July 31, 2017: Dimensions of Self-Containment

After struggling with some inner turmoil over the last few days, I gained greater clarity today that suggests I have been working to escape from a kind of self-imposed containment. The first suggestion of this came through what I saw in the simple act of watering an orchid of mine. The second then came while holding my intention andContainment allowing myself to paint.

In watering my orchid, my practice has been to take it out of its holding pot and place its inner plastic holder into a bowl of water. But this time, I noticed its roots didn’t look very well and wondered about their containment within the plastic holder. So, I decided to free it from the plastic holder and just allow its roots to hang within the pot. Although the plastic container had worked well before, it now seemed to be too restrictive, prohibiting sufficient air flow and increasing the possibility of root rot.

On the other hand, within my painting, I found the presence of three main aspects directly associated with my inner turmoil. To begin with, much of the overall energy seemed to be about spilling out, bursting through, burning, and blurring, which suggests the break down of defined parameters or structures. But behind this, I also saw an image resembling buddha that reminds me to remain present, to listen, and to call upon the answers inside of me. Then, turning the painting upside down, I found the appearance of a butterfly’s cocoon, which generally refers to the process of transformation.

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The cocoon, in particular, is interesting because it suggests containment, transformation, and an impending exertion to fully realize a transformed self. Being in the cocoon can represent both safety and imprisonment. Willingness to transform is essential for further life. To begin transformation without movement through it, however, increases the likelihood of an early death or unpredictable outcomes that may be less than satisfactory.

Additionally, I wonder what it feels like being within the cocoon. What do your senses tell you about what’s happening to you? Do you know it is you who is transforming? Do you have an awareness of what you will become? Are you a victim within your own circumstances?

In some ways self-containment can be useful to provide and hold a particular environment for doing our inner work and for allowing space for our transformations to occur. But, at some point we must do or die, move or stagnate, or break free and live. Otherwise we will remain cocooned, contained and die.

Thus, I invite you to reflect on your own cocoons, your own spaces of self-containment. For what purpose have you build these spaces? Are these spaces still serving you? What exists outside of these spaces? What keeps you inside of these spaces and what allows you to move out of them? What judgements do you have about the environments outside of your spaces? What judgements do you have about yourself in relation to the environments outside of your spaces? Into what new space do you now want to move within our next collective dream together?

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