Last night while in the shower I said 'Oh, svaha already!' very loudly. My husband P said "wait, what?" and I said "oh nothing..." and then he insisted, laughing a bit as he finished brushing his teeth, "No really, what are you muttering about?"
With a sigh (shower still going) I explained to him I was talking to a flea while trying to wash it off the side of the tub and force it down the drain. In our home we catch and release almost anything. We just do. Our kids do too. I don't remember exactly when this shift fully happened in our home (at least 15 years ago?) but we are totally those people. We see a roach or a spider, we catch and release it. We see moth, a bee, hell even a rogue rodent that one of the cats brought in - we simply release it outside. It's an active ongoing choice we make to choose nonviolence over and over.
So, I was hollering 'svaha, already!' as I washed the flea down the drain. I explained that svaha is a Sanskrit word I picked up from one of my teachers that means 'so it is' or 'it is what it is.' Kind of like, 'sorry, flea, you gotta' go brother - blessings on your journey down the drain. May you reincarnate as something bigger on the next go-round....' A proper Sanskritist might take issue with my loose definition, but it's something like that anyway.
But it brought up a larger conversation between us (shower still going). I mean, what makes the flea's life less valuable than say, a cockroach? I mean it's easy to scale up the food chain when having conversations about human fetuses and sacred cows, right? Those indicate a very clear religious and/or moral stance that many people around the world adhere to. And lots of people I know are vegetarian or vegan for similar reasons because killing animals in our modern industrial food complex is fucking cruel as hell. (My personal stance these days is that unless I kill it, I won't eat it. And since I'm not actually willing to kill a cow or a pig or a chicken, being vegetarian it is for me. I remain unapologetic for being so insufferably self-righteous about it. *shrug* I have nothing much to say beyond that. Svaha.)
I actively choose nonviolence most of the time (sorry, flea, svaha) and the quality of 'active choice' has the potential to be at the center of each moment of our waking lives as long as we are present to it. This is where P and I went another conversational direction (I'm still in the shower, I might add). Love (for example) is certainly related to choosing nonviolence. And love is an action verb in our house, we've found. 'Love is clean underwear' is the phrase we have used. Example: I don't feel like doing the laundry today but I do because I love my family and I want them to have clean underwear. This is not, by the way, a way to justify staying in a shitty relationship or work environment - by all means, get the fuck out! That's self-Love, and can also be an active series of choices. But, as mentioned, love as an action verb could also simply be scoopin' up that rogue scorpion and setting it free in spite of the fear.
The conversation pivot occurred because let's just say I've been wearing 'grouch and angst' the last couple of weeks like a crappy grey sweater on a muggy, overcast day. Is the Spring allergies? Is is the pressure of the big upgrade at work? Is it end-of-school-year stuff with both of our kids? Am I not drinking enough water? I mean, who knows, right? We go through these phases as humans living in a city and interacting with countless energy fields and social constructs that influence us in unseen ways. Point is, I've been grumpy and terrible at times in recent days to those closest to me. I'm responsible for my thoughts, words and actions. And I'm response-able too. I know how to clear myself and my spaces and how to move my body to release unstuck energy. I know enough to be able to respond to my life these days with the appropriate and effective energetic hygiene, knowing that this too shall pass, whatever this is. Svaha.
At this point, (out of the shower now) our conversation continued. We serendipitously saw a cockroach on the door frame of our open bedroom screen door that leads out to the front porch! P (of course, bless him) scurried off for a plastic sorbet container from the recycle bin to trap it while I scrambled for some cardboard to seal off the temporary transportation device. The closest cardboard I could find was my home goddess card this week - Sheila Na Gig, the gargoyle-esque figure that wards off evil. Statues of her can still be found on church door frames all across Northern Europe, England and Ireland. She is an old woman who holds her own vagina wiiiiide open with both of her hands, laughing hysterically, just wardin' off evil for all those who enter, no big deal. We laughed at her significance in this cockroach capturing adventure.
P released the roach out into the night air only to laugh when we realized he didn't release anything at all! The dang cockroach had clung to the inside of the sorbet container and Lucky (our dog) jumped up to greet it, killing it instantly, white roach goo oozing out... The circle of life continues. Svaha, cockroach.
I remain committed to choosing nonviolence whenever possible.
May it be so.
Upgrades are amazing and transformative. I've got a few going on in my life right now so I'm ruminating with a bit of clarity on this subject. And (in addition to being amazing and transformative) the upgrade process itself can be super messy and complicated sometimes. I'm dealing with one at the day job, for example, complete with millions of transactions and hundreds of thousands of records in an aged system that probably should have been upgraded about a decade ago. But here we are in 2019 and technology has catapulted us into what has now become a very necessary operational task. Upgrades can also an incredible opportunity to break free from the inertia around "the way things have always been" and in our case, rebuild our business practices completely. Better late than never, I say, but damn, upgrades can be messy and complicated. For. Real.
But it's cool right? Because once you finally do the upgrade and everything is high functioning, it's a very refreshing experience to realize you've now become a butterfly! Everything suddenly becomes much more "worth it" even as the costs might have been very high during the upgrade process. Money and other resources, sure, but also adrenal fatigue, stress, awkward accountability conversations and the like. The list goes on and on when you have folks involved on a project at varying abilities and interests in the self work and actualization it takes to NOT burn out, freak out and to remain accountable and committed. I'm not saying I'm done a perfect job - oh I've had my moments at the day job to be sure - but I will say that the hutzpah to remain focused on the mission and not bail (mentally, emotionally or physically) when the days are tough and the days are long is something I'm quite good at.
The truth is I like working hard and using my mind in creative ways. I like big strategic puzzles. I like collaborating and co-creating, not dictating. Especially when our whole community benefits! And - real talk - I'm grateful to be on the tail end of this actual upgrade experience, one that's literally been 18 (solid, focused) months in the making (in addition to my regular responsibilities). It's an upgrade that's super thankless and hopefully, if I've done my job well, people may even notice something smooth happening but no one will ever know that I, as an individual, had anything to do with it..... I don't mind being behind the scenes in that sense. At all. Someone once told me "you're all about ideas, philosophy and inspiration (not products, sales and marketing)..." At the time I thought it was meant to be some sort of thinly veiled insult. Only it wasn't. At all. In fact, it helped crystalize for me that I am here to serve good ideas in my community and I prefer to collaborate with others who feel called to do the same.
It's Beltane and as the seasons shift, the fire in my heart burns as strong as ever. If you're the prayin' type, say one for me and my team as we link pinkie fingers and wade through a timely and necessary upgrade. One that's for our whole community.
May it be so.
Periodic updates from Aurah in the Field.