Some people live their lives as though held together by pain and sorrow, and yes almost as though they choose it. Some more than others, certainly, and some more by the idea of pain and sorrow than the reality of its experience, because a belief in such a paradigm can make it exist as solidly as any brick wall against which they bash themselves. For others, its as though their highly-sensitive nervous system has no solid wall of belief and yet, instead of recoiling, it still reaches out there, beyond that lack of walls, into the great unlimited flux of almost too much experience, to seek out anything….anything at all…solid enough to hold onto as the sense of a parameter to their human experience; as though they can’t find their own edges without such a sensation feeding back to them. Mine is such as that. It seems to be a condition of my humanness to feel out and out and out until I hit upon something, the wider my sensors travel the better, and so I live by no firm beliefs (having worked hard to dismantle those I inherited from prior generations and to keep those I still have flux enough to adapt to ever-newer data) yet I just keep on hitting upon reasons to feel pain and sorrow. It’s a paradox that continues to raise questions in me, not least in the light of my Asperger’s because it seems to be a unique part of the way I am “wired”.
When I was a child and, unbeknownst to anyone, including myself, on the autism spectrum, I never seemed to so readily accept assurances of safety or the fixed parameters of experience that I was taught as my age-peers. So it was as though I was always pre-wired to go further than what I was told, seeking my own outer safeguards; other more reliable, far broader and much more inclusive perimeter boundaries, or, the sense of a much bigger safety shell enclosing me than what was on offer, in order to feel that my world was better organised and more generally safe that it seemed, and to know who I was in this great-big experiential picture. The ideas that safety relied on smallness, limitation and closeness-to-one’s-own-chest seemed bizarre and untrustworthy information; there had to be more coherence “out there” than I was being told, so I had to search for it. So, from my earliest memories, it was as though I was gathering data in support of an ultimate security or guarantee of coherence “out there somewhere”; something beyond all the contradictions I discerned in my environment (which were far from reassuring…) and, though this continued to elude me, I kept on feeling and feeling into my broadest environment, beyond the normal limits, seeking and gathering its clues.
I struggled because the most secure and predictable thing, overall, after several years assessment of my environment, seemed to be the bricks and mortar that I lived in (later in childhood, I would sometimes cry myself to sleep with worries that I would one day have to leave there; yet, in earliest childhood, that never occurred to me because my house felt like part of me). I spent my first five years almost exclusively in that house, with just my mother for company by day, and was not socialised with other kids as is the more-typical way these days. Bit by bit, almost brick by brick, that building was no longer my guaranteed refuge from a highly uncertain world because life seemed quite determined to prise me out of there, like a clam out of shell.
I had to discover other predicables, other learnable rhythms of reliability by which to reclaim my sense of personal containment. As life progressed, (having tried various things) I see now how I came to fixate upon two predicables….problems and pain…since they were, apparently, everywhere so I could always rely on them to show up to form the shell of my world. In any given moment, no matter how close I might be to falling down a bottomless well of the most alarming black nothingness with no edges, I could always guarantee that I would be able to reach out my hand to feel the dank, slimy sides of problems and pain and so, in my way, I became the specialist in detecting them. Long after I ceased doing this at the mental level, inviting such thoughts through the rumination of my days (the reversal of which has been the work of my last decade or so…) my nervous system still seems quite determined to hook onto any problems or pain triggers it can in my environment, reeling them in as proof of being held by some sort of container; so, herein lies my long-running health issue.
Now, I find myself less surprised by this. Its a well-known autism thing; we need that sense of physical containment, we reach out for sides. Some play it out through highly structured and predictable environments and clothing, others through fixations and hobbies. Many find comfort beneath weighted blankets or in confined spaces. Well-known Aspie Temple Grandin, who has shares her experiences in her numerous books, built herself what she called her “hug machine” or “squeeze machine” when she was an undergraduate doing her degree, which was a box she crawled into and, by pulling on the lever that compressed the sides, was able to hold herself in containment in order to re cover from the sensory overwhelm of her days.
