I looked down at my bright pink toenails against the rocks, the water lapping and splashing on pure quartz. Some areas were pink like my toes - rose quartz…in the wild!
There is so much magic here. I squeezed her hand and we giggled, peering into the most tranquil sea as it turned from bright turquoise to a soft cobalt, blending into the sky. To our left, the last rays of the sun disappeared behind the wild jungle.
We looked at each other and yelled out…“Three…two…one!” launching ourselves into the sea, naked and free.
Another moment of perfection. When we rose to the surface all we could do was yell, “I love my life!!” over and over. And we meant it.
I really meant it. And it didn’t happen right away. The last few months have been tough in my internal world. The external was epic, but inside of myself, I struggled so much.
I’ve been living on this island in the gulf of Thailand for five months. It’s been eight since I left the US, and over a year since I walked away from my old life. I knew the moment I decided to dismantle my old life that it would take me a very long time to rebuild what I had.
But…I did it! I built a life, complete with an incredible community, and a home, and work that I love doing. And it’s so much better than I could have imagined. I am frequently jumping from rocks into the sea and swimming in waterfalls and dancing in pyramids and snorkeling out my back door…This is it. This is my life…I built this.
AND, it is still in a process. As we swam back to shore, we reflected on life and death and I came up with a concept I call “Open Tabs”. It goes like this…
In the continuous rhythm of living and dying, everything is always in a process. Our work, our relationships, our internal world, our emotional experience, our health. It is not “life and death”, it is “living and dying”.
In our minds, we like to tie bows on everything. But that’s just not our reality most of the time. So, the question I began to ask myself is this:
Can I sit in the soup of my life, in the middle of all the things that have been resolved, and all the ones that have not, and be at peace? Essentially…can I be okay with the fact that I have open tabs?
We carry so much, but we don’t have to. The events in our lives can be happening and we can let them happen without holding them. We don’t have to know the future. We don’t have to cling to the stories and the history and the expectations for the future.
I recently read a book that said that hope is the most dangerous human emotion, because it implies a clinging to one specific future.
So…do we dare to be hopeless?
Do we dare to know that our lives are amazing, or painful, or boring, or extraordinary, without owning the story?
The image that comes to mind is a woman in a river, clinging to the bank as she clings to what she calls “her life”. She is completely identified with her processes. But as she realizes that the processes are just processes, belonging to life itself, she begins to release the grip on the roots of the shore and drift into the middle of the river, and simply let herself be taken by the current. Free and wild.
When I play the game of accepting my open tabs, I allow myself to be grateful for everything I get to experience, to allow the richness into my perception, and also to be peaceful within the unknown. To swim in the soup of my life and own nothing. To be empty, free.
The greatest fear of all is the fear of the unknown. The antidote I’ve found for this fear is the knowing that everything is always moving toward resolution.
So, I ask myself again…can I be here, beyond grateful for what I have, and uncertain about a lot of things? Can I have a whole host of open tabs while knowing in my bones that everything is always moving towards resolution?
When I answer yes to these questions, I know that I am entering the arena of the living. This is it. This is living and dying. This is wild, wild freedom.