Silent weightlessness

27 03 2014

 

 

 

To fully appreciate this post, please read yesterday’s post first.


In the musicals I loved to watch as a kid, with Gene Kelly, Fred Astairs, Ginger Rogers and Judy Garland, when things got together, the music would lead to a crescendo and from that on to a grand finale. Somehow I still expect there to be violins when big things happen. Interestingly, in real life, the opposite is true.

When I woke up this morning, everything was silent. It was still early, there was no traffic yet, but the silence had nothing to do with anything outside of me. It took me some time to figure out that I am experiencing the absence of internal noise. This stillness includes the absence of movement. It is as if the pendulum that normally swings from one side to the other has halted in the middle. There is no feeling attached to this state. I feel energetic and yet have no need or desire to do (except now write). There is a no-thingness, an is-ness, an emptiness that I find hard to describe. It is neither comfortable nor uncomfortable. It just is. Silent weightlessness probably is the most accurate description I can come up with.

Tomorrow things will be different again, and in two weeks, when my body has adapted to the changes brought about by the release of all the amassed emotions, things will be different again. So today, instead of chasing the illusion that things need to be done, I will simply do what I feel inspired to do and feel the sacred space inside of me. I will breathe in and breathe out and feel all there is to feel. Because this experience is as much part of the healing as was the releasing I did over the past days. I breathe in and out and feel my whole body, pulsing in the rhythm of my heart. There is joy when I tap into this silent weightlessness, peaceful joy. A deep knowing that all is well.

 

picture by H. Berends

 





Sit Stay Heal

26 03 2014

 

 

I am still taking things slowly, not because I want to, but because my body dictates rest, a lot of rest. I am trying to take it as it is and use my time for reflection. I don’t want to. I want to do lots of things, but not think and feel. I feel a lot of resistance. I could say that I have done enough soul searching, that I want to get some action, but unfortunately I do have more discernment than that, so I go past the resistance and stumble upon anger. Buried under the layers of guilt I released is anger. I would have expected it to be the other way around, but it isn’t. Inside of me is raging anger, directed toward myself. I don’t know how to process anger in a healthy way, all I ever did was suppress it. While I am feeling this all-consuming rage, the word forgiveness pops up. But I don’t know how to forgive myself for the things I feel angry about either. So I do what I always do, I breathe.

I feel the heavy pounding of my heart, the adrenaline pumping, my blood racing, and I Read the rest of this entry »





There is no one youer than you!

20 03 2014

 

 

I am always incredibly optimistic when it comes to my energy levels. Nevertheless, my body rarely agrees with me. After last week’s redoing of our laundryroom, my body’s energy supply quickly exhausted. It is Thursday now, and all I can do is sit on the couch. Today, I will have to choose my activities carefully. I want to do so much, my head is buzzing, yet my muscles are aching and I have trouble focusing my eyes, which always is a sign that I have crossed the line.
On days like these when I am confined to sitting on the couch, yet want to do so much, when I can only do things I love so much that they don’t cost a lot of energy, and then only in moderation, I struggle with feelings of grief and guilt. Grief for not being able to participate as I want to and guilt over being ‘lazy’. It is absurd, I know. Yet, in a society that values busy-ness over health and status over authenticity, it is something everyone who is not living a ‘mainstream’ life has to work through. We have been brought up with the idea that if you want to do better, you have to work harder. I still have that mantra in my head, but I understand now to which degree it is an untruth, and a very dysfunctional at that too.

In these past years, I have talked about ‘living my best life’, ‘being my best self’ and ‘doing the best I can’, I will not use these terms anymore, because they set me up for failure. In my mind, ‘best’ is associated with ‘the best’, it is associated with winning and working harder, or worse trying harder. For me, and I guess that I am not the only one, this unconcious idea, this socialized version of success is a recipe for disaster. I am the ambitious type, even when I play a game, I want to win. I love being good at stuff, I love excelling, I love being active and doing things to the best of my ability. So yes, the idea of living my best life resonates with me. Things is it resonates with the fighter in me, and consequently the loser in me, because they are both on the same continuum. Using words like ‘living my best life’ not only activates the image of living a great life, but also the idea of failing when I fall short. ‘Being my best self’ implies a right way of being and a wrong way of being. ‘Doing the best I can’ in my head translates to that I can always be better and do better and that challenges the belief that I am perfect as I am, it makes me feel imperfect.

From now on I will live a life that is true to me, my choices and my actions will reflect my true self, and I will be as true to myself as I can be at any given moment. I am enough whether I am sitting on the couch or bursting with energy, I am perfect as I am, I cannot fall short. And so can’t you!

