overhaul / undertow

Sunday, July 14, 2002

"A kriya is a Sanskrit word meaning a spiritual emergency or surrender, a spiritual seizure. They are cries of the soul as it is wrung thorugh changes.

We all know what it looks like: it is the bad case of the flu right after you're broken up with your lover. It's the rotten head cold and deep cough that announces you're abused your health to meet unreasonable demands at work. That asthma attack out of nowhere when you've just done a round of caretaking your alcoholic sibling...always significant, frequently psychosomatic, they ask you to "get it." Get it: "You can't stay with an abusive lover. You can't work eighty hours a week. You can't rescue a brother who needs to save himself..." In short, they point the way to reality: this is how you're feeling; what do you make of that?

And what we make of that is often art.

As we gain--or regain--our creative identity, we lose the false self we were sustaining. The loss of this false self can feel traumatic: "I don't know who I am anymore. I don't recognize me."

Shifts in taste and perception often accompany shifts in identity. One of the clearest signals something healthy is afoot is the impulse to weed out, sort through, and discard old clothes, papers, and belongings...a house overflowing wih odds and ends and tidbits you've held onto for someday has no space for the things that might truly enhance today.

Think of yourself as an accident victim walking away from the crash: your old life has crashed and burned; your new life isn't apparent yet. You may feel yourself to be temporarily without a vehicle.

Just keep walking."

-the artist's way, by julia cameron


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