i’m writing this around 10am on a monday morning. when i woke up this morning i assumed that i would be teaching a yoga class at this time, as i do most monday mornings. however, when i arrived to jewish community center where i teach, the power was out, and would be for the foreseeable future, making it impossible for the center to conduct business as usual. no energy source connected – no class.
thankfully, i tend to live under an assumption that life is happening for me/us, not to me/us, so, despite being disappointed (i love teaching this delightfully open group of students!) i trusted something even better was in store for my day. i enjoy seeing seemingly random circumstances as a notes in a larger orchestration, ripe with metaphor and meaning if viewed from the right angle. the “truth” of this worldview is irrelevant to me. as far as i see it, every story our limited minds paint over life is some degree of hallucination, so i prefer to stick with a hallucination that feels spacious and energizing.
optimism and curiosity are the parents of seeing new possibilities. so – what are we left with when the energy source we have depended upon malfunctions or becomes disconnected? perhaps we can see it as an opportunity to tap into where the real energy lies.
think back to the times in your life that felt most energized, vivid and beautiful. i suspect what comes to mind are not times when you were steeped in the familiar, comfortable and secure. my guess is that it’s those moments of serendipity and surprise, those days that turned out totally different than you’d imagined, or when you were traveling to a new place or with a new person and no expectations had been formed yet. people rarely talk about the “good ol’ days” when they had more than enough money, stable jobs, and predictable routines. usually we reminisce of times when we had no idea what was coming and the future felt full of possibilities. this is not just a condition of youth, it’s a state of mind and a daily choice to live in.
a stressed out, taxed mind and body crave homeostasis and certainty, but once some level of safety has been established, and we are recharged, a relaxed mind and body love novelty and adventure. it’s these two that tap us into that abundant fuel source for life.
so this morning, instead of teaching as i expected, i am sitting in a cafe i’ve never been to before, enjoying a tea and snack i’ve never tasted before and feeling a renewed flow of creativity to write this newsletter. life will predictably give us gifts of interruption to break up our routines and throw us for loops. what we do with this space is what determines how much energy we get from it. even better – we can make intentional choices each day, even small ones, to introduce novelty and train our brains to expand in the face of uncertainty that we did not invite.
this week – try a new food… a new way home… a new way of communicating with a family member or friend… sitting in a new seat… trying (fill in the blank with your particular dream) that thing you keep telling yourself it’s too late to learn or try.
the stories we tell ourselves are just that… stories. every day is filled with infinite possibilities and abundant energy. so next time life changes course, find out what might light you up and connect to a new power source, regardless of what’s going on with pg&e.
with love – and the whole spectrum of light,