I just found a letter from an ex-boyfriend, tucked away in a little box covered in cartoon reindeers dressed as christmas elves. My goodness. Isn’t it the most amazing thing— to find little pieces of the past that take you right back in time, and ask you to dive into certain memories and feel them all over again.
In the letter, my boyfriend of the time had mentioned that he’d just watched the movie When Harry Met Sally, and he marvelled at how similar my personality was to Meg Ryan’s character. How funny! Only recently I was told that very same thing by a friend who knows the now version of me. I mustn’t have changed all that much in fifteen or so years, and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. We’ll just go with: it totally is, okay guys.
It’s interesting. Only yesterday, coming down the mountain, I mulled over the idea of living in the present moment; thinking of the benefits, but also thinking of the fact that this now moment also restricts the human experience in certain ways. The memories, for instance. Beautiful memories that play in the mind like a movie, and play in the heart like the sweetest song.
The past does not exist in the present moment. Nor does the future. And yet such colour can be found in the times and places that once lived a moment of their own, moments that now only exist if a person chooses to allow them to resurface as conscious thought.
There’s also the matter of daydreaming— every dreamer’s staple diet. To live in the present moment is surely to rob those that identify as ‘a dreamer’ of a major part of their core essence, meaning, I suppose, that ‘a dreamer’ really would no longer identify as ‘a dreamer’ at all (omg, say it isn’t soooo!)
I guess the question I’m asking is: is the elimination of ego and identity entirely necessary, in order to live a happy, enlightened-ish life. Is it? I don’t know, I’d be interested in hearing some of your perspectives on this because I’m still a little on the fence.
Anyway, I’ve waffled on a bit there, haven’t I. I just think it’s kind of a fascinating idea, living in the moment. There is no denying that there really is such power in living for the now. Every piece of a person’s soul is present and available to be used, whereas, living in the past or future kind of scatters a person’s soul, causing it to technically be somewhere else (back then, or, someday.)
Have I absolutely confused you with all the existential rambling? Probably, and I hope not. I just think it’s an area of spirituality and mindfulness that’s a little bit restrictive to the human experience, depending on which way you look at it. It’s an idea I’ve been pondering of late, so I thought I’d share it with you guys and see what you think.
To live in the moment, or not to live in the moment. That is the question.
It appears that I’m back from the black hole of everybody get the hell away from me, I’m having an actual meltdown. Thank goodness for that, too, because it kind of sucked being in mega cranky land for all those days of black. It felt a little like I was in a dark room and couldn’t see a thing.
Stress is such a bugger, isn’t it? It has a way of stopping a person in their tracks, just as things seem to be getting better. I have a couple of interesting (cough: just plain odd) ways of looking at stress and the way it sits energetically in my system, so I thought while it’s on my mind—while I’m so fresh from this black hole—I might share them with you guys.
I suppose it’s all linked to that dark room I referred to earlier. Stress makes it hard to see clearly what is in front of me, and, if I’m going through a bit of a tough time and my energy system is already overloaded with all the painful nonsense…there really is no room for any of the good stuff to move on in.
Late last week, the beautiful counsellor I’d been seeing asked me where I see my life heading over the next little while, and I honestly could not answer her. So I put my predicament to her in woo-woo terms.
‘I’m having a vision of a brick wall,’ I said to her. ‘I know there is something behind this wall, but I can’t see what it is yet because there are too many blocks of stress that make up the wall. In this vision, I’m seeing myself taking down one brick at a time, and as I do, slowly the thing behind the wall (my future) is becoming clear.’ I really liked that idea of a wall of stress being made up of the individual stresses I am currently facing, because it made me see that if I pick off just one brick at a time, I will end up with a clearer picture in the end.
The other way I’ve been dealing with stress, lately— now that I can’t help but think of things in terms of energy— is by visualising the stress in my body as black smoke. It seems to me that the more stress (energetic bombardment) I have in my life, the thicker that cloud of muddy black in and around me is likely to be. Who could possibly see clearly through such a dense fog of black? Not me, that’s for shiz.
When I’m trying to clear my own energy of all the icky stuff, I’ll often visualise a trail of black smoke leaving my body as I breathe deeply, and I’ll keep visualising that very same image until all the black is gone.
This was how I got the Soft Girl to come back to me the other day. I sat on the grass and did all the breathing, getting rid of all the black energetic smoke, and voila! A few hours later, there she was. My beloved Soft Girl. Interestingly, my physical body also felt lighter once all the black stuff was gone, too— and that makes me feel as though there really is something to the saying: ‘stress is weighing me down.’
Anyhow, that’s all very woo woo, I know, but there’s no denying the clarity I feel after a good meditation session where I take enough time to rid myself of the energetic black stuff that makes up my stress blocks. Even though it’s kind of an odd way of looking at things, I thought it might be nice to share with those of you who are open to alternative methods of stress relief.
It’s best to listen to the soul the first time it speaks.
It will never stop speaking—not ever—until you listen and do what it says.
The soul speaks in many languages, starting with the soft and ending with the hard.
First, it asks you, nicely, to listen to it.
Then it asks you nicely again.
If you’ve heard, but have not listened (cough: all of us, most of the time) it will ask you a third time with a much angrier voice, and that’s just the way it is when a soul has something to say to the body that drives it.
Oftentimes our soul gets to three or more before we act and soothe it. Some people die without soothing it at all, and that’s why I’m writing these words.