Like many Aspie’s, and quite unknown to my conscious mind, I searched for this secure shell-edge even at times when flux could have been my best comfort and friend, my relaxation zone, a chance to just float off into the respite of neutrality; yet that feeling of flux left me feeling just so ungrounded in my body (still does…) that it ceased to operate as it should…and I ceased to operate as a person…as though I would be gone in the next moment; slipped through the cracks into another dimension, never to return. It feels as though…being devoid of the same bizarre yet oddly concrete belief systems that neurotypical humans seems to live by…my relationship with physicality is (at best) tenuous and (at worse) an illusion that I know requires my absolute belief in it at all times, to keep my cells intact (a participatory partnership I have to fully commit to rather than a subliminal thing that keeps heart beating, blood pumping without my involvement…I often feel like I could forget to breathe) so letting go for even a sustained moment could dissolve me; something I can recall knowing even when I was very young.
What this dissolving would look like was unknown to me; death or living death, I had no idea which (though perhaps it looks a lot like the chronic health issues of my last decade…). Somehow, I always just seemed to know it was a bad idea for me to risk the minutest delay in the hand-over proceedings from one life rhythm to another, in case it was long enough for me to slip through the cracks into void, and so I become the control freak of my circumstances….and always having to look for something, experientially, assertive (pain works well) to reel myself back in. Not for the first time, last summer came close to that edge…I was almost in flux and then, suddenly, in absolute pain for three months; so, these risky edges have been both my crashes and my reboots, burning me out as surely as they can alter my experiences on a dime.
So to this day, if I relax too much, going soft in my cells, as meditation can induce us to do (the Dr Joe Dispenza method I was using last summer was all about letting go of all preconceptions at the cellular level), or if I am devoid of all routine, like on the kind of holiday or sabbatical where you think “great, I’ll just stop everything”, THIS tends to be when my body goes into panic and alert, THIS is where my tension and pain suddenly comes from, as though to startle me back to life. At such times, my body sensors will default to the most well-known outer “walls” to my existence, since these most-quickly reintroduce me back into territory of familiar life; and, of course, pain and anxiety provide our most familiar circumstances as a collective, these days…the fast food of a routine that needs feeding. As the shock defibrillation of their effect registers in my nervous system, I can then flip from near-nothingness to pain in an instant and so deepest relaxation or “letting go” can often be followed by health crash in ways that have often bewildered me for their severity. It’s the classic scenario of every severest pain episode I have ever had and only now does it start to make some sense to me.
So, after a short break away like the one I have just been on, for instance, it could be in the following week, when I turn my attention to relaxing, having kept my diary free so I could “recover my energy”, that I notice how the long uncoiling probes of my consciousness so diligently set about finding the next thing to ruminate about, how then my body defaults to intense levels of pain to refocus my mind and how my nervous system becomes super-sensitive as though to more diligently seek out the furthest edges to my environmental reality. These three days since returning from quite the active phase, one thing leading straight into another, to find myself with a blank week, I feel as though I have landed right back into hyper-sensitivity and intense physical limitation after what had been a pain-defying month. Of course, in the past, its been all too easy to blame this on having “overdone it on holiday” but this has never rang true; how could such good times spent forgetting about pain, doing better than normal, being more active in ways that feel convincing and improved, lead straight back so reliably to this sting in the tail? Of course, the reliability is the clue; it is the void filler.
Of course, lately Ive been working to make all of life enjoyably busy, not just those times when we go away and so this pre-planned pause in proceedings gives me much food for thought. In this hiatus of pain, following a busy month and a long weekend away, I know the best thing for me is to get back on that horse of busy-ness and routine tomorrow (as I will by scheduling a group walk, so I feel compelled to turn up for it, even though my ability to do that feels unlikely today); because long days spent feeding my exhaustion and sensitivity seem only to drag me in deeper, I now notice, and I can guess how, if I spent much time “back” here, I could reverse all I have recently achieved.
