Monday, August 5
My yoga teacher, Swami Satchidananda used to say that 'now' is the Golden present. It is all we have, and it is a gift.
Sometimes the momentum of life speeds up and we don't have time to stop and reflect. The sad thing is that sometimes this quickening brings about great inner change and if we aren't present in the moment, we can miss an opportunity to honour the passages in our lives and to witness ourselves in each stage of being and becoming.
I'm moving house. After 10 years (the longest I have ever lived in any place), I am moving. I didn't want to move. I didn't expect to move. I was offered yet another annual lease renewal but this time with a hefty rental increase. I challenged the increase on the grounds that no improvements have been made in 10 years, and I was summarily served 2 months notice to vacate. I was shocked. I felt betrayed. I felt homeless and powerless. I was losing my home. In the list of stressors, it is pretty near the top next to death of a loved one.
That was 6 weeks ago. I was offered an extension but I had already started to let go of my attachment. I looked at other homes and started to see some nice options and began to get comfortable with the idea that I could build a life somewhere else. And I started to sort through papers and memories that had been made in my home. As I re-lived the past and made plans for the future, I sat with the sensations in this present moment and something in me started to glow. I reconnected the past of who I have been with the hopes of who I wish to be by sitting still and witnessing.
Ok - I've been helped in my stillness by a chest infection that has made me slow down, but the change is no longer something that leaves me feeling powerless. I have made a choice for myself to have a different future than what would have been mine, here. I'm moving into a cheaper living situation and will have a little money left over to travel. I will do what I love (travel, write and photograph) even if its not as cozy as my home has been.
The future seems brighter than the past and yet the past has been hard to dislodge until now. I wonder if it is a symptom of trauma that we tend to hold on to things even if they no longer serve us. I've outgrown my home - not size wise, but in other ways. Its a financial burden I can no longer afford and it has memories I've outgrown and seems to harbour ghosts.
My ex was very sad when he realised I was losing my home. He said he was sad for me but he also said that he would miss how cosy we had been here. Being a long distance boyfriend, he was always the one who left and went back to his normal life. I had to remain amongst the memories of the weekend that had just passed and the hopes for the next visit.
We have long since parted. And yet, whilst he has moved on with his life, I feel I have stayed the same - I am overcrowded with meaning that is no longer relevant in this flat or my life.
It will be sad to leave and so I've invited him to come and take some things and to help me move. It is not just for the extra pair of hands, but so that we can both say goodbye to our life together here. I think that's what we call closure.
So while it is sad, it is time to go.
I wanted to take a few minutes to remember this because it is all too easy in the rapid pace of life to let these insights come and dissipate because we are too busy getting ready for the next thing. I wanted to take time in the now to reflect and mourn what is passing as well as look with hope and excitement to what is to come. And the only place from which I can do that is the snapshot we call the present. And from where I sit, it is, indeed, Golden.
Photo copyright by blog author: Hofburg, Vienna, 2013; Nikon D40, 18-200 lens, framed in Photobucket.