Candy and water. A pause. Then coffee and cigarettes. My breakfast routine doesn’t change much when I’m out of town to country. It does not, in fact, change very much going through anything from a crisis in action to a crisis and consciousness.
Glucose, a form of sugar, is the primary source of energy for every cell in the body. The brain uses one half of all this sugar. Evidence supporting my Smarties addiction or methodology for supporting my creative genius?
It’s about 39°F in Saint Joe’s, Michigan but I don’t feel it sitting here looking out the glass doors. I’m busy putting all the structures I’ve built in my life into my mind-vice and crushing them. Sugars in candy break down instantly to give glucose, which Natalee Brain chomps through heartily this morning during demolition.
Building new structures is one of the ways I get my jollies and I’m excited for the architected forms that lie ahead.
When I accept the invitation to see two forces in conflict, such as now, I immediately focus on imagining the products of change this tension can provide.
Something wants to move, something else resists. Tension seeks release in a changing. Transformations, evolution, and progress require struggle as well as assertive, reflective, and decisive action. Something worth remembering when you feel you are falling out of rhythm with the turning world.
While we like the idea of growth, nerves falter at the reality of change. The tempo shifts, with your relationships at work, your relations to family and friends, your income levels, or your connection with your beloved. Stumbling to the new beat, you either try to adjust quickly or plod along to the obsolete beat in stubborn resistance.
Powerful forces do not always work as well together such as coffee and cigarettes. One blocks or thwarts the other. The other must reorient it’s direction to get what it wants. Stress brings with it a potent thrust of energy that makes necessary changes possible.
So what will you build? What will I? From where do your stresses originate?
If a crisis in action can be defined as a motivation to externally build, achieve, or manifest the new structure, we can define a crisis and consciousness as an internal requirement of a mental adjustment. A shift in our thinking, our intentions, or beliefs. For me, it requires modifying or completely eliminating an idea. I call these “crises'” for a reason.
Those of you who had a couple conversations with me are sure to know by that point that I am absolutely obstinate about my ideas. They’re more than fantasies, ideologies, and thought forms. They’re my children, my hearts deepest love, my intellects most passionate convictions. Asking me to consider a new idea is respectable and I will take your points thoughtfully and fairly consider them. Asking me to change my ideas off the bat, however, is an insult to the complexity of my mind and the mature deliberation I’ve given to form them.
I hope you are sure by now, dear reader, if I THINK of you, it can be regarded as one of the highest compliments you can receive from this (described by previous lovers, friends, and myriad acquaintances) “icy”, “aloof”, “unreachable” actress.
But sparring with people is easy game, right? You can slam doors and walk away. You can punish them with your verbal abuses or with the coldness of your absence.
But what if the opposing force is not so clearly inside a person in your life? What if you come into an existential crisis? Or loss of your sense of self? Or a fierce and dark realization about your supposed life purpose? How do you react when the conflict is internal? Or worse: when there is internal conflict agitated by conflict with the one you love?
The word “crisis” is alarmist and scary. What I imply is the maximum energy that comes through crises. Energy is not discriminate. It doesn’t care how it’s used, only that it is. The tension a crisis produces can feel unpleasant when the energy backs up or goes unexpressed. However, Dearie, the tension here can also feel exhilarating if it flows in action (expelling the energy resource). It will feel frustrating when either you have no outlet to apply the tension or if you misuse the energy into self-destructive action or hurtful action upon others.
The fuck-and-fight couple that separates could have been a powerful force in creating and multiplying business. The couple that drinks and drugs and separates could have channeled their mutual dependence on an altered state to achieve meditative transcendence or have been creative leaders in their community. The couple that sees one another 46 days a year and separates could have been constantly broadening each other’s horizon and nurturing each other’s growth and expansion, heightening the effects of the overloading endorphins that are released those 46 days in each other’s embrace.
Changing my environment through travel is one of the most internally productive and beneficial experiences I create in my life. This allows most fertile soil for the clearing of perception. Our field becomes clogged with the residue of our growth cycle. You must step out of the paradigm in order to see the paradigm. You must exit the matrix in order to understand what the matrix is (Point of Information: a matrix is essentially an environment or structure).
While in the matrix of your life and relationships clarity can lack. It can lead to weak immoderate desires, faulty judgments, or misguided ambitions. We find ourselves in the eye of the storm: unhappy, upside down, confused, with little clear reason why.
But we know something inside wants to redirect, to change our course or situation for the better. That’s the tension. We either move willingly into the new direction or resist and pull back.
Nearing the end of my 2nd cup of black coffee, visions of my past crises rise to the surface of my attention. Why did I pull that trigger? How could I have possibly come to such a conclusion? Me! An admirably intellectual force!
During a spin out most people instinctively slam on the brakes and steer against the spin. But experts advise the opposite: don’t break. Turn into the spin. So it is with the momentum of a crisis, internal or external. Things are changing. Go with it.
There are brave new worlds that lie just around the corner. If one job ends, another with a new set of characters awaits. If one identity dies, a new you readies itself to take its proper place. If one form of a relationship ends, an exciting new road opens up that allows for more freedom and happiness and love that could not of been possible in the previous structure.
This all requires trust. Trust in yourself. Trust in the process of maturation. Trust, perhaps, in another human. Life models for us how these cycles work. She gives us light and form and relinquishes it. She builds and destroys and builds again. She shows us how fluid cycles are, ever-changing and natural. Surrendering to this flow harmonizes us with the nature of time, of our own timing.
Inflexibility is my blessing and my curse. It creates in me the most steadfast and loyal resource in my professional and personal relationships. It also direct me to persist despite the situation having grown past benefit.
When I pledge my allegiance to an idea, a cause, a role, and a person, it becomes part of who I am. So when a crisis requiring letting go of any of these presents itself: I freak the fuck out. I don’t want to plant the seeds of the future order. Not without assurance the fundamental idea or person is still there. My steely determination is driven to revolution and reformation – NOT abandonment and “letting go”.
The thing about cycles is that they keep returning us to familiar ground so that we might be newly creative there. These are the turnstiles to change we claim we want to make.
But changes are almost never what you think they’ll be. I’m sure we’ve both had to, at times, forget whatever bright changes we planned on making. There’s likely been a thinly disguised veil of what you think you’ve been doing. And if you think these crises are about the other person changing, discard that expectation too!
Lean into the pain, the fear, and the discomfort. Dramatic events should not go unused. Whether they arrive like exploding dynamite or by subtle means slip into your life as softly as moonlight, you feel the change in tempo. It could help to look for a new rhythm in uncooperative, critical people, busted ambitions, or whatever makes you feel lonely or sad. Moments easily missed while in the paradigm.
Michigan is still Michigan out the window but I’m on my 3rd cup of Joe and uncountable camel blues.
My stimulated mind brings us to two choices: act or refrain. Do something you’ve never done or quit doing something you’ve always done, internally, externally, or both. Can you feel the new rhythm? Can you dance to this new beat? Can you accept the agents of change? Do you have the courage to act as the agent of change? Can you allow yourself to love without expectation? Do you have the bravery required to let yourself be loved? Are you possessed of the heroism it takes to love yourself?
I spent the morning thinking and writing and must now prepare to entertain guests. Shower. Makeup. Table settings. I’ll be ruminating on my inflexibility the rest of the weekend in regard to these concepts of crises, unconditional love, and my identity and life purpose.
I’m figuring it out, just like you.
If I added any value to your thought process or life with this post, feel free to add some to mine with your own personal opinions and insights. I love to hear from readers and I look forward to getting to know you. Maybe we can figure it out, together.