Monday, November 14, 2011

The Spin Cycle of Life

Monday morning is my usual time for writing. But for the past two mondays  - no inspiration, no words.

Sometimes when this happens, I use my will to push through and stay the course until the damn breaks and words begin to flow. Other days I just let the non-flow be, get up from my chair and walk by the water. I trust that something is gestating.

Well, two mondays have passed - and whatever gestation I was trusting to bring forth words - just ain't happening. So, it's pushing through time.

Since my silent-retreat and the realization that less is more in terms of words - the empty page/screen seems less beckoning. All my ideas about what will 'help' and be inspirational to others seem to have gone on a temporary hiatus.

Or perhaps my inspiration is lopsided and needs recalibration and rebalancing.

I like to think that we have a rebalancing mechanism that skillfully detects lifeless psychobabble. An internal warning alarm, telling us when we are getting stuck on autopilot, recycling tired old beliefs, thoughts, emotions or soullessly parroting the same old story lines, advice, and life-philosophies.  This internal alarm is like the annoying washing machine beep that keeps going off until we take the time to open up the lid and rearrange the load, which has mysteriously lopsided itself during the wash cycle.

Yes, I'm suggesting that life is sort of like an ongoing wash, rinse, spin cycle. The metaphor isn't that elegant - but the point is - our thoughts and emotions are bound to get lopsided in the everyday wash and rinse of life.  We usually don't notice our lopsidedness - until we are in the spin cycle (when circumstances get a bit more challenging). 

Sometimes we breeze through the spin cycle, all balanced and happily arriving at a point of rest. Other times, the spin cycle brings to our attention that we are off balance. These are the moments when we are banging around like an old washing machine, alarms going off, hoping that someone will lift up our lid and rebalance our load (the contents of our thoughts/feelings/beliefs). At these times we usually feel inarticulate and a bit clueless. Not a comfortable or ego-boosting state to be in - but that's what psychobabble busting is all about - getting less ego-centered and more heart-centered.

Once again, I find that recalibration is best supported by using the difficult but sublime tool of pushing the pause button. Instead of cursing the old washing machine for not being able to handle the spin cycle, we can affectionately appreciate the occasional off-balance state and beeping alert as part of the wash/rinse/spin cycle of life. We can pause and gradually, with patience, suss out what needs rebalancing.

So right now my alarm is going off and I'm lifting the lid and rebalancing my load. Again, this takes patience and doesn't produce too much inspiration to pass along. I'm just intently, curiously perched over my washing-machine-self, putting my hands into the cold rinse water and shifting things around a bit.  This particular load is filled with thoughts about what inspires, what helps, what heals, what keeps confidence, courage, and joy flowing in our lives. All my old notions about these queries are up for recalibration/rebalancing.

Most importantly, I'm not rushing to get that spin cycle up and running again until I've carefully balanced my load. I'm getting comfortable with some quality washing machine buddha time.

But since I don't want to leave you with just this somewhat incoherent ramble about washing machines and my self-indulgent obsession with wanting my inspiration groove back - I will pass along to you a very coherent, balanced bit of inspiration about how to KEEP LEAPING during an out of balance spin cycle: My 5 Secret Tips to Managing the Storm by Brenda Bomgardner. I trust it won't sound like more lifeless psychobabble.

And... KEEP LEAPING - even when your spin cycle has come to a dead stop.

4 comments:

  1. Sometimes clothes have to soak a long time to get out those really nasty stains, but pulling out a sparkling clean piece of clothing when you thought you might have to toss it, is worth the wait... and I CAN wait!

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  2. Yes! Soaking those 'stains'. That's another patience practice. Not giving up on ourselves, no matter what, not tossing ourselves away - just remembering that we might need a long soak in warm, loving water.

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  3. As a teacher, solo practitioner and business woman, I find that sometimes business expectations and the natural creative processes of living are at odds. Thanks for sharing and the rich metaphors.

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  4. Blair - thanks - can never get that reminder enough. There is an organic flow to my writing that has little to do with hitting deadlines.

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