One of the things that I am loving the most about getting older is that it means that my relationships are getting longer, deeper, more nuanced and intimate. They are either standing the test of time or they are not. I am so into that. I think it is so cool that I have been an adult for long enough now that many of my adult relationships are now spanning decades as opposed to years. I also really think that for folks like myself who are not incredibly social- social media has been vital in maintaining certain relationships over the course of many years. There are so many meaningful connections out there that I have been able to nurture in seemingly small ways via the interwebs that have translated into much larger siginificance in the face to face world.
One such relationship is with my friend Mary-Kate. My relationship with her is more like a story of mutual friends and proximity. We both lived for awhile in Prescott, Arizona. We have both been very close to Christina Sell over the years. We were both involved in Anusara Yoga for about a decade give or take. And we are both passionate wives and mamas. We reconnected a few years ago due once again to proximity. Mary-Kate lives very close to our Maine home, and out of a desire to practice and connect we began to get together a couple of times during each of our visits east. The time together has grown over the years and Mary-Kate has become a dear friend, ally and mentor to me.
She is a luscious love goddess in all of the ways that I am perhaps a bit cut and dry and maybe a little blunt... During the busy summer months she teaches in this beautiful renovated big red barn, all white-washed and perfect inside. Mary-Kate still teaches the thrice weekly 90 minute classes complete with demos, partner work and musical accompaniment. Her classes are truly everything that mine are not, and I adore them. I went to a number of her classes in the Red Barn while we were in the area, often times with my mom and kids in tow- which I love all the more. One of the musicians there this summer was a man named Sudamo. Eider, my musical kid, connected with him immediately and by the time we left to head west I think that he had collected all of Sudamo's recorded works.... Anyway.... Sudamo also shares some of his healing work in the community and works, he says, as a neutral charge.
As Mary-Kate and I were saying goodbye for the summer, we kind-of did this quick round-up on the current wisdom for managing our personalities, tendencies, fears and foibles. She shared that in a session she had with Sudamo, he suggested that instead of happy or great or whatever, that maybe she should try shooting for neutral instead. As someone who has long felt the intensity of some relatively manic swings, this little wisdom throw-down has been working on me for the last few weeks. And not because it is necessarily a new insight. Rather, it is a concise and succinct articulation of something I have been feeling myself orbiting around and into for awhile now. Why not just go for neutral? Why not?
I have long been attracted to feeling states that one might label as empty, or perhaps expansive. One of my long time care providers and friends, Susan, has noticed that that state is my access point to greater connection, trust, and peace. I think that perhaps another way of framing it, is in fact, Neutral. As I get older, and hopefully a little wiser, neutral seems so much more appealing than the big highs (or low, lows). And maybe I am a little late to the game here, or maybe my aha moment is more like a "blinding flash of the obvious", but I am beginning to think that what we really mean by the word Bliss is in fact perhaps Neutral- and doesn't really merit the judgement of good or bad or more or less or any of it. So, I'm going for neutral. And that is sort of it. Aha!