I am adapting to the new normal, whatever that is in any given day or hour. I live in far northern Minnesota. So far, the upheaval amounts only to a total reorganization of every aspect of my social and community life. We have not yet directly experienced the wave of catastrophic health concerns that other communities have, but we see it coming on the horizon like a slow-moving tidal wave.

The future is more uncertain than ever. Or so it seems? There is a saying in the cancer community, that a cancer diagnosis does not make life more uncertain, it just exposes the uncertainty that is already there. Exposing that uncertainty also exposes our coping skills.

Here are some helpful words from Traveling Light, p.154-55:

Looking at our patterns and practicing new ways takes time and patience. Sometimes, cataclysmic events occur in our lives that force change. Then the psychic upheaval is so great that we cannot possibly go back to who we were before. This is called trauma.

A’riquea:  Trauma itself breaks the connection to cultural conditioning. Of course, it can also spin the other way and become a bondage, but trauma provides an opportunity to see the world in a new way, it is a chance to shift perspective. 

It is more difficult to shift when someone is working to maintain a predictable path. Then everything that occurs must be made to fit that fixed way of seeing and Being. Experiencing trauma and healing from it bring Being out into the open, where exposure to other ways is not so threatening. 

The very act of healing requires a new way of Being. That is the gift––that one cannot go back to the way they were before the trauma. That is difficult to see in the short term. There is an intense feeling of loss. Healing requires the embrace of that loss, the recognition that something has changed, and the courage to move in a new direction. Healing is a kind of rebuilding. Of course, people can choose to move in new directions at any time. Trauma is not a requirement. The opportunity is always there.

…There is not a recipe or an exercise workout that will change this. A decision has to be made, a choice. The choice is between being in the moment and being out of the moment. 

The intellect is not in the moment. It takes over because it is basing its action on the past, and assumes that the future can only be the same as the past––that it is not mutable. The emotional self can act in the moment if it is freed of the judgment of the intellect. When the emotional self is acting in the moment, new ways can be created. 

Humans easily judge the emotional self as being “childish”, because it has less regard for consequences than the intellect. But a child-like quality is exactly what is needed to create new ways. Child-like quality values curiosity and adventure and let’s-see-what-happens. It does not pre-judge outcomes…Practice being in the moment, no matter what it is that you are doing.