Saturday, 1 February 2014

On 14:04 by Victoria Stanham   No comments
Today has been a tripping over myself day, emotionally I've lacked antagonistic perspective.

Image courtesy of Twobee /

I woke up and I was already thinking about what needed to be done two, three, four, eight hours from the present moment, so I went through the morning motions on auto-pilot. Knowing full well that our body prepares in advance for anything we imagine doing (in fact, it doesn't distinguish much between "reality" and "imagination"), I can well imagine how my poor system was trying to brush my teeth while simultaneously teaching a lesson that was in reality due to happen two hours from them, but in my mind was happening at that precise moment. 

Lacking this grounding in the present moment all stimuli sent my Self (body, mind and emotions) on a helter skelter journey that grew in momentum like one huge boulder rolling down a mountain. After every interaction with people (students, friends, family, random strangers on the street) I would notice how drained I felt, how tired, how out of my center. Unluckily for me, it wasn't until the very last lesson in the evening that I could finally get my act together, put the breaks on the out-of-control boulder's joruney and lie down in semi-supine for a while.

That was when this image came to me that depicted my experience.

Imagine you are given a camera and told to cover the length of a road filming all you can. You'll be given only one chance to traverse the road, and you can go at any speed you want, but you are not allowed to backtrack. When you reach the other end you are to show the judges what you recorded. 

You walk, run, or skip your way down the road filming every detail you can. It is a rather hectic and nervous affaire, you worry about not doing it right, missing out things, losing your way, having to explain all this when you are done. When you reach the other end and try to show your film to the judges, you realise the camera malfunctioned and nothing was recorded. So you are asked to describe the road from memory, but you were so intent on filming it (and worrying about how you were doing) that the details don't produce the full picture, things don't seem to relate.

Now imagine a second person comes around to do the test, is given the camera and discovers that it has a zoom setting and a panoramic setting. So without even taking a single step from where he is, he can picture the whole road in its context (panoramic setting), and the details by zooming in and out. All the time he is aware that he is still at one end of the road, but he can be aware of what is going on at any point in the road by zooming in on it, and relate it to the wider picture by zooming out and seeing it in context.

This last person has eternity in his hands; because he is grounded firmly in the present his objective (filming the whole lenght of the road) does not run away with him; he is in control, he has choices; he could even choose to do all the filming of the whole road from his end, and then pocket the camera and walk down the road enjoying himself!

So how does this all relate to antagonistic actions? 

Well, I've realised that between my end/aim and I there is a road to traverse. If I allow myself to stay (in body, mind and emotions) in the present I can still have the clear objective; it will give a direction to my actions by creating an antagonistic pull between that future and my present; it thus reveals the road to be travelled. All I have to do then is take the next step (the one right infront of me) and be fully present in it to keep the antagonistic pull going. Thus my objective pulls me into my future, and I can stay back (stay present), think only of the next step, and enjoy the ride!


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