I took a bath this afternoon. A long one. I had the house to myself and so I took advantage. I sang a couple of recent songs that have come to me really loudly and loved how they echoed in the tub. I could see the sound waves in the bathwater and imagined that same reverb in the whole house. I realized a ton of stuff about the desire to cut my hair, the nature of bangs and straight hair, what I'm hiding with the bangs and of course the vanity of having very long hair. Am I like Samson and I'm about to lose all my power when I cut off my hair? Or am I like Siddhartha and sense a way to annihilate my ego once and for all? Am I a paradoxical Both-And? Oh shit...
My bangs need a trim right now, at this moment, and knowing that it's two weeks time until the July full moon and the big chop-off is maddening. I can see how I might start to feel like the proverbial overgrown Buddha statue, deep in the recesses of southeast Asia. In two weeks time, I will be so ready for a haircut, with so much pent-up angst and irritation at hair being in my eyes and no longer merely covering my forehead, that I will run as fast as I possibly can to my hair appointment to excavate what's underneath. Two days later, not randomly, I leave for southeast Asia with my son... To make that excursion with a backpack, my boy and a pixie cut sounds like that makings of an Oz story, to be sure.
I had made a deal with both of my kids many years ago not knowing how I was going to pay for it. The deal was that I would take them anywhere in the world for their coming-of-age-celebration as long as it was a developing country. They had to look up what that meant and then choose to accept my offer or not. With few initiatory rituals in our country to usher children into adulthood, a lot of kids get a car, have a Sweet 16 party or perhaps a quinceanera. I took my girl to India just two summers ago. We backpacked all over Rajastan for almost a month. Long-haul trains, unbelievable heat and staggering poverty were balanced by seeing first-hand the Taj Mahal, experiencing the smells of bodies burning in Varanasi and exploring the deep connection of our mother-daughter bond. My goal with these offers to my children? To plant a seed of actionable compassion in their lives. For them to want to understand for themselves why there's so much inequality in the world. Why gratitude matters in doing their part to make the world a kinder place. My boy chose Myanmar and we leave two days after the next full moon.
My ultimate take away from this hyper-realized salt bath was a reminder of this: the simple freedom to choose is at the Center of what it means to be the Paradox of mySelf. The freedom to cut my hair off, for example. Freedom to choose my clothes.
Freedom to close my eyes.
Freedom to go within.
Freedom to observe real close.
Freedom to extend my exhale.
Freedom to die.
Freedom to generate.
Freedom to extend my inhale.
Freedom to choose love.
Freedom to open my eyes.
Freedom to smile.
Freedom to move about!
Freedom to be kind in all the ways.
Also, Aurah rhymes with 'Tara' and both are one letter off from 'Sarah'. What's my name, again? Point is, Tara feels like a guide. May it be so!
Periodic updates from Aurah in the Field.