Loosening My Grip
These posts are more or less streams on consciousness. They are not reread. They are not polished. They are intended to act like journal entries. The 40 minutes I have is what I have to let these things out and I hope this way of sharing isn’t just helpful to me right now, but great for you as well.
The one thing I keep coming back to during this time, is if we walk away from this time in the world without being changed we have missed some great opportunity to expand ourselves not just individually but as a society.
As parents we are being asked the impossible to do our work, teach, keep a home, weigh every single social experience, handle the turbulent news of the state of our country, feel the trauma and weight of death, disappointment, various loses and more. The list is endless, exhausting, and my gosh is it heavy almost every day.
Somewhere under all this I have started looking for the good. I have started asking where is the light. Where can I contribute to it? How can I shift the expanses of how I saw my life so I can become better during this time even amongst the challenges. I continue to reflect on where I am headed and what has brought me joy. I know we may never pass this way again for better or worse and I continue to see things that are hard and how they are my chance to grow that much more.
I realized this summer I utilized my desire to avoid the realities of the world by creating far too many projects. I have a tendency to do this when I am stressed but place 2020 on my plate and I choose chickens and a new garden. What was I really thinking? I am not sure. I do know it was a way for me avoid the truth in my heart about this being a point to really rip open and learn.
What I have found lately is that the past 10 years of my life everything has been about striving. Much of which has been necessary. Building a business. Having children. Moving multiple times. Trying to “be something”. There was travel and accumulation. It has been endless. In that time I devalued my own needs believing that in some way I would find time for them one day. I never took the time to really dig really deep in myself. I listened to a conversation in my head of not being enough in whatever it was about either myself or my life. I never realized this till now. I struggled to sit long enough with myself to hear these truths. This summer though somewhere in the messy life of too many projects (unnecessary ones) and balancing the life of a baby and a young child while working, I found the parts of myself I kept pushing down.
There was a night…the first in a long time I sat outside in silence. No phone. Nothing. I sat in silence in our yard just listening to the earth move at night. I settled into my part in nature for that hour and watched the stars appear as the last light fell over the horizon. I felt small and I realized how much joy I felt in the stillness. The lack of striving presented a deep sense of calm. I realized in that moment living wasn’t about being constantly doing. In fact it was quite opposite. Living is about being and being aware of ourselves in this present moment.
I have sat with that a lot. There are times for big moves and big things and moments to stand and others to sit. All parts of the story of our lives. I have struggled to recognize that sometimes it is okay to just be and where duty calls me and shift it with ease and calm. To just be okay with what life has for me at times without controlling it or setting an expectation on it.
This fall I am sitting in that. I am looking at what is complicating it all for me and what brings joy, play, openness, and an opportunity for calm. In such times as this we cannot continually live in a state of intensity. Many of us have things that can be let go of. We hold them so tightly we no longer can identify the energy they are stealing for us to continue just holding on, but if we let them go that energy we were giving it opens us up to something else whatever that may be.
For me, this was work (Instagram in particular), possessions, and an idea of continual growth. This isn’t easy to just wake up and let go obviously. I find my grip tighten on these things every day in various ways. It is a choice every day sometimes every hour to try something else.
When I loosen my grip and become completely aware of the energy it was all stealing, I have found myself deeply calm and I find this space in my soul I didn’t know existed. It can feel like a deep breathe. It usually leaves me capacity and room to handle the next thing that comes out of left field in this world we are in right now. When I find myself holding my grip so tight my knuckles are white and I no longer feel them, I find myself wondering why my energy cannot allow for anything else and I go into a spiral of fear, anxiety, and more.
I don’t like seeing that we need to just find a way to survive something, but I always look for a way something can teach us to thrive. This is no different to me.
During these next 6-8 months I am digging into these things. I am actually going through business counseling and my hope is very simple that my understanding of myself while I sit here in this season of life opens me to something I never would have done otherwise if this time hadn’t forced me into focusing on bettering myself and making things simpler so I could see the clearest I had yet.
There are many thoughts swirling in my head these days and I will continue sharing them here as they come. I know many of us are walking new paths and trying to make sense of what lies before us and ahead of us. I am going to share a few things in my next post that are helping me a ton right now in hopes that they do the same for you.