Resistance and Flow

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A curious dampening has beset me since I began this series. I find writing useful for so many reasons, and as a spiritual barometer it’s priceless. Things I didn’t realize were rumbling beneath the surface come into awareness when I write. Rather than always worrying at (or about) a topic, I start talking, and momentum almost always delivers something to say. You’d think that armed with that experience I’d easily complete a series like this, or a minimum number of words a day.

And I can and have. What’s so curious about this unproductivity is how casual it seems. The commitment to write doesn’t even occur to me, and then I realize a day or several have passed. While I’ve used to-do lists to my advantage, one of the perks of semi-retirement is ignoring a list if I chose — even better, not making one at all. And so I successfully manifest my inner sloth or slug.

I’ve also learned to celebrate what I get done, rather than punish myself for what I fail to do. This third entry in the series is three entries I didn’t have beforehand. And flow begets flow.

Part of my spiritual path involves always having a focus point for contemplation. Often it’s a word that’s become a love-portal, a way to open myself to good things, while letting the less-than-desirable ones flow away from me, water down a hill. Sometimes, as in my current run or spell (the magical associations are fitting; spell originally meant ‘story’, and any magic is part of a story we tell ourselves, if we don’t like the current narrative and can imagine an alternative), the focus is an object rather than a word. A visual, one with useful associations that make up my practice, as well as themes for why this particular focus has arrived for me now, and what that portends. Like my friend’s sauna above, it’s both a symbol and a usable thing in living a life on earth.

Where and how to find such focus points? Asking is one good way. Saying that, getting it down in writing, I realize both how ordinary and strange that can sound. Asking who? you might wonder. And that’s a very good question, a good ask, all by itself. Chant the word who for long enough, and you’ll be answered.

The act of asking sets up a movement or motion, or you could term it an opening or setting, that delivers me to insight, and to a new focus point. Other times the focus point simply arrives. I’m caught up in an object or word, something I’m reading, or something from a recent contemplation, and the new point slips into awareness. I found the most recent one on a walk, an object, rather than a word, though the object has a name. Name and thing, two faces to use in my practice, and to explore — part of the focus.

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