i’ve witnessed the birth of over four generations of puppies and kittens. i’ve played almost every role in their lives from midwife to undertaker. it’s always magical to witness either extreme; birth or death.
but it’s the in between that’s the hard part. that’s what we call life. that’s the space where we play. and the game of life is simple the best. but what happens when we need a timeout?
why take a break?
easier said than done. and society doesn’t encourage solitude as a feature. so we’re left with loneliness as a bug. in the ancient Indian age hierarchy, every individual spends the last few years of their life in solitude, seeking and making peace with the divine.
all spiritual practices offer some form of solitary practise as method of refinement. not confinement as has become a method of punishment with systems of incarceration. but we live in a world of granular subtlety and nuance today where extremes are harder to accept.
so we need to make some time to be alone, without the world calling us bad or sad players. alone time is hard because we have forgotten how to find comfort in solitude. when the truth is that we spent the first 9 months of our lives in complete solitude.
darkness is soothing
sun is yang energy. moon is yin energy. sun is bright and exuberant. moon is soft and soothing. in ancient times, the night provided succour from the heat of the day. so too do we seek stillness, silence, coolness and comfort in the darkness. from the high energy activity in the light of day.
all my little puppies and kittens would crawl up in the warmth of their mother’s bosom when exhausted after their play. later when they stopped feeding they would still find comfort in the embrace of each other.
not only would they find comfort in contact, but they would also snuggle their faces into each other so as to avoid the light hitting their eyelids as they slept. if they didn’t have each other, they would curl into a ball themselves to remind themselves of the safety of the womb.
back to the womb
that security blanket is something we all need from time to time, when the going gets tough or the game gets exhausting. but we often make the mistake of placing that burden on others. we outsource that need for security on others, without taking responsibility for it ourselves.
it’s not difficult really. and we all know how to do it. we all find ourselves retreating into a shell for safety, warmth and comfort. but we’ve forgotten how to do it.
whenever my dog would get into a scuffle with other dogs and return hurt or injured, she would refuse sympathy. she would appreciate my love but would also spend time by herself licking her wounds, healing in the comfort of a cozy corner she chose for herself.
the characteristics of that safe space, that healing space, that shelter from the storm are common to all creatures. small, confined space which feels like the warm embrace of the womb. cool and comfortable, not hot and excitable to engage the parasympathetic system of rest and relaxation. quiet and silent to allow your own to surface, so you can resolve them through contemplation.
tada… pillow fort!
and so i suggest to y’all the simple, humble and delightful pillow fort. just throw together a bunch of pillows and a blanket over it and you’ve got yourself a cave, fort, tepee or what have you.
while it’s construction maybe simple, it’s significance is profound. slide in, cuddle up and close yourself to the world. you are safe. you are protected. you are all you need to be. enjoy the hibernation. and come out like a butterfly from the chrysalis that you build around yourself.