One of the ways I create unconscious chaos for myself is by leaving situations incomplete.
I’m not merely referring to errands on my daily to-do list, although, if not jotted down on paper, those mundane errands have been known to bang around in my brain at 3am.
I’m talking about a lifetime of conversations I’ve walked away from without saying what was truly in my heart and mind. Relationships that have ended with no closure. Childhood trauma where I was too young to speak up or defend myself because I didn’t feel safe or really understand how to.
Has this ever happened to you? You’re gliding through your day when suddenly, out of the blue, you’re hit with a memory of an unreconciled argument from yesteryear. Where did THIS come from? Before long, you’re replaying the argument in your mind, but this time, of course, you create your own ending in which you deliver that crushing, perfectly worded, final blow. You are victorious! Congratulations! You’ve just controlled the past. (Ok that was slightly sarcastic).
Life coach and author Dr. Gay Hendricks has much to say about this phenomenon and reminds us that nature loves completion; it abhors a vacuum. And incompletion is a kind of vacuum. The first philosophical concept I learned in Tantra was the Five Acts of Shiva which include, after creation and sustenance, dissolution. So, in the example above, when we leave a conversation without fully revealing what’s in our minds and hearts, a pressure begins to build inside us, and the force of nature propels us to seek completion. Ideally, that completion happens in the present moment in real time. Often, unfortunately, it resurfaces years later as a recurring, painful memory begging to be put to rest.
So how do we tie up all those incomplete moments? Therapy can help to some degree, but I’ve really made some interesting headway through a consistent Yoga Nidra practice. When I completed my Nidra Teacher Training, this was one of the most promising realizations.
Yoga Nidra is a guided meditation technique that harnesses the biology of sleep for a spiritual purpose. Using a series of breath, body, and awareness techniques, it consciously follows brainwaves down towards sleep where thoughts naturally distance themselves. It is here that we plant the seed of our intention because it is here that the mind is at its most receptive and able to integrate it.
One intention I have been working with lately is: “I release all incomplete experiences of my past. I rest in pure awareness.”
I’ve fallen in love with Nidra and am committed to sharing it in every workshop, retreat, and public class that I teach.