I hate this. I am so uncomfortable. And I am annoyed by the discomfort. I should be past this. I shouldn’t struggle with this.
This latest joyride started with some direction I got in my meditation. I’d say 3 weeks ago I would settle into my meditation, and I felt some restriction around my heart. After I was pretty deep in there, I asked my heart what was wrong, or rather, ‘What do you need?’. It answered, ‘Stop working’ and then, ‘peace, peace, peace’. So I had known that I had a deep desire for a rest from work. A sabbatical. But I wasn’t exactly sure how. So I kept sitting with this. Last week, while we were in Prescott, I got the hit: Take a month off from work. June. This was a bite-size piece. This I could swallow. And it felt good! It felt right. And all be damned if all the pieces were in place to allow this to happen!
This was a good month to take off, I thought, in regards to clients and location and timing. Soon but not too soon; can give my clients a month warning of what my plans are.
I gotta say, even as I write this I’m thinking, ‘this is stupid, no one will read this, this is childish stuff, this is too heavy, no one wants to read that, what will they think? You’re being so dramatic’. Heather told me yesterday, “You’re not allowed to believe anything you think today”. And I barely believe her that that’s true. One of those kind of times. But I feel very obligated to anyone that reads this that they get the real picture. I feel that in my life; in all parts. As a person and a professional to show people the full picture. Success is easy to talk about; messy is a whole other story. I was mentioning this to a client recently. That I’m repelled by teachers who don’t share their recent struggles. Let me clarify teachers. I mean anyone that puts themselves out front, or on display. Anyone that has a story to tell (so, what? Like, all people, I guess?). I remember when I was actively attending Al-Anon and there was a great conference called Fellowship of the Spirit up in the mountains in Colorado. I remember one in particular where women made up most of the keynote speakers. One lady was super polished, funny said all the right stuff and I end up feeling not that much. Another woman got up there and showed everyone her heart. She talked about recent struggles and how she was getting through them or got through them. I’m am a true believer that if someone shares from their heart they are undeniable, you can’t look away. And when they don’t, you are bored, don’t follow, get confused, irritated, forget. I want to be the first one.
So I am writing against all instincts that say not to because 1) I’m at a loss at what else to do with myself and 2) this is an important part of the process to show/be seen (even though the thought is still there that says, ‘no its not, no one cares, this is pointless).
Back to the story. So I run inside, after my meditation, and tell Jeff my news! I’ve just gotten clarity on my next step! What do you think?! And he is not excited. What??!! He explains that he is already messed up about not working and the money we’re using from savings. And then for me to say I won’t be bringing in our only income, he’s freaking out a little. He’s already thinking he should just do those home energy ratings (an offer he got from Denver, that he could do remotely via computer and internet).
Me: “I can’t believe you’re not excited for me!”
Jeff: “This is my biggest thing! This is my biggest trigger. I’ve never gotten over feeling like I should be working.”
Me: “Well we have the money, you know? We can do this. And it’s just for a month! This is something I’ve been yearning for for years!”
Jeff: “I know! And I do want you to have that but can I just have my money fear?!”
Me: “Yes. I just need to talk to my friends who can be excited for me. I get it. You’re too close to it right now.”
I think this is where the slow demise started. Where Jeff and I, collectively, started to pull back the band-aid of the wound that is not healed and has never been healed. But at this point, we don’t quite realize it. Or I don’t. I’m just mildly uncomfortable that Jeff isn’t behind me on this, but I’m very clear for myself that I need to proceed. I will be going forward with taking off June from work. I then talk to Heather and Anna about my plan. They are all for it and excited for me. I got the support I needed/wanted and I feel that exhilaration and fear when I’m about to jump out on something. Take the leap, if you will.
Then I begin to tell my clients. The first one is painful for me, although you probably wouldn’t notice if you were listening. I had a strong impulse to say, “IS THAT OKAY??!!” That impulse got a little less strong with each client that I told. But another discomfort was building. I didn’t know what it was at that exact time but a few days later (now) I believe it is about identity. Again I reached out to friends for support. Below is my text chain with Anna:
Me: I’ve told 4 clients now that I’m taking off June. I feel anxious, scared and lost (sad tortured emoji)
Anna: Well there’s your answer for why you were so resistant to it! That’s been a big part of your identity for a while now. It’s connected with the warrior too right? How many more do you have to go?
Me: That’s exactly what I was thinking. Part of my identity and drive. I do think the warrior is connected although I’m not sure how. It’s like I’ve lost some propulsion. Eck!
Between 3-5 more? There kind of spread out not every week now.
Anna: Lost some of your propulsion. I so get that.
Me: So I’m just eating.
Anna: LOL. Well what else are supposed to do? Enjoy!
Me: Literally nothing. Just kidding. I’m lost! So Netflix and eating.
Anna: I support your life choices.
