The Inward Stroke

The Inward Stroke

Life moves in cycles and seasons – sometimes it’s obvious and sometimes more quiet and gradual. There is even the larger arc of a life from youth to old age. If we’re in an outward cycle, we may feel there is no time for oneself. And if we’re in an inward cycle, we’ll struggle immensely if we’re working for outward accomplishment. And yet the inner can be a time of profound growth.

I’ve also noticed that bad habits we may once have gotten away with can suddenly bring immediate bad effects. Or that what worked for us before stops working. We can sometimes take a little time to realize it wasn’t just a a bumpy spot – the road has changed direction.

This may also be more focused in certain areas of life, like work or relationship. A new member of the family will take away most personal time for awhile. A new job, business, or relationship can be all-consuming. On the other hand, a major change in being or a falling away of outward accomplishments can equally be all-consuming in a different way.

This is dying the cloth, writ large in our life. The inward times of dipping in the dye and the outward times to bleach the cloth and make the colour fast.

This is a natural flow of life and we’ll enjoy life and benefit the most by following where the flow takes us.

In my own life, there has in recent years been a strong inward stroke. Shifts in being, a return to school, and a focus on writing. And now, in recent months, a new outward stroke. My season has changed. But others may now find things winding down, perhaps inexplicably.

I’ve found that when change is afoot like this, it’s a good time to consult with a good jyotishi (Vedic astrologer). They can give you a better sense of the quality of the season to expect and what you can do to make it smooth. The trends of time, as it where.

I’m reminded of this old verse.

Ecclesiastes 3, 1-8

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time of war, and a time of peace.

May your seasons bring rich harvest.

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