One Apple A Day #622 – the beauty of chaos

I am a messy person in the material world. I leave things everywhere, I keep stuff scattered all around the room. My messiness is one of the reasons I’ve decided to own as little as possible. It’s easier to keep my messiness under control with fewer things to manage.

Anyway, I love chaos. And most of all, I like to make sense of chaos. When I can connect apparently disconnected things, when I can find a shape or form that allow understanding something messy, then I’m happy. 

I’ve always been like that. I think it started when I was very young. I was a shy, goofy and solitary kid. I spent a lot of time on my own reading, dreaming and trying to make sense of things. Somehow, it was my superpower, what makes me unique among all the other kids. And also not one of the most popular, but that’s another story.

However, growing up this burning desire to make sense, to understand everything that happens, became a weight holding me back. I was spending all my energy trying to understand life instead of living it. I thought that if I could make sense of things, then I would find happiness. And in doing that, I wasn’t really living. 

I was observing chaos from the threshold without stepping in.

Then, a few years ago, the chaos hit me like a surge. 

My life went upside down. 

Nothing made sense anymore. I’ve been pulled into the messiness of life and forced to live it.

At that time, I felt lost and hurt. But I’ve also learned the beauty of experiencing life as it is, without the need to make sense but just allowing for the magic to emerge from chaos.

“Babies are born in blood and chaos; stars and galaxies come into being amid the release of massive primordial cataclysms.” — from Do the Work by Steven Pressfield

One Apple A Day #621 – confrontations

For the second time this week, my morning card talks about confrontations.

How do you deal with confrontations?

Honestly, I don’t like them.

Too often they trigger in me the desire to come out as the winner, to prove I’m right, no matter the topic.
As a result, I tend to run from confrontations. Sometimes I use humour and laugh to distract everyone. Other times I just ignore it, and I walk away. A few times, I jump into the confrontation to solve it as soon as possible. Not even to solve it, the real goal is to leave it behind in a way or another.

Yet, I know there is a tremendous potential in a confrontation. When different perspectives collide, and the pressure from all side opens up new cracks on the surface of things.

So, I’m learning to stay.

Just stay, at the edges of it. Within and without the confrontation at the same time. Observing how it evolves, listening to the sound of the cracks opening, feeling the itching on my own wounds awakening.
It’s not easy.

Sometimes I fail beautifully only to realise later that I’ve missed an opportunity.

But when I do, when I stay with the confrontation, then the harvest is extraordinary.

A significant help comes from reminding myself of my vision and my values. Or the shared vision and standards of the group I’m with. It helps reconcile any tension with something higher, and it gives me the strength to hold it all.

How do you deal with confrontations?

One Apple A Day #609 – love and presence

“I’ll protect you from the hooded claw

Keep the vampires from your door.” 

— The Power of Love, Frankie Goes to Hollywood

When we love someone, we want them to be happy. We want to protect them from any possible harm. We want to know and to let them feel that they are safe.

We create fences, made of love and affection, to keep all the evil of the world away.

Unfortunately, fences work in both directions. And sooner or later they become cages. Maybe large ones, perhaps beautifully decorated but still, cages. 

So, here’s another tension for me to reflect upon. The tension between the need to protect and make someone happy and the need to see them expressing all their extraordinary potential.

And then, while I’m writing these words, I realise that it’s my ego who’s talking. My ego with its needs and fears. 

The fear of my own pain if someone I love gets hurt. The fear of my own ego if someone I love is not happy. 

While I’m here, pondering on all these thoughts, my eyes go back to the card I picked this morning.

“Showing up for others.”

And that tension, all of a sudden, sublimes into something else. 

It’s not about protecting. It’s not about supporting or helping.

The best I can do is to show up for the one I love.

To be fully present.

One Apple A Day #608 – my source of trust

These last days I felt as if I’d been swallowed by the things I had to do. At some point, after days trying to swim my way to the other side of the river, I felt it was just too much. The current too strong for me to keep going.

During the weekend, I began thinking that maybe I just took on too much responsibility.

I woke up with all these thoughts in my head, already worried about the things I have to do.

As I always do, I did my wake up exercises, and then I sat down for my morning meditation. I picked a BeTheChange card to spark my reflections and voilá. 

“If you have a source of trust, you can take on more responsibility.”

Really? The universe must have a weird sense of humour. Or maybe there is a message for me in here. 

And slowly a little thought crawls its way through my tiredness and my worries. 

I’ve been so focused on the things I have to deliver that I lost the connection with my source of trust.

And at some point, the things that I wanted to do became the things that I have to do. Excitement grew into pressure and stress.

So, that’s my challenge for today.

To reconnect with my source of trust.

One Apple A Day #606 – back to you

Despite your best plans and intentions, sometimes things just go south.

Sometimes it’s an unpredictable blizzard sending everything upside down, other times is the compound effect of many small cracks that creates the perfect storm.

Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth.” — Mike Tyson

What do you do when your plans fail? When your list of priorities gets screwed? When your objectives become so hard to see that you start questioning them? When what you want and what you need seems to diverge?

It’s a scary place to be. And the messiness of the world can make things worst. I’ve seen people making themselves smaller to hide from reality, frightened of the next punch. I’ve seen others close their eyes and punch their way out, fueled by rage.

Anyone has a unique way to get through tough times.

When I’m lost in a storm, I look for my anchor. For my roots. And that means to go back to myself. To shift the focus from the “What” and “How” back to the “Who”. 

Who am I, here and now?

And from there, I start again.