Oh, it has been a sleepless week.
A challenging week, really. One fraught with deep questions of meaning and purpose, rapid-fire cycling of self doubt and phenomenal connection/insight, and all manner of awesome physical changes. I suppose, as they say, that this is just pregnancy--the hormones! the madness! the chaotic surges of otherworldly ecstasy and skull-crushing existential questioning!--but chalking it up to 'just that' feels sacrilegious, in a way.
There is just so, so much to be learnt when things feel this intense, you know? I don't feel comfortable just saying that this is the way it's supposed to go and not attempt to move into the feelings a little more. When it's this intense there is maaaajor juice to be squeezed.
That is my path, and always has been, and I can't imagine that it's going to stop anytime soon. I know, without a doubt, that times of great intensity are always forbearers for times of great insight and freedom; the truth that ultimately lifts us out of our dualistic prisons and labels of 'good' and 'bad', and into the possibility of connecting with what is happening just as it is.
It's a practice, and such a good one.
In this practice, however, there must be time offered for retreat and reassessment; for taking stock of where we're at and how we really are feeling at that particular moment in time, and for reflecting on where it is our intentions are carrying us.
I have too often been a perpetual warrior, totally incapable of sitting back for a moment and taking a breath when there is a potential challenge ahead of me.
Pushing right through despite the warning signals coming from my body, mind, and relationships seemed like a good idea at the time--wouldn't I just get done faster?
But I now fully recognize the importance of taking a breather, and remembering to relax over and over again within each growth experience. And this, beautifully, is what our card is all about today.
The Four of Swords is not such a happy card upon first glance, but the entombed character here speaks less to death and loss as to what is called 'retreat', or, if we were four years old again, 'taking a time out'.
Have you been pushing yourself a little too hard to figure something out, or to make a process go the way that you want it to? Have you been exhausting yourself attempting to achieve a goal, so much so that you have neglected to pay attention to what your myopic attention is doing to your physical health, creativity, or sense of connection to others?
...are you, perhaps, afraid of what would happen if you settle down for a minute and really look at how you're feeling?
In a healing process we must have times of great activity and movement, and times of receptivity and going inwards. Periods where we are moving outwards and actively seeking our evolution, and then periods where we tune back into the eternal wisdom that we can only control so much, and faith in the process must be cultivated and lived from as well.
For those of us who like to control everything and are generally quite good at making things go how we want, the thought of 'retreat' is nothing short of failure. An embarrassing reflection on what we might see as our inability to make something happen.
But, just as a child growing in the womb will move much one day and then barely at all the next, our lives are not consistent in their flow. We cannot force things to happen, and our feeble attempts to do so will result in nothing but our own falling apart, long term.
This week, try taking a rest. Meditate. Walk. Write. Read. Have a dinner and a visit with someone for no reason (NO BUSINESS) than to explore the divine experience of emotionally connecting with another human being. Take a bath. Give yourself a massage. Give yourself the permission to slow down enough to hear your own voice, to know your position and your story as it reads right now, rather than running on to-do lists and the avoidance of feelings we don't want to feel.
This is our battle cry for the week (shitty commander I would make, I suppose): RETREAT!!