(Song Dedication: Just Fear by Dan Mangan . This song. These lyrics. I trust that these shivers will ease up on my spine…Allow myself the privilege of a calm mind, now and then…
I just want to feel the sunshine. This song explains my featured image self-portrait today, you see, when I was in the throws of my chronic migraines I would avoid computer screens, bright lights, direct sun in my eyes as they all seemed to trigger the 12-48 hour ordeal. Now 3 months without a single migraine, the fear of light no longer messes with me and instead I can enjoy it to the fullest.)
This is the emotion I must most learn to ride out. It’s like anxiety’s mousy wall flower cousin, but instead of it feeling like constant excitement and stimulation, I feel like I am doing something wrong; like something is off but I can’t quite put my finger on it. I need to work to do nothing, to just be and accept this as good enough.
I have conditioned myself and subscribed to the idea that to be worthy I must do. Teaching, creating, mothering, reading, writing, cleaning, cooking, shopping, speaking, listening, connecting, sharing, walking, stretching, fixing…something. My entire life is a verb because if I let it just be a noun I am being wasteful. But if I did none of these things would I be able to feel like I’ve accomplished something? If my answer is still no, then I still have work to do. Ahhhh…there I go again…with the doing! Jesus H. Viscous-cycle Christ.
I am not saying that I am going to become actively passive and complacent, but I do hope to discover a place within myself that accepts me for only me and not what I do and accomplish. This is some major undoing.
Growing up in the 80s and 90s as a girl we were told we could do it all. Have a family, a successful career, be a boss, be a mom, be a partner, be an engaged citizen, change the fucking world with our girl power; Princess Diana, Madonna, Spice Girls, 90210, Clueless, our Mothers. But who scientifically tested this hypothesis that girls could (or worse, should) do everything and then some more?
I feel like I’ve been an active test animal for this and it doesn’t fare well for me. This animal was harmed in this cowgirl approach to how to live a woman’s modern life. I mean, I could do it all…I was doing a lot of these things. But like anything, what happens when you spread the peanut butter too thin? You end up with a pretty underwhelming sandwich…just a straight up shitty lunch if you ask me. And what happens if you do the same everyday to get by, trying to meet “their” expectations that I adopted as my own?
My friend Devon told me once “just because life serves you a shit sandwich, doesn’t mean you have to eat it.” So I am putting it down (again), because I was inadvertently and mindlessly nibbling away at the idealism. Those hard wired synapses are hard to deactivate (and keep from rewiring miraculously on their own).
It’s like my brain has it’s own little electrician marching around up there with her overalls and toolbox in tow, reconnecting live wires I have actively selected to severe, like, “Don’t worry I got this, fixed in a jiff!”
My blog is aptly named the Art of Beingness not The Art of Doingness. So WTF am I up to, do I like being a hypocrite? No. Am I enjoying being ironic? No, not in this way anyhow. I guess this vomiting of verbage is another check-in for myself.
The work of no-thing. Just to be…
So that initial piece of writing was completed Tuesday of last week. Since then nearly a week has trickled by, and so I thought it would be an interesting test for myself to just leave the loose ends dangling about and see if I could just be with that.
And here I am 6 days later with the 20/20 hindsight and this is what I have learned. The unrest was uncomfortable but I was able to tolerate and sometimes even embrace this state. With this space of un-doing-ness I found myself a little less pressured by my own self-imposed deadlines to publish a write like this and with that I was also less drawn to the overall social media machine that confirms or denies my existence in that particular realm of doing. I cultivated my beingness this past week and although it was hard work I survived just fine.
And when I wasn’t just surviving or meditating on the discomfort of it all, I had energy to focus on other things (I know, I know, the doing again!) but important things. Connecting with my son and husband more, connecting with friends, family members and neighbours…and ultimately connecting to myself more deeply. And after nearly a week of reducing my focus on accomplishments of various degrees, I can answer my own question which I posed a week ago. And with all honesty I can answer…Yes.
Yes I can do nothing. No thing. And the most important part of this answer is:
Yes I can and I still feel worthy.
I alone am enough. I have the choice to do or not do, but the consideration of making myself good enough or better off for doing so, no longer needs to be a factor in this girl’s decision making process.
My husband and I shared in this realization toward the end of last week, when we both agreed we have a life of health and stability; of balance and gratitude. So let’s fucking enjoy it then! Why do we hold back, hold our breath, hesitate? Because we don’t know if we deserve it? I mean, who else does this? It’s like we are checking our inner child as to not overindulge and spoil them! I think we were missing the point. Because that isn’t how gratitude works. You feel the joy, you see it, perhaps you even get to hear it, express it, taste it or smell it. There are no strings attached to the practice of gratitude. And if there are, then you are doing it wrong. I mean this in the most compassionate way.
I feel grateful for many things. My full heart. My supportive husband. Our son, who loves me, amazes me and teaches me everyday. The support network of humans around me, cheering me on, encouraging me to keep going, reminding me when I forget; they are here because they believe in me, not because of my previous false construct that I owe them something. No strings attached because the unrest, when surrendered to, transformed into gratitude. Talk about ugly duckling to swan.