It’s okay to be stuck

It’s okay to be stuck. Really, it’s okay. There’s just something you need to learn. Something you need to do. Someone more you need to be. And the more stuck you feel, the bigger the lesson you need to learn.

It’s life saying: “HEY! WAKE UP! You’re more than this! You’re wicked awesome and the world needs you to be wicked awesome. But you’ve forgotten how wicked awesome you are. So…it’s time to remember! It’s time to hunker down and remember. Do the work! Even if you don’t know exactly what your next step is, that’s okay. We’re here to help! We got ya! You’re not alone.”

And by ‘we’, I mean God, the universe, angels, loved ones who may be deceased but who remain close in your heart, others in your life who see and know who you really are…,all the forces within you and around you who are there, all the time, whether you choose to pay attention or not. (And yes, most of them talk with a lot of exclamation marks because they are excited for you. We’re all excited about who you are!)

Even I, writing this blog, am excited for who we all are. I’m excited about who I am and what is possible for me, and I’m excited for you reading this and everyone around me because of the potential each of us brings to the world. Sure, some people are more aware of their potential and who they are than others, but that’s all good. We’re all where we need to be, even if it feels like crap at the moment because don’t get me wrong, being stuck has big moments of suck-ed-ness. BIG moments of suck-ed-ness. Seriously. I’ve been feeling stuck for a while now. I haven’t blogged much (obviously). I’ve been distracted. I’ve cried a lot. I’ve been tense, stressed, and anxious. At times it’s been overwhelming. At times I’ve screamed “What the fuck am I supposed to do next? I don’t know what I’m doing. This isn’t working. I’m lost and I can’t see the way out. Please just tell me what to do. Please. I’m begging!”

Brutal.

The thing is, I’ve known all along the answers are in me—as they are in you—but that only made it more frustrating. Clearly I wasn’t hearing them. The noise is my head was too loud and was drowning out the answers to my questions.

So, I started to breathe. Deeply…and a lot. Because in the breath is stillness. And we need to find the stillness in order to find the answers.

In and out. In and out. Deeper and deeper until I started to let go of the cacophony of clatter. I started to let go…and the answers started to come. I started to remember. I started to get grounded again. I started to come out of the quck sand I had put myself in. And, more importantly, I realized that I wouldn’t have learned what I needed to learn if I hadn’t gotten stuck in the first place.

Being stuck is okay. It’s good. Like the person who has a near-death experience and realizes how precious life is, getting stuck is your wake up call. Breathe it in. Find the stillness and embrace that you are learning more deeply about your wicked awesomeness!

That’s my simple desire for all of us.

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Live the whole iceberg

I’m living in transition mode at the moment, which I know is the time for me to open up, be aware and listen…listen hard. If I don’t, this transition won’t mean anything. I’ll take some step to the left or right, but likely it won’t be significant enough for my feet to be on a new path. I’ll still be going in the same direction, like when one lane of the highway is closed and you need to veer left, but you’re still on the same road, going in the same direction, heading for the same place. Not good enough. It’s got to be more than that. It’s got to be a deliberate change in direction.

So, as I’ve been working on this opening and listening, I’ve been digging deep and really trying to hear what my gut is telling me. What is at my core. What God/the universe/my soul are saying about where I need to go next. Believe me, it freaks me out a bit because I’m not sure what I’m going to be told, and I have to let go of all of my shit, but when I finally stop and trust, the result is beautiful and uplifting. Because the more I dig deep,  the more I actually trust myself. The more sure I am of me. And can I tell you, that is a glorious feeling!

In so doing, then, I’ve been looking around and am struck by how few of us actually ever dig deep. We’re walking around  living on the surface, wrapped up in the petty, every day-ness of life.  Our attention focused on dumb little things that completely distract us from hearing what’s really being told to us, like one person’s remarks that you could have done better, or someone who takes that wicked parking spot, or how your husband puts his dishes on the counter above the dishwasher, not just directly into it (did I say that out loud again :)) These distractions become obsessive and take so much of our energy. They suck the life out of us. Based on one of my last posts, clearly that’s exactly what I’ve been doing for a number of months. Let’s be real, it’s been pretty sucky.

All this living on the surface means that we’re missing out on all of the beauty that lies beneath.

iceberg

Just look at what’s glowing below the water.

