Living Like Clockwork
As the Quarter Moon fades towards a New Moon in a week’s time, we may feel a certain irritation in the air: an internal imperative to get on with stuff, keep on moving, doing, acting. This energy arises in stark contrast to the Taurean Moon who asked to us to stop and wait. The feeling is one of a clockwork toy soldier having been wound up and set off on its automated way once more, banging its drum and speeding around the room just because that’s what it’s programmed to do. We can be a lot like that if we’re not careful! Robotically acting and reacting, doing what we always do, rushing through the same old thing every day, with the same old inner dialogue of ‘there’s never enough time’. Once we’ve slipped out of the present moment and into the realm of time, projecting into the future to try and control outcomes there, we are often acting on automatic pilot with next to no awareness of what’s really going on!
But as with all things, these states arise for us to observe and get to know them. Thus they no longer control us but instead become something we can choose to step out of at any time. Of course there are always things that need doing, and with Mercury in Virgo right now we’ve already seen how this is a good time to tie up loose ends. But the challenge is to do so in a conscious state not a spaced out, pre-occupied or exhausted one.
What do you do when you’re not doing anything? The heavens pose this question now. You know those times when you’re on a train or bus, gazing out the window, sat in a waiting room prior to an appointment or just in the garden or on the sofa with a moment to yourself. What are you actually doing at that point? It’s tempting to answer ‘nothing’, but what we often mean by that is we’re not actively physically doing anything, which is not the same as doing nothing. What we’re often doing at times like that is thinking, about the past, the future, about what we need to do once we arrive where we’re going or what we forgot to do before we left home. We may be planning the rest of our life or just the next hour, worrying about a loved one, ourselves, the end of the world. The mind is extremely adept at filling any gaps in activity with thought. That’s what it does, seamlessly and without any fanfare to alert us to what’s going on! We’re sat on the bus, gazing out the window and then… thoughts, streams of them, endlessly passing through our mind! It even happens when we’re driving, especially a familiar route. We arrive and don’t even recall the journey because we’ve been lost in thought.
Essentially, when we’re doing nothing and could be relaxing fully and completely our mind takes over and makes sure we don’t. We relax back into mental activity when the physical stops. This makes deep relaxation extremely difficult to acheive, for the content of our mind dictates all manner of physical responses in our body, from adrenaline rushes of fear and anxiety to indigestion from a knotted stomach too full of care to digest the food we need, to headaches and migraines from too much stress. If we want to learn how to truly relax, even if just when we’re on the bus, we need to develop the ability to rest back, not into our mind but into our spirit. To gather all our energy back into our inner space and rest there, looking out upon the world from a spacious open heart rather than a cluttered and over active mind.
It would be worth trying this when we can this week. There IS a lot to do, yes, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do it consciously, with attention focused on our actions, on the quality of our consciousness, choosing moments of inactivity to rest back into the vastness of our spirit from which we can be truly replenished. The more we can do this (and it takes practice!) the more effective we can be when we are in action mode, no longer racing around like a newly wound clockwork toy but instead acting from a place of awareness which conserves energy through its use of discernment, able to identify the best way to respond in each moment for the most positive and efficient outcome.
As life’s demands continue we can develop the knack of approaching them from our heart and spirit rather than our reactive and over-active mind. Doing so will feel like a drink of fresh water after living on bog sludge. Setting the intention to do this when at rest is a good place to start, because the more we can rest in the stillness of spirit rather than the frenetic domain of the mind, the easier it will become to take that connection with spaciousness into our activity too. We don’t have to be thinking all the time. We can just sit and be. We won’t be hailed for it and in a world where the mind is deified at the expense of the spirit we’ll probably feel like we’re wasting time, but nothing could be further from the truth. Time spent connecting with the vast space within is never wasted for it brings us home to our true nature and reconnects us with the universal heart which beats in each one of us to guide our way home.