Many things blew my mind in India, but this golden nugget of wisdom, again by our teacher, Thom Knoles, had me stuck on stupid.
Here goes… most of us gravitate towards routines, repetition and what is familiar in life. The same route to the office, weekly date nights, vacations to the same place, etc. I imagine we’re hardwired this way since it is safe and creates the least amount of change which the ego is always trying to protect us from. From a logistical point of view, I think repetition makes sense a lot of the time – procedures at the office to be more efficient, getting a routine down in the mornings to get out of the house on time, etc. but to an extreme – it can actually become the most unsafe place to be. Let me explain.
In the Vedic world view, it is said that you always want to be in the flow with nature/the universe – not controlling, but simply letting yourself be a vehicle for nature/the universe to work through you and guide you. The sweet spot is when you are creating, innovating and evolving. If you are not evolving or adapting to change you are going against the flow. In nature, this leads to extinction. For humans this could show up as disease, things not going right in life, depression, etc. Something to shake you up so you get on the right path.
Some of the most stressful situations in life are divorce, having kids and moving. When you think about these three things, they are indeed stressful. They slap you right in the face with stress and all kinds of uncomfortable things. With divorces and break ups, it’s like you can’t breathe in the morning when you first wake up and reality hits you, much less get thru your day. It feels as if all the wind has been taken out of your sails and it’s impossible to function. With kids and especially newborns, your whole world as you know it is temporarily being turned upside down to make space for this new human in your life. Not to mention lots of sleepless nights which really fuck with your state of wellbeing. And when you move, well, that just turns your whole world upside down – from the pressure of getting everything decorated and into place and feeling like home to not being able to get out of the house in the mornings because you don’t know where anything is. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
But, like all difficult things in life, on the other side of them there is so much awesomeness: After breaking up or going through a divorce you find freedom, you learn self care, get to know yourself better and in many cases meet someone even better. When you have kids, well, isn’t this the miracle of life? They expand you and teach you in a way that no one else can (I also think they keep you young!). And when you move, once the dust settles you create a home and sanctuary that you get to come home to every day and find solace in. We need that, especially in this crazy ass city.
One of my favorite enlightened authors, Eckhart Tolle, writes that all of those difficulties are showing up to try and protect you from taking a leap, to not change and to keep you safe. Usually, the closer you are to greatness, the more barriers, difficulties and roadblocks that show up. So if shit is rough right now, know that your getting closer to greatness and that the safest place you can be is going into the unknown; creating, innovating and evolving- always.