On Knowing, Not Knowing, and Stepping into the Flow

I’m about to go to my childhood home in Indiana/Kentucky for a visit this coming week. My wonderful grandma is turning 94, and I’m going to see my parents too.

Indiana this time of year (and Eugene, Oregon, these past few days) is sweltering. I love the heat, but I also love escaping into the cool AC of the house.

It can be strange to go back to my childhood bedroom, because there are so many reminders of a time in my life when I had only lived there, only known that home. It reminds me that there was a time that I didn’t know anything that would happen to me, or anything that I would do out in the world as an adult.

Going home reminds me of a time when I both knew things with certainty (school started at 7:42 and I had to go) and lacked any certainty (I mean, where was I going to go to college, and what would I do as an adult?).

Going home also reminds me that I still live in a version of this paradox. Knowing I need to work or buy groceries or teach a class, but wondering what my next steps will be or how I’ll choose to move forward personally and professionally.

In yoga, in astrology, and in tarot, I often think of this paradox as a kind of blessing. Even though it’s tempting to approach systems like these looking for answers, what they often reveal instead is a great mystery.

People often ask what the cards say will happen, what planetary transits indicate explicitly for their lives, or how to use yoga to get them exactly where they want to go. But the truth is, these systems reveal clues about ourselves, pointing us toward a deeper understanding on a path toward growth and change, rather than toward a particular, definite point.

Going home always reminds me that the journey is the good part. The happy memories at each point in my life have given me the strength to face the challenges, and when they come, these joyful moments are the ones to savor.

In these moments, it becomes easier to step into the flow of life, to find yourself on your path and be glad of it, to accept that what will come will come, and that you’ll do your best when those moments arise.

No system is perfect, and whether you turn to yoga, tarot, astrology, religion, the power of narrative, or your innate inner wisdom, there’s always something you can learn just from looking around you and stepping into the flow of your truth.

Happy summer, happy solstice.