It was all for good in the end.
I had a shitty week but I realized something important.
Chino started out, he’s such a character.
I’d like to suggest a theme for today: it was kind of in the air throughout the last sessions. Like when Kandu talked about his debt and how he feels when he walks around the neighbourhood and things like that. And I’d like to focus on it more ‘cos it hits real close. And its about feeling trapped. This sense of being in some sort of cage that you can’t get out, and it almost cuts out your breath. For me is about my mother who is very sick, and my father is not just sick but has a neurological disease which makes it impossible to have a normal conversation with him…
Other people talked.
Suzanne talked about rage, she said that at some point some time ago she was crying all the time and feeling angry. But somehow that made her feel better. At present she can’t even cry anymore and she’s only angry with herself.
Puffy said we build our own cages. Because in the end we feel comfortable in them.
It was all funnily in line with the way I was feeling on my way to the session, and listening to the others kind of wrapped it all up.
The way I experience it, there’s no door to the cage (the discussion had meanwhile shifted to where’s the cage door).
To me, it’s all about space.
The idea of space expresses what makes me feel good, and also my problem.
An example: during the past three months, I had been feeling much better. Towards the beginning of the year I had started practicing yoga again. And very naturally, I had taken on doing it every morning, very regularly. I felt no obligation to do it whatsoever. But rather the need to go back to it again and again. And after a few weeks, I realized, for the first time in my life, I had some kind of routine, and that made me feel wonderful.
At the same time though, there still was this residual guilt, that likes to fucks things up. Because a voice in the back of my head was whispering: hey sugar, easy life huh. You wake up, take your kid to school, go to your favorite bar to plan the day and write your blogs, then yoga for two hours, wow, that’s lush man! Then lunch and YouTube and oooh, by 1-2 pm you’re finally ready to roll… Well you’re certainly very laid back, not to use the word lazy. There’s people who actually work out there, you know? and they are the ones making money, and the fact that you’re not one of them is the reason why you’re alway so desperately broke. Asshole, loser, get your fucking ass up and run!
So it went that I managed to ignore that little nasty voice and walk my line for a while. And as it happens, things started adjusting. ‘Cos that’s the magic of it: when I hold my ground, somehow force myself to allow myself that space of mine, ALL the space around me expands, time and space expand together, until those bars recede behind the horizon. And all of a sudden, unexpected and even uncalled for opportunities stars to emerge. I get calls, offers. Things that looked like obscure puzzles like setting up some feature of a website, are sorted out in the matter of minutes. So in the remaining hours of my day that I dedicate to more active, externally productive work (which are in the end no less than 6-7 hours), I am in fact very productive (consider I have so much energy and focus I never need to take a break).
So it’s about yoga for me now, but it can be something else for someone else or even for me at a different time.
It’s a matter of space and time.
It’s a matter of setting up one’s own rules.
This time for yourself is not a hobby. You mustn’t see it that way. Hobby means something of secondary importance, while here is really the opposite. This is the number one, absolute priority. Because this 100% yourself time and space is like charging the battery, and there’s nothing you can do with your beautiful, complex dynamic device if the battery is off.
But as it goes, sustaining this space around me is the hardest thing in the world for me. Because the bars of the cage, which are nothing but the others with their expectations, and demands and little manipulative tricks like tempting offers, exert constant pressure on me. And in the end, somethings manages to break though (with the unfailing complicity of the little background voice) and break up the miracle pattern. Like, this time it was the design week. To make some extra money, we decided to rent our house on Airbnb and we had to seek refuge at my mother’s place. And also I was asked at the office to do extra chores for the occasion. And also I had all these offers from yoga studios, and the idea of online videos had come up.
And so it is that all the creative energy that is liberated by this balanced space, suddenly wraps up in complication, which makes me lose focus and start making concessions.
This is the final stage, the one before disaster. One step further and, before I realize, I wake up in a tight cage once again, with cold bars pushing right onto my skin.
And that’s where the anger issue comes into play.
As Suzanne says, I also feel there’s a positive rage, a constructive rage, which allows me to feel I have the right to push the bars away. It’s empowering.
Then there’s this negative, limiting rage, which is directed to myself, and quickly turns into anxiety, and is invariably generated by these concessions. It appears when I accept things I didn’t really want to accept, when I say YES when I really wanted to say NO.
Young Dr. Dean had also spoken, his eyebrows pulled up as usual as if he’s experiencing great pain as he speaks. He suggested the metaphor of a star/black hole to describe the two types of anger, the one which pushes out and is constructive, and the one that sucks everything in. And that image was kind of appropriate to me as it suggested the cyclical nature of these things. When Chino spoke again about his anger bursts, that seemed to close the circle: compressed by external requests – explodes in rage – gets shrunk by regret (and prone to be compressed by requests).
I mean, don’t get me wrong: there are a lot of things that you have to accept. Acceptation is a good thing and by no means you should say no all the time or perpetually feel invaded. But it’s precisely the maintainance of that personal space that allows you to say yes to thing that you wouldn’t want to do without feeling trapped and ripped.
‘Cos in the end, there is no exit door to the cage, but that’s not a bad thing. The cage is not a bad thing. The cage is just the perimeter of our midfield in the end, and we have the power to transform the bars into anything we want: into trees or columns of a temple.
Think of an animal. We perceive a wild animal as free, as opposed to one living in a zoo or a circus being not free.
But the wild animal is not fee.
Every living creature is confined inside the borders of its natural environment.
The monkey and the tiger cannot leave their jungle. The lion cannot escape its savannah.
Every animal is confined and entirely dependant on the eco-system that gave birth to it.
It doesn’t feel trapped in that environment though, but rather nurtured and protected.
When we feel we are the masters of it, our life perimeter is not a cage: it’s our habitat.