Lifted and swept into the current, we offer ourselves up to 2017. The sun sparkles on the ripples like a thousand tiny fireworks as we ride the flow past familiar bends and banks into the thrill of uncharted waters. I float in perfect harmony with the pull of the river, enjoying the gentle play of light on my eyelids and a body’s confidence in direction that only happens when you let nature set the course.
But suddenly the churning sounds are all wrong. My toe catches on a rock and I’m spinning! Round and round no escape. Trapped in a spiral of turbulence so full of air I’m falling. Can’t keep my head up! Can’t breath!! Hands, faces, are everywhere – wide eyes and gasping arching necks.
“Damned eddies!!” splutters a man just before a beer bottle comes out of nowhere and clocks him on the nose.
A woman clutches at another man’s ankles. He kicks her off, but she grabs again – repeating her own spin cycle of abuse that sucks so many people down. No warning a soggy wad of paper plasters itself over my face! I tear at it and sink again… a Kardashian’s sharpened false fingernails dig into my leg for the final..
I’m standing in my living room. I can’t breathe. Months’ worth of mail is spread across the floor. 21st century real life – something I poke at every so often with an 11 foot pole – has become a balls-to-the-wall speed race to burnout. I’m assuming someone somewhere out there has their shit together but the rest of us need to focus on getting back into the stream by tackling and releasing our personal energy eddies. You already know what they are: patterns of procrastination, relationship drama, overindulging or under-indulging, etc. An energy eddy is any attention that drags you out of universal flow and spins your round and round, robbing you of forward momentum, purpose, and pulling your energy into obsession like a black hole stripping a star. Subtle, I know. But seriously, even while writing this I got sucked into two text convos and was compelled by some deep dark internal quilting circle to find out how a twenty-something Khloe Kardashian overcame her jealously over her sisters’ clear skin…dear gawd…I am so ashamed…but surprisingly (if only momentarily) satisfied lol.
How do we release these energy eddies? First, know them for what they are. Our brains cruelly, and falsely, tie these turbulences into our identities and so much of our spinning is fueled by the desperate struggle to balance our “shoulds” with our escapes. But such a balance will never sit static. Just as an obstacle (a rock or “is The Rock married?”) can create an eddy, so will two conflicting currents. Sure, we’ve all gotta aim for this balance thing – I’ve read the literature – but we exist with equal authenticity on both sides, so why sit spinning in the middle?
When you feel your stomach knotting or your shoulders hunching in a habit of defeat, remember the Michael Phelps face meme. That’s the mug you’ve gotta rock to break out of an energy eddy. No one ever fought a rip tide by watching cute cat videos (another eddy oh mercy!). You’ve gotta get tough. No one is paying you to be “nice.” True compassion starts in your gut. And being real will always melt more hearts that being “good” ever has.
This January, commit to releasing one of your eddies. Maybe it’s that vortex guest room packed full of inherited/bought debris? As you deepen your connection with your authentic self, knowing that stuff is just stuff becomes automatic. Maybe you need to set some definite accountable boundaries with a family member or friend? Maybe it’s having a dry January? I opened and filed all my mail but that’s only the beginning. I’m starting light. Ok dear readers – my palms are sweaty all of a sudden – I’m going to go cold turkey on celebrity gossip for the rest of the month. The first of many eddies to tackle. Because my arms are getting tired from treading water and after years of watching life I have no more time to waste. Do you?