Its a version of something else I noticed on the drive to this last trip away. My husband announced he had put his hard suspensioned car into “comfort zone” on the drive there, to try and avoid the harsh effect of our last long car journey. I had never questioned this logic before, though I had noticed I felt better on short trips, where he kept it in “hard” sports mode. This time, perhaps because it was especially late and I was more zoned out, having just been to a concert, I realised a quite different probability was closer to the mark; that this softer suspension actually made things far worse for me when also travelling along the sensory soup that is a motorway at night, when there is little to see and so my other sensory nerves are working overtime. Its somewhat the same as how a really soft mattress is my absolute nemesis, though you might think it was my best friend, to cushion me from pain.
Because, I noticed, the softer the car felt, the more my nervous system became highly-keyed, seeking out the evidence of some bizarre kind of security that comes from the reassurance of familiar sensations, even unpleasant ones; a feeling of being held by edges of feelings that I know so well because pain has been so ingrained into my experience. The result was that I became, quickly, more electrosensitive than normal and my left side developed terrible nerve pains down the arm and leg closest to the metal-canister-on-wheels I was sat in. It felt a bit like how you can get travel sick from reading in a car, because the body does better to keep the eyes on the road to inform the nervous system that you are moving at speed…otherwise internal panic ensues at the array of different sensations that seems to contradict. This shed all new light on the basis for my electrosensitivity; the less stable my routine, the more likely I will experience it. Was this true? Almost immediately, I could concur that, at time when I am happily occupied and all held-in by tight routines that mean I don’t have to seek my edges “out there” in the soup of all possible experiences, the more environmental sensitiveness that affect me at less structured times seem to back off into the shadows. It’s why I can cope with malls, concerts, airports if I have to (and if well prepared, suitably dressed, on a schedule) and yet, at other times, I cant seem to even sit in a room with a single live cellphone in somebody’s handbag. Yes, the more withdrawn from fixed routines I became over the last decade, the more sensitive I became to everything in my environment; the melt down of all melt downs….my nervous system flaying around in search of structure?
When I woke up on the morning after that journey, in my new (what should have been so energetically tranquil…having no neighbours, no traffic, no exterior noise) bed, I quickly realised I still had this electrical cacophony of tin-can-on-wheels, all the heightened EMF exposures and LED lights, the brittle rhythm of engine parts, the swoosh swoosh of traffic on wet roads and scenery, playing off in my nervous system. I realised because I should have been prostrate with deepest post-sleep relaxation but it was as though my blood was pulsing and my nerves vibrating to some other galloping rhythms…a continuation of the night before. Yes, lying there half asleep, I could feel that my tiniest nerve fibres were humming away to some much speedier pace than present reality, travelling far faster than anything in the quiet house we were in could explain (I have been known to entrain to the hum of fridges but there was no such appliance anywhere near this room and the Wifi was switched off). Its a phenomenon I have talked about before because I suspect Aspie’s hold onto sensory experiences and rhythms long after they have occurred, drawing them in and repeat-playing them, holding onto them and (crucially) forgetting to let go of them when other experiences appear to take over… until they all overlap one another, adding-up to one giant mass of sensory overwhelm when exposed to too much sensation at once. Apparently, I had spent all night in the car….long after I got out of it!
As I then worked to scramble this defunct rhythm, which I knew from experienced could result in one of my whole-body migraines if I let it continue (to do this, I refocused my attention to other rhythms such as my breath and bird song whilst taking a dose of CBD under the tongue; I’ve found CBD will help release the white-knuckle grip on even the most defunct patterns) I realised the importance of the observation I had just made….and I told my husband to drive the return journey with the “comfort mode” switched off (yes, that journey went a lot better). I had come to understand something crucial to how overlapping routines are my helpmate as an Aspie…they actually strengthen me, helping me to be more resilient “out there” in the world, but that I need to step in to actively choose those rhythms for myself, to overlay more positive ones to drown out the least helpful when they can’t be avoided (as in a car on the motorway)…and to interrupt the most defunct of them swiftly, replacing them with better routines of my choice. Going soft, trying to cushion myself, to avoid, isn’t the right approach; it can actually make things worse in certain circumstances.
