“Creativity is a powerful way to celebrate who you are. It is spiritual energy that nourishes our vitality. It is a way to replace negative thinking with positive action. When we create, we plant ourselves firmly in the moment and teach ourselves that what we do matters.” Courage to Change
I write during the in-between. In my head. During small moments in my car, or washing dishes, or sitting in my cubicle at work – thoughts will enter, a sentence will form, present moments turn into short bursts of text on the page. Except there is no page in front of me, and I’m forced to tuck away the thoughts, hoping I’ll remember them when I actually have time to sit down and write. I never do – remember or have time. I make time by sitting down and just starting to type, but before that I tell myself I should be doing something else, and then when I spend a few more minutes not doing that something else I realize, OK, just write.
So I sit down, start writing. Sometimes the words flow. Those thoughts almost never come back, though. I reach back in my memory, try to visualize the words on the page, the moments when they appeared. Poof – gone.
Funny, that it’s the thoughts I want to hang on to are the ones that go. Then, during meditation, when I try to focus on the present, when I try to turn thoughts into clouds that I acknowledge and then watch as they float by – that’s when they keep coming back.
“You’re not supposed to stop thinking,” M tells me. So then I’m just thinking about not not thinking.
There it is. Now watch it float on.
We’ve been going to crystal singing bowl healing sessions. I keep falling asleep. The bowls’ vibrations flow through me in circles. I can feel the sounds dip and curve in my body, in my head, ringing through my ears. Sometimes they give me a headache. Sometimes I can feel the vibration deep in my gut. And then, I awaken. I don’t remember falling asleep, though. Instead, it feels as though I teleported to nowhere and then returned. Snap! Just like that. The first time, I was convinced I “went somewhere,” and the instructor told us about “yoga nidra” – a state of consciousness between awake and asleep. Yes! That’s where I was. The second time, I thought maybe I entered yoga nidra again. “You were sawing logs,” M told me. I felt disappointed. Like I missed out on an opportunity to be closer to the universe, to the energy I’m trying so desperately to feel.
I often feel like I’m grasping for spirituality, maybe trying too hard. It seems to come much easier for M, but then, he’s always been more in touch with a Higher Power – a feeling that we are all connected, that someone is looking out for him.
I’m afraid of being a phony. Always worried about what other people think. Shopping for mala beads online and then asking myself, What will I say if people ask me about them? Will they think I’m just conforming to a trend? Trying to be someone I’m not? Will this bring me closer to what I’m looking for?
Distractions. Grasping for every new thing, hoping it will be the thing that heals me, that brings me to that place where I am suddenly connected and at peace and it all makes sense. But shouldn’t I just keep it simple? Prayer. I need nothing to pray, just open arms and the will to surrender.
“When you think you’ve surrendered, surrender some more.” Gabby Bernstein
Somehow, I even manage to overthink prayer. I should pray, I tell myself. But when? Do I need to set aside a time to be spiritual, to bow down to a little Buddha statue, diffuse frankincense, line up my crystals and ask the universe for…. what?
I keep thinking that all the things will help me, but really, I think what I’m doing is OK. Thinking about prayer. Acknowledging that the universe has my back. Prayer doesn’t have to be a talk with God but rather, my own communication. That might look different than someone else’s, maybe someone who sets aside time every Sunday to worship, or every day to read the Bible. Maybe my prayer is simply looking up at the sky and knowing that it was created with love, and that love flows through me, and that is enough. It’s all going to be OK.
And those things? The crystals and the jewelry – they’re all OK too. As long as I don’t fall into the idea that they hold the answers. They make me happy, they make me aware, they bring me closer to myself and my husband and the energy around us. They are tangible things I can hold in my hand, wear around my neck, look down at my wrists and remember that I have opened up my arms, I have surrendered, and I must continue to surrender every day.