Saturday, June 17, 2017

Entropy and the Importance of Ritual

The vision came to me in midst of chaos--the pieces of my current life tumbling every which way. It could have happened while in a deep Tibetan singing bowl meditation or during a late night Tarot reading practice. Or perhaps while chasing a 10-year-old around the classroom trying to take the mop away from him.

The vision was of this Dali Salvador painting of a melting watch--all the numbers and hands floating away from it in a surreal dreamscape by an unseen force. I had used the image once years ago in an old tumblr post along with a Stephen Hawking quote on entropy and the arrows of time.

"...disorder or entropy always increases with time. In other words, it's Murphy's Law--things get worse. First, there is the thermodynamic arrow of time--the direction of time in which disorder or entropy increases. Second, there is the psychological arrow of time. This is the direction in which we feel time pass--in which we remember the past, but not the future. Third, there is the cosmological arrow of time--the direction of time in which the universe is expanding rather then contracting."

When this image came to mind, I couldn't help but think about how entropy had set into my life here in Chiang Mai. It was as though when I physically stopped all motion everything else kept moving outward--scattering into an ungraspable mess as I stood back exhausted, worn thin, and at a loss on how to get back what I had worked so hard to attain over my 9 months of travel. Old themes were beginning to haunt me, and I was regressing into old habits and thought patterns that I thought I had left in Santa Cruz 16 months earlier.

This is why the Universe sends us teachers, why it puts the most baffling things in our path, rips things from our lives, and why it is so important to always be aware. I've never been a very grounded person to begin with, but when I find myself "caught in the washing machine" as Gurmukh so perfectly put it, I can't just step out of it onto solid ground. I need something to help ground me to the center of my world. And because I also need a good push off the ledge in order to act, I lost my voice and was forced to stop almost everything in my life so to re-prioritize and somehow reign in the entropy.

I knew without a doubt I needed to reintroduce rituals back into my life--rituals that I've let slide since living in Chiang Mai, rituals that will keep what is important to me tethered right in front of me and let all else fall way. So I've put together daily yoga rituals and writing rituals that start my day and end my day. Weekly rituals and monthly rituals. Rituals with friends and solitary rituals. Rituals that involve kundalini practice and kirtan. Rituals that involve journaling and novel writing. Rituals that involve Tarot and crystals. Rituals that involve self care and turmeric drinks. Rituals that keep my curiosity alive. All spiritual, all sacred, all divinely timed.

And over the past couple weeks a few rather shocking facts came barreling at me full force. There are things I'm involved in that I thought were beneficial to me, but turns out are actually stopping my growth. And things that I thought were slowing me down are actually some of the most inspiring. And of course, there are those things that are perfect just as they are.

What do you do when you feel entropy seeping into your life? Do you practice any rituals to help reign in the entropy? Tell me about them!

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