Taking the Long Way Home
“May you find yourself lallygagging, dawdling, and taking the long way home as time stands still in the longer evenings.”
It is mid July and Summer has found her Rhythm, her steady pulse of sunshine and warmth create a slow burning fire in through our own internal season. The Pitta (fire) element associated with Summer is a powerful element for renewal, release, and reformation.
Another season and another cycle. This morning I am asking myself, as I stand in the slow and steady heat of summer, what is asking to be released into the fire of Summer for transformation?
Those of us who are gardeners know the power of deadheading, of removing spent blooms, which creates a surge of new beauty. So often though, it is our nature is not to remove, purify, or release, it is about adding. We find ourselves adding new affirmations, new podcasts, new ‘great ideas’, we filter through media and social apps cherry picking what hack is finally going to get us into the flow of life that we are grasping for, finally going to point us to our North Star. In my own life I am more and more finding the importance of deadheading. I find myself wanting spaciousness and taking more and more actions to create room for the magic of flow.
In every aspect of our being we carve out ‘goat trails’, as I like to call them, well-worn trails for the subconscious mind to travel on just under our conscious awareness. And it is these habitual trails the subconscious mind travels on that create our life, one moment at a time. While it may feel easy and comfortable operating from our subconscious it is not ‘flow state’, it is flow as in it keeps us moving from A to B and back again, but ‘flow state’ comes from a very different part of the brain. And this brings me back to the power of dawdling and lallygagging.
Deep in the mid brain, the limbic brain, is the Amygdala which is associated with emotions and fear conditioning, it takes information from the environment and quickly makes an association whether the environment is safe and friendly, or not, based on a past experience, real or imagined.
There is no ‘flow’ of thought in the Amygdala it is associating a current event and categorizing it according to a past experience (real or imagined) to quickly send out an emotional response, an action, or a thought. When the mind/body receives this information we react and feel from a historical experience, it may have nothing to do with what is actually happening. Goat trail. The Amygdala just wants us to be safe, to be okay, stay on that established trail and all will be well, to use a modern moniker the Amygdala is like a constant ‘Karen’ that just cannot control itself it has to get involved.
Meanwhile, in the largest part of the brain, the frontal brain, there is a mystical and magical opportunity to see things from a very open, intuitive, expansive and divine point of view, it is the the part of the brain that connects with the field of conscious awareness, the infinite field of possibility, where problem solving, and true ‘flow state’ take place. When we talk of expanded awareness this is where, in the body, and specifically in the brain, it takes place.
In our spiritual practices; meditation, contemplation, prayer, inspirational reading, mantra, mudras, and pranayama, we can begin to step off the old trails of fear based, Amygdala-driven trails, and gently create new ones. One of the greatest tools for doing this is slowing way down for a few minutes each day, and noticing how you are. Really asking the question, “How am I?”. Now the Amygdala is going to try to jump right in the middle of the discussion and say “I’m great!” It will start ringing the alarms that danger of change is ahead, it will start telling old stories and try to keep you on the old trail. It will remind you of the laundry, your to do list, what happened that last time you slowed way down. Take a very deep breath and ask again, allowing and inviting the answer to come from the field of awareness, and listen. When an old spent, repetitive thought comes forth, gently 'deadhead' it, let is gently dissolve into nothingness, a quietly, joyously, expect an answer.
Ask the question to your higher self softly again and again, and lallygag here as you listen to the voice behind your habituated voice, just listen. Spend time listening, just being in the Presence, don’t hurry on to your affirmations, your directives, your ‘fix it’ routine, there will be time for that later. Be in the quiet and joyous exception of a rebloom.
Just be in the long way home.
OM & Blessings, Kate
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