I'm at that point of my internal cycling where everything is coming through loud and clear. It is a bit overwhelming. I feel on the verge of tears constantly. I am frustrated, a bit out of sorts and so easily pierced to the heart. Words take on new meaning. Tone is of utmost importance and the energy of intention is so painfully clear to me. I can't seem to scrounge up enough time to be alone...to sit in silence or at least hushed whispers. It gets difficult for me to listen because the messages are so loud, so pristine and their soul purpose is to converse with my fears. Although I am beginning to wake up after what feels like a long slumber induced by survival instinct...my fears still want to put me to sleep. They want to keep me "safe". I am noticing what an excuse maker I am. And, as much as I am learning to be gentle with myself and to love myself where I am at...I can't help but want to give myself a good kick in the pants at the same time. I have been connecting with some really, truly, amazing women over the recent past...via this space and beyond. Here, I have read about their courage, and their words have spoken to me like they came off the pages of my journal. They have gently reminded me of what is important and of where to begin. I can't express how life giving all of that has felt to me. And, the encouragement that has come from those of you who read my words and see my efforts and know my story...it is beyond my limited expression, what that does for me.
I can feel myself closing off if I am not in constant consciousness about it. I can feel it come up sneakily, making up excuses. I have been trying to reach out to others...both in the physical sphere and across the Internet. Sometimes, that action is met with the warmth and smiles of sunshine...and sometimes, inevitably, it is ignored or dismissed. At the same time, coincidentally but altogether unrelated, I have been trying to make comments on some of the blogs that I most treasure, and for whatever reasons, have not been able to. I don't know how all of that comes together, but it does, and I start to imagine walls and I feel shut off. All of this, of course, has no hidden meaning behind it, it is no one's "doing"...people are busy, computers are wacky, connections come and they go. I just have let myself dream up some picture in my imagination of being rejected, and I start hurting. It has been strange for me, and it is also hard for me to admit because it taps into some new found (but certainly not new) insecurities that I have. It has revealed to me certain ways that I compensate in order to feel safe. I am reminded of how I have shut down in the past over not being accepted or welcomed or loved...something that I was never prepared for upon entering my adult life. And then, the lies start selling me their pitches about how I am not creative enough or interesting enough or brave enough to make people want to stick around for a visit, for a friendship, for an adventure. It comes full circle back to me and what I am doing or what I am not doing. How what I put "off" effects what I allow to come "in". The universe is crazy like that. So, I start asking myself the questions that need to be asked. Why am I not creating when I want to create? Why am I not writing the stories that I want to write? When I see something that I want to take a picture of, why not stop and take it? When I feel the urge to make a necklace, why not pick up the first bead? When I think I need to just START on a mixed media project, why not just begin? When I have an idea about anything, nothing, something...just write it down, say it out loud, get it OUT.
Last night, just as I was about to hit the ceiling from the burst of frustration that I get when I feel like I am shrinking...just as I was reeling over the internal push and pull of having so many dreams and so many responsibilities and so little resolution...just as I was allowing myself to feel the weight of "where to begin"...we decided to take a bike ride down the canal. It was early evening, the sky was explosive with brilliant orange which turned the water a dusty pink. As the sky changed color, so did the water...from pink to deep purple to pitch black. The clarity of the sky spoke sharply of a day's end. Crickets began to chirp and birds were singing lullabies. I could hear only a few things, the muffled sounds of music drifting through opened windows and thin walls, the faded distance of cars, the hum of my bike tires, and the sweet moans of my baby girl lulling herself to sleep over the bumps and bounce of the ride. Two ducks flew over my head and skied across the water, coming home. We passed backyards full of horses and green grass and wildflowers. It was bliss.
For Asher, the ride was so exhilarating. He always smiles on these rides. But last night, he couldn't quite let himself soak up the moment. He was so completely worried about the ride ending...us going home and getting ready for bed...he was fretting about it the entire time. At one point, I casually mentioned that perhaps we "shouldn't worry so much about where we are going, but instead, we should try and just enjoy the ride". It was not until after I muttered those words that I realized I was speaking to myself.
"Let's go far, far away....up, up on a cloud", Asher said.
I heard Josh trying to convince him that was something we would not be able to do. This answer was unsatisfactory for Asher. He really wanted the ride to last forever. His beautiful mind was creating escapes that he knew would take up quite a bit of time. I have a particular understanding with certain parts of his spirit. I don't appreciate being told that I can't do things. Upon hearing his frustration with his daddy's response, I thought I might chime in with an open ended "we can certainly try our best". That seemed to satisfy both of us.
So, I took it all to heart, the lessons available during that ride. It all has something to do with my habit of closing myself off, of staying safe, of not taking risks, of welcoming fear and making excuses and not beginning again. It all had something to do with knowing that we are all in this together...whether we know it or not, whether we connect or not, whether we know one an other's story. It has something to do with choosing the openness of "doing something unfamiliar" of doing "anything besides rushing off in the same old direction, up to the same old tricks" (Pema Chodron from When Things Fall Apart). It has something to do with paying attention to my thoughts and realizing that every small act counts towards something. It has something to do with practicing unlimited kindness with myself and with every single moment that I experience. It has everything to do with waking up and deciding to begin.