Each day I endure multiple deaths and rebirths. Deaths to dreams and to opportunities for exploring, experiencing, interacting, and sharing in the world. The rebirths are of hope and hopefulness. My constant aim is to rise out of dystopia and into light, lightness, and loving movement. But bereavement is taxing, and renewal is not without cost.
I experience these particular deaths as energy-sucking crises. While not ominous, they can be dark places filled with sadness, even dread. I am aware that this painted image arises from my mind’s predilection for anxiety, a malevolent vortex with which I am far too familiar. It is a daemon I have wrestled with much of my life, and, at one point, for my life. But I know where that road leads and I choose not to travel it again. Akin to addiction recovery, it’s a daily commitment to the path I want to take. When things get difficult inside I break it down into manageable bits, reminding myself to rely upon the self-care habits I have collected in my toolbox. And in so doing I further strengthen the capacity of those tools to support me.
To be clear, I don’t consider actual death in body as sombre, in and of itself. When Nature and the Universe lay aside one existence something new eventually sprouts; vegetation burgeons from hardened lava.
The process of rebirth requires an energy investment. It’s also as simple, easy and accessible as just letting go and allowing creation to refresh and compose. So, while I devote effort to climbing out of dystopia and embodying compassion, I also provide space for the development of a loving world—for us, for Mother Earth, and all earthlings.
❝ Liberating the mind from its restlessness requires removing the obstacles to peace of mind.❞
—Sri Ramana Maharshi 
For several months, I have been temporarily residing in northern Catalonia, an area where I had hoped to settle. Normally, it bubbles with life energy, friendliness, and continuous interaction. Unfortunately, given the current pandemic people are restrained, unsure how to interact, and even living in fear. I miss, and crave, real-life, communal, authentic shared experience. In a world where the locals feel withdrawn from each other, I’m very much a stranger in a strange and occasionally formidable land.
Psychiatrist and translational neuroscientist, Dr David Rabin, has stated that “people feel better when somebody is having an empathic conversation with them, actually listening to them and looking them in the eye with non-judgement and acceptance” . This applies equally well to how I relate with myself.
To be certain, I’m fortunate to have much more security in my life than many people on the globe today. But anxiety knows no bounds; it is a real experience, regardless of person or place. I oscillate between pulling up my socks to embrace opportunities in the moment and, on the other hand, just providing space to be gentle with myself, to allow, to breathe. There are times that I kick myself in the butt to engage because I know that I’ll feel better for having moved and oxygenated my body. While in other times, the more beneficial service to myself is to downshift and assimilate the contents of an already full cup. And sometimes both are appropriate, for example when I skipped an easy bike session to calm my internal humour through reading and writing, and then invest more energy in a long swim a few hours later.
A lot of us wear ‘busy’ as a badge of honour. But it’s hard to fill a cup that is already full. Saints, sages and gurus through the ages have continually encouraged us to spend (more) time listening within, for it is there that wisdom blossoms. And it is with this wisdom that we can act with greater effectiveness.
❝ Peace is our Nature. Just like a person who keeps a number of things in a room and complains that there is no space in the room, we say there is no peace. Is not the space obtained automatically when the things are removed?❞
—Sri Ramana Maharshi 
✌️ ∙ 🌱 ∙ 🙏