Embracing The Joy of Groundlessness
Here in New York, where I live, the trees are clinging to the last of their leaves. It won't be long before they are bare and we are shoveling snow. I've particularly enjoyed this autumn. I love the bright sun on a crisp day, seeing the leaves turn gold and crimson and fly through the air, carried on a chilly gust of wind. A few days ago, sitting at a stop sign, I watched as millions were pushed by the wind along the road in front of me. It made me think of the running of the bull in Pamplona, Spain.
Sure, I moan about the weather turning cold. I wimper that I'd rather be in Florida. But once I trade in my tank tops for sweaters, and get some hearty soups going in the slow cooker, I settle into a cozy, kind of reflective state. Like the bears, I get ready to hibernate by taking stock. What have I got in my life that's serving me? What's has to go or change? What do I need to support me this winter and beyond?
That analysis goes beyond the pantry, into all parts of my life. I've come to see it as a part of my natural rhythm. The end of the year is a great time for this kind of work, and my birthday falls coincides, so it feels like the end of my year as much as the calendars.
This year is a big birthday for me, and I'll be moving in a few weeks. I just celebrated the first anniversary of my new business, the culmination of decades of work, dreams, and discovery. The mixture of milestones and changes, as well as the process of packing and purging, are all having an effect. Deepening my reflection, causing me to question more, bigger. I"m aware of the impulse to cling to what is known, what is familiar. And yet, I feel in my bones the need to make room for the future by letting go of the past - stuff, ideas, attachments.
Leo Babauta, creator of Zen Habits, nailed just how I'm feeling in his latest newsletter. He uses the term groundless. He says:
Uncertainty is scary because we don’t like the feeling of not having stable ground under our feet. We want certainty, control, stability, permanence … but life is filled with uncertainty, impermanence, shakiness, chaos. This causes the fear. Instead, we can start to embrace this uncertainty, see the beauty in impermanence, see the positivity of groundlessness. This uncertainty means we don’t know what will happen, which means we can be surprised by every moment! We can be filled with curiosity about what will emerge. We can reinvent ourselves each moment, because nothing is set, nothing is determined. There is joy in this groundlessness, if we embrace it.
In the moments when I am able to embrace my own groundlessness, I can taste the deliciousness of possibility. When I put down the fear, I am free to harness my creativity.
I experience some of those moments in each day. More when I am kind to myself. I think I'll carry Leo's post in my bag for a while...in case I need a reminder now and then.
You can read Leo's post in it's entirety here , and I hope you do.
See you on the other side...
photo lifted from https://enlightenedhorsemanship.wordpress.com