Thursday, March 16, 2006

Quality, not Quantity

Ah yes. What a boring, trite old cliche. And yet, how true.

I have two months and change left at my day job. Part of me is thrilled to bits, mostly over a concept of liberation, of my days becoming free, of shaking up my basically 9-5 schedule. An equally balanced portion is absolutely terrified, probably of the same thing. Oh that, and finances, of course. We've decided to take on another housemate, which will help a lot. A ton, in fact, financially. Running a house ain't cheap. And in fact, I will need to take on some kind of piddly PT job to help pay for my teaching, until the practice takes off more. I strangely find that a comfort, only the main reason I can figure it is a comfort is because I look forward to repeating the same numbing habits I can do at my current fuller-time day job, only, not as well because I get interrupted. Control. Expertise. Solitude. I am working with a job therapist of sorts to help me figure out how to turn these back into the skills I need and thrive on, from the sort of sick obsessions they have distorted to at my current job.

Part of it is just owning that I am me. This job hasn't "done" anything to me that another job couldn't do, if I keep up the same habits. I am less likely to keep them up now, I know, but I am also wary to take them into teaching. My teacher told me that for her, it became a rut, a deep deep space which was both comforting and damaging. I suppose my aspiration is to never get there - or to get there, but to recognize it. I am being careful not to try to "prevent" anything, but that in itself is a statement of control.

I laugh. I spent the whole weekend meditating, and it was stunningly easy to relax. I was so worried about my back, which has been quite tender since beginning chiro, but it was perfect all weekend - better than normal. In the meditation training I have been doing, we are now reinserting ourselves into the world, and the world into our meditation, and it feels like perfect timing for me. I am taking all I have been doing and shooting it out into the world. The key factor I see everywhere is just how to not burn myself out. I am a huge flaming star a lot of the time, full of vibrancy and enthusiasm, and their dark star equivalents - aggression and judgement. Birdfarm has gotten to the point where she can hear a turn in my voice that signifies which way - which quality - the weathervane is pointing to that particular day. I appreciate the friendships I have cultivate, and continue to cultivate, as I open further and further.

And gentleness. For so long, thinking no quantity of gentleness could ever match the quality of just getting the fucking job done, for instance. If anything has taught me this, will teach me this, deeply, its my back. When I tense up and panic, it hurts. When I relax and laugh, it laughs with me.

And finally, love. Shocking again to see how much jealousy, anger, possessiveness appeared when I sat for 18 hours over two days. And yet, I was able to look underneath and see that the real deprivation was coming from me, toward me. Talk about discursiveness; a tight, trapped little loop. Henry Rollins has a great quote, I will paraphrase, on his spoken word cd "Hating Someone's Guts": that when you hate someone (I'll insert here, feel any kind of aggression) it's like asking *that* person to give *you* a pile of shit, and accepting it, and saying "thank you". It comes back around - in fact, often, it never even leaves our little world, just dumps right back on to us. Some quality, eh?

Piece by piece. There is no goal. But this sense of gentleness, I am starting to get the idea that its legit. That I can live here - not in a pile of shit all over myself, but in gentleness. Step one. I figure if that is the one thing I can learn from leaving this job, the next choices I make will be ok. It doesn't matter if I'm sweeping floors or shelving books or what. Just put me in charge of only myself, only my gentleness, and I'll work it out. It's a faith in change, which is itself a change, from my fear of change. Healing is some powerful learning.

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