Like an iceberg, we can marvel in its tip, but if we don’t dive below the water’s surface, we miss its full expanse below. There is so much to behold and yet, it goes unseen, unexperienced. We may feel safe hanging out on the tip, but the truth is, the wonder and awe of life exists much deeper.

As I let Ariadne back in (yay me!), it’s becoming clear to me that the majority of us live in such small, limited spaces. We create tiny worlds for ourselves, and somehow feel okay with it because we so easily rationalize and justify that it’s enough. And as I reflect on that, I think, “That’s crap!”

Everyone of us is worth so much and have so much to give to the world, it’s astounding, but we’re so fucking afraid to stand up and stand out (me included).

Come on. We’re all better than this! We are. We think way too small and count ourselves out before we’ve even begun. It’s stupid. Truly.

We shouldn’t ever feel comfortable with what we know right now. It’s too infinitesimal. It’s too minute, like the bits of feather dust that fly off a newly-pulled tissue. You can only detect them when light streams, but that feather dust exists in such a vast space…as do we. What we know right now is simply not enough. It can never be enough.

So, here’s my simple desire for all of us…

Live the whole iceberg!

Let’s take the pathetic time wasted lying to ourselves that we’re living to our full potential and instead break down the ridiculous walls that confine us. Let’s redirect our energy to dive down and burst open who we can be. In that way, we will let others in. We will begin to trust ourselves, and we will move closer to who we can be.

Let’s do that. Let’s do that together and then we’ll see how awesome this world can really be!

Being in love with not knowing

I read an article the other day in the Writer’s Chronicle magazine. It was an interview with American poet Camille Dungy. I have to admit, before reading the article, I had never heard of Camille. Now, I’m seeking out her work. And as I read her interview, I felt compelled to pull out my pen and underline some of her insights. They resonated with me in my reflections of my simple desires. Here’s is one in particular that stood out:

“Look, life is one long terror from the birth canal to the hospice house. In between there are a few moments where you think you know what you’re doing and you can rest. But, of course, you don’t and you can’t. I have chosen not to be afraid of writing into that terror.”

Okay, perhaps to look at life as one long terror might come across as frightening and depressing, but there is truth here. None of us really know where we’re heading. We’re all just doing our best, and at times the road can be pretty scary.

fork in the road

Embrace the possibility of not knowing which way to go next.

Of course there are times when we feel we have some clarity, and we get excited and start running down the path like excited little children, leaping and skipping freely along the way. Until suddenly we don’t anymore, and the path splits into five possible directions, and terror rears its ugly head again because the choices are overwhelming and we can’t see what lurks around the corner. Sometimes the path is dark and menacing, or foggy and murky. But that’s what life is. That’s the journey and it’s up to us to decide how we’ll walk our path – in terror of the unknowing allowing it to paralyze us to stay in one spot, or to become in love with it and embrace the unknowing for all of its possibility.

Recently, as you can tell from my last blog post, I’ve been choosing the former. I’ve been frozen on the path, having no idea which way to go next. But, after writing that post, I finally invited Ariadne back into the ring with me, and together we’ve pulled some good punches on Anders. He’s not looking so buff anymore 🙂

I have finally realized that having no idea which way to go next is actually a very beautiful and empowering thing. The beauty of reaching “no idea” – absolutely having no idea – means you are now open to any idea, and you therefore have to live in faith because there is no other choice. Faith is free. It frees us to be more than we thought possible and releases us from a need to know.

When I let Ariadne back in and embraced my not knowing, my world instantly opened up and we finally brought Anders to his knees. But man, did I resist it and I allowed myself to wallow in my terror of not knowing, begging for answers, frantically seeking for anyone/anything to show me a clear direction to take. But my path – everyone’s path – is ever evolving and sometimes you need to go through the “I have no idea” stage because the answer cannot yet be given. You have to just take one more step and then another one, letting go and trusting that that path will become clear again. All you have to do is keep moving forward.

So, my new simple desire is to have absolutely no idea, but to be committed to taking one more step, and with that, I can once again be free and open to new possibility and light.

Kicking the shit out of myself

Georges St. Pierre

Anders looks like this these days. I’ve been training him well…too well. (photo of Georges St. Pierre courtesy of fightersclub.com)

For the past several months I’ve been kicking the shit out of myself. Seriously. I’ve become the light weight MMA champion of the octagon, going through fight after fight, winning them all, with the only opponent being me. I’ve been walking around sore, bruised, bloody and swollen…and I keep going back in for more.

