What happens when the fantasy becomes more real than the day to day? More alluring? More exciting? More vivid and colourful? How do you pull yourself out of its gooey and delicious embrace when its tentacles are wrapped around you in that oh so seductive way … telling you that it’s fine to linger just a little while longer?
I followed Alice down the rabbit hole this week and volunteered to stay longer than I should. It is pretty darn great in that world of surreal and gothic twistiness. Time moves both more slowly and more quickly there than it does here in the everyday. It is more fluid. Liquid and rippling. You can pause when things get interesting so that time seems to stand still for a while and then fast forward when things get dull. You can even rewind and replay as much as you like. You have a vague sense that there are people and things on the surface that may need or want your attention, but that water colour world never feels urgent enough to truly capture your interest when you are part of an acrylic canvas of your own design. It’s never quite bright or graphic enough to pull you away.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about staying on the surface. It was a mantra that popped into my head at the beginning of a recent yoga class. I thought it was a little odd at the time (especially since much yogic conversation is about deepening, immersing, and revealing), but I went with it. As I circled back to that concept in the days that followed, I realized how much relevance that phrase has for me right now. For me, the intention of staying on the surface means:
- paying attention to the physical world – Literally, it means noticing how the world, how a specific moment, feels on my skin. Getting out of my head. In a yoga class, it means noticing how every posture transforms my body (instead of rushing ahead in my mind to the next posture or thinking competitively about the asanas). It means appreciating the lightness and strength of my body.
- minding my own business – In very basic terms, it means paying attention to my own thoughts and actions and letting go of all the people, places, and things that I cannot (and shouldn’t be trying to) control. It means staying out of other people’s heads. I think it’s a cleaner way to be in the world.
- paying attention to what I want and need – It means being clear about what is important to me and letting that govern my thoughts, behaviour, and emotions. This is somewhat related to the point above. I spend so much time in other people’s heads that I lose sight of what’s going on for me and lock onto the wrong things. I’m not suggesting that I need to turn into some completely vapid, insensitive, narcissistic ass. I just want to move to a more balanced and authentic place.
- being totally okay with just having fun – It means living more freely and less fearfully than I have in the past. I am starting to accept that … I don’t need to be serious all the time. Don’t need to be productive every minute of every day. Don’t need to be completely obsessed with doing the (elusive and ill-defined) “right” thing.
So … sorry Alice. It is totally fun down there in the rabbit hole … definitely my kind of place (as we both know) … but I’m gonna experiment a bit and try things here on the surface.
Oh and you might want to read this http://www.marcandangel.com/2013/04/21/8-effective-ways-to-let-go-and-move-on/.