Flow

Last night I was talking to a friend, about how we both felt a bit disconnected from our ‘creative flow’. We both like to write. Talking about it again today made me remember a few things I had planned to include in my last post, but that had escaped me. Pre baby, words would bubble up inside me and I’d rush to a pen or some device. There would be no thinking or planning, it would just flow

Post baby, sometimes I can’t even run the tap without being interrupted by my daughter, and her needs trump my need to write about 80% of the time. Maybe all %s of the time, or maybe less. Who knows. My point is that I can’t write freely like I used to. Not always at least. That had left me feeling quite stifled and it’s taken me until now to even attempt to break out of the writing rut. Even my new phone is against me, because I can’t type as fast as I used to without spilling gobbledegook onto the screen. It’s like some force is trying to slow me down and make me think more carefully, plan better and create more space and pace for self-expression. Based on the last post, that force will be me if I want to be liberated into sole responsibility for my life experience!

When I was pregnant, I had this overwhelming feeling that, as she was born, my body was going to ‘release’ all this shit I didn’t need anymore. That my birthing her was going to birth the end of carrying all this suffering around in my body. I’m not entirely sure why I thought that, but apparently that’s written into our ancestral heritage and belief structure, I recently found out. Perhaps I had thought it because I had come to understand the female menstrual cycle to be a beneficial cyclic build up and let down of potent and powerful energy like life force, creativity, emotional power, or hormones if you just want to be boring. I figured pregnancy and birth would be a massive version, and after 9 months without menses I was longing for such a release. Especially after my crap experiences.

I didn’t get my release, but I did get my beautiful daughter and I haven’t felt creative much at all for a little over a year. Perhaps because I’ve been busy looking after a wee one, or perhaps because I’ve missed the flow of womanly cycling. Breastfeeding and pregnancy left me without a menstrual cycle for just shy of two years and once it retuned, I felt alive again. Before I’d felt so disconnected, like I was floating out at sea, tethered to a bouy and unable to rise, fall or drift wherever the current took me. The return felt as if a dam had burst and everything trapped was swept away. Free flowing.

It is by no means exclusive to women, but I associate creative energy with ‘the feminine’, because of the uterus and breasts being designed to create and sustain life. We all know how babies are made, so I don’t need to explain the role of the masculine in co-creation. We all come from that place, so we are all ‘coded’, if you like, with the same ability to create and to be created just because we are alive. Not solely through creating a life, like a baby, but through art, cookery, science, building or by ‘simply’ creating our life in the way we want it to exist. That goes for animals and nature too. All of co-creation.

The reproductive organs are governed by the sacral chakra, which is an energy centre in the body and part of an extensive energy system that powers our physical existence (If you so choose to believe, as I do, but each to their own). The sacral chakra also governs relationships, and the last two (or thirty) years of my life have been teeming with deep, difficult life lessons associated with being in or out of an array of familial, platonic and romantic relationships. Its been a bloody hard slog – trying to heal myself enough to return to seeing in a more loving and harmonious way like I used to. It would have been easier to keep fighting, resenting, blaming and wallowing, but I felt exhausted of living behind so many barriers. I wanted to feel peaceful again.

When my life had felt like it was flowing the least, the most important work I may ever do has been undertaken day by day. I had thought ‘the shit’ would leave with our birth, but was wrong. From prior to her creation, right through to my body signaling it is ready to create again (no babies yet please), everything was flowing exactly as I was commanding it to, unconsciously, by steering with my past, pain, suffering, fears, shame, angers and so on. My life had not stopped flowing, I was just feeling that way because I was resisting the natural flow of growth and change. Some part of me, my heart most likely, had known exactly what I needed to do to get to the places I want to go. Another part of me, my ego, didn’t want to do the work and just wanted to get on with surviving.

Ego and I made an unspoken deal, unbeknownst to me, that it was allowed all the time it needed to make itself heard, to play out all the trapped trauma and to finally wear itself out. Like a small child that needed help to figure itself out. I have felt things that are decades old and full of shame and self loathing simply because I’m sick of it being supressed and repressed deep inside of me. All of the barriers to peace, happiness and well-being are the things I’ve been relentlessly picking away at. They are the dam that burst, the sludge that clogged my awareness and that blocked my heart from being open. They weren’t keeping me safe, they were keeping me stuck.

The only way I could have come to understand the weight of that burden is to have felt it, heavy, as I worked to set it down. If it popped out easily at birth I wouldn’t now appreciate its looming absence. Only as suffering ceases do we appreciate being free. When we’ve gotten used carrying so much shit for so long, we don’t realise whats in there, but we do know we’re exhausted. If we feel like things aren’t flowing, we need to look to where the obstacles are. What is impeding our flow, if anything? What if we are standing in our own way so that we cannot see a solution?

We cannot stop the flow of life. Like raging rivers it will rush on, changing anything lying in its path if you fail to work with it. Even the most stubborn object will eventually be weathered by a river’s force. The ocean will welcome all bits and pieces the rivers collect, and all oceans are inseparably connected to eachother. The air draws up the ocean and rains it back into the rivers. They ready themselves to have another go at the most stubborn obstacles, washing the earth clean and smoothing all its jagged edges. This repeats. Forever. Perhaps until there’s nothing, or all of the pieces in the ocean create a new cycle.

Our healing is this same journey. There is no point in resisting the flow of change – there is no obstacle great enough to beat the time and space river. We can choose to be the river or the rock in its way, the ocean or the air, or we can observe that we are made up of all things.

We are the flow of all life.