This led me to pondering my life’s purpose and what vehicles (tools) I need to get there efficiently… then magically the question was reframed – what is my heading. This entirely shifted the focus and rather than forcing a defined concept of how to make a living and productively add to the world, it became a playful envisioning of where I want to concentrate my energies (physical, mental, spiritual, etc). About that same time I came to shallow channels that coddled the kayak on all sides with lily pads and the wavering diminished. This reminded me of the tantric map laid out in a book I had read the day before that describes how to balance the 3 energies we all embody so that the 4th may emerge. “If you: 1) apply Tapas to create a container (the Yin Masculine/Testicular); 2) nourish and care for yourself so that you are full and ready to overflow (the Yin Feminine/Nourishing Womb); 3) maintain your sense of curiosity and adventure (the Yang Masculine/ Phallic); She, the one who is left (the Yang Feminine/Birthing Energy [shakti/spanda]) will show up!” (Kali Rising, Rudolph Ballentine) So I began wondering how to ‘accurately’ determine what kind of tapas will get me where I want to go…hahahaha yup did the straight line thinking again. But then my creative juices began to churn out tapas that would also serve as nourishing and adventurous pieces to my life and harmonize the perfect environment for spanda (creative Universal energy) to arise.
My final lesson for the day came when I ventured further into the narrowing channels full of vegetation and flowers. I love having flowers around and often pick some to place on the counter. I first saw some unique round flowers that I approached. I saw big bumble bees flying on and around them so I tried to find some that didn’t have any and when that didn’t work I began lightly hitting the plant with my paddle so the bees would fly away and I could pick some. One fell into the water…well I felt awful and began trying with my paddle and then leaves to get it out. Eventually it made its way out alone and I said ok thank you for showing me how important these flowers are, I won’t take any away from you all. As I continued, I saw some gorgeous purple flowers (my favorite color) and again thought – I wonder if I can get close enough to pick some. I tried and the vegetation was preventing me from getting close enough. As I turned to see if I could find some that were more accessible, I saw a butterfly perched upon one of these purple flowers. I laughed out loud and told nature I got the message…Don’t keep all the beauty to yourself! I understood this to be gently nudging me to explore all of my passions and interests, immerse myself completely in the pleasure of it, BUT share it all with the world. Perhaps this is where the “career” aspect of it comes in and maybe not but I have defined what tapas I will follow for a while and see where it leads me.
Tapas is sometimes explained as discipline but I think of it as holding space, which gives it the unique characteristic of easily adapting as conditions shift. The tapas I choose are to study wholeness – especially how play and body awareness help integrate and cultivate true power – for 1 uninterrupted hour a day; be in nature for hours a day; write down daily one playful activity, how it made me feel and bodily sensations I experienced while doing any activity; do some kind of service daily (be it cleaning the floor of the house I am living in to listening to someone who really needs to be heard).
Write me with questions, comments or your own tapas!