorb the lightness of our thoughts before they have a chance to penetrate the veil of illusion from which we long to escape.
This is where I’ve been for months. Plodding along in my meditation, in my personal belief system, in my practice. Knowing the creative spark I’ve come to enjoy so easily will re-emerge any second now. And waiting some more. It finally occurred to me on a hike a few days ago that maybe this apparent “blockage” is necessary, that rather than an actual blockage it’s more like an energy log-jam that’s amassing enough vibrancy to ultimately bust through and tumble forth into the present moment. Before finally sitting my butt down to resume this blog, for weeks I’ve felt movement within the other realms of my life. Places that were stagnant began to take motion again. My meditation became lighter and happier. I began to get signs.
And now I really do think I’m ready to write again. I could indulge in an entire autobiographical narrative about specific events in my life that have caused me to engage in such strange wrangling with my writer-self, but all those are color-by-number details. You have yours and I have mine. The revelation, for me anyway, is that the flow depends on the ebb. It seems so obvious, intellectually, until the tide goes out and feels for all the world like it’s never coming back. If we keep breathing into our intentions we will continue to build up energy around them. It’s that simple.
At times, the physical practice is all we have to maintain us. When meditation turns into an unstoppable loopy tape of some surreal verbal montage, when engaging positively with the world around us is virtually impossible, when all the other obvious tools fail to bring understanding, the physical poses open us up from the inside out, creating channels for energy to freely flow despite our current spiritual or emotional status. “Just do the practice,” said Pathabi Jois, “and all else is coming.” Yoga, in the very basic sense, is energy work. It keeps us connected, and it keeps us going. Sometimes the space between points A and B is vast, and for me, it has been the practice that has time and again allowed me to progress from one place to another, even when I didn’t know which way I was going.
What a journey!