A dear friend and colleague confided in me that her husband had checked himself into rehab for an alcohol addiction. She said that she wanted to be as transparent as possible so that the healing didn't become a secret like the addiction had been. I admire that thinking and I think that's my impetus for this first post in a long while. It began when I set down the daily and tireless work I'd been putting into Curious Ground and went on vacation with my family. That was such a magical and inspiring time. When I came back I found that I didn't want to pick up the work again, That scared me. What could it all mean?? Why, I've spent so much time, invested so much money. told so many people that I'm launching this business, what will they think?! Will it surprise you that I experienced some depression after that? In fits and spurts I have made it here, the new year.
The funny thing is, and unnerving for a person who credits herself with being creative, I know that inactivity is what got me into the pickle of not creating for so long, being inactive. I don't create anything and then I panic about what that means to not create anything and then I spiral into self-doubt and then that feels so scary that I just want to get someplace cozy and lay still except that begins to feel sad and I notice that I'm still not creating and now it's because I'm an inactive lump. When I was young I can remember sitting still someplace and thinking I'm not moving. I wonder when I'll move. I'm going to get up. Still not up. wonder what will make me get up.... Inevitably I'd leap up in a sudden burst of energy and go on with my day, not noticing at all what was swirling in my head 30 seconds earlier. That's what I've done with the last 6 months. Oh there is so much shame around that. What a waste, I blew perfectly good opportunities, who knows where I could be at this point on my path right now, let's cruise around Instagram and Facebook for evidence that others are making the progress I should be making. I'm failing.
I'm falling apart, and that's not so bad. What's sloughing off is another layer of ego. All creators know about the fuck-it moment. (I'm sure there are more tasteful terms for it, but fuck is such a cathartic word so I let it ride) This is the moment when you finally give up trying so hard at what's not working and say, fuck it. It can't get worse than this so why not....? Inevitably the next thing is exactly the move the creating needed, and yet this cycle has an order and no step can be skipped. Tension, Efforting/Controlling, Frustration!, Surrender, Creation. With regular practice, the cycle has more grace and ease to it, things flow more smoothly as it becomes easier to get out of your own way, hand and mind get more familiar with each other. I imagine it's the difference between birthing your first child and your eighth. I don't want to even try to say I'm grateful for the past 6 months of inactivity, it would be insincere and I don't think I have to be grateful for everything that happens in a lifetime. I'm grateful for the lifetime and I accept the experiences. In accepting the inactivity, I release myself to move on, much like finally standing up from the couch- who can even remember what that was all about.
A story can be told in so many ways. That was the storyline running in my head for the past 6 months, one of them. Outside there was a reaffirming retreat in September that reminded me the gold of sitting and being still, that there is power in being without doing. I read Pema Chodron's, When Things Fall Apart and shared it, mostly on a whim, with an instagram audience as a pop-up bookclub. I loved both the book and the discussion in community, excited to do that again. The book also invited me back to this idea that my role on the planet is bigger than just keeping balls in the air, keeping it together, doing, doing, doing. Our role is accepting all that changes and breaks and ends and begins so that we live closer to that which we are.
Happy New Year.