Day 1431 – Day 1435
This past weekend, the world witnessed the longest blood red full moon lunar eclipse that will likely occur in my lifetime. Sadly, I was in a part of the world where I did not get to witness it live. But, I am grateful for the NASA feed that allowed us all to watch it, globally. The last time I saw a lunar eclipse in person was in London, at the great Old Street flat of some dear friends from University days. It is a moment that is forever imprinted on me.
When I was younger, I played Delores Claiborne in professional acting school. I remember that Delores killed her pedophile of a husband under a full moon lunar eclipse. And, when I studied yoga, and spent time in India, I remember learning that eclipses are considered times of bad luck and that one ought to pray and avoid being out when an eclipse is underway. This past week, I read up on the meaning of this particular eclipse – according to astrology – and was mortified. It was meant to dredge up old wounds and pain and be an overall and completely really bad time. In short, the earth was going to open and swallow us whole. Or something to that effect.
I tried to understand the metaphor of the eclipse in Delores Claiborne and while I’m good at creating metaphor, I’m not always so great at deciphering it in other people’s work. All I could come up with is that when the normal patterns of our lives are placed in shadow, we have a chance to truly see the contours of our lives – the landscape, in relief – and when we see something we cannot abide, this moment can be an impetus to make great changes. When the light returns, it can be like the dawn of a new day in our lives. It can be the start of a new chapter in our lives, so to speak.
As the eclipse reached totality, I decided to meditate as best I could, given that I was sitting at my desk and it was lunch time. I set a few intentions and the biggest intention was simply to just let it all go. All my limiting thinking, all the expectations that others have placed on me and any emotion that wasn’t helping me to move forward towards realization – for just one moment – I let them all go.
And the weight that was lifted from me was palpable.
I find that in life, time takes time. No, I’m not starting on a series of posts based on obscure song titles of stars of the 1960s. What I mean by this is that life changes in sometimes startling and monumental ways but those big shifts are preceded by long and sometimes agonizingly painful periods of deep work and processing. We mark time by the changes that happen, not by those long periods that precede it. So, time takes time. My life, and my process of self development is ordered in this way. I’m happy to learn that another close family member also operates in a similar way. I thought I was the only weirdo in the tribe that makes changes in geological time frames. Change happens all of a sudden after lots of processing, like tectonic plates suddenly unleash an earthquake after rubbing against one another for hundreds of years.
Perhaps introverts operate in this way. I don’t know. I know that I do, and I’m an introvert. I am an INFP and even amongst the introverts I know, I score the highest on the Introvert measure of that Myers Briggs classification. When I am working on something – be it a move across the world, or a new phase of life, a new career, or a decision to marry or cohabit – whatever it may be -you will see very little happening above the surface. But, inside and invisible to the world, major shifts are occurring. The world sees only the earthquake, not the rubbing of the plates against one another. That can leave people thinking I am impetuous, when there is nothing further from the truth. I am measured and deliberate to a fault.
The eclipse of this past week reminds me that what appears to the eye is deceptive.
As the eclipse reached totality and I let so many things go from my psyche, I had a glimpse of a different way of being. I’ve spent years stuck in the crush of two tectonic plates. Some of that pressure is dissipating. A space is being created that is creative and as I turn inward and focus on that space, the pressure mounts again between what is and what might be. I’m kind of excited about what may come. It might show up in a month, or a year or in a few years. I have no way of knowing how long this process will take. But, I’m now in a process – one of weighing and sifting and imagining and refining. There might be some tremors as I test out new ideas. There may not be. It may all come as a massive shakeup. But what I do know is that the space I am creating now is sacred.
I will take my time. Before I moved to North America, I took my time. From the outside, it may have looked like I was stalled or not moving forward but that all depended on where you set your gaze. While one thing stopped, great progress was made in other areas and I had inner work to do on several areas of my life and I needed to sort out how I felt about many things. I learned a lot about myself in that stillness.
At this time, I notice that some “things” are falling away. When I come to these seminal moments in my life, I see that some things just no longer fit with where I’m going. Recently I let go of a relationship and I thanked that person for the years that we were friends. The fact that the friendship no longer fits does not take away the fact that at a particular time and place, it was valuable and important to me, and so I am grateful. I wished him well, and I meant it. I’m grateful for the crazy energy of that earth-swallowing eclipse that has helped me to see some possibilities of how things could be and that I am finally willing to let go of what no longer fits. I’m grateful for the weight that it has lifted off of me.
I spent a joyful weekend with a friend and her family. We painted and drank wine and talked and the weekend was both about where we had been and our limitations and where we were going and our challenging those limits. Our lives are very different, but just because we have little in common outwardly does not mean that our human experience is not shared. While she is a decade younger than I am, I’m grateful for her sage advice and for a really lovely sense of sharing and community that I sometimes lack in being an expat trying to make new friends in what little spare time I have. And in turn, I’m glad that I could be a cheerleader and a witness to her as she broke through something that had been a limitation for her.
I’m not really sure what this moment in time will reveal – I think that is something that can only be seen in retrospect. But, what has become clear is that living a life of purpose, meaning and joyful gratitude eclipses most obligations and other people’s expectations that are putting pressure on the tectonic plates of my inner landscape. Where there is a mismatch of the old features of both my inner and outer landscapes with what I can envision for myself, I’m really okay with letting them go.
Someone once said to me that it takes great courage to be naked when we take off the cloak that no longer fits us so that we may don a finer set of clothes. If we rush to put on that new set of clothes, we will likely reach into our closet and all that is there are more outworn duds. We need to be willing to be naked for a time, so that we can tailor our next set of finery for where we want to go. If we are to be vulnerable like this, we also need to establish strong boundaries and initiate self care as we dream, process and rub our tectonic plates together.
I see this as the first word of the first line of a new chapter in my life, and I’m ready for a new set of finery and I’m okay to let time take time.