This next part has been such a revelation to me: When I do those structured activities I’ve talked about a lot lately and which I, only recently, chose to introduce into my life because I enjoy them – such as choir, Nordic walking, socialising with key friends one at a time, going to gigs – I don’t drown in my electrosensitivity or other kinds of sensory overwhelm (such as struggling with the bright lights overhead and the amount of noise in public places, for instance) like I might have assumed I would from my recent years’ experiences. Nor do I flail around in terrible pain, in fact I often forget it is even part of my experience…so, the more I keep busy doing these things, the more sustained my disassociation with these heightened sensitivities is becoming..a new habit forming. It’s when I get back home, when I’m tired, when I have a more empty day or two (or three…) “to recover” that I notice the feelings return, sometimes like a tsunami of accumulation coming in. Like this week, the quietest in ages, not even any choir to go to and no concerts, no trips away coming up for almost a month. I’ve found myself slipping into a familiar old feeling I don’t like so much anymore; and not wanting to bother getting dressed until I walk the dog, my hair a straggly mess, a lack of momentum with even those simplest of tasks I mentally set myself. So, I have learned, “keeping on trucking” with the busy routines of my life is what seems to keep me mostly out of pain…obviously, with appropriate punctuations for recovery but these, for me, need to be just long enough to bounce back but not so sustained that I entrain to the rhythms of pain and oversensitivity as my “safeguard” of experience again. Swinging from lots of activity to none at all now feels like a vulnerability (as it is for that busy someone who loves their job yet thinks they are looking forward to retirement, only to die of a heart attack on the golf course a month later) since the sudden removal of positive routine necessitates the return of less favourable ones, to keep some sort of structure in my life.
Music, of course, is a good rhythm I can take in and internalise long after the event. So are joy, laughter and happy times (these higher frequency experiences afford structures of emotional memory in our nervous system that we don’t even see, though we feel them, and the really great thing is that they get into our system and stay there even more readily than the lower vibe stuff). These things buffer me from the need for unsuitable rhythms for a very long time afterwards; even more so as these experiences grow together and build-up their protective containment though more frequent and prolonged exposures.
So, to recap, we all need some sort of containment, an edge to enable us feel held, of course, but mine seems to have to be a DIY thing, which puzzled me for a long time until I noticed the trend amongst those with ASD…in their fixations, rituals and hobbies (no, not OCD, but easily mistaken for it). For a lot of years, asked from many angles, I wondered why I was so different to other people in this regard. They all seemed to live inside a shell of shared neurotypical belief systems and this seemed to keep their energy field intact for far longer in life since they believed in it, and operated within it, so unquestioningly but, of course, for many of those years I wasn’t thinking of myself as “neurodiverse”, though I knew I was different in some fundamental way.
Its a version of the same question asked of me by the woman I met for coffee last week, an energy healer: why was my aura in such tatters…why didn’t I have the same protective outer layer as other people. I was so familiar with the question that I almost couldn’t be bothered to start to answer her; partly because theories around this that fit neurotypical people don’t ever seem to fit me…I’m no longer holding onto deep trauma in my body, I don’t feel “under attack” from the world these days…though, I thought I did at one time. So, I have had a lot of theories about this over the years and they have all morphed into other theories and/or fallen by the wayside over that time span, including all the effort I put into undergoing an AuraTransformation to “replace” my aura two years ago (search for earlier posts if curious). I’m not sure I believe in all that any more…at least, not in my case. Perhaps because I sense its less a case that “life” has harmed my aura than that I made all the holes in it myself, with a metaphorical pair of scissors…reaching out for the kind of extreme sensory experiences that I thought might eventually get me to an outer perimeter that felt more solid, more whole, more real and resonant and much more obviously orchestrated by a divine influence than anything very close to me seemed to suggest (I have never really understood this world the way it is “made”).
