Break the Cycle

“You accept the unacceptable.”

Mind resists; really?  Do I?

 Actually, YES; I do.

                “Uh, yes.”

“You wear shoes that don’t fit; you put up with things that are unreasonable; you allow people to treat you in ways that are not acceptable because you don’t want conflict.”

Mind resists; really?  Do I?

Actually, YES; I do.

               “Uh, yes.”

“You must stop; I want you to take a pot; take it out into the woods.  I want you to place the pot on the Earth and say ‘I will no longer accept the unacceptable; I break this cycle as I break this pot.’  And I want you to break the pot; then bury it in the Earth.  It is symbolic of your releasing this habit, this pattern.”

               “Uh, okay.”

This exchange occurred several years ago; I went to see an intuitive who was promoted as being a dream interpreter.  But, when I walked in the door, her vision and message was different for me.  She immediately brought up things that had happened to me that I thought were deep secrets; she saw and knew things that I barely knew with my mind, but yet knew with my heart.  Within five minutes I was sobbing and my mind was jumping everywhere.

I used to be REALLY attached to being in control (um, probably still am); I was completely blindsided.

It took months to reckon with the information.

She was sooooo right.  I always tell students, my personality is probably more Laborador Retriever than human; for years I’ve been out there, wagging my tail, thinking “like me . . . like me . . . pleeeeease like me.”

Now, that may not be your impression when you meet me; but there is a large sector of my soul that wants peace, harmony, love, kindness, balance – all that goodness – at ANY cost. 

I have paid a huge price to keep that illusion floating around me.

There are these karmic patterns called samskaras in yoga; they are emotional/mental/physical patterns.  Little grooves that wear their way into our soul – from this lifetime, or from past lifetimes.  Perhaps even from our families, or our society. 

A lot depends on how much individual vs. group karma you are dealing with.

So, one morning, in my meditation, I knew; it was time.  I selected a pot; something handed down from my family (sorry Mom!).  It was a small sugar bowl; beautiful, yes – but to me it represented pretense and outward appearance.  Lovely on the outside – but really, I am finally learning that it’s not the vessel, but the contents . . . . yes?

I hiked in, pretty far; my little voice told me where to stop.  I spoke it out loud. 

I smashed the pot, and I buried it. 

There is enormous power in ritual; we have sadly lost much of this in our culture.

But, truth is, the habit/pattern/samskara did not leave immediately.  It took time; I like to THINK that it is weaker; sometimes, it feels like it is gone for good.

Though I still have clothes and shoes that I hang onto even though they don’t fit or feel just right.

Guess maybe the more important question for me now is what relationships don’t feel or fit just right. 

What are the karmic patterns that I have observed in my life; in my family; in my culture?  In any group that I identify with, whether it is women or daughters or mothers or Americans or Christians or Yogis or whatever other label I’ve been prone to slap upon myself?

We all have a dharma; a duty; and part of it is this — to learn our karmic proclivities; to identify what is helpful and what causes harm; and to work to soften any negativity.  To decide within ourselves that the pattern will NOT be brought forward.

As one of my teachers, Dasaji, has often said — THIS KARMIC PATTERN STOPS WITH ME.

I am learning the patterns that I need to release; which pots still need to be broken and buried.

Which pots need to be broken and buried for you?



2 Replies to “Break the Cycle”

  1. Kate

    l love the ritual you describe here. this reminded me of one of my favorite collections of short stories by Pam Houston called Waltzing the Cat. she describes coming to realize some of her patterns of behavior are self destructive and says her life is not the story she wants to be living. She commits to rewriting it. that image has always stayed with me. Finding the strength to rewrite one's story is not easy at all.

  2. Jill Loftis

    Thank you for commenting Kate; I'll need to check out this book. And I love that concept as well; to rewrite the story. It is a task worthy of our work. Blessings.


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