Take nothing at face value. See through the sur-face. See through the ripples. Rest with the truth of this moment. No matter the content it’s the context of your engagements that manifests in your experience. No matter their content it’s the context of your comments that determines the interpersonal trajectories involving you.
See through the bitchiness of women, see through the antagonism of colleagues, see through the heavy moods of loved ones, see through their trans-generational, trauma-induced compulsions to hurt and feel hurt, see through the ingratiating comments of your fans, see through your adverse and elated reactions—feel them, embrace them, fully, rest in them, struggle with ease—nothing’s a big deal.
You come into the truth of your being by breaking, by losing, by failing, by falling, by crashing, by hurting, by continually dying. You must crack and you will crack at some point because the loosening up is inevitable. Once you crack the cracking up proceeds—with or without your acknowledgment of it—until all the remaining pieces of the constraining & insulating shell that shielded you at the take-off are jettisoned.
Psychosomatic symptoms are sort of barometric feedback tools provided for us to gauge the level of contraction & resistance we enact in the moment. They are tools to navigate the process of surrender.
In point of fact, the itchy throat that I wrote about [here] proved to be a device just like this. Whenever I energetically [emotionally, hormonally, physically, etc.] contracted (in response to the appearance of my emotionally needy roommate, for instance) the urge to cough intensified, but as soon as I tuned into the white noise in my ears (relaxed into stillness) and relaxed my gut, it subsided. Mind-blowing stuff. I conjectured that probably these things (sickness & symptoms) are way more complex phenomena than we think they are. We still rigidly think in the binary terms of good and bad, healthy and diseased when we could also think in dynamic terms like transition or alignment or unfolding.
Whenever you feel you need some form of guidance in an area of your life your best bet is to draw your relaxed attention to the issue at hand first thing at dawn when you wake up from your slumber: just rest and linger there half awake as you inquire, the guidance that comes from stillness is what you need.
/This is, incidentally, also the best time to practice ’sinking’ into ’the white noise’ in your ears (aka resting in stillness)/
Knowing what I know about stress metabolism & starvation induced hormonal imbalance the childhood memories of regularly preying on (parts of) the sandwiches of my classmates at primary and secondary school and shouting sometimes at my parents at home in the summer before lunch or dinner (what occasionally my mother still fondly repeats to this day): Do you want me to starve to death?—all these things are seen in quite a different light now. In retrospect, I can see how (mostly subconscioulsy and perhaps genetically biased) I’ve often felt overwhelmed and threatened by hunger—which, I guess, explains why I tend to be so compulsively gluttonous (not unlike my father) where the given presence of certain foods drives me to eat in (anxiety-driven) excess of my digestive capacity instead of being drawn to certain foods according to the given demands of my appetite. Now I also understand, incidentally, why I was so fascinated by the fact that my cousin never felt inclined at all to eat up all the goodies they usually stored in their lavishly stocked pantry. When I was attending university my eating habits were extremely poor. For fear of burdening my parents’ humble budget I asked for minimal money to cover my costs and I didn’t take on any jobs either, which resulted in me barely eating anything besides the cheapest of rolls and sometimes the left-overs from my friends’ meals. Looking back, it’s clear that I was practically starving myself (with the worst type of starches and fats at that), all of which, furthermore, was complemented by the intense (emotional) stresses of clueless intellectual and romantic pursuits.
Long story short, for decades I was busy setting up a degenerative, catabolic metabolism—because we inherit and learn lots of distinguishing beliefs at home and lots of fancy data in school but are totally left in the dark regarding basic stuff like body awareness, (mindless) mindfulness, the nature of energetic systems and stress. Today, after a couple of years of seeking and tweaking the perfect diet, I feel resolved to relax into the truth of my appetite, no longer hiding from my symptoms. There is nothing to (re)solve here but everything to relish. Abundance abounds.