Today was my start of my Air month. Fortunately I wasn’t sick this time around, so I was able to get started mostly on time.
Hawk and I sat and talked about what I should be paying attention to with regards to Air. Communication, of course, is a big one, especially right now in my life. This includes not only communication with others, but also communication with myself. The way Hawk explained it to me is that Air carries things, hence birds often being associated with messages. Sound is also of Air; Air carries the sound-vibrations from place to place, so what I say and what I hear are of Air.
Therefore one thing that’s going to be of particular focus is being very aware both of what I say and what I hear. The first one seems pretty obviously under my control; however, it’s also my prerogative to determine how I will receive what I hear/read/etc. One of the lessons from the Earth month was to be aware of not only what I put into my body, but what I also *allow* into it from other sources–the food I eat is important, but so is the stress on my body that external forces can place on me. So not only do I have control over what I eat, I can also choose what I allow to affect me. And that comes down to communication.
Granted, just as with my body, there are things in communication that I can’t necessarily stop entirely. There are pollutants in the air, water and ground that I can’t really do much about at this point, and there are pollutants in communication that I only have so much control over. But I can choose to be as selective as possible in what I take in, and try to minimize the amount of poisons I take in.
Air is important in that filtration system, not only in communication, but in relaxation. It’s all too easy to get worked up over annoyances, drama, and other such things. The heart begins to race, adrenaline flows, the stomach produces more acid, and it’s fight-or-flight time. But careful applications of breath can halt that process when it’s not needed–a flame war isn’t the same as looking a hungry tiger in the eye. And as I work through changing my filtration system, breath is a useful tool for reaching the right mindset to get through my conscious mind’s natural forces, and into the nitty-gritty of what makes me tick. Too often we’re ruled by our re-actions, and we let things in that don’t really need to be there, because we don’t think to act any other way. We let things get us angry for no real good reason, and we get carried away by our emotions. Breathing correctly can help us slow down, take a step back, and really think about what it is we’re hearing, and what we want to say.
Dream work is also part of communication, though Hawk indicated that right now it’s secondary to the interpersonal and intrapersonal communication during waking time. So I need to get back into the habit of recording my dreams every morning; I’ll probably start taking my dream journal with me on my morning commute since I tend to get going pretty quickly every day. I dream every night, in full color, often with touch and sound as well–very vivid. In times when I do record them regularly, I tend to remember them even better, and get deeper messages out of them. I’ve just not been very consistent about it.
So Air appears to be off to a good start. I will admit a bit of frustration with all this internal work–“When do I get to start saving the world?” Yet Hawk reminded me that too often I’ve let external things distract me from my own health to the point where I’d have an eventual meltdown and get sick. It’s all well and good to have a job, and be writing two manuscripts, and editing two others plus an anthology, and making cool artwork, and all the other stuff I like to do–but before I go channeling even more energy *outward* into more shamanic work for the environment, I need to make sure I’m paying attention to the internal environment, something that even as aware as I am, I’ve often let go neglected.
Which is a rather humbling experience. For all I’ve done in the past ten-plus years, I really have brought myself back to square one. I may be progressing more quickly than the first time around, but that doesn’t mean I have nothing to learn from the basics. I’m just getting a more solid foundation this time around.
re: the savings the world bit, have you read The Invisibles? If not, I will say there’s a pivotal moment where one of the central characters is told that if he wants to fix the world he has to fix himself, based on the Hermetic ideal of “As Above So Below.” I know that the deeper I delve in all my work, inevitably there’s more personal work I have to do. However, with all that knowledge and experience, I feel like I know it sooner and can tackle it more effectively. It’s truly a never ending process.
I haven’t read it yet; I keep meaning to, though. That’s a good example, though–thanks for sharing!
I agree with what Soli says, and it’s repeated in the “healing yourself before you heal others” (although I can’t remember where I’ve heard that).
Have a good Air month!