I step out of a retreat and I’m fine. Better than fine. The most appropriate word would be floating. And it’s good, and it’s raw, and it’s complete. I’m carrying something full, but I’m also no, because how can I be carrying myself? I can’t; that’s just an impossible and silly thought. No- I’m the one who is full, as much as I can be at least, at that point in space and time.
But - because there is a but because there never is not a but - in the expansion of myself, a new space exists. It is not so much a new space, but more remodeling a house and finding a room behind the wall you just knocked through. An entombed Fortunato or from that House on Ash Tree Lane. An extra dimension that was there before any sort of search began.
At the end of October, on my first solo Zen intensive, I came out fine and two days later, I couldn’t help but feel angry. All the time, from that Monday to Thursday, anger sat in my heart and hands. It sat there because I wasn’t stuffing it down and away. A lifetime of refusing to act on, feel, or even acknowledge an emotion that is ‘a bad emotion’ and, then, after a single Saturday, there was nowhere for it to go. This means I didn’t, because I couldn’t, put it no other place than my hands and heart. I felt angry and frustrated, so I was angry and frustrated, opposed to putting my thumb in the hole and yelling, “I’m. Fine!” (Note- no one who says that is ever fine.)
Yesterday and Friday night, I was at half of Audra’s Anusara Immersion. The rest is today, for teaching trainees only. All day, I’ve rippling with my old fears. Doubt, shame, anxiety, general social fears. I know it is this touching into the New-yet-Old places because what would work for (read: distract) the anxiety hasn’t. This includes: coffee, chocolate, icy dessert-type foods, buffaloed-type foods, nature walks, museums (thank you, Raleigh for these two), and bookstores, that nameless travel sense-action called ‘living out of a suitcase’, as well as some unnamed.
A crippling, creeping doubt that leaves me, at day’s end, exhausted and defeated no matter how awesome the recent past was. Because it was. The best- a morning, with a self-made focus, of pushing myself. A conscious dedication of letting it go and courage. And so, there it was - there I was - leg in the air, gross and sweaty, and good. At the end, in the relaxation ‘dead body’ pose, savasana, stories were unspooling in my head.
Then, now, I’m in a B&N cafe, looking at it. I’m holding this yellow fear. I know where it was seeded. Even when. And how: how it was let wild, how it was fertilized, and how it was, once started, done all by me. It’s a natural thing, a weed as proper as dandelion or ivy. But it roots my feet, taps my marrow, and seals the rooms I want open to air and light. No wonder it tires me, drains me. How could it not?
What I want: for this to be a metaphor and not an analogy. Or: to do a pose until it’s my body that is saying, “Nope,” opposed to my heart. Or: to write, and stop when it’s done, or I’m done, or my hand says to, and not when I get scared of what I’m channeling, doing, or whatever it really is. Or: to be that full self in the waking world, and not only when I’m talking to myself like a crazy person.