Our transformation, our liberation, our human connection aren’t going to happen on deep levels if what we cling to is simplicity. Over simplistic views cause us to lock ourselves in binaries, to look at the world through black or white lenses, and to diminish the truth. If we want to open our minds, to root into our hearts, and to engage our bodies as inseparable threads within the body of the cosmos, complexity is the key.
A couple of years ago I took a business intensive course, trying to gain some knowledge around how to bring my work into the world in ways that would benefit more people, and help me support my family. One of the exercises was to come up with one word that is at the core of our business. This word should have provided clues for what the key message of our business was, and how to develop our work from that authentic place.
There was brainstorming, writing many words down, circling some words around, and then narrowing it down to the one, most potent word that sits at the heart of my business.
My word was…
There. There it was. If I had to narrow down what my main message was, if I had to simplify the vision of my work into one word, that’s what it was; Complexity. The letters shimmered. I looked down at my page and laughed.
It was December of 2020. There were hundreds of participants on this online entrepreneurial journey. “Does anyone want to share?” the teacher asked. I raised my zoom hand and was surprised to be called on. My heart beat fast in my chest. I get so nervous to speak in front of people. I know that sounds strange, since I speak in front of people and in front of the camera for a living, but I have the most intense stage fright.
Regardless of fast heartbeats, sweaty palms, and the blood rushing to my face, I wanted to know… what was I supposed to do with this word? How can I build a business around complexity?
The teacher looked perplexed. She frowned a little, her brain trying to understand what to do with me, how to help me. “Ok, let’s break it down.” she said. It turned into a beautiful session that felt very healing for me, and apparently for others too. We touched on some deep issues, and she helped me see some pathways I hadn’t seen before. It was truly great.
But that word – complexity – was left behind. The teacher didn’t ask me more about it. She didn’t say anything about it. She worked me away from it, took me into a beautiful process of helping me figure out how to gain more confidence in myself. And that was wonderful.
But my word… It was pulsing on the floor. I wasn’t supposed to pick it up and carry it with me. Complexity isn’t good for business. Complexity doesn’t sell.
But I did. I picked it up. Complexity is the key to everything I think about, feel, ponder, contemplate, and share.
Nothing is simple in this world. Not love. Not war.
Relationships aren’t simple. Nature isn’t simple. Raising children. Forgiveness. Even breathing isn’t simple. Monogamy. Autonomy. Mortality. Authenticity. Nothing is simple. We are each a complex network of parts and particles, of ideas and genes, of what came before us, and the place we are in. We are all parts and pieces in a wider, more complex fabric of experiences and expressions, of politics, possibilities, potentials, power, and presence. We are each a thread. And no thread can be isolated. Each thread is spun from something greater, something that was nourished by other things, something that was exposed to sunshine and moonlight and winds. Each wind gust comes from somewhere that was touched by many other factors. Each ray of sunlight comes to us through multitudes of processes, barriers, filters, and the interwoven reality of time and space.
If something is true, it usually holds the truth of its complete opposite within it. Paradox is more often than not, at the core of truth.
Sometimes when we speak partial truths
we help weave together a lie
Listen, sister, to the words you resist hearing
They are the other side of
The reality you claim to stand for
They might be pulsing with
the very same values you say you care about
It just might not be comfortable for you to recognize it
Because it doesn’t fit into the narrative you’ve been swallowing
Where is this leading?
Is this where you wanna go?
Sometimes when we share partial truths, we cause harm
We didn’t think we had anything to do with
The spreading of fires
But we blew on the ambers with each
With each like
Listen, daughter, to the voices reverberating from across the road
You might learn the humility of a cloud
Whole and ephemeral
Here and then not
“Once I was a stream” it gurgles
And if I rain not
My moisture might coalesce on
Or in minds ready to
Keep on moving
Minds ready to shift perspectives
Sometimes when we hear partial truths
Words resonate and fill us with
Purpose and passion and mission
But listen, brother, to the holy wholeness
That you may never fully hear
But you know is here because
Sound is multidimensional
And your heart recognizes the vibrations
Of what’s real
Your heart knows
Whatever flows must move
One direction isn’t enough to
Hold the truth
Sometimes when we read partial truth
our whole body screams with agreement
And we lean into belief
Recognizing that behind what veils more truth
There’s propaganda and agenda
And the bigger picture is hidden
Your emotions manipulated
And you feel in your bones that
You’re on the right side
But listen, son, there are wrongs done
When a song is sung in only one tune
And it jumps into conclusions so soon that
Our system cannot digest a vision of
And then we are swallowed whole
Sometimes when partial truth are told
The mind narrows
The eyes narrow
Blindness blends into bone marrow
Into what seems
But if the hidden voices aren’t heard
We won’t ever be able to hold the
Truth that must be told about
What must unfold in us
The heart that pulses the blood of a reality
Much more nuanced than what is
In the circles you think you belong
So please, beloved, take in the
Breath that calls us together to
Listen to the wind that blows off
your belief in one limited view
Shed the over simplistic skin
And breathe with me here in
The wounded core of our
Breathe with me here as
Tears of grief fall to the earth
Listen to my breath and I’ll listen
We cannot fix it, beloved
We can only breathe here together in
The space of loss
And together if we dare
To cross through midlines and edges
back and forth
We might be able to weave
A wider net of
We live in a time that lacks nuance. We, as beings glued to phones, scrolling through echo chambers, lack the ability to hold the multiplicity of reality, the layers and pieces that comprise the whole.
And we forget that the whole still keeps breaking itself, making more of itself. More layers, more levels, more pieces are added to the tapestry of reality that is ever becoming.
Now more than ever, it is important that we sit with complexity, and not simply believe the little pieces of information that stand without ground, creating bodies of misinformation, that end up promoting more violence, more hate, more war.
I urge us all to sit with the pain, with our broken hearts, and allow grief to be our teacher.
Hashtags, memes, and over simplistic views only add more to the tragedy. Both the media and social media are hard to trust right now. So let’s not follow blindly. The over simplistic views we are each fed by because we hover over a video, will only lead us in the same direction faith has always led humanity – into certainty, which is the womb of tyranny, where all religious fanaticism comes from.
Pick up complexity from the floor, and put it in your pocket! Don’t forsake it. We need it!
It does feel difficult right now to promote the next Somatic Ceremony, but I actually think it is a helpful one for this time. It is a sacred, secular sanctuary of complexity.
Samhain, pronounced Sa-win, is the origin of Halloween, it is a celebration of mid-Fall, and it is rooted in rich, deep, and powerful traditions that honors the dark time of the year. It is a festival of ambiguity as it invites us into a holy relationship with death, reminding us that no life exists without decay.
Samhain can be a transformative moment if we choose to embrace the teachings that hide in the shadows, and a profound portal sending us into the depth of wisdom that can only be integrated if we let go of over simplistic perspectives, and move around so that we can learn to see more.
In the Samhain Somatic Ceremony we explore archetypes, mythology, symbols, and metaphors related to the season, we use breathwork, yoga poses, hand gestures, and chanting to bring the season into the body and into our lives through ritual.
If you feel called to create a temple for working with the complexity of your own being and of the world, this might be what you need. All the details are here.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.
And check out this FREE practice if you need a gentle, slow, meditative experience to help you get grounded through this time of upheaval.
If this message speaks to you, please share it with your people.
So much love,