Me: (Big laughing face emoji)
By this time we had moved to California! This was a dream come true for me. On the horizon was: a long vacation/sabbatical, living in CA with Jeff, essentially, and working with my best friend, Heather. We were set up at Jeff’s friends John’s cabin in Twentynine Palms, CA. It sits right on the edge of Joshua Tree National Forest. We were theoretically pumped! We had running water! Electricity! A/C! Can dump gray water into the sand! This was gonna be the shit! Except for the fact that Jeff and I were a big hot mess. We got here on Wednesday and by Saturday it was a mess. We were repeatedly wondering, “Is it this area? Is it messing with our vibe??” The area we were in was a mix of desert rats and military and it had a weird vibe. Shifty is the word I came up for it for me. Jeff agreed. He added desperation. But we’d been in areas that had some of this flavor before and never before had we ended up like this. Here are a few clips of dialogue you would have heard from Jeff and I Saturday:
“I feel like I am just falling down a hole with nothing to grab on to. Just a constant falling.”
“I feel like I have no idea who am I anymore. Like my identity has been stripped away.”
“If this is what life is, just like this, always hard, I can’t keep living.”
“I have nothing I can grab on to today. Nothing.”
Pretty bleak, huh? I was scared when I heard Jeff say the one about not living, not because I thought he’d kill himself but because I was thinking it too and we couldn’t both be thinking that or we’d die! I felt like WAY too many layers had been pulled back and there was no replacement. There was no substitute. Not to mention I felt like I was getting nothing from the Universe or from the Divine, specifically. I was grateful that I could still get in to meditation and find deep quiet. Not any direction, mind you, but quiet. And I’ve been checking in with my inner children when I meditate and this has been a really enjoyable experience and very telling for me. They have acted as my barometer. Letting me know what’s up and what I should do next. But Friday and Saturday, nothing. It was so discomforting and weird. I thought, ‘Oh no! Is this going away too?? Am I doing something wrong?? Will I just lose sight of this priceless thing?? Am I not treasuring it and its just going away?? AHHHHHH!!!’ And the torture continued. I haven’t felt such a consistent want-to-rip-my-skin-off kind of feeling for I don’t know how long. To have it last two days, and then on Saturday, to have it last for most of a day. Wow. Brutal. And for Jeff to be right there in it, the same. Just as devastated. SUCKS!!! I worry that I’ll lose him to the Dark Side. That he’ll lose faith or hope and be set adrift, never to recover. And here we were, both in it, at the same time.
I had the minimal vision to know this, ‘just get through the day by whatever means necessary’. I even tried to do the “next right thing”, with a teensy bit of success. I got through an hour of yoga, I meditated, and played the piano and sang. And I ate a lot of food. And NOT all the kinds I wanted! On this stupid Ayurvedic plan that tells me to AVOID, AVOID chocolate and chips. Jesus. STRIPPED AWAY! DOWN TO NOTHING! Seriously, I rely on food to get through those times so to not have chips. I want you to picture a very dramatic scene of me in like a Silence of the Lambs hole, just flailing and screaming, losing my fingernails trying to claw out and getting NOWHERE. I’m laughing at myself. And laughing at what Heather had texted a couple days ago: “You poor thing. You’re getting everything you’ve always wanted.” And its true. And who would have thought that we go through this to get what we truly dreamed of. Me! That’s who! I know this happens! I’ve taken people through this, I tell them, “Okay, so now you’ve have fought your way out of the dark. And that is amazing. You were at one time, fighting for your life. Now. That’s over. The dark time is over. Now you have to contend with the light. And what most people don’t know is that you will be afraid of and turn away from, the Light”. And I of course didn’t make this up myself. Many of the wisdom teachers out there speak of this and I feel it my duty to help as many people as possible through it. Duh, its so much easier from the outside. It’s so easy to see it on other people. It has a certain feel. Of someone dropped into a place they’ve never been, with a blindfold on with there hands out, inching along trying to feel for anything out in front of them. And when I’m in it, myself, everything just feels WRONG. But nothing behind me feels right either. If I try and look backwards, ‘nope, that’s not it. But this thing up ahead? What the fuck is that?! Why does it feel like this?! Ahhhhhh! Kill me now!! Make it stop!!’
Jeff and I managed to keep our date night, barely. Because, again, everything felt wrong, the thought is, ‘oh just keep still, don’t move, nothing new. Nothing more new!’ But we went. It was my turn and I had heard about an observatory and they were having an event. They seem to have one official event a week and it’s on Saturday and wouldn’t be happening for the next two Saturdays. Uggggggghhhhhhhhh, let’s go. And honestly, it helped take care of the next hour which got us another hour closer to bed and letting this day be OVER. Highlight of the observatory: seeing the moon in high-def with one of the 3 telescopes set up that night. Very cool. Then, back home. Look at the stars a little more, then sleep, thank god I’m exhausted.
And I wake up, and I do not feel the same as I did the day before. It doesn’t take much. Just not torture. ‘Yes. I can do that. I have no idea what I’m going to do with my life or if we’ve made some terrible mistake. I do not care. I am just not suffering today. THANK GOD!’ Today, I can breath. And I will go to the grocery store. I can totally achieve that. And I will be in one of my favorite places. The organic grocery store.
P.S. God please tell me if you relate to this or if this was meaningful to you. We have to stick together! We can’t do it alone. And why would we want to.
MTV Cribs-style tour of the Camper! On Video!