I had a deeply moving and powerful experience practicing with S yesterday. It was stormy out, and we almost didn’t make it. Until we actually did, and after cups of chai and much quiet talking, when we finally got down to it, something came over me.
I’m noticing how different I am in the presence of people with whom I have a level of comfort that uplifts and energises me. I see how my pace and flow changes and how my demeanour is different. I have a feel of what it is to tune in, but let go. To be present, but not control that in any manner. To hold space, to facilitate the healing.
And that was a powerful experience for me. I felt moved just doing the work with and for S.
The session left me thinking so much about how the burdens and traumas of the past, of past generations, of women who came before and laid down the path for us, is still so present in us. This, even as we are the generation that is significantly challenging so much of the old, and so determined to figure out an all new way. We’re the ones really pushing the boundaries, even while we have so much of us so steeped and conditioned by what we’ve grown up with.
I see this in how I am exploring redefining what work, ambition and success is to me. I’m finding I need to find a new measure and means to what excellence is to me. VC and I are constantly, sometimes unconsciously, re-evaluating the shifting equations in our marriage. I am still steadfastly convinced about going childfree.
S called us the twilight generation. An apt term, I thought, for us lot with one foot in deeply held by all the conditioning we’ve come from, so aware of how it has helped us get this far, but also simultaneously ready to question the status quo, push back at tradition, find new balance and meaning in a way that seems fit for where we are now and what we want from the world the way it is today.
I slept like a log last night. So sound and deep, unbroken, that I almost missed gym today. But I pushed through and came out at the other side better for it. Deep sleep seems to be my reaction to any kind of intensity these days. I seem to be processing things in a much quieter, restful way than the active, restless way that I used to not too long ago. And I woke up hyper aware of my privilege. To be in a place and have the kind of life that is facilitating this. To have the opportunity to allow for this deep rest when I need it.
I thought back to the practice session, and realised how much of it was me at work, and how much of it was something more, something beyond. That inexplicable flow that comes from an inner connectedness that is fleeting and completely not in my control at the moment. When all the right things align, for a brief time I experience the flow and that complete syncing of inner and outer worlds. It is blissful and so powerful. And then it is gone.
I was at a screening of an excellent documentary made by Premjit Ramachandran along with his architect brother Bijoy Ramachandran, on the life and philosophies of Architect BV Doshi, last week. And there was a brief presentation at the start of it, which featured this handwritten letter Doshi once wrote to Bijoy.
It speaks of flow. It speaks of that something beyond that takes over when there is flow. And it spoke to me again of how we are mere vessels, and our job is to find connection — with ourselves first — and the through, out in the world. No matter what the nature of our work, this is the only way to find meaning.
He talks of architecture and the act of designing a building, but it spoke to me like it could very well have been about the work of life itself. In fact, it spoke to me of grace and divinity, and their place in our lives.
The building itself is as integrated as a human being or an animal or an insect or a plant etc
What one needs to do is to understand the flow
To know the flow, you have to be in contact with YOURSELF and the material which is used as a medium
I have days when I wonder why I ever embarked on this totally consuming journey. I wonder if I have lost balance. Then there are days like the day I watched this film, or like yesterday when I had that impactful experience practicing with S. And there are flashes where the lightbulbs come on, when fleetingly, I have a moment of clarity about what this deep and burning need to get to know myself is fuelled by.
One year ago: Walk with me for a while (Amsterdam. Day 2.)
Two years ago: On letting go of what is meant-to-be, and enjoying what-is
Three years ago: I am eager