On becoming the observer of my chaos

Last night, the moon was full and underneath it, a couple dozen women gathered. I was one of them. We walked through a field, dirt kicking its way into our shoes, and spread blankets out to form a giant circle in the grass. And we waited, the mosquitoes making a feast out of our flesh.

As the full moon gathering commenced, we stood one by one, our bodies doused in the smoky haze of a sage bundle. We cast a sacred circle around us with salt sprinkled delicately onto the ground. In all of this preparation, I had no idea what was going to unfold inside myself that night.

Chaos.

We were asked to journal about it, become aware of our associations with it (does chaos feel negative? Joyus? Somewhere in between?), and then call out what it felt like to us. 

Overwhelm. 

I tossed it into the middle of our sacred circle and it felt like a release. There, I'd said it. Chaos feels overwhelming. A handful of women murmured their resonance.

In exploring what chaos feels like to me - both now and in the past - I came to understand something. Chaos feels overwhelming to me, but it also feels like home. I've existed in it for so long that when things begin to settle I get restless, anxious. And so, naturally, I create a bit of chaos for myself. It's usually internal and it always, always affects my peace. Still, I go back for it. It's what I know and I am human, a creature very much attached to my habits, no matter how ill-advised they are.

Despite the fact that it feels like my natural place of existence, chaos most definitely holds a negative connotation in my mind. It's chest-tightening anxiety, a pit in my stomach, the uprooting uncertainty of many of my life choices. It sucks. And, yet, I've so often sought it out.

At one point, we were asked, "What if you were the observer of chaos?"

Immediately, these words jumped out at me: what if the chaos of my past was a catalyst?

Of growth, of change, of me becoming the woman I was meant to be all along?

If my life had not been uprooted time and time again, both by me and by others, would I be who or where I am now? Doubtful.

If I had said no instead of yes or yes instead of no in any given number of circumstances, my chaos would almost certainly have been minimal. I also would not have had the experience of chaos to help me fully recognize peace.

So, in becoming the observer of my chaos, I finally understood all of it. 

In an Elephant Journal article explaining the significance of last nights moon, it says, "A full moon can feel like the end of a chapter or the completion of a significant phase in our lives, as it brings closure, change, rebirth, as well as being a great manifestation of something new. It is a time where we can reflect on what no longer serves us so that, with gratitude, we can release old energy and create clean space to begin anew."

We were asked to release...and release I did. As we did our fierce lion's breath, moved our bodies, and sang in harmony underneath the most magnificent full moon I've ever seen, I washed away all of my chaos. It is done, over with. I invited in it's place the wisdom and patience to accept peace as my new normal. 

Chaos = catalyst. The catalyst for peace.

What does chaos feel like for you?