I didn’t ever want to take anybody else say-so as concrete truth and I didn’t want anything to obscure my view of those farthest reaches of understanding which, I hoped, would one day bring me clarity and peace. I was reaching and reaching out for some sort of overarching sense and purpose to life from the moment I was born and, to do this, I needed to be rid of all the tight-fitting armoury that most neurotypicals seem to wear; all those layers of belief paradigm that lock them so tightly and unquestioningly “in” unless they hit a major snag in the road…the kind of trauma that breaks them open, which was the state I arrived here in. So, as I said, I seem to have taken a pair of scissors to my protective layers and then left them all to fall into rags (I’ve never liked the idea of having to shield myself from the world; it feels self-limiting). That way, I would be forced to make better sense of my material world; to keep on trying to piece together all the good bits that could make this reality seem more purposeful, more coherent, more beautiful although….yes…it certainly doesn’t make life easy and it requires that I keep searching and still searching for those widest outer perimeters that everyone else seems to take as given, though they seem to be so bizarrely content with their limits set at arm’s length. Even when I find something solid to hold onto (or to hold onto me…) I have this tendency to question it, to pick it all into holes again, just to be sure…since I know there is no endpoint to this journey; the whole of life is the journey and only one stage of it. Yet, I now realise, sometimes we have to declare we like where we have landed and to stop for long enough for what we have found to become the new edges to our reality…and to work at that, to make our mark in manifest reality, through choice.
So, yes, having become more “outwardly oriented” this year, I have had to readdress my requirement for more material parameters than I am used to; and have found myself newly interested in things I had almost completely lost interest in, such as schedules and social commitments….and clothes. I have previously written about how clothes had become painful, irritating, burning my skin and any seams and labels a terrible aggravant to my already over-sensitive flesh (this is classic allodydnia…which is a close associate of EDS, which is, interestingly, a common bedfellow of autism), also my inability to wear anything except natural, preferable organic, fabrics since the rest seemed to set me off into hot flushes and pain. I wrote, in particular, about ditching my bra.
Lately, Ive felt like I should take that post out of publication or edit it significantly since I have actually found myself longing for more structure in my clothing again; not just for the aesthetic of it, now I go out more, but for the feeling of it…the desire to feel (pleasantly) held, in a good way. My search for ethical , comfortable yet beautifully structured, innovative brands that make close-to-skin wear to support and flatter feminine curves continues but has become quite the fixation (of course!) and, meanwhile, I’ve gravitated back to unwired bra wearing and a desire for close fitting vest tops and bodysuits like I used to wear back in my corporate days. I long for jeans that hug, for well-structured utility trousers, for a sense of lower abdomen support that helps cradle my hips and lower spine….and gone is the desire for too-large t-shirts, flowy woollens and long days spend in pyjamas when I didn’t have to be anywhere; I can’t seem to get anything started at all, not even a contented feeling, on those days anymore. The more I now feel “put together” in my clothes, the more resilient I feel in the outside world and in my new life in general, wherever I am and whatever I’m doing….which isn’t a new feeling, its the same one that accompanied me in all the other “outer” phases of my life, when a passion for expressing myself through beautiful, well-made clothes was one of the things that defined me (its back with a vengeance).
