Offerings, Gifts & Invitations
Staying in the current = moment
Last week I was up at 2:00 am. I woke up and could not fall back asleep. I tried all the tricks I knew that usually help me rest, surrendering fully to the tiredness, imagining I was melting into the mattress, and following my breath. None of this helped. So, eventually, I decided to follow the current of being awake and get out of bed.
The following day was one of the longest days I’ve experienced in a while. Throughout the day, even though I’d hardly slept, I felt surprisingly awake.
Because I had so much energy, I got many things done, from deep cleaning cabinets to doing laundry, writing, reading, running in the forest, and venturing across town. Once I finished one task, I felt ready for whatever possibility arose next.
There wasn't a single moment I regretted losing several hours of sleep in exchange for the energy and velocity I felt throughout the day. That being said, I couldn't help but remember the other voice within me when I first woke up that said, ‘you should go back to sleep; it’s too early to get up.’
Still, the current to wake up was stronger, and I followed it instead of listening to what I thought I ‘should’ do.
I’m sharing this because sometimes unexpected currents will move through our lives in the form of waking up early or experiencing some other kind of disruption to things being as you expected them to be. And sometimes, in these moments, a dominant or opinionated voice may try and direct you away from that current.
Yet when we meet these currents, we have a choice as to how we relate to them; we can follow their invitation or turn away. Sometimes following them leads to the most wonderful surprises.
The experience of waking up early that morning made me wonder how often going against the dominant current and following the unexpected one may, in fact, serve us.
These counter-currents that arise in the moment have their own currency and offer an exchange. If we follow the pull, we may be surprised by what we discover and what we receive.
Currents can arise in many different forms. Through a tremendous surge of energy as I experienced that day or a state of mind that offers us a radically different perspective on a longstanding issue.
In other moments they arise in our bodies, manifesting as a heaviness that asks us to slow down or as a fluttering in our stomach that asks us to feel more and embrace our sensitivity.
Other times, they arise in our relationships or our career. One moment we’re heading in one direction when suddenly, another pathway opens up, and we get pulled in an entirely different direction. However they manifest, these currents often hold useful information we may only discover if we follow their pull and flow with them for a while.
What we resist will persist, and corralling so much of our process into a single direction will inevitably evoke counter-currents.
When you’re swimming in the river, and an unexpected current starts to pull you in another direction, what do you do?
How often do you act according to what you think you should do rather than respond based on what feels or is true in the moment?
What I’m reading
An essay on ready-ing: Tending the prelude to change, by Nora Bateson
This essay explores the question, what makes a living system ready to change?
Rather than focusing on change, Bateson invites the reader to consider the conditions that foster ready-ness, which can lead to shifts and changes beyond our imagining. She suggests that while linear managing or controlling of the direction of change may appear desirable, tending to how the system becomes ready allows for pathways of possibility previously unimagined.
Bateson draws upon insights from her father, Gregory Bateson, her grandfather William Bateson, and threads from a warm data lab she hosted.
When I read Nora’s work, certain sentences will make my heart jump for joy. Why? She has a way of describing systems and patterns that helps illuminate the mysteries of living systems while still honoring their complexity.
The World Beyond your Head: On Becoming an Individual in the Age of Distraction by Matthew Crawford
This book explores the challenges of mastering one’s mind. Crawford proposes that how we pay attention sculpts our experience of self. I am only a few chapters in and am enjoying how Crawford draws upon a rich array of resources to enrich the ideas he is sharing.
The book reads a bit like a conversation. Drawing up different philosophies, Crawford invites you to consider an array of perspectives that weave together to create a larger context for the ideas being explored.
December 15th, 2:00-4:00 pm PST
December 16th, 9:00-11:00 am AEDT
In a few weeks, I’ll be launching a second supervision group! This is a space where practitioners present cases from their practice or personal life. Together we explore the patterns and themes within each scenario to discover different options for working with that person, couple, or situation.
I have been offering this for a year now, and it is time to offer another time so some more people can join. You can learn more and register here
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*An image from Mexico City last week!