Today as I reflect on life and living I note in this older body many more aches and pains. The impermanence of youth becomes a moment of focus as my maturing, hopefully wiser self reflects. This mind immediately drifts back to yesteryear when once before, in actual fact 30 years prior I explored the romantic city of Paris, solo and continued through Europe. The body I inhabited then was full of energy with a mind naïve to the harshness this world can offer. I travelled in a perpetual world of wonder and awe of people, places and adventures. In many ways not much has changed yet the body notes more time has travelled on the joints.
Where once I walked the streets all day, tourist icon after tourist icon then danced the night away with new transient friends, now I feel this body full of aches and pains as I stagger from place to place. Perhaps the consistent 4.30am wake times ready to hit the streets of London and now Paris early before all the other tourists has a partial role to play in my discomfort. It may be the delayed opening of the Eiffel Tower by 45minutes when we were one of the first in line having waited already an hour or perhaps it is the common cold that has hit my lungs making me drag oneself around determined to DO our trip. It does not really matter the how or the why, what really struck me was the realisation that life is always in a perpetual state of flux. Anacha, anacha
( buddhist saying meaning changing changing)One moment health, youth and vitality then next slow progression through stages towards a tiring older body or sometimes a rude and sudden decline in health will afflict all people everywhere eventually.
This changing nature of our life is not just bodily changes but also affects mind perception as each year the human brain takes on more information and keeps feeding it back through a continuous loop. Dependent on whether fear or negativity drives you or faith, hope and love does, then this will determine what will move through your feedback loop. Just becoming a mother changes the way I look at begging women in the streets and wonder how many children they have at home, yet when younger, I felt amazed and sad at hunger but not feeling the same depth of connection. I note time and life experiences have adjusted my view and personal emotional reaction to all I come across. I am constantly changing.
I listen to news of Greece with the potential meltdown of their economy and dollar value and know that soon millionaires could soon be stripped of all their accumulated wealth just as our Australian farmers are stripped of their farms through drought and lack of bankers support. That in such an event depression will replace optimism because humans place so much importance on the physical world being the only world of importance. Yet when wealth and health is gone what is left?
Life has a strange way of reducing people back to the core basics to explore the real value of life, family and connections. More importantly sudden life changes will challenge the relationship you have with yourself. Who are you when youth and vitality has gone and you falsely believe you no longer influence the world around you because society fills the mind with this ideology? Who are you if your health is retrograding and you cannot be the tower of strength others have looked up to and depended on? Who are you when you are no longer mother or father to those looking up to you, wife or husband to someone you loved and knows you, no longer a sexual being who can bring life into the world, or no longer the great influential professional no one now knows because you chose retirement. These are the essential questions that arise in the psychology as each person struggles to accept the changing nature of the reality we all live in a consequently forces us into a new changed relationship with one self. The saying ‘Change is the ONLY Constant’ is indeed a powerful message.
So today I ask myself and I ask you. Who are you really if you are not all those labels that keep changing? What is behind the breath when life is extinguished? Do you continue to survive and thrive in a new reality? If so then what is the essence that continues yet changes from form to form? If we are Not the Body then what are we?
I know one thing for sure. Whatever this essence is that animates this body it is powerful and glorious yet often restricted by the human identification and limited mind concepts we adhere to as a collective consciousness. If we could only strip back the layers of false labels and reach deep into the individuated core essence, your Soul Note, then it is here all people would find a huge measure of self acceptance and embrace the life changes as they hit. Acceptance does not mean becoming a victim, rather it is to see clearly the nature of life and move with the ‘Flow’ while being the best you can be at every given moment.
So with that in mind, today I shall WILL my feet to walk the corridors of the Louvre where 30 years before I could only look longingly from the outside with a backpack strapped to my back and a lack of funds precluding my entry. So there you have the change again. My youthful self had the willingness yet not the finances, today the older self may have some unfit aches and pains yet I have the financial means to finally step across those doors and enjoy other people’s creativity.
Life is crazy, Life is good, Its all just a process. A temporary one at that!
Anacha Anacha – Changing Changing
For those who wish to strip back their layers of ego identification and delve beyond the masks of living then meditation becomes an essential life skill in your personal discovery tool kit.