I can recall a version of this very same thing when I was a child. When we went out shopping as a family, especially in cold, wind or rain but, really, in all places involving travel and crowds, it took a well thought-out manoeuvre for me to go “out there” because I would not only demand comfortable clothes with hoods and buttons, safety pockets for carrying precious possessions, boots and shoes with elaborate fasters and long zips (oh how I loved these things…I could fixate on a pair of footwear like other people played with toys) but would insist on taking out my favourite bear in his own “safe” environment that was my way of vicariously controlling my own situation. For him, I would create carrying devices (elaborate, interior-decorated, bags, boxes and pouches, made by me out of cast-offs, and carried everywhere) and I would pre-plan his inner environment, his every need “on the journey”, to the nth degree. If all was well with Barnaby, all was well with me…and the day he somehow came loose from the carrier on my bike and was lost forever was one of the biggest traumas of my life, no exaggerating; still recalled with a flinch. In one fail swoop, my entire sense of safety in the world was annihilated, not helped by the fact not a single adult or older sibling around me seemed capable of comprehending that my distress wasn’t going to be remedied “just” by replacing him. Its fair to say, my entire paradigm of safety and resilience in the world wobbled off its axis at that point…and when I later developed quite the penchant for beautiful interior design that made people feel so comforted and at home, I always thought back to Barnaby and his safe zones.
Of course, it also did that same wobble on the day I first started school, on the night my father had the heart attack that turned him into a withdrawn and worried old man overnight; which was around the same time that I also lost Barnaby, and on all those other bumpy milestones that other kids seem to navigate with relative ease. Each time a jolt happened, I had to rebuild this outer “shell” of resilience made up of predictable routines and sensations, feeling out for anything that felt non-negotiable with which to steady myself. When, as an adolescent into adult, those turned out to be most readily available in the form of predictably disastrous news from the newspapers and TV, I gripped onto those concerns as the preoccupations of my thoughts, much more intensively than any of my age peers, as my version of “exterior certainty”. When my mother died, my husband abused me and my marriage fell to bits, I gripped and I gripped to exterior sources of overwhelm for my safety cues and, when my own health started to go the way I had seen my father’s go, I grabbed onto that inevitability too…because it was certain, it was all so certain and thus secure…in its way.
Of course, mindfulness taught me that was all a very bad idea. I learned that there was nothing to be feared so much as fear itself. I understood, now, the power of the mind too manifest. But even long after doing all the work to unravel my paradigm of “security in pain” my nervous system continues to crave rhythms and routines that aren’t always so very good for it, as I have already outlined. Those came first, and they are the hardest to unravel…being the pre-wiring of my neurodiverse “type”.
There is only one alternative in such a situation and that is to supply those rhythms and routines that are so very necessary to my nervous system myself; made out of good things, happy thoughts, optimism, joy and laughter, the kind of structure that supports my life, a timetable of activities I want to take part in, by nurturing a sense of my own place in the world and keeping myself pleasantly busy. Too much flux, too much marshmallow-like softness is my nemesis and will tend to default me towards the certainty of pain and other sensory hangups that make an active life even more difficult to navigate; a catch twenty-two.
The only way forwards, therefore, is to do just what I have done this year and push through the initial discomfort of “going out” into the positive yet, initially, overstimulating rhythms of life much more often; yes, to a routine that largely overrides thought processes and sensory variables (because I am now committed to take part). Doing so little that my unstructured life becomes a target for sensory overwhelm once again, by subtle environmental awarenesses that pass other people but I cant help but notice if there is nothing else to hook onto, is not a long-term option for me, going forwards, for all it has served me well as I did the deep inner work that gained me this high degree of self-awareness. It was as though I put on the diving belt for all those years and did the deep plunge to find the pearl of myself, almost running out of oxygen towards the end…but now I must resurface to all the excessive colours and sounds of life up here on the surface, using what I know to make it better.
