Life is a whirlwind and at the center is peace

I just came home from two weeks of movement, encounters, interaction, listening, learning and expressing – and all along, deep introspection. I traveled externally and internally. I met people from multiple cultures. I learned to play an instrument. I learned new dance steps. I ate at multiple tables, walked on variable paths. I watched the waves, the branches of trees. I saw clouds pass and I welcomed the rain. I felt the whirlwind of life from top to bottom and from all sides – and I observe that my mind has become clearer.

Where does this clarity of mind come from? Is it only in the mind? Where to find it? What role does the body play? And the heart? We are talking about centering; centering where and how? How to be centered in a changing world and facing multiple influences? Why and how to stay oneself while learning from others? Why and how to be in the flow of life, as it presents itself?

From an encounter, a friction, union is born and from union, life is born. Life, creativity and freedom. This meeting is never simple and rarely easy. It is changeable, unstable, fleeting. One day we love madly, we almost merge, and another day, we retire. But without encounters, we die. The soul dies. Life dies. Because life is movement and change, construction and deconstruction, union and separation.

How can I be myself in a group, without getting lost and without isolating myself either? Can I feel my difference and welcome the difference of the other without judging good and bad? Can I welcome the discomfort without accusing someone of being responsible for it? How does encounters build me and tell me who I am? How do they inspire me and how do I inspire others? What is the individual and collective creativity that arises from these meetings?

From a meeting between a man and a woman, the child, the ultimate creation, is born. Life is born. This meeting represents a certain friction, sometimes misunderstandings and suffering. Birth itself is a great contraction followed by an expansion, a liberation. And the child, a unique being, grows up in a collective context. He or she understands or does not understand the rules. He or she gets lost and finds himself or herself, rebels or vanishes, in a perpetual search for individualization within the collective.

The encounter with otherness is the basis of all life and it is love that leads us there. This love that we seek, very often outside of ourselves. This love which is the engine, the fuel, the direction, the goal and the way. All at the same time. From love is born the encounter and by love we meet. We meet ourselves, through otherness. We get to know our uniqueness through the group. And out of love for this unique part, and for otherness, we are moving towards freedom of being, peace – and love.

I hope this hymn to love – and to the whirlwind of life – inspires you and brings you to the center of your being; your uniqueness connected to everything. I wish for you to live by and for love, this love which gave us life and which circulates among us, whether we are aware of it or not. I wish for you to welcome life as it presents itself and to make each ordeal a new birth. I wish you a good start to spring!

With all my heart,

Aya Annika Skattum

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