 

picture by bschwen

 





Letting go of things that don’t serve us

19 03 2014

 

 

This past year, we have been living in a state of chronic clutter. It was driving me crazy. So last month, I analyzed the situation and made a plan. It turned out we had too much stuff and too little space. As every organizational guru can tell you, in order to live in an organized home, every item does need to have its own place. In our home that wasn’t the case anymore. And although I do have some organizational talent, my husband and daughter definitely haven’t. If things don’t have their own clearly defined place, they’re lost. With a busy husband, a growing-up daughter, my own ambitions and fluctuating energy levels, that posed a problem. Especially, because my energy level is negatively correlated to the level of clutter in our home.

Last weekend, we  built additional shelving, hung two coat racks, and even a shelving unit just for bags. Today, our mud slash utility slash laundry room is an organizational heaven. As we only put back what we really wanted to keep, we were left with four boxes of stuff for charity, three crates for my daughter to sell at the children’s flee market on King’s Day and a shelving unit that doesn’t fit our needs anymore to sell on E-bay. As we all know, purging begets purging. So yesterday, as I was looking at every item in my living room through the eyes of a purger, asking myself if it could stay or had to go, my eye fell on a tray of orchids, in their resting state, waiting to bloom again. I love orchids, they are my favorite plants. When they are in bloom. In their resting state, they are, what can I say, not exactly a sight for sore eyes. And as I don’t particularly enjoy the process of getting them to bloom again, I decided to say my farewells. I put them on the counter with some other stuff to be tossed, when my mind started racing. “Couldn’t I keep them?  Couldn’t I put them somewhere else, less visible?” Now you have to know that I don’t have a track record of bringing orchids to bloom again. I am not even particularly well at keeping them in bloom. “Maybe if I tried harder they would come to bloom. I should keep them, really, I just should do my best and make them come to bloom. It would be a waste to throw them away. Buying new orchids, when mine are done blooming is unsustainable behavior,” the voice in my head ranted. “Maybe I could keep them,” I kept thinking.

This morning, I decided that I will not throw away those leafy orchids. I will Read the rest of this entry »





On being an original

12 03 2014

 

 

Last week, as I was exploring the topic of playfulness in my life, or better the lack of it, I created a list of things that get my juices flowing, things that make me feel alive. Looking at that list, searching for patterns, I saw, to my big surprise, that most activities included the presence of other people. This was kind of unsettling, as I considered myself to be more of an introvert than an extrovert. The list, however, was telling a different story. As I was investigating how to introduce into my life more interaction, I started feeling a mix of acute fear and pain. And I remember thinking to myself: Isn’t it ironic that the thing I need to feel alive is the thing I fear the most?

As I allowed the pain and fear to wash through me, three things became apparent. We can only be truly playful when we stand in our power. To stand in our power we need to fully reclaim our authenticity. And to reclaim our authenticity we need to forgive ourselves. When I talk about forgiving the self, I am not saying I did anything wrong, nor am I saying that I need forgiveness for what I have done, in the traditional sense. Forgiving the self is the process of Read the rest of this entry »





The playlist

5 03 2014

 

 

I suck at playing. I do. I really, really, really do! I know that, because I have a husband who is really, really, really good at it. At the end of the day, when he asks me which fun things I did for myself that day, he usually gets a blank look. Recently, he started asking me to list five fun things I will do for myself during that day, and usually I come up with only one, if I do. It made me realize I don’t even know which fun, yet often seemingly useless things give me lasting pleasure. But I do know that when I don’t engage in such activities during the day, I will feel depleted at the end of the day, even if that day was filled with things I love and value. So finally, after years of intending to feel good, I am asking myself which trivial things actually make me feel good. I nailed the big things, I know what it means to feel fulfilled, to live a life that reflects my love and my values, but I found that I am rather clueless when it comes to the small stuff. I’m no psychologist but I guess it comes from years and years of shying away from things that weren’t useful. Not to mention the guilt I would feel when doing something that could be considered frivolous.

Nowadays, I don’t feel guilt anymore, or maybe a little, but doing something fun, just for me, still feels uncomfortable, and extremely so. It is also infused with the absurd fear that I will get stuck in doing frivolous things forever. Rationally, I know that is not true, that when I am reading a good book, I get more done than when I am not, but still this fear  prevents me from getting immersed in a good book. I guess I’m not alone in this and I’m figuring it is just another muscle I have to exercise.  So that is exactly what I am going to do. I’m going to make a list of things I find attractive, but that up to this moment I deemed unworthy of my energy, and I am going to do them, religiously, until I get what works for me and what doesn’t, until I crack the code and understand how doing these seemingly useless things are useful in keeping my energy soar. I know that my husband is slapping his knees when reading this, but I can live with that. I am so going to prove that I can do this too. I don’t know if it is possible to beat him at his own game, but I am sure going to try.

 

picture by Nico van Diem