Sometimes we have to leave it. For real.
I find myself irritated and dry. Over-full, not with an over-flow of love, but the clutter of unfinished business and stuff and the debris collected over generations.
No time to finish any of it. No sense of pulling together, in the inner and outer world, to clear the decks of this boat.
I snap. Easily. Quickly. Brittle people are like that.
This fragile balance gets upset easily by broken microwaves, convenience deprivation, changing clothes over, unfinished D.I.Y, the fact that I have cracked my little toe and this tiny injury is rendering me incapable of pulling off the super woman act I put on most days. Funny how the body gets its own back…… So I am in this state of being crippled by a silly injury and still trying to get things done. Trying to get stuff clear, you know?
Wow. Head for the long exhale. Jagged edges never got smoothed with a blunt knife.
In my tool box I have been given an way to explore into presence. This is a gift, if only I remember it’s there.
So. What am I thinking right now?
(I’m sick of not having the time and space, literally and metaphorically, for me. Clarify me. The things I need to do in order to be supple and nourished, as opposed to brittle and bled dry. Note the ‘sick’. Insert ‘broken toed’ if required.)
What am I feeling right now?
(I’m feeling irritated. Jumpy. Physically agitated. Dry, dry, dry to the point of itchiness. I am itching! Itching for a fight, for action, for whatever.)
What do I want right now?
(For everything to be in its place. In my house. in my head. On my desk. A helpful, smooth running household. In the outer and inner world.)
This tool helps to ease the itch. I will not go into the living room now and pick a fight with my partner, my sister or my children. I won’t be the moody, aggressive one on the streets, projecting paranoia onto passers by.
I have been gifted another tool. Asking ‘what’ instead of ‘why’. Asking why? can put me in a big old maze that I can stay in for years. Asking what? gives me the power to name and release, and I mean that.
What happened today?
I have been granted a maternity extension to my thesis, giving me and extra 7 months to finish it. This is a more realistic time scale for getting it done right. I tried sitting down and planning how to use that extra 7 months this morning and it made me so angry! In the last few months I have re-discovered passion and excitement for my work, but at this moment it was gone. This was resentful anger. Planning the next 7 months around this thesis, which grows in it’s demands for more of me with every extension I get, I hate it for dominating my time. How it sucks up space, energy, time.
Like….. life can’t start till it’s done.
And I am done postponing my life!
So I switched from thesis as reflection of my inner world, to house as reflection of my inner world. I started trying to clear things out of cupboards, finish D.I.Y, toss out old clothes, organise paperwork.
With a broken toe and a sick baby (my son has croup right now so it’s been sleepless nights for a week)
No really. Writing this I wonder at my insanity. What do I doubt about my worth that I have to do all this proving of my abilities? Is it not enough to be limping with a sick baby to look after and a 4 year old on school holidays, operating within a patriarchal, capitalist framework that won’t let my partner take family leave without losing part of his wages?
As I tried clearing out the stuff I felt MASSIVE resistance. And I love a good clear out. Not today. Physical inhibitions extended into my mind. I felt this misplaced, misguided clinging to these old, no longer useful to me, things. Our tiny flat seemed unbearably crowded now with superfulous things and unfinished work.
Because there is so much to finish, it is too much.
This makes me want to throw everything away.
But then I can’t distinguish between useful and un-useful, not in the state I’m in!
(A little voice in my head speaks to me and says, what is stopping you from having a rest right now?)
I hold onto this state of limbo. These things. This work. I hold onto all of it with resentment that I am holding onto it. I refuse to consider the possibility of putting the load down for one day to rest so that I can restore the physical capacity to do the work, and draw on the support of others when they are at home to help.
The i ching has a wonderful hexagram in it that comes up again and again in my dealings with it. It is the one that says, hey, the hour is not beneficial sister, if you think the forces are against you, it’s because they are! Lay your load down and stop doing. Conserve your energy. Then, having rested, you will arrive at a more beneficial hour for taking action. Keep pushing against the tide, and you’ll be too exhausted to notice even when a more beneficial hour arrives and punches you on the nose.
Taking a breath, I apologise to those I belong to who are closest to me. On whom I have unleashed my irritation and frustration. They are gracious and accomodating. They urge me to drop it, and just rest. No big deal. Sometimes resting is the work.
Asking What? allows us to untangle the impossibly complex web of Why?, transforming it into a description that releases through naming.
It’s time to return to my work.
Music appears by magic.
To get the tools, check out ‘Wheel of Initiation’ by Julie Tallard Johnson.