If you are in any way sensitive like me, you will know – and have felt – that these are intense times. I cannot even remember when there were not intense times. Listen to intuitives, check astrology forecasts or just look at the world stage: things are moving fast and not subtly.
I have felt in the last few years that – as we say in the Netherlands – I have been ‘steamed ready’ to cope with and be with this intensity.
And it has been one of my biggest practices: to ‘simply’ be with intensity.
I think we as humans have a natural tendency to shy away from intensity in ourselves. We contract, we deflect, we blame, and my favourite: we dissociate. Intensity is not comfortable. It manifests as big feelings and sensations, often unpleasant, but interestingly not necessarily so.
And somehow, if I speak for myself, I instinctively contract against it, physically wanting to keep those intense sensations and emotions ‘out’ – while actually they often occur within me. So it is an illogical strategy to begin with, but heck it happens, and it happens often. I see it with myself, and with the people around me.
We do not like something and we withdraw. Or go into our heads, or simply draw all our energy away from it in an effort to escape (commonly known as dissociation). Or, and this is fascinating too, something is so good that we can not handle it, and we withdraw too! Too much love, too much goodness, too much happiness. Sounds familiar? Often these beautiful things coming our way do not correspond with some story we have about ourselves and we pull away.
I have written a lot about being with reality, and not fighting what is actually happening (both inside and out) as a road to peace. It is not necessarily a pleasant road, but in my experience and quite extensive personal research, it is the only one I have found (if you have discovered other roads, I would love to hear from you).
And being able to be with intensity is crucial in that. Somehow allowing intensity to work me, to work through my body, heart and soul – without me knowing where it is going! – without getting in its way has been life changing for me.
Learning and later teaching the practice of Circling has been instrumental in that – it is all about being with what is in the moment and being witnessed in that.
It can feel like a storm raging through my body, like an alchemical process that changes me in sometimes really small, but always significant ways. Like giving my life over to God and letting him/her have his/her way with me. It is surrendering to life and giving up on the futile belief that I can control whatever happens to me.
My only job is to be here now, and from there the path will unfold, moment by moment.
So next time you find yourself with intensity, say hi to it. Welcome it. It will guide you somewhere you have not expected and definitely somewhere you have not been before, if you let it. It will lead to release. And if it does not, make sure you move, hit something (beds and pillows are good for that), scream, let it out. Not to dissipate it or to get rid of it, but to let it work you fully, so you can be reborn. A new person every moment.