First written April 2014
Growth is a spiral of expansion and contraction. Change forces you through the mitzrayim, the narrow place where options are reduced, choices are limited and the walls press close in, constricting and blinding. Having just finished Passover, the awareness of Mitzrayim is high. Each Jew is encouraged to look at their own places of mitzrayim – the places where we constrict our own energy. We are encouraged to look at self-liberation even as we explore the story of being released from Egypt and the bonds of slavery. Freeing your self is painful, scary, exhilarating, terrifying, maddening, exciting and just plain confusing. It is easier to remain in the narrow strait of comfort and familiarity than to imagine and create something new.
But the internal promptings of the soul, the still small voice within murmurs of the need for change like the sound of the quiet creek in the thickets. It prickles like sand on skin, irritating until you pay attention; it teases and harries like the mockingbird forcing you away from her nest. The still small voice becomes a clarion, shrieking for change like a bull elephant thundering at you through the bush until you can no more stand still but must heed its warning. And there is terror in the running.
I stand on the narrow bridge, in the narrow straits knowing that things must change. Like a lightning bolt that topples the tree, change is upon me. I am in reactive phase; looking at possible destruction of some of the basic structure of my life and the idea that everything could fall apart. I stand trembling and afraid – afraid of making the wrong choice, of misinterpreting signs, of putting my family at risk. It feels like crisis energy – adrenaline, mad impulses to flee, the temptation of the truly unknown. Fortunately teachings come when needed and my wise teacher clued me in to the movements on the larger astrological plane. All of the energies suggest fiery energy, unresolved patterns, an urge for change, for freedom. Rock the boat, break free, ride the wave, be the change!
When crisis energy creeps along the edges of reality, dreams are troubled and energy is chaotic. Thoughts of radical liberation tickle: Buy a camper and hit the road! Sell everything and go to Costa Rica! Leave, just leave and don’t look back.”
All of those messages promise a different path, a path of freedom from care, from worry, from responsibility. The open door beckons and I can visualize stepping through it. Breaking the bonds that tie me here in a second. I see myself sitting in a bar in Mexico watching the sun go down, cold drink in my hand, no thought of those I left behind or what will happen tomorrow.
But at the end of the day, the end of the minute, the next breath in, when a friend offers the prayer of sharing time, the gift of a hug, the solace of inspiration, then thoughts of fleeing subside. My wise friend who shows up whenever I need him, right where I never expect to find him in the place he always is begins the conversation as he always does, as if it was yesterday’s continuation. “Bless you,” he says. “Bless you.” “Hallelujah” I cry to the green growing world. The wild plant energy cascades a rainbow shimmer across my heart and eyes.
I sink to my knees and turn my face to the sun. I have been running and need to walk. Need to soak my tired soul in essence of change. Or is it essence of stillness? When is sitting in stillness a radical change? When does movement cease so that the whispers of butterflies can be heard and the quiet growth of snap peas can be observed, taken in? When does running not solve the need for change? I learn to stay in place and let the change be of a different sort. Of a trusting sort that looks to the wise universe and sweet friends for support.
And so the contractions of change begin: the dissolution of the caterpillar into primordial ooze, reforming itself into butterfly. The pulsing of the womb sending the child down through the narrow place into the expansion of first breath. The caterpillar and the baby do not fear change, and, like them, on my narrow bridge, I will not either.