Sounding Your Depths
Sometimes we find ourselves carried along by what feels like an inevitable force. We move through our days on auto pilot. Home. Work. Home.
One day leads to another. Before you know it, a year has turned.
And then comes a moment when everything is called into question. These decision points are often brought on by a crisis – your health, the death of a loved one, the loss of a job.
What brought you to this brink may be terrible and tragic but here you are – up in the air.
Where will you land?
Nothing feels the same anymore. You are seeking meaning in the face of the crisis. And sometimes that means recognizing that big changes are in order. So, you begin considering your options and wonder what might be next.
It might seem antithetical to sit in stillness when contemplating a change but that is just what you should do.
Your heart speaks most clearly in stillness. And listening to your heart is what is required now. Sitting in meditation, a thought may come “I should approach so-and-so, see if he’d be interested in hiring me.” Or, “I’d really like to be a digital nomad.” Whatever the thought, drop your attention to your heart center and note the physical and emotional sensations as your future plans come up.
When I was a child, sailing along the coast of Maine with my family, we’d come into sheltered coves among the islands and begin to search for safe harbor. We’d read the charts of course but to get very specific about where to put down anchor we’d pull out the lead line – a long length of rope with marks every fathom. At the end was a lead weight. The person sounding the depths would stand by the shrouds and throw the line out, feeling it plummet down, down until it came to rest on the bottom. Anticipation. When would it hit? How deep is the water? What would it hit? Is the bottom good? Mud, sand – yes; rocks not so much.
Careful sounding of the heart is like this. We are literally testing the waters, plumbing the depths and finding a new place to be.
If thoughts don’t arrive during meditation you can do this exercise off the cushion too. Envision your next move and pay attention to what comes up. Is there a dullness? A dread? Are you heading along this path because you are expected to? Is there fear? Is it warranted?
Or is there a brightness and sense of joy? Is the excitement thrumming and pulsing with energy and strength? What is your heart saying to you? Listen.
Come with me, the water is fine.