“Some people love their story so much, even if it’s of their own misery, even if it ties them to unhappiness, or they don’t know how to stop telling it. Maybe it’s about loving coherence more than comfort, it might also be about fear – you have to die a little to be reborn, and death comes first, the death of a story, a familiar version of yourself.” Rebecca Solnit, The Faraway Nearby.
There are many ways to look at coherence and this full article will consider biological, biotensegral and quantum coherence but, in all ways, loving coherence requires the ability to dwell in the liminal and tolerate the unknown.
What do we do when things fall apart? Do we push through, patch it up and try to get back to what used to work? Do we pull ourselves into a frozen shell and do nothing? Or do we allow what needs to die in us die so that we may partake in the full cycle of Nature coming alive again in us?
What is worth continuing and what must be let go?
What stories need to die before I birth a new one? The more we expand our systems to see more, understand more and hold what we do not yet understand, the more coherent we become.
Can we courageously feel our way through the liminal spaces? Can we sense into what’s arising and move forward balanced and able? I love the word courageous, from the French coeur (heart). It’s heart-centric rather than ocular-centric. It speaks to the whole sensory-motor loop of feeling. This is feeling as present feedback, not feelings from past memories. It’s not that we do not have the old memories, but we contain them while awakening what is new and arising.
I believe this is what Rebecca Solnit means when she speaks of loving coherence more than comfort. Comfort is doing what we’re used to, even when it’s no longer working. Nature has built coherence into us. It is the basis for our existence but restoring it requires letting some things go. Cultivating coherence is a choice that requires of bit of uncoupling of our unconscious body-habits so that we can break-up old pathways. For instance, our peripheral and focused vision co-exist as mutual experiences but how may times do we take in both simultaneously? Try pulling your vision back into the back of your head and focus on something in the distance. Then shift to a soft, peripheral view. Finally try holding both simultaneously. We are always taking in a whole view and we’re always feeling but how often do we ignore the raw data of what we’re feeling but not clearly seeing and push ahead only focused on a goal?
Much can pull us into incoherence too like fear, anxiety, uncertainty, trauma, injury, illness, diet and environmental hazards such as electro-magnetic radiation, to name a few. The converging metacrises we are undergoing are sending us into greater and greater incoherence. We are clearly in need of a new story.
What ‘comforts’ need to die so that we can birth something new, something with its own coherence so that it is bigger than us?
What capacities do we need to keep? Which ones should we develop so that we’re better equipped to hold the potential of the unknown along with focus?
How do we seed our own capacity to be coherent during so much upheaval and change?
We can develop our inborn, embodied capacity for coherence as a felt-sense of being. We can strengthen it, anchor it and call upon it so that we can show up, resourced and present, salient and responsive, like a radiant wave that knows no boundaries.
A fuller version of this article appears in the Members’ Area. To find out about membership click here.
Sense of coherence and physical health
Everything Moves, How biotensegrity informs human movement, by Susan Lowell de Solorzano.
Energy Medicine in Human Performance, by James L. Oschman, PhD.
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