From our first tour stop on May 11th at the incredible Pranam Yoga Shala in OM-aha, to our last tour stop on June 23rd at Shree Yoga Taos, in Taos, New Mexico, we explored, sounded, listened, collaborated, connected, learned, adventured and ultimately wound down the end of the Be Hear Now tour pulling into our driveway at home-aha a few days later on June 25th. Over a total of 46 days, we drove 6,192 miles, crossed 10 states, landed at 14 tour stops and facilitated 16 events. We had so many wonderful happenings blossom in our world on this Be Hear Now tour, so much epic awesomeness that would take many more words than would be kind to the modern attention span. Instead, we shall highlight where the real magic happened: in the friction.
The gift of this tour, and really any situation in life, is where the friction mallet meets the face of the gong so to speak. A friction mallet is basically a rubber superball on a stick, and when it rubs the gong, it makes very wild and amazing sounds that can mimic a cello, singing, and sounds that make you think you are in the ocean or out in space. Just as an incredible sound and sweet vibration, like a whale song, is revealed in that particular musical friction of mallet to gong, similarly the challenges, discomfort, and lessons we bring back from the road of life bring their own sweet melody of learning and growth.
Consider this metaphor for a moment: everything is born of friction. Friction will occur at any place where two surfaces come into contact with each other, all the way down to the cellular level. Heat and kinetic energy is an expression of the vitality of life that comes from molecular friction that courses through us, giving us life force, without any thought or effort on our part. Some friction can be a challenge, and in our design world when we consider water flow, we try to reduce energy loss through friction in our piping. In other cases, we are glad for the benefits of friction because it slows things down. Friction gives us much needed traction on the road, through our rubber-soled shoes, or helping our tires grip. Otherwise, we would be 'slip-slidin away' more often than not.
"We must fiercely resist the idea that true love must mean conflict-free love, that the course of true love is smooth. It’s not. The course of true love is rocky and bumpy at the best of times. That’s the best we can manage as the creatures we are. It’s no fault of mine or no fault of yours; it’s to do with being human. And the more generous we can be towards that flawed humanity, the better chance we’ll have of doing the true hard work of love." - Alain De Botton
At one pivotal point on the road, many days into our trip, Orion and I had already experienced many small earthquakes and frictions in our path: in our relatedness, with tour collaborators, and even some Airbnb hosts. After a build up of many days of such small frictions, we could feel a strange exhaustion -- not directly related to sleep. Around day 39 of the 46 day trip, we sat down at our Airbnb in Sedona, Arizona, faced each other at a table so we could see each others eyes, and began to have a heart to heart about the "who we are" in that moment. It was difficult to have a reverent and deep conversation in the car, because eyes are always aimed forward, away from each other. We smiled to ourselves at some of the unorthodox tools we used to help us through days of built-up friction. We passed back and forth a four inch bundle of Vetiver root like a talking stick to each other, deeply inhaling -- as if our lives depended on it -- the sweet smell of the plant root when a big juicy emotion rose to the surface to be felt.
From an energy perspective, friction occurs whenever high-frequency energy meets low-frequency energy. The truth of you is made of the same non-formal, non-physical, non-structured energy that makes up the whole universe, which is high frequency energy. When you come into this world, you compress all that non-formal energy into the density of this physical reality - causing friction to occur. This friction manifests as disagreements with loved ones, disappointments in certain situations, moments when things aren't going the way you intended, or lack of ease in your body. And in that moment, we have an invitation to come to know who we are. In the reflections of what is frustrating or uncomfortable we can notice "I am not that" or "that doesn't align with me" or "I don't like that" or "I am scared to allow that". And through that resistance and contrast, suddenly our truth can bubble to awareness through a process of elimination.
We at Illuminating Hearts know that friction is our friend, whether on tour helping us create organic luscious music in our 'cathedral of sound', or in our daily lives at home and in the world. Friction is an invitation to grace. If we can lean into the friction with wild-humility and self-compassion (with bonus points for humor), that tender grace is grown. Eventually, when we can feel ourselves in the core of our being without having to create that resistance in the outside world, in order to identify and know who we are, we begin to create less friction. And through sound, meditation, and energy practices, we can develop and respect that knowing of core-self, so we can reflect that love in the world.
We invite you to see the friction in your life in a whole new way. Embrace friction as your friend. You just might find yourself.
If you want to learn more about the truth of friction in relationship, we recommend listening to this On Being podcast with Alain De Botton interviewed by Krista Tippett.