By the heading, I’m referring to that feeling I get when I’m supposed to be doing XYZ, and despite my efforts find myself falling short. There are so many lifestyle suggestions in Ayurveda. And intuitively, they seem simple, straightforward and easy to do. For instance, waking up early. This is recommended in Ayurveda for a number of reasons and conditions. For me, I’ve always been a late night person. However, on camping trips and retreats, I do love waking early, greeting the sun, and falling sleep with the sun at the end of the day. I just can’t seem to get a hang of it when I’m back in my apartment with so many options at the end of the day for staying up.
This is just one example. By not adapting to every one of these changes, at least to try them out, I am experiencing the feeling of many people who have a hard time making changes in their lifestyle.
It’s not that big of a deal. It took a friend to point this out, but learning that change is difficult is learning. And more empathy. It also harkens back to this idea that I’ll grasp on to from time to time, sometimes very tightly, that I have to be perfect before I am worthwhile, or can contribute, or valid. Underneath that is the main cause of my separation from Source, as far as I can tell: I’ve got to do it all on my own — or — I’ve got to get it right before I go to God for love or healing or strength. I forget — and this is Ayurveda, too, and more important than any single lifestyle change — that I am created of and in essence the very materials of the Creator of the Universe. So there is no unworthiness to be had. The endless checking up on myself to see if there’s progress, the comparing to imaginary others or imaginary versions of my self — these are generally just activities separating me from the reality of who I really am…… what my old mentor Adrian told me: a child of God just learning how to act like it. Except that I think it’s slightly different, actually. A child of God just beginning to realize it.
So, today I spent a good deal of time at Whole Foods stocking up on various spices and herbs that will be useful in my working learning more about the biological aspects of Ayurveda. I’ve been playing a lot lately with the various Spice Waters (just pouring hot water on top of different spices that are energetically activating within the context of Ayurveda). I even brought a big pitcher over the a Super Bowl party yesterday. It was a big hit. It was made with Fennel, Cumin, Coriander and Ginger. Just the raw seeds. I was pleased that it was so well received.
I’m also drawn to a comment made by a friend who had gone through quite a bit of personal turmoil before settling into what is now a very useful, content, fulfilled life. He said that while his life was in disarray but he was really beginning to strive for a deep, meaningful relationship with the Source, his life was just “crumbling into place.” I’ve thought over the past 5 years since I stopped drinking that this experience had happened to me, indeed several times. First, for the initial 1.5 years, there was a near magical euphoria, where I could just see God pouring love and wonder into all aspects of my life, where there was nothing more needed to convince me of miracles than the fact that “I am here.” My business just flowed, I met friends and made trips, had adventures, cried a lot, laughed a lot, freaked out often and made lots of amends. Then, moving to Michigan and getting into the rather laborious work of studying to become a medical student, there was a bit of the dryness and blind faith that didn’t always feel juicy and rich and infused: I started meditation groups, reached out a lot to friends, got really into my daily prayer & meditation ritual and sort-of hunkered down. Over the last 1.5 years, life took on new wonder as I found love with my partner, Swetha, and learned qualities like boldness in the face of disapproval of others, resistance to interracial/intercultural partnerships, and – frankly – a lot of day-to-day relationship skills and self awareness that I just don’t think you can learn by not being in a relationship. It triggers stuff like nothing else – I swear by it. So now, as Swetha looks to be going to Atlanta for a PhD program and I look to be away from her for medical school, I am experiencing some of the uncertain anxieties about life. “If this is the right path, why does it feel upstream at times?” “Is it just too damn late for me to become interested in holistic health?” “Aren’t I supposed to be living in a house, having babies, and establishing a retirement fund?” “I’m going to forever be a drain on society, always studying, never contributing.” “Is it possible to go to medical school so full of the conviction that holistic healthcare is not only possible but necessary?” “How will I find my useful place in society?” “Am I too old for all of this? Why didn’t I just figure my life out sooner?” At times, there’s just an ocean of anxiety, worry, concern, future projection, etc., and I find myself “What!? Where did I go wrong? I thought I was over this level of fear, feeling of faithlessness, etc.? Is it a sign of imminent doom?” “How far have I really come from the little kid who just wanted everyone to like him and was afraid to not get an A in every class?”
So, yes, right now, things may also be crumbling into place, at least on an emotional level. Uncertainty, fear, a lot going on at once. Time to just let it crumble, and keep doing the little work to move forward. Rather than obsessing about how to create this ultimate reality for the future, let’s just practice for today being here, noticing, accepting, and making a conscious decision to engage with love, and joy and happiness. Like what I’ve learned so far and in Ayurveda itself, if your heart goes directly to the Source and relies upon it, the details of life are less and less important. They just express whatever is going on inside and within that connection to the spirit. So here we go, unknown.