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  • Writer's pictureAnnelisa MacBean

Cycles of Birth and Death

Cruising through my days. Then the unexpected or unforeseen interrupts the smooth flow of my experience. Eventually, the current smooths out again. Fewer interruptions and my days flow along again. I have cycles of clarity that devolve into confusion and eventually resolve once more into clarity. Eventually this clarity muddies again and I feel lost, hopeless. Then hope re-emerges and I find myself, my soul, my connection to source, and once more there is flow and a sense of being carried. As the seasons wax and wane, so do the creative and destructive aspects of truth as it manifests in my awareness and experience. Within these cycles are the seeds of the creative force, the life force, but it can be challenging to orient to the possibilities inherent in the ongoing play of opposites. When a kind of death is occurring and I am losing that sense of grounded anchoring and connectedness to source, it is clear that things are changing and cannot, will not, stay the same. I sense a force is reaching back into my past from a future that is marinating in the womb of my present. There is purpose in the movement between the light and the dark, but what will be born? What have I said, thought or done, the ashes from which something not yet known will emerge? Rather than scramble out of death and into rebirth prematurely, I must stay in the cauldron and cook. It is unknown here, raw and weighted with the qualities and characteristics of some new third thing, which will ultimately transcend the opposites and introduce a new plateau of perspective and meaning. Remembering that death is not intended to be “healed” or “transformed,” but to be experienced fully as release and relief. The irony or paradox of “falling apart” is in the quiet integration and sense of unity that occurs when death is accepted.

When I over-identify with “losing it,” I also lose contact with my true or divine nature; I am not in immediacy or presence and am no longer aligned with the truth of the experience, as it is. As soon as I classify the death process as something to resist or avoid I disconnect from being an embodied presence, I lose access to the wisdom of nature or the earth. It becomes difficult to perceive that the interruptions in the flow of my days are actually part of the flow, not obstacles but rather invitations to awaken and collaborate, to notice that I am the source of the flow in my days. I can flow over and around the rocks in the river of my life. I am the source of flow, and in death I can know this more deeply and so deepen my unwavering, surrendering intent. When I am too identified with “holding it all together,” I discount death and scramble to avoid natural vulnerability, the softening in my solar plexus and nervous system, the inner silence that is the inevitable outcome of death. The rocky interference of raw, tender heartbreak seems to approach when the flow of my days has been particularly deep and quiet for an extended period, as though I have been preparing. I am starting to say “yes” to the rocks and boulders, the rapids and the waterfalls . . . to the realness of being in the current of life, to the kind of poetry in these contrasts of flow. It has been pointed out to me that there is a moment between death and birth, right in the middle of “falling apart” and “holding it together”. I have been experimenting with resting and exploring there. If I were actually river rafting, it would be that moment when, after a long easy glide with the current, I see rapids ahead; rocks and logs and other obstacles are visible, and I can hear the roar of a waterfall I cannot see. I know in that instant that I chose long ago to raft the river. I am committed. I will do my very best to navigate all the unknowns ahead. And I understand, and accept, I may die in the process . . . more than once.

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