March and Intentional tension

March and Intentional tension

I have mentioned this before but there is no doubt that at 54 I’m knee deep in midlife reorientation. It is both a savage and beautiful process, where I get to feel my true humanity on a daily basis, At times welcomed, at others not so much. I am most certainly not alone. In the words of the great Brene Brown:

“The developmental milestone of midlife is not a crisis, but a slow, brutal unraveling. It is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear: I’m not screwing around. All of this pretending and performing, these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt, have to go. Your armour is too heavy, it is preventing you from growing into your gifts. You’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever. But time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. Courage and daring are coursing through your veins. It’s time to show up and be seen.”

As I begin to create a soul work program as my way of showing up and being seen (yikes!), I think a lot about the descent. We live in a society indoctrinated with the concept that ‘up is good’. We are taught to aspire to ascend, be it in our work life, spiritual life or our emotional unburdening, light is good and dark is bad.

But our midlife work is all about the descent. 

It is a fairly heroic journey rummaging about in the depths of ourselves, looking for the truths that are hidden or covered over with cultural conditioning, coping strategies and unconscious biases, but we know we are in there somewhere and we need to re-find the original instructions. In the darkness and the shadows, the wisdom and knowledge of our personal journey is buried inside of us and at midlife it is determined to be sought out and cultivated with the courage and daring Brene talks about.

Balance is often perceived as a bit of all things, so they even out. I'll eat some sprouts so I can eat some cake. But for me, balance means finding the midpoint, the channel that exists between things. A place where intentional tension (intention) puts you in the liminal space between life's extraordinary dualities. Between voice and presence, between our uniqueness and our interconnectedness, between the ascent of spirit and the descent of soul, in simple terms it is the pause between the in and out breath. For within these channels unconscious information can flow in a frictionless, unbiased, somatic, harmonious way and with the right awareness, we can learn to hear what it has to say.

I think the channel that defines midlife reorientation is the one that asked us to sit between our significance and insignificance. The place where we are but a tiny grain of sand on the ocean floor but without us and many others like us, there would be no ocean floor. It is a tricky place of balance but once found, a very comforting one. In my work around this journey of discovery, I am currently researching the lost value of stillness and our need to integrate practices into our daily life that help us build a reference point for some form of silence within. It always seems to begin with the breath.

So if you would like to be part of this exploration, we begin with the simplest form of meditation. I do this with my first cuppa of the day. Just closing my eyes and using a simple breathing technique to still me and then I mindfully drink my tea and allow space for whatever needs to come into my consciousness. We call it the ‘breathe and brew’ practice and there are some little examples on our site to get you started. It has become the favourite part of my day.

So as we all begin to unfurl into spring and longer days, we wish you all a wonderful year of the dragon- which sounds awesome to me :) We look forward to talking to you again in April

Anne and Ric x

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