One of the basic principles I have learned from Craniosacral Therapy is that “things fall apart in order to come back together in a higher level of order”. This concept is true for most organic systems and can effectively be applied to other systems as well, such as how we organize our thoughts and manage our lives and relationships.
I remember how profoundly it struck me when Sally Field’s character, Sybil, was at the point in her therapy when she felt that the world was coming to an end. And the therapist pointed out that it wasn’t the world that was coming to an end, it was just Sybil’s world as she knew it that was changing in a big way. She was actually beginning to remember parts of her life and thus coming together as a personality system in a better way.
Sometimes allowing things to fall apart is the best thing we can do. Often resistance only serves to prolong the agony and fear of change. When we allow ourselves to go with the flow and surrender to the process of what is happening instead of denying it or fighting it, we create space for a greater part of ourselves to emerge.
And don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean that we shouldn’t stand up for ourselves or fight for what we believe in. I only mean that when there is a breakdown of sorts in our lives, it can be useful to surrender to the natural process of that breakdown in order to achieve the full benefit of what is created as things fall back together again.
For example: When we feel like we are coming down with something, it is not an uncommon practice to fight it or suppress it with pills and caffeine instead of listening to the signals our bodies are giving us and taking the time to nurture ourselves and rejuvenate. We are so conditioned in our society to suppress our feelings and keep it together and tough it out that we are forgetting how amazing we really are. Yet, when we actually listen and nurture ourselves accordingly, we emerge as stronger, happier and more productive beings.
This is nothing new. I am only choosing to look at it more closely these days, since I have made a commitment to allow myself to feel more and do less. The commitment came about as I realized I was heading full speed into a dead end street (figuratively, not literally) as a performer by working too much, playing too little and burning that famous candle in both ends. My programmed response, from years and years of deadline driven habits and adrenaline junky behaviors, would have been to will the dead end street into a through street and plow ahead as if nothing had happened.
Instead I stopped, got out of the car and began to smell the flowers. And, as I allowed myself to breathe and to surrender to doing absolutely nothing but smelling those flowers, a new idea formed in my mind: “What would happen if I let myself just be for a while? If I actually took that time off that I said I would take off after I finished my last project? Would my world fall apart? And if it did, would it then be possible for it to come back together in a much better way?
Sometimes all we need is to get out of our own way.
Love and Blessings, Caroline
Thanks for sharing this. There’s such a tendency for self-employed and creative people to just power ahead with the next thing out of fear of missing something—almost the need to create their own times of coasting, simmering, doing precious little. Creative “falling apart” times . . . seem to me to be part of honoring the yin principle of gestation, letting things just be, letting a field lie fallow for a time and a season. Check out the Paul Simon song “Quiet.”
Much love to you,