Hmmmm. I didn’t consciously contrive this topic to support me; I chose it as a natural next step in our conversation. The topics generally come out of the conversation from the week before. That’s how it works, and that’s how we collaborate. By sharing our thoughts and experiences, we keep each other self-accountable by keeping each other inspired. For me personally, our on-going conversation is my number one tool, not just for that lofty self-exploration and consciousness thing women seem to be doing these days, but for keeping all the pieces of my life gathered and supporting my vision. Forward focus. Reading you every day is how I keep myself in the conversation with life that I want to be in. You are the real, ambitious, thoughtful and intelligent reflection of myself. I am always grateful to have you as my guides, keeping me connected to me and my expression of life – rather than what is expected or assumed of me. Self-accountable. I mean, that’s the irony of being self-actualized and wanting to belong at the same time.
The past few weeks have been a boiling-down of what is important to me, what really matters. When I thought about this topic initially, I was excited to use it as a way to stay afloat while experiencing the grief of my Grandfather’s death. Busy, busy, busy… as opposed to the complete disconnect that I expected to happen so I can come back into balance.
So, of course, you know what I did. The first day or so of the topic-cycle, I started a bunch of things. I made phone calls and sent emails. I had a couple of meetings and got things started. I booked a giant painting job. Busy, busy, busy. It felt awesome. My house got messy, and there was even a pile of random beautiful beads sitting on my coffee table, all of them colours and shapes I had wanted to try for months. I made some incredible turkey soup. Again, I did not contrive this when I posted the discussion topic for the week, but suddenly I realized I could not keep up with the list that I had created by crossing things off my list. I was crazy-pants busy!
Then, finally, towards the end of the week, I slept through my alarm. Fortunately, I make my own schedule most days, because when I woke up and the sun was shining in my room, I laid there thinking it was the weekend, total bliss… for an hour. I felt fantastic! I had a huge, productive week, and here I was waking up to a sunny weekend morning. Imagine my surprise when I hit the kitchen, made a cup of coffee, and sat down to a leisurely rip through Facebook, only to figure out it was Thursday. 10 am.
The confusion was probably palpable, and the sudden switching of gears made me feel pretty stupid. Sitting there in my ridiculous jammies. Instantly I knew what I had done. I over busy-ed. I had wanted to keep my mind moving, by doing the things I had not had time to do for the past six months, but the truth was I really needed to keep ahead of the emptiness that might be triggered by the huge amounts of free time I have, now that Grandpa is gone. I spent time with him every day. Also the guilt. I had zero free time. That hit just as suddenly too. It’s so weird! I thought with all my high-minded practitioner skills, I would move through the grief stages without a hitch, but there it was: guilt. I did have resentful thoughts and feelings about my role in his care. I loved spending time with him, but I didn’t like doing the dishes, and I didn’t like the permanent worry. I didn’t like that feeling of being plugged into an electric socket, terrified any time the phone would ring that he’d fallen, or worse.
Now back to you, discussion topic. What if I crossed those feelings off my list. The guilt isn’t real. When, as a family we breathed his last breath with him, and I held his hand, and there was this incredible peace. That was real. That peace is real, and the feeling of peace in my body is the gift he gave to me as he turned and walked away. I felt it in all of my bones. Still and grounded. There was no guilt. Only love. As I sat there in front of my computer yesterday morning, totally disoriented, busy, not busy, guilty, not guilty, grieving, grateful, and looking for some way to find balance in my thoughts and emotions, I felt him remind me of that intense peace I felt at his end. It was like he put his hand out from my memory of that moment, and said, here, stand here. This is where you can do your life from, from now on. Peace.
It’s a really subtle thing to cross off my list, and I’m less than a day in. I’m not even sure what it is that I’m crossing off my list most of the time! It’s basically an energy in my body that I feel – artificial hysteria, maybe? worry? anxiety? a rushing? behind the eight ball? I’m not totally sure, but the moment I am conscious of it, I imagine myself crossing it off of a list, and feeling it leave me, just as if I had completed a difficult task. Then I take a moment to remember to feel the peace.
Peace. What if I did all the amazing and busy and exciting things that I love to do in my life in peace? Not only would it feel amazing, I’d probably get even more done ha!
Thank you Ladies. Always.