i think life has been telling me to slow down... for quite sometime. And the longer I ignore those gut feelings, the louder they get. Every time.
The great thing about writing Wild Horses and Mistakes, was that I was intentionally following bliss. i was indulgent and purposefully focused on self-love, exploration, facing fears, and personal growth. And instead of continuing this way of being, and making it my new normal, a new way of life... I seem to have fallen back into older, heavier patterns. Chronic competing, doing, running and hustling, without resting. Challenge after challenge after challenge. Without landing into one, wholly. Or without allowing myself to take a break. To get some bodywork done. Without nourishing myself, the way I'd done consistently, the year before. Without honoring tiredness, and insisting on more rest. I'd been self-judging and condemning again, instead of accepting and learning. Cramming in more, instead of lovingly focusing on less. I was closing back up again, rather than opening further outward. And perhaps, after such an expansive year, a bit of retreating and homebound solitude was in order. Perhaps.
Here's what I know, and maybe all I can say that I know:
Our world is a living one, an energetic one, a moving one, a connected one. As are we: living, energetic, moving, connected creatures that live upon Her. And when we don't listen to what we feel, when we skip past the subtle and get lured by the loud and demanding, for too long... our bodies tell us. Life tells us, shows us, what we need... to be at our best.
And here we are.
For me, it's a return to slow, to nurturing, to bliss, to patience. To those deep and needed YES moments, for only me. To more face-time and less screen time. To more fresh fruit and cool water, and less protein bars and hot coffee. Everything, everywhere, says slow. The traffic, when I'm in the car. The music in my iPod: slow rhythms, buttery harmonies, soft vocals. The way I'm walking, favoring my sturdy foot. And a day off today, at home, with an under-the-weather little boy, who just wanted to snuggle and rest and watch Dr. Seuss with me. (Swoons.) Slow. Rest. Slow.
The truth is, that no matter how I try to mind-over-matter it... I am still nursing a sprained ankle. I just can't get the workouts in that I used to. And I was pushing it, hoping to modify and not "lose steam." And... then I pushed it too much and it became inflamed again. Why? Well, I'm pretty sure that we learn to be that way, for a myriad of different reasons. It's the unlearning that is hard. Going nowhere fast helps no one. Slow, deliberate, and focused... makes more sense. And I just forget sometimes. If I throw all the balls up into the air...one of them will get a great bounce. Right? Or... focus the energy into one. Just one. And see how far it goes, when it feels that attention.
Because old habits, because it all comes back around, because self-love lessons.
Chaos, mess, middle. It was all swirling around in a cloud of nonsense. All the things, I said all the things to myself that I swore I'd never say again, because I felt... vulnerable. Ineffective. Exhausted. Full of doubt. And back into the matrix we go. "Just give me the fucking steak." But I stop myself now, I don't quit, no matter how close to that space I get... I zoom out. I pause. I give myself what I want for a minute... then I dive into my own guts and figure out what the hell my problem is. And it's usually, impeccably, one of two things: fear of inadequacy (who do I think I am? I can't do this.) Or fear of success (what if it works, do I really want this?) I talk to a lot of creatives, artists, entrepreneurs, who grapple with the same. And it's all just fear.
Anyway. Chaos helps kick us back into basics, back into introspection. Back toward our own intuition and soul-stuff, and away from outside influence and chatter.
So. I'm already a single mom with a full-time job (co-parenting, but still.) What if one extra thing... one project at a time...was enough? And...what if... I was enough without that thing, too? What if it was a privilege, just a big, fat blessing, wrapped up in purpose, and not a to-do, at all? What if... I embraced the down-time and luxuriated, and did all the things I always wished I had time to do, while I rested?
What if... I retuned to the wild that I'd found, and chose to live it? Always. Back to nature's simple pace.
Wow. I mean, to think about that. To promise myself... that I won't push too hard, that I will listen, that I will take better care of myself, and stop looking to help others... while I am the one hurting. That I will trust my intuition and trust in the timing of Life. That a healthy and rested me... is far more able and willing to accept both opportunities and obstacles than a scattered and overwhelmed me.
Self. Love. Lessons.
And I think sensitive folks do this a lot, and this is all just assumption, of course... Sometimes, most times, it lifts us up when we help others (or at least when we think that we do.) Because we light up when we see others light up. Because we float, just a little, when we see goodness and hope spread. Because we crawl a bit out of our own heads, when we can show someone the way out of theirs.
And believe it or not, the truth is that... busy is easy. it's noisy, it's chaotic, and it can be filled with distractions. While slow, is more intimate. It's quiet. It's you...and you. Or, me and me. It's truth. It's real. And that can be very uncomfortable... to face... doubts, fears, embracing moments, stresses of life, confusion, sadness, loneliness, all of it. Working toward big goals, toward transformation, can be very lonely and isolating work. But it's supposed to uncomfortable. Perspective and the a-ha moments come after trudging around the deep, dark bottom, waiting for clarity. It always comes, if you can stay in the funk, if you can allow yourself to feel it... without medicating, numbing, escaping, and running away. To just be still... and be in it. Get to the other side of it, let it cycle through. Oh, those shadows... And sometimes... it's a doozy, it's just a big ol' Mac truck coming for all you think you know, and it wants to hit you, hard. It hurts. It can be disillusionment, humiliation, hurt, pain, disappointments, you name it. But to throw woo-woo at it all the time, to "vibe higher," to try to bounce into a better state of mind, quickly, to keep feeling good... well, you just skirt the whole process. And it always, always, comes back. And next time... TWO FUCKING TRUCKS.
So... I am in the pause. So be it. Nursing, healing, learning, and writing. Still writing. Whatever comes and goes... this stays. Because... I can't not. And I trust that after a good purge, and some good rest, I will be right back on track soon... more focused, with less to carry forward. So it is. I'm just gonna hang here, with the jazz, for now. And love on myself. <3
Oh, and... Lovie Austin. Wow. If you don't know... you better ask somebody. Dang.