What If You Ignored Yourself and Did It Anyway?

© Phyllis Capanna


“The Force that through the green fuse drives the flower…”

It hasn’t been as warm as we would like, but as soon as the light changed at the vernal equinox, everything began to shift. It’s how our earth is made to work. A tiny shift in the angle of the sun creates a season change. So, what’s kept it cold? Basically, the atmosphere, that ecosystem of air, moisture and movement that creates our weather. In non-Western cultural and spiritual traditions, each of the elements (as in building blocks) that makes up our physical world corresponds with certain universal qualities or states of consciousness. Air corresponds with thought and what used to be called ether, or life force. Often referred to as chi or ki, the life force is that unseen energy that is vitality itself. Water corresponds to emotions and the unconscious.

About to Burst Open
© Phyllis Capanna

It occurred to me today that this is exactly how our thoughts and feelings influence our internal weather. We are given the light. With our thoughts and mental orientation we either allow it to warm us or we keep ourselves out in the cold, suffering from past hurts and false ideas about who we are and how love is doled out. When we are in that state, the chi, or life force, cannot flow.

“A bucket turned over even in a rainstorm remains empty.”

When we find ourselves in a place like that, where all around is sustenance and we cannot partake, it is a spiritual emergency. We are cut off from source. What we need are tools to bring us from emergency to emergence. We need to allow something greater to come forth from within us, so that we can transcend the polarities that threaten to pull us apart. (These are the either/ors that eventually drive us crazy, so that, if we’re lucky, we “crack.” This, too, lets the light in. Eckart Tolle’s and Byron Katie’s stories are illustrations of this.)

Sky From Bangor on the Interstate
© Phyllis Capanna

Today I found myself saying to a client (those readings again!) that sometimes the best way to transcend a crippling personal mental environment is to give up trying to solve it and focus on taking meaningful actions. Do good work, nurture relationships that matter, learn how to love better.

Mental weather patterns that won’t give demand only one thing: Stop waiting for the weather to change to live your happy life! Have your parade in the rain. Wear a parka to your picnic. Plant daffodils in your snow banks.

Instead of referencing your sore spots (Nobody believes in me, I don’t have enough credentials, I’m afraid to ask for what I need) shift your focus to a larger goal, the one that would motivate you to get out of bed in the morning if you let yourself live it, if only in your own head. (Which is where it has to start its life anyway.)

Here’s the really startling truth about stopping picking at your scabs and focusing elsewhere: It requires giving up hope. That’s right, we have to give up the hope that by constantly attending to them, we will somehow manage to heal our wounds instead of re-opening them again and again.

Of course, it doesn’t really mean giving up all hope. It means letting go of misplaced hope. Maybe, just maybe, it’s not within our power to heals ourselves, just this once. Maybe we have to place our trust in something greater, impossibly mysterious, and endlessly unfathomable, but as dependable, not as the weather, but as the light. It might take something that big to heal that one intractable wound. That one.

This is essentially how I came to writing, readings, making little cards, doing workshops, and everything else I have done: By paying attention to the drive to translate what I care about into actions that connect me to people, to life itself. It’s my desire to be out on the dance floor despite the things that might trip me up.

Ultimately, it is love that got me here. In spite of my deepest insecurities and lack of credentials, this is my act of love to myself and to the world.

Do you hold yourself back from your act of love to the world? What if you ignored yourself and did it anyway?

© Phyllis Capanna
© Phyllis Capanna

0 thoughts on “What If You Ignored Yourself and Did It Anyway?

  1. WOW!! Completely in awe that I happened upon this! Will follow your journey and try to take this into my life and use it!

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