A Time for Everything

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“Poison and medicine are often the same thing, given in different proportions”

Alice Sebold

One of the most common traits (and pitfalls) I see is dichotomous thinking – or seeing everything as either black or white.

There is a frenzy to our lives. A striving, masculine energy to achieve, improve, and purify.

Many of the women I work with come to me when they can no longer bare the tightrope walk their life has become. Slaving in pursuit of being ‘good’, being ‘liked’, and being ‘beautiful’.

But life isn’t a tightrope walk, unless we make it that.

Nothing is good or bad, unless we name it that.

Green vegetables and white sugar are not opposites, nor are they enemies.

Everything is everything, depending on the circumstances. Depending on where we are standing and what is needed now.

I’m calling out for less purity and more messy holding of both. Less pigeon holing. Less throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

This requires paying attention.

When we think in binaries, we get to sleepwalk through life. We decide ahead of time which category something fits into and we live accordingly. No need to reevaluate, it’s all already been decided.

Doritos? Toxic.

Meditation? Pure.

Real Housewives of Anywhere? Pathetic waste of time.

Homemade food? What good parents serve.

And on and on.

If we could use our Martha Stewart label makers on life, I’m sure we would.

But life isn’t black or white. It’s every shade of gray, and pink, and green, and yellow that can be found. And those colors change moment by moment.

This requires we pay attention. This requires we get comfortable with an unlabeled life.

There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.

:: Ecclesiastes

and I’ll add…

There is a time for Facebook and a time for being miles away from a screen.

There is a time for zafu cushions and a time to find stillness in the least likely place.

No one thing is arbitrarily better than another.

If you want to know if something is medicine or poison you must listen.

Your heart will tell you. Is it soft?

Your lungs will tell you. Are they tight?

Your flesh will tell you. Is it supple?

If you listen.

Sensations of ease, joy, enoughness, and vitality are signs of a medicine.

Sensations of deadness, contraction, and insecurity are signs of poison.

Right now — not yesterday or last year — what’s your medicine?