So i'm at something of a crossroads.
One that I brought myself to, of course.
Or am I?
Really when I think of a crossroads, it's as if there's a few directions to choose from, which way do I go from here, right?
Well this feels more like an intersection of highways in L.A., with on and off ramps, 7 lanes, oncoming traffic, honking cars next to me urging me to speed up, move over, use my signal, get with the picture, pick a lane, get out of the way, no AC, my GPS telling me to go one way while the map says another, and my engine light is on....
yeah. It feels like that some days right now. Even though it's mostly constructs of my own mind and the pressure of our culture.. With a little bit of over-commitment on my part.
Well, because i'm a project-and-information-aholic.
Because i'm passionate about... well, hundreds of things.
Because I like to try lots of things by diving in headfirst off the cliff (after i've successfully rationalized the spontaneity of it to myself), soaking up as much as I can on the cold swim to the shore, crawling out exhausted and dripping, only to change my focus to the next thing that catches my eye, because, well
– the cliff diving was fun and I learned a lot, but been there, done that.
And I LOVE to learn new things.
I'm grateful for this love of mine, but it has become out of balance.
If it catches my fancy - I want resources to soak up, sources, stories, hands-on experience, I can do anything, gotta prove it mania.
And there's some revealing truth to my vulnerability in that. A little token of my own struggle in feeling i have to prove my own worth and deservedness.
You might know what i'm talking about...
I'm not even that great at retaining information (maybe because I take so much in!).
But then I get to the hands-on experiential part, and I often love it... for awhile.
|Power of Collective. original mandala. 2011
Because I have this gift of seeing the relation of all things in human experience,so during the honeymoon phase of my new endeavor or project, i'm blinded by my love of how it is all connected to spirit and
humanity and Source.
And I'm a fast learner, a natural observer, a born empathist and visionary.
And maybe, as I suspect,
a chameleon of sorts.
And then one day, I start to feel this unsettled pit of sludge in my gut, a heaviness to my heart, and the itch of dissatisfied yearning. So I start looking around, or I pick up that book I bought 2 years ago and never got around to reading, or I sign up for some class, or I switch jobs, move (a little nomadic, too) or go to grad school for something I never even thought of doing before
...or something nutso like that. ;-)
and then it starts over and I get distracted for awhile by my new project or interest.
while i hoard beautiful information and feed my need for self-improvement and know-how.
Well, recently i've come to a place of being rather hard on myself about this. Mainly because I have way too many things that I sort of do and i'm always feeling strapped for time and spread thin. I don't know where to put my energies.
Yes, I like them all on some level, but when I bring something into my life I have a hard time allowing myself to only be partially committed to it. I feel like a slacker if it's not just Great or i'm not just Great at it. Like somehow that makes me less interesting or judgable. Wow. tough stuff, right? my worst critic, for sure.
So lately I'm really feeling the overwhelm - like nails down the chalkboard of my spine, whispering, "Stop This Craziness, Slow Down, Go Back to Who You Are Without all This Distraction and Busyness." Yet despite that, letting go of tasks is not something that comes as easy to me as adding them to the list. It's proving to be a bit of a challenge in itself.
I've realized I have placed too many pans-of-demands on my front burners. Things are burning and boiling over and i've lost all sense of control.
(I know, I know – control is an illusion...)
But worse than that, I totally forgot to turn on the oven for the most important part, the main course, the best dish, the real soulfood.
|Cover to a new art journal for my gremlins.
So i'm choosing to face the Gremlin that challenges me to prove i'm good at everything I try. (I suck at origami, gremlin – take that!)
and i'm telling the Imp to stop acquiring new interests, information and projects like material possessions with the promise of short-lived glee.
And i'm facing my Fear-mongrel.
The one that tells me my path and satisfaction are only Out There somewhere, to be earned and found and sweated, stressed and bled for.
And I'm just gonna swim awhile here in that water of me.
Because I already have within me exactly what I need to be happy and fulfilled and successful and joyful in all the ways that I define those states of being to be. Work is involved, but it's the real work of living, of spirit, of growing. And I have to trust that the rest will fall into place.
My best friend and love said to me last week, in his sweet way, that maybe my spirit IS doing exactly what she set out to do when she came into this life – by taste-testing all kinds of amazing things that inspire me as I find my way. He's amazingly insightful about these things. I hadn't quite thought to give myself that kind of permission. I just figured I was lost, screwed up, not getting it. Fickle.
But no, i'm on the right path, even if i'm facing a crossroads.
Even if I change my mind.
So for now...
|there's a garden in there?? really???
My garden is way overgrown and neglected. (True story.) But i'm stepping back and letting it go, and watching things go to seed. It's actually quite beautiful to just let it all be.
I no longer cook big meals more than 2 or 3 times a week because dammit, I have no kids, i'm not superwife or Martha and I don't need or want to be.
I left my fulltime job a year ago, and though funds can be tight from time to time, I don't regret it one bit, because I feel better in my cells overall, and i'm here facing my fears finally, trying to live a Quality life, not just make a living – something a 9 to 5 (and then some) just wasn't giving me the room for.
I started my own small service business a year ago, and it's fine enough, and helps pay some bills. But the truth is, it hurts my back to go at it for more than a couple of days at a time, and it's just not my passion, and that's ok. It presented a way out of the conventional job for me and it has shown me that I Love love love working for myself. So it will no longer consume me or stress me unnecessarily. I will simply let it run its course and offer Presence to some Elders in the meantime. They are such amazing teachers.
|By artist Mark Ryden
And you know what?
I don't want to be a nurse anyway in this whacked out, unappreciatve, priorities-all-screwed-up healthcare system.
There, I said it.
I'm a facilitator of healing, and always have been, i believe – this manifests in many many many ways, and my way is still emerging.
I would love to be a herbalist, aromatherapist, reiki master, massage therapist and a million gazillion other things in the world of holistic wellness and healing. But I don't need to be. And if there's one thing I have learned as a nurse, it's the importance of self-care and that healing begins in our minds and our environments (thank you, Flo). I've also learned that life is too damn short to not shoot for your own stars and live a life you won't regret (thank you, all of my hundreds of hospice patients). so THAT's what i NEED to do.
Also, my dog doesn't have to be perfect. Just a good, happy dog who sits when told and knows some basic manners.
And I don't have to teach my students everything. Just share some knowledge with passion, role-model my love of learning and meet them where they're at.
I don't have to learn everything or how to do everything myself either. That's why there's other people in the world – so we can help each other out. duh. :-)
If I never find the time to knit again, that's ok. I don't have to read every book I own. In fact, I can just pass them along. And though my intention is to meditate and/or yoga everyday, I don't, and that's ok too. No big deal.
What has surfaced on the horizon as I've begun clearing the air of my own expectations,
are the things I AM truly most passionate about,
at my core, at my Source.
They've always been there. Underneath what i've been filling my time with.
I know they are the real deal because when I do them for real,
it's like i've come home.
Time slips away because it doesn't matter when you're doing what you're meant to.
My mind shuts up when i'm in sync.
My body releases tension from... everywhere, really.
My emotions scream YESSSSSSS with this ~calm~ Joy and I feel like my Well is Full.
M u s i c.
A r t - m a k i n g.
S e e i n g.
C o n n e c t i o n.
S e n s i n g.
S p i r i t.
T r a n s f o r m a t i o n.
L o v e.
* sigh *
There's no guaranteed dollar sign or stability or credential or prestige down that road.
There's just me.
So that's gotta be the way.