I must be going insane. Not only have I quit my awesome job, need to pack all my stuff that I’m thoroughly attached to, am losing my apartment and leaving my family, friends and community, I’m now also going to yoga and meditating. This is definitely a sign that I’ve lost the plot!
But somehow going against the grain of who I am (stability, safety, groundedness) seems to be so liberating. It’s liberating not because of the loss of safety and control (I don’t believe we’re really ever in control despite pretending that we are) but more so, it’s liberating to go against my own grain. In a way it’s the ultimate form of control: to know that you can go against your own personality. Freedom from yourself. True free will.
It’s liberating to know that I am not my personality or labels that I attach to myself. Descartes was wrong. It’s not “I think therefore I am”. I am because Hashem. I am me not because I can sense me. I am me because I am part of Hashem, because I can sense Him in me. He exists, therefore I exist. In me He exists. “Hashem therefore I am.”
So back to onions. My dear beautiful friend in his yoga class asked us to do a meditation: imagine that we are onions. My mind first went to the negative: “that’s so unholy to think of ourselves as inanimate objects”. And then I decided to run with it: “The onion is part of Hashem’s world. We are part of Hashem’s world. It has a soul. I have a soul. Unity.” And then the peeling off of me, the onion, the layers of stuff, possessions, jobs, family, friends, ideas, traits, hobbies, feelings, understandings. What is left? What’s in the center of who you are? What’s the core of your onion?
So many have asked if I’m going to Israel to find myself. The answer is no. I know my center. That is why the layers come off so easily. That is why I don’t think I’m being courageous in my move (as many people have suggested). Because my layers are not me. They are part of me but external to my core. My core is who I truly am. Hashem therefore I am.
Onion, it turns out, is derived from the Latin word meaning oneness, or unity. So we see that ultimately there are no layers, only unity. And so in my latest move to leave so much behind I am fully centred. And the secret is, we all are. Our core is always there, within us. We just need to reach in. When we are connected to our core, we are unified. When we are unified we can be courageously true to our core.