What I describe isn’t for everyone of course; I am speaking out loud an entirely neurodiverse perspective which is, as ever (I do realise) quite contrary to most typical viewpoints, nor does this make my blog a self-help guide for the majority. Pulling back from life’s routines might be the very breakthrough point for a neurotypical needing to experience the epiphany that there is much more to life than the material things that have been their safe domain for so long. For us Aspie’s, I suspect, we are born with a much broader awareness of very much more than the material world “switched on” as our default setting at birth and so we have to, gradually, come to befriend that world by seeking out the positive patterns that most closely reflect the sacred geometry of a universe we already know is out there, if obscured by the heavy curtain of the pantomime reality that “seems” to be the majority-shared fixation on planet earth. Ironically (though we lack them) we need our patterns and orchestrations more so than most people, in fact we crave them because they remind us of the cosmic home we came from (and which we never fully left behind). In my case, I know I even crave excitement, stimulation, things to get busy and enthusiastic about….but, first, we have to learn to create filters because, down here in the 3D world, not all patterns and stimulants are so very great or healthy and, being a-typical, we are the ones left with the personal responsibility of shape-sorting our fixations; it doesn’t happen for us automatically, in early childhood or beforehand (genetically) due to synaptic pruning…rather, we are the ones stood holding the shears.
Is this version of neurodiversity an evolutionary impulse rather than a so-called flaw in human “wiring”? I would say so, since those with it innately reach beyond the limits of the current paradigm in search of higher frequencies of organisation in the universe; which surely do exist (Carl Johan Calleman, PhD makes a compelling case for this in his book “The Nine Waves of Creation”; a book that was like a lightbulb going on in my own experiences). Indeed, as he states in that book “it is is known from the science of cymatics that wave frequencies can organise matter in accordance with geometric patterns”; but first, those frequencies have to penetrate people’s rigid armoury of belief systems…or, if they are without such neurotypicality, perhaps those individuals lie in wait for such evolutionary cues and are receptive to them sooner and more immersively, affecting their experience of life in certain key ways which may seem bizarre or hyper-sensitive by comparison with what is typical, but thats not to say they are “wrong”…just different (story of my life).
So in a world where all the waking-up people are learning to let go, to release the mind, to go soft enough to turn their experience back towards flux and non-association, it feels as though I am (not for the first time, as always the contrarian) passing along the very same road in the other direction. Yes, I walk the other away from the overwhelming flux of too many sensations that is my default setting towards a golden structure of my choosing; a sensory cacophony conducted into the beautiful music of a life well organised by me, its many-instrumented orchestra made up of self-curated “things”, be those the pleasing clothes and objects that fill my world according to a passion for beauty and form, to the enjoyable structures of my daily activities, to the way that I turn those habits that best support my health and wellbeing into the ingrained rituals that ensure I don’t let them fall by the wayside, even when I am busily eating-out or travelling a lot (as has been the case this last few weeks…I am almost starting to feel like I need to keep a survival bag pre-packed by the door). The more I have noticed undesirable habits in the world, and the more I have unpicked my own least supporting trends, the more I have nurtured a kind of sneeriness around routines of any kind. Actually, structure and routine are my friends…and always have been; but it’s only now that I admit it so wholeheartedly.
Its not that I’ve suddenly slipped back into being the materialist but that I have come to realise that material things aren’t inherently bad; that they can be infused and informed by golden intentions in order to transform the everyday world we all share and make it a much closer fit for those seeking a more divine sense of what life is all about. That divine reality doesn’t have to be left “out there” somewhere in the ether; because, those of us that are tuned to it, who have spent our whole lives feeling for it, with our red-raw and over-worked yet tirelessly exploring nerves, can now reel it in closer to ourselves as our physical reality; can turn it into the beautiful architecture of our daily lives, using what we already know (which has been the specialism of our lives) about the blueprint. In a sense, we hook onto those elusive good feelings from the ether like so many golden fish…and we bring them into land. This reeling-in process is just so important in these times, as we (necessarily) shift from survival mentality into mindfully living in harmony with each other and with nature. We all know how to do these things, though we forgot, but the information is still out there, waiting for us to reach out to it, beyond the narrow husks of our fear-and-pain-driven lives. If you can relate, a little or a lot, please let me know. I like to think I am very far from the only one working on my relationship with choices and structure to transform my experience of a life I used to struggle with, knowing as I do that we each impact the collective experience (far more than we can comprehend with our minds) when we have these quiet personal breakthroughs.