I was going through some riveting material which offered very strong points of reflection on daily life, and how we know it, and that constant challenge and sacrifice between staying within what is familiar and one’s comfort zone, and the call to dip out, follow passion, some illogical calling — out of structure and consistency, and potentially into disintegration and chaos. Obviously the pivotal point for most of us is that cross road where you ask yourself, “Which path do I choose, and is it worth doing or not?”
But the more fundamental question which sends out rippling effects and consequences, from infancy to adulthood – on all levels of health, anxiety, growth, vitality, relationships, and life purpose is this question: What is your relationship with this cross-road between certainty and uncertainty, structure and chaos, the defined and undefined, the comfort zone and what is beyond.
What is your relationship with Chaos?
It was fascinating to note that in Ancient Greek mythology, chaos was celebrated. In fact, they even had a god for it, the god called Chaos. Don’t get me wrong, they didn’t celebrate it in a way as to say, “This chaos and disintegration is wonderful! More of this please!!”.
No, just as we do today, they acknowledged chaos and disintegration as something very uncomfortable, something that is a pain to go through, knowing that it is the dark phase to any cycle.
However, it was embraced as the inevitable process or rite of passage, for the next doorway to open for the individual. Like the pearl that comes out of the oyster – it doesn’t happen without chemistry, discomfort, and grit.
There is a wide divide between infants raised in a family or culture, where chaos, change, uncertainty, awkwardness, mess, and disintegration, is embraced as something ok as a right of passage; and an infant raised in a family or culture of structure, definition, perfectionism, certainty, and order.
I’m not saying “Yay to mess, just let it go!”. Trust me, as a parent to two girls age three and five, I like my sense of order, and mess is still a challenge to accept to this day. It’s relaxed immensely – if you have OCD like I did, have kids. It’s the quickest way to relax it.
No, like most fundamental things, what matters is the subtle principle, the key underlying belief systems in culture, individual, and society, which then sends a strong message to being – i.e. how one can or cannot be, what one should or shouldn’t do, what is acceptable and unacceptable.
Mess is not all that trivial – I have had to make the fundamental choice, as to what subtle messaging I am sending to my two girls about themselves and the world. I certainly did not want to send the message that mess and image or external perception, was more important than them, or my love for them.
Given that choice, I made the choice to clearly let them know that whatever exploration they needed to make with sensorial things at this young age, to make sense of themselves, their own strengths, and how things worked in the world, is fundamentally paramount.
Yes of course, there is freedom within boundaries. And as a parent, it is challenging to get this balance right each time. But the awareness and intention, and commitment, is there.
In natural therapy, this chaos energy, anything on the side to the fence to do with things undefined, uncertain, the void, abstract creativity, is on the Yin or Pingala side to the general sphere.
These two archetypes of energy — of structure and chaos or creativity — is within each one of us, as it also exists within each family, each unit, each geographic area, each country. You will be able to observe how this balance sways even within micro communities like schools, or your team at the workplace.
Within an individual, what are the implications of one’s relationship with chaos? Or one’s quality of relationship with these two spheres? An unhealthy relationship with chaos and uncertainly will look like — perhaps high stress levels when things end, when jobs or a job is lost or changed, when people leave; discomfort or stress and anxiety with waiting; or discomfort anxiety or irritation when things are unplanned; being judgemental or the absence of compassion when people appear lost or confused or depressed or a mess or going through a rough time; fear of change; stress with change; or just simply shutting off to any concept of change or uncertainty.
I enjoy witnessing my double standards when they arise, and consciously recalibrating to allow more capacity for information and compassion. To illustrate, a wise friend asked me once when I was so impatient for my husband to “just get on with it, and be more happy and organised” (we all go through phases like these where we’re not 100%, we are going through a right of passage where things are uncomfortable) — my wise friend told me,
“Look, you’re totally right. No one has the energy or time to deal with these things. But, what if it was one of your daughters – let’s say she comes home one day, pregnant or in trouble? What would you do?? Would you say, I only love you if you are “perfect”? Or would you say – “This is the place, go through whatever you need to go through, to get through to the next phase of who you need to emerge as a person. You have my support, we can do this together.” The choice to have a thriving family sphere allows space for everyone to be themselves within this sphere.
My kindergarten teacher was wise in telling me, not to do to others what I wouldn’t want inflicted on me. And stated positively, to offer or treat another to that level of acceptance and opportunity in an environment as to be conducive for me, or anyone else, to grow and evolve.
Having this as a point of orientation very quickly aligned words and actions for me — as I communicate to my friends and loved ones, my husband, and children – that this space of friendship, or this home and place, is a conducive place – for them to feel comfortable to grow, for them to know they have permission to be themselves.
If I was in their place, as a child I would love an inspiring place where I can enjoy thriving and experimenting and allowing myself to unfold, knowing the space is safe. And the inner child’s journey never ends, at least not while we’re alive.
This is the space of intention we can carry within us.
And this is the space of intention that has been created via Canberra Yoga Space. For you as a student or instructor to thrive and have that permission and freedom to explore your self-awareness, or for an instructor to explore their craft. The balance is such that arriving at a healthy relationship with both structure and uncertainty allows the intelligence to utilise the strength from both spheres – in CYS the space provides enough structure for you to explore and evolve. And as CYS evolves and changes, there will be many more pathways to unfold. As creativity tends to do – alchemy creates something from nothing. And the alchemist is truly alive in each one of us.
This is the space of intention CYS has been created for students, and anyone who intersects with its path.
Relationship is inevitable – you intersect with life and relationship from when you were born. Life is relationship. And, as you deepen in self-awareness through your practise, there is always that internal call — the call to make a CHOICE – to either (1) intersect with life daily, unconsciously via our WOUNDS; (2) or to respond to the call, to contribute to life consciously via our SOUL TALENTS, archetypal gifts that have been there since the beginning, which may be dormant, but never gone.
The more we awaken this in ourselves, the more the soul is nourished, and the more vitality one feels, and health one enjoys.
The more disconnection to these gifts, spells more a life of existence without living. Vitality is compromised. Pain and dullness is invited into the sphere. And it unavoidably impacts health.
To your wellness and health.