(Song Dedication: Man in the Mirror by Micheal Jackson…and I fucking dare you to not feel something while watching this music video…wake up and feel a real life emotion…double. dog. dare.)
I really like routine. I mean really really. There’s a certain sense of security in the knowing. A power in the illusion of controlling things.
Today my familiar routine (my new normal of self-care) was flipped, in that my massage therapy appointment was at 9 am, so rather than our regular morning 5 K, Lucy dog had to wait until this afternoon. But that wasn’t the only difference; waiting until after lunch meant walking in the warmest part of the day, passing by other walkers and runners unfamiliar to me (and Lu).
What was also notably altered was Lucy herself. Although she is 12, most people mistake her for a puppy (which works well with her rude greeting habit-aptly named the “wheaten greetin”) where her back end wiggles uncontrollably for lack of a full length tail and her forepaws jump up on people in a warm hello! if anyone should feel compelled to greet her back. I usually cringe upon this type of encounter, worrying she might break a human nose with the thrust of her medium sized dog cranial bone (thankfully not so far).
There was none of this today however because our girl has been sick.
Over the weekend, we spent much of our time, paper towel and resolve carpet cleaner undoing her “accidents” in the house, not something she normally does; but evidently ingested something that was severely irritating her GI tract. Does anyone else’s dog also make a b-line for the nearest area rug when it’s time to empty the contents of their stomach? Just wondering.
So today was Lucy’s first normal walk in a few days and she is still not quite up to snuff. She kinda lagged and stopped frequently to do her business, so much so, that I conceded she was the boss of the walk today (being in the condition she was in) and allowed her every GD stop she and her nose sniffed out to make – yes, she’s a female but still marks as much as I will let her. It was getting to the point of absurdity, but by the last kilometer, I resigned to thinking maybe she was saving me from a terrible fate by way-laying us by a few extra minutes. Like, maybe she is keeping me from being hit by a rogue logging truck or something profound…whatever, it helped with the acceptance of the situation.
As I settled into the romantic notion that my dog was in fact channeling the Littlest Hobo, I rounded the street corner where my yoga studio can be found and there walking toward us was my yoga instructor. She is also like my littlest hobo with her words, often times just the ideas she shares with
me, I mean her students in class, but they are usually so auspiciously timed that they feel like they are for me; like a life preserver when I feel like I might drown in my over-analytical anxiety. And there she was, appearing in only the timely way her words do, and in our 3 minute encounter, she once again woke me.
I won’t get into the particulars but in the context she was sharing about another person’s public creative performance over the weekend and how the conclusion wasn’t “wrapped up all tidy in a nice bow at the end” and so this was the audience feedback; that it needed a more resolute conclusion. In which her sentiment was “fuck that.” This is real and messy and not everything has an orderly, systematic ending to give you the warm and fuzzies. This hit me, in the heart and also like a slap across my face…it broke my daze in which I was beginning to write and act my way into (again).
I do edit. I do filter. I am torn. Because how do you speak your truth without transparency? How do you create change within, if you are still too worried about public reaction (acceptance)? The illusion of community on social media…why aren’t they commenting, liking, loving…why are they pretending I’m not here or worse; why are they commenting, liking or loving when they haven’t even read it?! Why do I get more likes on a post about the beer I’m drinking on a Friday than the truths I am willing to share? I know why…because it’s uncomfortable and vulnerable.
So bomb’s away…here’s some of the thinking and doing I’ve been experiencing lately but consequently bottling up for fear of reprisal (from who? I have no effing idea, but it’s no less there…hovering like a little black cloud).
First, I have been doing some reading (no big surprise there) but the content is a bit existential (a word I’ve avoided since completing my Bachelor of Fine Arts for fear of sounding like a douche and the overall overuse of this concept loved by artsy-fartsy types). I just completed the book “Becoming Supernatural” by Dr. Joe Dispenza who, through research and hard science married to spirituality and mysticism, presents some compelling theories in how we (humans) can, through the collective unconscious, not just overcome our own limitations of the body and the very matter we are surrounded by, but rise above the dissonance we are currently experiencing at a global level. He believes the vehicle to access this energetic self is through specific meditations. Honestly, I can’t believe I just wrote that…but I did because I believe it in some capacity from my own experiences.
What I mean is, I believe in energetic shifts, because I myself have witnessed this within my own self and body over the past year. Amazing changes that have empowered me and released me from the shackles of what I believed were the consequences of being dealt a bad hand in childhood. I have not only found freedom from chronic migraines, I have greatly decreased my anxiety in exchange for a heightened awareness of joy and gratitude (things I thought were myths due to their previous absence in my life). Anyone who really knows me, or even just knows me a little, have commented on my rearrangement of presence. A real residence that not only I can feel, others also sense. As in, Here I am. You are here.
So when I ask What is the MATTER with us? I believe the answer is right there in the very question. The matter; the stuff, the things, the possessions, the identification of ego, the control, the ambition to be better than others, the artificial, the singular. This, according to many (Eckhart Tollé, Dr. Joe Dispenza, Ainslie MacLeod, Jack Kornfield, Carolyn Myss, and the list goes on…) is a calling to humanity. A beckoning of peace and unity. Tall order right? Especially when the world just seems to continue on this forward trajectory toward otherness.
These enlightened philosophers claim otherwise and it’s very encouraging to someone like me…who has existed in a darkened world clouded by her past trauma. As I shed this monotone perspective and awaken to the “somewhere over the rainbow” technicolour, I see that this way of being (either the black and white or colour) is our choice. That sentiment use to offend me terribly, like the first time I read Carolyn Myss, I was pissed man! How could she begin to suggest that it was my choice to suffer?! I understand this differently now because of the work I’ve done to moil my way out from under the weight of the life I had chosen.
I am only a fledgling on this journey, it’s all new and novel to me, but I am eyes wide and heart engaged. I believe the love, gratitude, joy, hope…whatever you want to identify it as, is pure energy that first changed my own being and ultimately will contribute to a better planet. The collective consciousness.
It is no accident I have begun attending a weekly meditation group with like-minded human beings. In our safe space, we do not just sit quietly, we hold each other (figuratively) compassionately and in turn as a whole, bring peace to ourselves, each other and universe permitting, others in need of healing grace. It is important work, maybe the most important I will ever do.
I will continue to find my courage in the risks I take to find my authentic self. I know I am not solely on this journey, as so many are answering this calling and rising above the social expectations and status quo to just keep pushing through, living in our heads and abandoning the spirit. I hope to see you on this road less travelled, and even if I do not, know that if you’ve made it to the end of this perplexing piece of writing, energetically you are here with me just the same. And I thank you for your presence.