Sunday, February 19, 2012

Centrifuge

Have you ever felt like you were living in a blender?

I’ve recently come through a spell in which things were topsy~turvy and spinning fast. Rather blender~esque, in fact. Yet, there’s a touch of violence to that metaphor, what with those blender blades a~chop~choppin’ and all. There’s another image that works better for me.

A centrifuge is a device in which a substance is rotated around a center axis at high speeds. The resulting centrifugal force causes the denser matter in that substance to separate from its lighter counterparts.
       
This image has great potential when our lives are moving with an intensity that stirs up our own dense material~~the anger, fear or sorrow we often prefer not to experience. Rather than trying to avoid the tempest, though, we could see in it an opportunity for spiritual growth. We could welcome the spinning for its ability to bring our dense matter to consciousness.
         
My recent sojourn to the centrifuge was initiated by a mix of rather disturbing symptoms in my 92~year~old father, resulting in a hospitalization and a few weeks of rehab. This led to a daily barrage of calls and emails with treating professionals and siblings that spanned weeks.
           
Part of the challenge was that all this had to fit into a life that was already quite full. My father’s being ill and distraught, however, mixed with some incompletely healed family dynamics to trigger lots of emotions.
         
I was plopped right into the centrifuge. My goodness, but I was spinning!
         
It seems humankind’s default position is to greet unpleasant emotions with an eye to making them go away. Sometimes this is necessary, as when a young nurse is firing questions at you about your father’s health history and whether to hook him up to a ventilator, should that become necessary.
         
Living in avoidance, however, doesn’t work so well, since our emotions are an integral part of us. If we routinely shut them down, it’s like erecting a plate glass window between ourselves and life. We might try to convince ourselves that it’s safer to view life from this distance, but we know that isn’t so. Without direct experience~~without opening ourselves fully despite knowing we will encounter pain~~vitality drains away. Our lives grow pale, and we and those around us suffer. No, avoidance is ultimately not safe at all.
         
When life has us whirling, the centrifuge metaphor can be helpful. Here’s how it worked for me…

Rather than avoiding or bemoaning the turbulence I was feeling, I tried to greet this experience as an ally, one who was spinning my dark matter into awareness in order to be healed. That slight shift in perspective made a world of difference.

It encouraged me to listen closely to determine if these raw feelings might also have another dimension~~intuitions pointing to a current needed action, old emotions sparked by present stress, or some combination of all three. I took time to sit with whatever arose, neither pushing it down nor acting it out. I let myself feel.

After I’d extracted the learning and felt the emotion, I knew the centrifuge had nearly completed its work. It was time for release. For me, this worked best when I imagined, on the exhale, those spent feelings exiting my body through my heart center.           
         
This practice always soothed me, much more than my attempts at avoidance. It was through feeling and releasing my darkness that I returned to center~~at least until the next email had me spinning out again!
         
My father is back in his apartment now and doing well. I am doing well, also. I am lighter from my time in the centrifuge~~and thus better able to perceive the One Light.
         
No, centrifuges are not always pleasant. They can, however, be helpful. And they’re much kinder than blenders!

I wish you all well in your own centrifugal moments. Spin it on out!

Namaste,

Loanne Marie

PS. If you’re needing a little help in this process, try Tom Kenyon’s Heart Meditation. (You’ll need to click that you agree with his terms and conditions, then scroll down to Heart Meditation, the 7th one down.) Esthetically speaking, this is not my favorite of his selections. In fact, I truly disliked this rather odd piece of music when I first heard it~~turned it off halfway through. But my time in the centrifuge taught me how to use it as a heart cleansing experience. During those rather odd sounds~~and don’t worry, you’ll know ‘em when you hear ‘em~~I released it all, again and again until nothing was left. Perhaps it will work well for you also. Happy release! Blessed release!

4 comments:

monica wood said...

Well put, as usual. Glad your dad is faring better at the moment, Loanne. xoxo

Loanne Marie said...

Thanks, Monica!

Rocky said...

Hi Loanne,

Thanks for the nice column, as always. I think the only way to not get caught in the centrifuge or the blender would be to socially isolate oneself.

I have a tendency to want to live in seclusion, but I know more spiritual growth is possible in this lifetime when I get 'out there' and interact with the world around me.

My 'self' becomes changed and flavored by those in the blender or the stew of life. I own up to the fact that my interactions with others changes their lives also; we flavor each other. Hopefully I throw a good and useful energy, or flavor, into each interaction. Or, if I am not up to giving my all, hopefully I don't add a bitter taste to the mixing pot of life...

Things never quite go the way I think they will or could or should; the way I have learned to survive the blender effect is to say, 'Okay God, not my will but Yours'.

The miracle is that the Universal Spirit always has the key elements amazingly aligned for me to make it thru each and every event that happens during this centrifugal or blenderization process.

Ultimately, these processes help me develop faith. So, out to the world I go... thanks again for your columns; they do help my life.

Loanne Marie said...

Great points, Rocky! Yes, mountaintops are much easier to 'be spiritual' on, aren't they? But just like river rocks, it's by bumping up against one another and the stream itself that our rough edges are softened and we develop our shape.

And about wanting not to add a bitter taste to the stew...I know that I have done just that, time and time again over the course of a lifetime. My husband came across an apt poster showing a ship sinking, with the caption "MISTAKES: It could be that the purpose of your life is to serve as a warning to others." I have to trust that even my at times bitter addition has ultimately served some purpose~~to teach others to be patient with my flaws, to encourage them to stand their ground and speak their mind in response, to practice ignoring the hopelessly misguided crazy woman I was in that moment. Something!

Thanks, Rocky, for reading and for writing such a response! We'll all take a piece of you into our own worlds today.

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Blessings!

Leia Marie