the unbearable flatness of being.


Up here in the northern and western climes we have experienced a warmer than usual winter, complete with a very early and rather grey spring. 

Call it global warming or weirding or something else, but it doesn't really matter when reflecting on the experience at hand: it has just been strange. 

Our winters are a generally beautiful time in this area, full of sunny-but-short, snowy days spent on the ski trails and other various winterly activities. But this winter has been pretty dull, pretty flat, and has resulted (as I experience it?) in a general 'flatness' in the people within this community. Certainly not for everyone, but it's amazing how often I have conversations with friends and clients about how uninspired they feel in their lives right now, and how somewhat disdainful they feel towards doing much of anything. 

Common spring feeling? Sure. But this time it feels a little different (and I can say this because I feel it too..) 

I have recently, from this place, been unsuccessfully attempting to make plans for the next year of my life, feebly attempting to negotiate the unpredictable process of having a child in the spring by setting some big life goals to stay focused on. 

(Those of you who have children will certainly tell me how silly that is right away, and I do get it: nothing will be predictable. Period.) 


But it's also rather silly given the state I am creating these goals from: a little bit flat, a tad hollow, and just a smidge bit passive. 


Now, these are not my usual personal experiences as of late (in wonder, as I often am, at how lovely my life really is) and so I have had a bit of resistance to them, I think. I want to push myself harder to leap triumphantly out of apathy, and to force myself to focus on something else so that the grey skies and the grey roads and the grey plants will not affect me. But it just hasn't been working. 

And why? Well I know why, and it is because I am resisting what is.

I am living, consciously and subconsciously, in a place that is not this moment, and as such am attempting to exist without full presence or perspective on what is occurring right here, right now. I am wishing for another place and experience to occur, waiting for the blossoms and the green to change and to take my mind with them. I am hoping for this town to be something other than it is, or imagining what my life might be like if I were somewhere else. 

And from this scattered, unmindful place I am trying to make plans. But, like Alan Watts once spoke, this is impossible. There is too much of me caught up in the unpresent-ness to be present enough to have clarity on what I want to be doing. 

And so, the solution? To sit with this, just as it is. To notice the flatness and the monochromatic reality that surrounds and (seemingly) innervates me and to not try to change a thing. To be okay with what is happening right here and right now, and trust that any motivation for planning and future experiences will come with fluidity and ease once they come from a place of being present. 

I know this to be true from past experience (did I write about this last spring, perhaps?), but am grateful for the lesson and reminder to explore this practice of releasing, of surrendering once again. When we resist first what is we lose so much energy that is never possible to plan or act with the full force of our abilities.  When we can say first that this here, right now, is okay and is just what is going to be for now, then we can create change and action.