Embracing the "Thorns" of the "Rose"

This week, as usual, I read with great attention a newsletter from Rob Brezsny, who is a spiritual/astrologer type person. He's a lot more than that but you'd just have to read about him and get his newsletter to understand. Anyway, I trust his insights because they resonate at a wise frequency with me. I mean, there is something that just sounds like the deeper truth, and that's what I hear when I read his stuff.

Anyway, so I read my Sun sign and my rising sign, as many astrologers suggest. I could read about 10 of the 12 horoscopes to get a read on all of my planets and houses but I've got a life to live!

Anyway, my rising sign is Cancer so I read his weekly suggestions which included not giving in to temptation. He wrapped it carefully into an anecdote, as usual.*

I haven't yet found a super-duper temptation this week, but we're two days in so I'll keep my antennae out. His sun sign reading,however, found a resonance point with an experience I had yesterday---the reading went like this (quoted):

"ARIES (March 21-April 19): There was a time when wetlands were considered dismal and unproductive. At best they were thought to be a waste of space, and at worst stinky breeding grounds for insect pests. For over 200 years, many marshes, bogs, and swamps were filled with dirt and transformed into places suitable for farms, houses, and recreational areas. But all that has changed in the last 30 years. Science has rehabilitated the reputation of wetlands, showing how crucial they are. They clean toxins from water, help control floods and soil erosion, and are home to more biological diversity than any other ecosystem. The coming weeks would be an excellent time for you to make a comparable conversion, Aries. Something you once demeaned or underestimated could become an inspirational catalyst."

And so, with this insight, I tuned into that frequency of my life where things may exist that I don't necessarily like. And wouldn't you know it, yesterday was all about that, on a very, very subtle level. I got to work and felt quite blah. Nothing noteworthy going on ... nothing that created an exceptional current in the bod. I sat, worked, talked to people, smiled when I didn't really feel like it. Went to the bathroom, drank some tea---BOOOOORING. Also, I almost passed out after lunch with a crazy afternoon nap coma attack. Really, it was toothpicks in the eyelids time as I prayed and dawdled at the computer, clicking windows open and closed and typing a few things here and there based on the inspirations of catatonia. My colleague sat, admittedly exhausted, directly behind me at her computer. She may have been in the same desparate fight with sleep, but I was too tired to ask and too prideful to admit that I could easily pass out so hard that my face might get scarred from the impact with my keyboard.

Anyway, so the day dripped on. I realized that I had to stay four hours past close of business to attend a debate between campuses of our college, a story I had been working on and interviewing people about. A story that I couldn't imagine thinking about imagining caring about in those late hours of the business day. I was just, hanging, on. And in this seeming state of utter despair at the lack of inner motivation or energy, it occured to me "this is what he is talking about, this down time, where nothing is apparently happening, where I am tired, where I want stuff to be going on and I want to be 'happy' and 'up.'"

But people, what goes up, always comes down. And I, like the sun, am exactly the same. There is a time to hide round the back of the earth, out of any expectation, just recharging. And there is a time to shine. And I find that life will try to give a person that time to dip under the horizon and do nothing at all but be ... sometimes it will enforce that time. And it feels 'boring.' It even feels wretched and depressing. But as I sat there, with the onset of the insight from Brezsny, I shifted my thoughts to embrace it. And as I thought about it and remembered, I was also at a particularly appropriate time as a female to experience this as well (ladies, day 27). In accepting that the time was a downer, and looking at it as a gift, I suddenly became aware that this will not last, it can't.

A couple more hours passed. I sat in silence, smirking at my new discovery and at the liberation in it---not expecting a damn thing to happen, not a damn update on facebook, not a damn thing on BBC news, not a single pin dropping in the hallways of the Public Affairs department, not a new and cataclysmic development in any sphere of my high expectations, which were settling now. Resting, like people ought to---it's not depression, it's not time to call the therapist, it's not time to wonder why you are ignored by the universe, it's RESTING.

Soon enough, I was in the auditorium as it drew a packed crowd to watch the debate. There was a bit of inertia in my stillness, before "whoosh" the excitement, the introductory remarks, the familiar faces, the debate tactics, the pomp and circumstance wooed me into a romantic and energized state of presence.

The tide was rising within me again and I observed it. At one point, the announcer called my name to accept a glass statue on behalf of our department because I was the only representative there. It was totally bizarre---just two hours before, sitting in absolute deadpan peace and two hours later receiving applause from over a hundred people on behalf of our department.

And so it went, I embraced something I had once detested---unexpected and seemingly 'dead and stinky-fish' down time. I decided that it is actually a friend of mine and put my arm around its shoulder to find that it's not so god-awful after all. In fact, it is a gift and it is programmed by the divine energy of all that is.

Furthermore, after the debate event, which lasted quite a while, I skipped a dinner reception, drove home to some jazz, pet the cats as I entered the apartment, and passed the kitchen to lay down my yoga mat, strip down and have one of the best Mysore practices I've had in weeks! All of this without food or sleep since that down time.

Listen, it's in our heads what we make of different things, what we label them. Life begs for equilibrium. You can hear it and you can respond--then you will be closer to the source, to something a lot bigger than you ever imagined.

* (Quoted from Brezsny) "CANCER (June 21-July 22): Pregnant women sometimes have unusual cravings. From the fourth to sixth month of her daughter's gestation period, for example, my friend Marta was on occasion beset by the longing to eat toothpaste. I've known other women who fantasized about nibbling on mud, coffee grounds, and chalk. Fortunately, they all resisted the urge, which is what health practitioners recommend. Instead they tried to figure out if their bodies were trying to tell them about some legitimate deficiency of vitamins or minerals. I offer this to you as a metaphor to keep in mind. As your own special creation ripens, you may experience odd desires. Don't necessarily take them at face value."