It’s a confusing time, to say the least, because suddenly I live in a world where the choices are mine to make, and the healing of all my most painful inner wounds must be done by me, and nobody but me.
I used to ask others to fix me. In fact, I was so dependent on others that, up until the day the universe tapped me on the shoulder and said, ‘Omg, girl. You need to be waking up right about now,’ I continued to think that everyone else was probably right about just about everything, which of course meant that I was probably wrong. Such is the slippery snake of low self-esteem. The particularly cruel thing was…when self-esteem issues lived beneath my surface, never once did I think that anything was amiss. Until, at last, I did.
When I ‘accidentally’ embarked upon this ‘awakening’ journey— this epic road to self-love and acceptance—I had no idea what was happening me. I was just happily going along in the world ‘being me’: writing my novel, being a Mum. Not much was different apart from the fact that maybe I kind of liked trees a little bit more than usual, and that the sky colour had changed from ordinary to brilliant, for some weird and wonderful reason.
That’s when the odd pull to exploring spirituality happened. I was particularly taken by the way energy lives in this world and the different ways energy works within the universe to link and move us all. It was all so mind-blowingly fascinating to me, and it only became more enticing when I discovered the ability (an ability we all have) to move this energy to wherever I wanted to move it in my body. Like, omg. Guys. It was like finding wonderland after never having even heard of it before.
(Side note: If you’re interested in trying to feel your own energy, it’s as simple as relaxing and thinking the energy into a particular area of the body. The foot is a good one to try. You’ll likely feel a heavy sensation, and maybe a bit of a tingling or vibrating.)
Of course, that version of me who was just ‘having fun’ with exploring my energy—including my psychic skills and all the rest—really had no idea what was about to begin, and that, actually, by entering into this process, I would be setting myself up for the ride of my life: the making of an almost entirely new human being.
‘I’ was no longer ‘driving’ me. That became obvious very early on, almost as soon as I’d made the decision to let my intuition (or, the soft girl, for those of you who are long-time readers of this blog) come out to play. I began to give in to the woo woo of it all, to listen to the ‘signs’ and follow my natural urges. It was like the universe was the fridge, and I was the magnet. It was not letting me go.
As a result, I found myself experiencing the past all over again, this time for the purposes of healing. I hadn’t even realised how much pain lived inside of me. I hadn’t wanted to realise, more accurately, because knowing it was there would mean I’d have to face it. Now, I did not have a choice. It was coming, and it was coming in the form of bucket loads of tears (not to mention ALL the MILLIONS of poems. lol. Have you noticed those, yet? 😛 )
Sometimes these wounds would surface in dreams. Sometimes they would be triggered by others. Sometimes I’d just naturally find myself thinking of something from my past, and just knowing that I had to figure out why that particular memory had surfaced after so long lying dormant. I intuitively knew these inner pains needed to go, and so I got rid of them; through meditation, through music, through nature, through talks with friends and my counselor.
As a result of all this ‘facing the music’ I am not the same person I was two years ago. I am better by far, and I am worse by far, too, and ultimately that’s the balancing point I sit upon right now. I can’t go back to where I was before all this began: that is the only thing I know for sure.
From the very start of this process, I’ve had the very clear knowing that this is all leading me somewhere, and the ego hasn’t liked the vague timeline it’s been given to work with one little bit. Where on earth am I going, universe? And how will I know when I’m there? But If I’ve learned anything of this process it is this: the universe absolutely knows where I am going. And I am absolutely not meant to know.
A wonderful friend of mine, who often drives me absolutely batty with the simplicity he lives his life by, says to me this: ‘You think too much. I just pay attention to where my feet are right now. That’s it.’ I envy him this freedom, the freedom to be whoever he needs to be in any given moment.
And, actually, I know with all the deeper parts of me that he is right. Life really is in the moment that I am living right now, and funnily enough, reaching that conclusion on a more concrete level is very likely where all this is likely to end for me. If I’m brave enough to let go of the ways I’ve previously known to be true.
The soft girl drifted away from the ballet and felt the air fall around her like silk. It was a wonderful twenty-four hours, one of the rare occasions that my husband and I leave our children in the capable hands of adults other than us, and go on an adventure. How lovely it was to feel ourselves again.
I could tell you about the day, but the day itself was unremarkable. What was remarkable was the silk air, though, and so I’ll tell you about that part because it was all the lovely things.
The soft girl, for those of you who are wondering, is me— the deeper version of me that holds my intuition, my connection to nature, and most importantly…my ability to feel life and love at a level I’ve never known before. The soft girl is the part of me I choose.
Last night we went to see the dark version of the ballet Swan Lake, where the White Swan meets her Black Swan rival, and all sorts of horrible shenanigans ensue. I smiled as it occurred to me: the White Swan feels so much like the soft girl. I cried a little, too, as I watched—for all the grace, all the joy, all love she brought to the stage.
But as I watched the darkness ooze from the black swan as she danced, her shoulders undulating with sexuality and sass…I realised that she lives within me, too. I wondered about the dark swan that lives inside of all of us, the one who does not have permissionto exist in polite and proper society. I thought of that repression of ‘darkness’ within, and what it means to be human and functioning within certain limits, and somehow the ballet became a little deeper and more wonderful than it already was.
For a moment, last night, I was a little girl again, at the ballet for the very first time and feeling every bit the elegant lady I’d always dreamed I might be one day. I was a woman with silk air floating about her. And I really do think I could use a bit more of that sort of wonderful in my life.