Leap

 

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Photo by: chris-lamprianidis.deviantart.com

On the path of remembering, we often forget.

This, too, is just another step in the Sacred Dance. 

And so, with wild abandon, we leap.

By: Michelle Welles

 

I forget stuff. A lot. The most insufferable forgetting I have are the life lessons. I’m forever saying to myself, “But I KNOW that already! How did I forget?” Things like, I’m enough. I’ve got something to offer the world. I’m not stupid.  I’m pretty solid with knowing where my car keys are, though, so there’s a high five for me there.

Lately, I am determined NOT to forget that everything will be okay. I don’t say this as a way to avoid the realities of the world, I say this because it is the most true thing I have learned, again and again. Hard things are happening. There seems to be no end to hard things. However, we do not need to allow the hard things to take us under and render us useless. I’ve learned to find the spark, the creative voice inside that brings forth the change that I want to see, that I know is meant to happen. Here’s a tip I’m remembering from the last time I forgot: if it seems like there are only two choices, wait. Sit with it. Don’t make a decision until you see more than two options. This is where creativity becomes our best ally. Like a dandelion that somehow took root in the cracks of cement, we, too, can find ways through the hardness.

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Photo by: elizaveta.typepad.com

Let me ask you one thing about stuff that is hard. Do you notice the difference in hard stuff? There is the kind of hard that comes with working a job you hate, or having the same arguments about the equality and rights of others to people who don’t see people this way, or the same old family issues that yank your chain every damn time you speak to your family. These examples are one kind of hard. Let’s call it hard-hard. Then, there’s another kind of hard. There is the hard of leaving your work and life to go sit with a dying friend, or to set up camp to support resistance of the Dakota Access Pipeline, or finally getting in to therapy to do some deep healing work. When we follow our passions, our kindness, our purpose (or whatever little tickle happens in your body that tells you to go do that thing that feels big and meaningful), something shifts. This hard, let’s call it hard-shift, moves something. It moves us in to connection with others. It moves mountains of no-way outs in to moving forward.

I’m okay with forgetting the hard-hard stuff. I’m not okay with forgetting the hard-shift stuff. So why do I do it? Why do I let the hard-hard be so real when it’s not? I don’t know, but my writing friend, Michelle Welles, gave me pause when she wrote this piece I share with you here at the beginning of this blog. And that is, maybe forgetting is part of the process. Forgetting is not some separate experience keeping me from my path, rather, it is part of the dance of change and healing and meaning. It feels good to remember something that was once forgotten. Like that song from high school you forgot about, or the ice-cream you forgot you purchased that you stumble upon after dinner. Score!! It is savored more than when you first experienced it. Unknown

I recently forgot that I was a teacher. I forgot that my joy comes from taking my emotive, non-linear living and spiritual practice, and playing with it, sharing my ups and downs with you all as a way to say, “Yeah, me too. Stuff sucks sometimes. But look what I found!” We are not the same, but we are similar in our desire to love and be loved, to know that we matter. I forgot this for a long time, and I guess fear and doubt and not enoughness filled in the gaps. After speaking to a friend, it came to me. What I had forgotten came back and I let it fill me inside all the way in to the nooks and crannies. It’s taking root, again. And I know this little bloom is going to be a wild weed because she is familiar. Ah, the joy of remembering again!

 

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Emerging Into This

 

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My heart feels like this lately.

This just happened. I wished a woman good luck at the lotto kiosk. I watched myself turn to her on my way out the door and say, “Hey! I hope you win!” I genuinely meant it, too. I’ve never done that before. Ever. At first she looked at me with a sarcastic look on her face. Her mouth was closed, as if she were holding back saying a retort of some kind. But once she looked at me, I held her gaze and let the reality sink in for the both of us; I meant it. A softening spread across her eyes and she said, “I need it!” I think she meant the money AND the good luck. I get that. I have certainly had my fair share of ups and downs where the only option I knew I was to throw two bucks down and play for my prayers to be answered.

 

There’s something in the air and I just can’t quite put my finger on it. Everything in the world is terrible right now. The environment, the politics, the violence, the poverty, it’s all just terrible. So why am I loving on people and not continuing my recoil from horror? Here’s another example, a family member of mine just no-showed on me. Again. Usually I’d be throwing down about this, pointing out the hurt I feel, the issues that need to be addressed, the vow to ‘never again’ that would be erased for some other opportunity for connection. But what do I find myself doing? I’m letting it go?! I actually understand that she is who she is, that she is trying her best. I can keep my own promises but I don’t need her to keep hers. What in the HELL is happening?

