Monday, August 29, 2011


One of my favorite neighborhood trees succumbed to the tropical storm. Such a shame and such is life.

One of my great teachers said the first step in any process of healing is a disorganization of the pattern of disease. He used the word disease in a broader sense than the usual strictly pathological definition. Dis-ease can refer to many different situations.

Disorganizing the pattern of dis-ease, even when those who are suffering are determined to heal, can be unnerving. Though we live in a mostly unpredictable world, we do try our hardest to keep order in the midst of ever-changing conditions. Sometimes it's hard to let go of the way we keep our lives organized, even if that structure is not good for us. Everyone knows people who feel trapped in jobs, relationships, cities, situations. They feel they can not break free of what restrains them, or they choose to remain in dis-eased situations for many different reasons. I don't blame anyone for choosing to remain in a pattern that feels safe and familiar for any reason. Maybe remaining in unhappy patterns is a way of clearing karma or working through something - I don't think it's "bad" at all.

Sometimes, the world intervenes. Accidents, illnesses, getting fired, dumped, someone close to you dies, you fall in love - you know what I'm talking about, yes? All these situations serve to dis-organize life's predictable patterns. When you catch a cold, for instance, your work, errands and chores are interrupted. Within the body there is fever, coughing, barfing, sneezing and such, all of which shatter the patterns.

Though eventually all these chaotic accidents can lead to opportunities for growth and learning (the hard way), and wisdom (something that is always hard won) - chaos alone won't bring healing to the situation at hand. We have to recognize that an old pattern is breaking, we have to let go. Only then can we put a healing pattern into place. Having the rug pulled out from underfoot is not a pleasant experience, whether or not it brings healing. Healing is a dynamic, scary process too.

I'm always interested in personal shake-ups - my own as well as those that take place in the lives of others. What I'm thinking about today is about those of us who experienced close encounters with both the earthquake and the hurricane last week. Did those natural disasters unhinge an east coast cultural/societal pattern of dis-ease? How can we individuals work with our own patterns while also participating in societal healing? It's interesting to think about. What a powerful opportunity.

Have a peaceful day. Shalom.

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