The Cycle of Creation – Boy, am I in the thick of it!

Just a couple weeks ago I needed to teach about the Cycle of Creation as part of an Anusara Yoga Immersion Training.  Little did I know I was about to be fully immersed in this material – body, mind, and heart…

Philosophers explain the Cycle of Creation as a three-part process: creation, sustenance, and dissolution.  For those of you familiar with the gorgeous and ubiquitous statue of Shiva dancing in his Nataraja form, this cycle is represented iconographically by the drum (creation) in his right hand, the dance (sustenance) he does, and the fire (dissolution) in his left hand.  Everything in life participates in this cycle, and any attempt to escape it is doomed to failure and misery – anyone who has stayed at a good job for way too long can tell you that.  To some, the Cycle of Creation may seem harsh (“everything good gets taken away!”) or depressing (“why can’t I make this moment last?”).  To others, it can seem like a gift (“thank goodness that’s over, I’m bored!”).  The reality is, it’s neither, it is just what is.  An inevitable process.  When we attach the feelings of pleasure or pain to the part of the cycle we experience in the moment, that’s when the cycle itself starts to look “good” or “bad.”

It’s really fun to look around at your life and identify which aspects of it are in which phases of the creative process.  Very rarely are they all in sync.  You may notice that your career is in sustenance as you celebrate your third year at a job.  At the same time, you may be starting a brand new intimate relationship and winding down an old friendship because a long-time buddy is getting married and moving away.  It’s not good or bad, it’s just the constant movement and pulsation of the processes of life.

Sometimes you don’t even need to look around to see these cycles in action – they hit you over the head.  Case in point: my week!  I have been working on an online course devoted to exploring and embodying Superheroes for the last 3-4 months.  It has involved an incredible amount of thought, planning, research, and technological learning and has pretty much consumed all of my non-teaching hours for quite some time.  It’s been awesome – fun, fulfilling, and edgy.  When I got close to getting it done, I sent it out to a few friends for critique.  Twenty minutes later the phone rang, and what I thought was going to be a run-of-the-mill check-in call with my guy turned in to the beginnings of a break-up.  Hmm.  Over the course of the next few days that situation was seemingly resolved as my reviewers sent in their course feedback, I made changes, and I prepared to launch.  I put together a big marketing email, got my tweets ready (I know, it’s gross), and just like that, my baby was out in the world; the creative process concluded with a bang.  The next day the phone rang – it turns out the relationship was not so resolved; in fact, it ended.

Really?  Really really??  Don’t I get at least a full day to celebrate having created something huge without also having to witness the dissolution of something important? Well…I guess not.  No one ever said Shiva’s cycle was going to be empathetic.  Or gentle.  In fact, I wonder if it gets more and more raw as you become more tapped into it.  Sometimes it’s in your face.

There’s beauty in this, to be certain…I just had to take a few steps back to see it.  Both the launching of the course and the ending of the relationship created space.  Space – that element that we all crave!  I do yoga in part to create space in my body, mind, and heart – why wouldn’t I be thrilled to see it in my life?  Fear of change?  Clinging?  Since I wasn’t still tinkering with website details, I had a full day of nothing to do, which I spent reading – for pleasure!   And when I took the liquid paper to the datebook, erasing the relationship-related plans I had made, I created literal open space in my calendar to do whatever I want with.  Maybe I’ll visit my friend in Bend after I teach in Moscow.  Or maybe I’ll fly to LA to see Bruce Springsteen.  Or bike in Moab.  I cam dream big – because dreams arise from spaciousness.

Space is not always comfortable for me.  My knee-jerk reaction is to fill it – with something, anything.  But space is the pause at the end of the chanted OM, the silence before the next sound begins.  It’s the stillness between the in breath and the out breath.  It’s the potentiality before the big bang.  Without a doubt, it’s sacred.  When there is space, the possibilities are endless, and we are completely free to choose who and what we want.

As soon as we choose, we’re creating.  And then we’re off and running again.

I’m not running right now, although I know I will be any day. So I am trying to stay still and enjoy the view from here.  Shiva is hitting me over the head with it, after all.


~ by bridgetannlyons on April 4, 2012.

7 Responses to “The Cycle of Creation – Boy, am I in the thick of it!”

  1. As usual, lovely to read your posts. Enjoy your new given space! Space tends to fill quickly.

  2. I have a statute of the shiva that you are talking about. I love it. It has always sung to me. I love the natural ebb and flow of life, thought it is not always fun and I don’t always smile and I forget to be grateful. Thank you for sharing your story. As I am in a holding pattern in my own life but with that holding pattern I have found my love for yoga. I am a baby in the yoga world and I am allowing myself to enjoy it. For some reason I think I should be a pro at something after two lesson..then when reality hits that i am not I quit. But the thing with yoga is that it is a life long relationship to my mind, body and spirit that I am choosing to be in. So my new mantra is “Practice makes Progress”. And as for being grateful, I am going back to the basics and just simply saying Thank you when I wake up in the morning and throughout the day and before I go to bed.

    Thank you 🙂

    • Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I agree, practice IS progress. Showing up IS progress. Staying with yoga IS progress. I went through a period of not “seeing progress” (i.e. doing hard stuff in poses…as though that is progress??) in my yoga for over a year. Then one day I kicked up into pinchmayurasana (forearm stand) on my own, just like that. And I said, “I finally made progress!” My teacher said, “No, you have been making progress all along, you just saw the results today.” Right. Enjoy your holding pattern….I bet it is pregnant with possibility!

  3. Love it Bridget, great insight, honesty and clarity. Love to you sister on the path!

  4. So nicely put. I have finally come to the place where it is a comfort to me that it just “is”–there is no judgment–the Universe is indifferent, and that finally seems comforting to me.

    Take your space and love your beautiful self Bridget–it matters.


  5. Shi(f)t happens.
    Not to mention Ctrl +Alt + Delete.

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