The edge of chaos
Have you ever had that feeling of free-falling when you're not sure where or how you'll land? Or have you ever felt the world around you suddenly expand and contract without warning, as though someone is playing the accordion with your view?
I have had moments like these recently. It is really quite scary, but at the same time it feels alive and raw. With a couple of weeks hindsight, I can look back and realise that I was operating (just) on the edge of chaos. This isn't always a bad thing. Apparently this is where the magic happens! At the time it was just scary and I think the fear came from not feeling in control and not being able to express it at the time. The overriding thought I carried with me was to just keep on going and get through it. By doing that I didn't really stop to try and understand what was happening and so had no idea how to do something about it.
This "flow chart" is a great way of understanding how close to chaos you might be. We need to feel challenged so that we don't feel apathetic and bored but if the perceived skill level or capability is low and the challenge is too high then life becomes anxious and it's hard to get back into the flow. Using this has helped me realise that most problems can be understood quite simply through the lens of this. Getting the balance right is the key.
Real life is stranger than any fiction I've ever read. The most bizarre things happen; people surprise me all the time. Each day brings a fresh set of decisions to be made, things to learn and every day is a meeting of minds, souls and bodies with endless possible outcomes. Most of these days pass calmly by but every so often an aligning of possibilities occurs that shifts your whole world. It feels like an overwhelming of the senses. Sometimes weird and sometimes wonderful.
I have heard that dragonflies hover around the edges of magical places. Places where there is something special happening in nature. They are often seen at the edge of forests where the light from the outside meets the dark under the trees or at the edge of a pond or a lake where the water meets the bank. Taking this a little further, I have also heard that dragonflies sometimes feel human energies and prefer hovering around groups of people that share a strong energy.
This post has been hard to write because it has been so hard to talk about so there is a reason I want to bring the dragonflies into it. My friends have been like dragonflies throughout my time of living on the edge of chaos. Hovering at the edges and gently helping, nudging, guiding and swooping in to land at exactly the right times. Letting them land is the single best piece of advice I can give.