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Get a taste of this!

I want to document this. Put it on the record as saying, ‘Dear Me, This is happening right now. Love, Me again’. I don’t want to forget, because that’s how I create my own demise. I forget and put others’ experiences in front of my own and then navigate my world from their sights, their expectations, their needs. I let them act as captain of my reality ship, then I do tedious and unnecessary work to make things happen their way. This has worked never, so I don’t know why this is my default modus operendi. It’s not even easier. But I have been doing one thing lately that has been different than any other time before. I have been sharing my writing. That means I have taken my raw data and masticated it for awhile and then painted a picture with the flavors that are coming out of my mouth. TMI? Well, how would you describe it? It’s not that I have a finished product to give you, like 10 tips on how to be sane in an insane world. (Note to self: write next blog post on 10 tips on how to be sane in an insane world). You are getting the canary in the coal mine, except this canary is singing to you a love song of freedom and light and fresh air.

 

And you know what else is happening at the same time? Other people are saying beautiful, kind things at random. Example: this 93 year old woman starts to give me sweet tips on how to baby proof my house. We are in the community pool shower room. I know she is 93 because she tells me this, and tells me her children liked to throw each other down all the time growing up. She had to get rid of the glass furniture. I laughed. She said they are now 65 and 67. I asked her if they still throw each other down a lot and I give myself a giggle thinking about that. She didn’t hear me and I was disappointed that she didn’t get to share in that joke. She then says that there were spiders in the pool changing room and she told the receptionist. The receptionist said they would spray

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Or spiders.

for it but this sassy lady pointed her finger to the floor to emphasize that they would not be using any harsh chemicals for fear a child might pick something up off the floor and eat something toxic. I can’t make this world safe for my son all on my own. I rely on the grandmothers to give their fiery advice, even if some of those tips I have to learn on my own. There are such great kindnesses happening all the time, and this is just one. So, I rely on the kind person who tells me I left my headlights on, and I know for a fact that someone has turned mine off for me without even waiting to tell me they did it.

 

From the depths of chaos and despair, of abuse of power and greed, the page turns…a new chapter taking us to the part in our collective life drama where we look down at our shoes and realize the colors of our own distinct living, splotched on our boots, is the story we paint made by our own brushes.

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Well, look at that…

And now, confession time. I got really angry the other week. My one-year-old son bit me and drew blood, and I got so upset. Sadly, in a kind of knee jerk reaction, I yelled. And I instantly regretted it. Sweet baby had to hear his Mama yell and that is not okay. I will not let this happen again because this anger wasn’t even for him. Something was not in check in me. I took my own time out. So, who was I really angry at? I do what I always do. I sat and listened for the response that comes, much like the responses I have been giving in kindness. And it came, eventually. I was angry at what I thought was a situation I was stuck in. I felt I had no way out and no one to help me. But the gift in my having this sad experience was that the anger cleared long enough for me to see that I wasn’t really stuck at all. I just believed that I was. And you know what they say about beliefs and sphincters of certain kinds. Like my underwear, I opt to change my beliefs when they start to stink, stain or not fit anymore. Fresh underwear feels good and moves with you.

I let the kindness of this clarity about my son touch my heart, because that is part of this, too, to give yourself humble approval to experience the lessons in life and then the sweet forgiveness that comes in the learning. These experiences of kindness are cyclical in nature. They must be received, as well as given. And they come when they come, not saved for certain people or withheld. Like bursts of sunshine through the rain clouds, they touch everything and anything that is there in that moment.

phoneIf you find yourself enjoying some magical connections, some kind moments, some words that come out of your mouth that make someone laugh, or feel cared for, or change someone’s zombie-like disposition, and you didn’t even mean to do it, do this. Get curious about it and share it: write it, talk it through, make a song or dance of it, make art. There is a revolution of some kind happening and it’s not one we are cognitively organizing. Instead, we are getting out of the way and it’s moving through us. Feel it as this something is rising in us, with us, for us. It’s kind and beautiful and is powerful enough to save us all.