When you are in the bardo of becoming – that moment between ending and beginning – the stillness is magnified. The moment of pause that holds you is heavy and muted with a vibrating silence that heightens your ability to listen. Your vision, meanwhile, is near-sighted; able to only see things closely, which prohibits your ability to predict, anticipate, or imagine the future.
I suspect this gravity is by design, forcing you inward rather than relying on external clues for orientation. The space you occupy collapses and diminishes linear time, dissolving your senses – particularly that of self. And yet, you are alive in the nebulous. What do you do?
I was curious to see if I could recognize my true nature now that conditions have died. What would I continue to grasp at? What would I resist? What would I simply allow to be here, with me?
Almost immediately, I grasped for a sense of belonging. “I’m just trying to figure out how I relate,” I heard myself say. And in the next beat, felt the lightning strike that scorched those words untrue. It was the resurgence of an old pattern, born out of a desire to connect and a fear of being unable to do so.
Every day, I resisted the urge to be productive – that quality that tends to define our value to a group and if we’re not careful, can become our adopted self-worth. We are not the work we do, although you can make yourself believe, as I wholeheartedly did, that work is and can be an expression of self; an extension of who you are. I doubly resisted the guilt that shames us into thinking we need to be doing more.
I allowed my go-to ways of doing things to become obsolete. That is, I gave up my research, data-driven reasoning that makes a logical case for why we should or should not be doing something. This is a huge let go – in terms of process and outcome – and it felt weird to turn off the analytical piece of me that I have come to rely on, perhaps more so than I thought. What showed up in its place, however, was more intuitive decision making and assertive leadership. Sometimes we have to give up the good to be great, which is exactly how I felt about leaving D.C. for Denver. It was purely an emotional decision.
This week showed me that the beauty of this in-between state is that it gives you grace every time you grasp for an old sense of self or resist the newness that is offered. It allows what is here, in this stillness, to be here. And you, ever evolving in your surrender, can feel what rises and falls as true and false.
Like an ocean tide, our true nature is change. We love to see this illustrated in the arc of a story, but what if we understood this essence without reflection in a novel or movie and instead as a real-time recognition in one another? That is, we had the capacity to see and believe a person’s ability to change, and to create change; to step out into the light.