You see, I have an incredibly powerful, Georges St. Pierre-esque alter ego: Anders. He’s incredibly effective at making me feel smaller than I am. He’s especially effective when I give him a lot of one-to-one focus and training. Clearly I’ve done well by him recently. So, as a result, he’s been winning a lot and his ego is starting to whiz out of control.

My beautiful Ariadne: my Goddess of Light

My Goddess of Light – Ariadne

Usually, on the other side is Ariadne. My goddess. My true self. When she is in full force, her strength is unmatched. Her light is alluring. Her beauty is breathtaking. However, I kept her hidden in the shadows of late have not trusted her enough to even come into the ring with me.

What I’m coming to realize is that Anders gets fierce and potent when it’s time to make a big change in my life. One that Ariadne has been leading me toward, but that makes Anders feel uncomfortable. My fear and hesitancy allow him to enter the ring, all brawny, ready for combat, to ensure I stay the course, no matter how dreadful the consequence of potential bitterness, anger and likely depression. “Don’t risk too much. You don’t know what you might lose.” That’s his thing.

And unfortunately for me Anders is not just muscle. He’s got smarts too. He’s a master debater and can adeptly justify and rationalize how the grass is greener on the current side of the fence. (Ah, the damn devil you know.) And when I don’t call in Ariadne, he outwits me every time. I struggle for rebuttals and never find the right words to express my current level of discontent.

My true simple desire is to live in joy, but when I give Anders all my power, what am I left with? My soul knows Ariadne has the wisdom and true understanding, but too often I fear her glory, and Anders is ready and waiting to feed me his lies.

So, enough of the shit kicking. Enough of being bullied around by this brute. Time to get Ariadne into the light again. Time to get back to my simple desires. Ariadne, the gloves are yours!

Sweet inspiration, you came back!!

Oh sweet inspiration, what you do to me! My heart is racing. My fingers are tingling. My mind is flipping cartwheels out of utter joy because you have come back to me (refer to last post)! I’m also so glad you caught me when I raced into your arms at first sight – like my 5-year old when I come to pick her up, ecstatically yelling my name, trusting I have my balance when the full weight of her body thunks against my thighs.

I stole this image from http://www.schuitema.co.za/blog/?p=1608 (hope they forgive)

Stolen from http://www.schuitema.co.za (please forgive)

And I saw the grin in your eyes when you knew I saw you. You were happy too! (Hee hee. I really do look like her right now →)

In fact, you haven’t left my side since we reconnected. Maybe the reason you left was to restock your idea fridge because the other night you kept me up until almost 1:00 a.m. with your new notions. I could barely keep up. And then, in the middle of work yesterday, you appeared out of the blue and got me all riled up I had to jot some quick shorthand just to capture what you were saying. And now tonight, you caught up with me again starting at my aunt’s 80th birthday party, which I almost didn’t go to. But then, I think you whispered in my ear I should make the effort to go and see the family I haven’t seen in many, many months. And upon seeing many of them, I quickly realized why. You reminded me that I come by my artistry honestly. It’s in my blood. As I looked around the garden, I began to take in the passion and creativity I’ve been surrounded by my whole life. My uncle, for example, has music for blood in his veins. He is a past opera singer with the Canadian Opera Company and a current vocal coach and incredible pianist. (By the way Rudy, I confess to touching your stunning piano. My fingers couldn’t help themselves…) Rudy’s two siblings were near by, one a cellist, the other a singer. My own mother and father inspired writing and music in me from the beginning and pursue both themselves in different ways. My cousin is a writer making his way and following his heart. My other cousin is a photographer and film editor. My aunt’s brother was there too, and he’s an actor and the former Artistic Director at Theatre Passe Muraille among many other accomplishments. I’ll stop there, but you get the idea. Thank you inspiration for knowing how good that would be for me.

And then, my sweet, I turned to find you schmoozing with their inspirations. Friends I guess you have not seen in so long either. Based on how fast you’re making me type, I think the party was just as good for you as it was for me. See? We do make a great team. We’ll keep this simple desire thing of ours alive yet.

So, this is a shout out to you for hearing me and not giving up on me. For reminding me who I am and that I never should have doubted you in the first place. (Yes, I see you nodding fervently like I should have known all along.) I was all worked up for nothing, as per usual. Here’s to you. I hope you enjoyed the cookies (refer to end of last post).

Yours always,

Andrea