“To decompose is to become different. It’s a process that mirrors our emotional worlds. We recycle old versions of ourselves, integrating new experiences and then using those memories to transform into something new. Old emotions crumple, rot, transform. They rise and fall; we lose and receive. We become, and we break down, and we become again.” – Kelsey Day
As human animals, we live by the laws of nature. Our biorhythm is cyclical just like the planets orbiting the sun, just like the moon orbiting the earth, just like the rotation of the seasons. The transformative process of the earths organic matter is to decompose, to break down into its most basic elements to again be reformed into something new. We too, live by this process of decomposing and regenerating, not just physically but within our psyches. It is the grace of this biorhythm that no matter how old we are, we are able to transform ourselves from something old into something new. Life begins again, as if seeing the world for the first time as a child does, when we allow the inner fruits of past seasons to fully decompose, ferment and generate new life.
“The child is innocence and forgetting, a new beginning, a game, a self-propelled wheel, a first movement, a sacred ‘yes’.” – Nietzsche
When was the last time you laughed out loud unabashedly with a wide mouth, soft belly and childlike joy in your heart? It is very hard to do when we have a heavy backlog of undigested thoughts and unprocessed emotions. Just like the halted peristaltic rhythm of the intestines, the input of information can be overwhelming, and the passage for release can get blocked. We can become sluggish and constipated, scrambling for a quick fix to get some relief, only to get stuck again. This staccato kind of dance might be fun for a hot moment but it’s not the kind of dance where you can fully let go and let the rumble of life move you from head to toe.
“Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.” – Rainer Maria Rilke
It takes a kind of audacity to let life move through you without getting stuck. It takes a willingness to let others see you as a the human mess that you are, that we all are. It takes some kind of exasperated courage to throw your hands up in despair and say “I give up!” Do you have the audacity to quit the fight, release control, and give yourself over to the inevitable annihilation that decomposing requires of you? We cannot have the transformation we want without allowing the necessary dying process of the biorhythms we live by. We yearn so much to gain more, more, more. To be full, full, full. But what if that requires less, less, less. To be empty, empty, empty?
“For the mind to draw inspiration, it wants space to welcome the new. The universe seeks balance. Through this absence, you are inviting energy in.” - Rick Rubin
Indeed, the universe seeks balance. In our culture we have been tipping the scale towards production, growth and abundance without allowing the other counter qualities of disintegration, decomposition and emptiness. And what have we become? Unintegrated, exhausted and empty. Because the universe seeks balance. Decomposing is an essential part of regeneration in the garden, just as rest is an essential part of regeneration in our animal bodies. How can we possibly have the energy we so desire if we do not allow ourselves the space to do nothing and the freedom to have fun?
“If you can find a way to integrate more fun into your life, you will unlock your full potential, become more resilient, and you’ll be better equipped to tackle the challenges that life throws your way.” – Mike Rucker
It is in these early days of spring that we begin to perk up and take a fresh look out at the world, ready to shake off the musk and moss of winter. If the mind says hallelujah lets go, but the body says hell no, then you have more decomposing to do. Examine, dismantle and empty out the parts of your life that are no longer serving you. In other words, actively letting go of the things that dull your spark, distract you from your innermost yearnings and feel like a burden to your soul. Do you really want to live this way or have you just not examined it yet? Now is the time to let old habits die so that something new can germinate in the rich humus of your messy human life.
Listen to our latest BIORHYTHM meditation experience, as you get clear about what needs to decompose in your life to create space and rich soil for the seeds of your future. This meditation was inspired by the philosophy of Frederick Nietzsche, the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke and Ross Gay, The Creative Act by Rick Rubin, and the Psyche articles Fun Without Guilt by Mike Rucker and When Emotions Rot by Kelsey Day.
Call it sloth; call it sleaze;
call it bummery if you please;
I’ll call it patience;
I’ll call it joy, this,
my supine congress
with the newly yawning grass
and beetles chittering
in their offices
beneath me, as I
nearly drifting to dream
admire this so-called weed which,
if I guarded with teeth bared
my garden of all alien breeds,
if I was all knife and axe
and made a life of hacking
would not have burst gorgeous forth and beckoning
these sort of phallic spires
ringleted by these sort of vaginal blooms
which the new bees, being bees, heed;
and yes, it is spring, if you can’t tell
from the words my mind makes
of the world, and everything
makes me mildly or more
hungry—the worm turning
in the leaf mold; the pear blooms
howling forth their pungence
like a choir of wet-dreamed boys
hiking up their skirts; even
the neighbor cat’s shimmy
through the grin in the fence,
and the way this bee
before me after whispering
in my ear dips her head
into those dainty lips
not exactly like one entering a chapel
as if that wasn’t enough
blooms forth with her forehead dusted gold
like she has been licked
and so blessed
by the kind of God
to whom this poem is prayer.
Ross Gay, from Inciting Joy