Life is a messy business. It’s a beautiful, inspiring, out of control, wild ride. We try to keep it somewhat stable. We have moments when we feel like we’ve got this. But really, let’s face it, life is not an organized, clean endeavour. Crisis is always percolating. It oozes from within the crevices of the everyday. And it rains on our heads, usually on the days when we forget to take an umbrella.
Generally speaking, we want to make sure that crisis doesn’t become a catastrophe.
This year has not only thrown mud in our faces, it has thrown us off a cliff into an ocean of mud. “SWIM!” it says, in a loud booming voice. Sometimes mud has minerals. It’s good for your skin in some cases. Not a tidy experience though, is it? We can all use a shower. But it won’t stop tomorrow’s mud bath. The falling apartness of the world as we’ve known it demands our attention.
Everyone is dealing with something. Some of us have it more difficult than others. All of us face decisions that we need to make. Some of us have to make some hard choices.
I feel the intensity moving through me in waves. There are days when it’s an underlying tone. There are weeks when that’s the only sound I can hear. A lot of the time I am humbled by the sweetness that kisses my skin with sunlight and Summer breeze and my children’s laughter. Other times I am consumed with the nonstopness of work.
Mothering is messy work. From birth through diapers and leaking milk. Food making, butt wiping, house cleaning, laundry folding, emotional crisis handling machine. Intimacy is all about digging hands, feet, and hair in the dirt. Love is messy biz. Closeness keeps things entangled. Love keeps it real.
Mamaing during Covid is a bit of an insanity. Personally, I am mostly having a tender and delicious experience with my kiddos. But man! There are those days when it’s WTF mode from morning till bedtime, no break.
There were too many moments this past week or so when I fell down a slippery slope of patience loss, which made me feel like shit, which made me act like an asshole, which made me feel shittier. The faster I try to get out of the shit show, the deeper in it I find myself.
Being with the experience, and not rushing through it is key for me. This year, everywhere I look, the lesson is to learn to be in discomfort.
“I’m messing it up.” when I start to hear that voice in my head, I know I need to slow down. A) because it’s usually a sign that I’m trying to get too much done. And B) because I need to be with the feelings.
I try to notice what’s going on in my body. And I pay attention to what my breath is doing. And I look at the thoughts that run through my head. And I watch the way that they influence my feelings. And how the feelings paint my actions.
We are all working with different forces this year. And we are also being pushed right in our well known buttons. The wheel of the year keeps turning. And we turn with it, only to find familiar issues in different places within ourselves, as the seasons change. We are changing.
It’s now officially Harvest Season. Mother Nature offers herself as gifts of nourishment. She invites us to collect, to gather, and to pick from her bounty. We move around the world, letting in experiences and allowing the harvest to make an imprint on us. We can consciously choose how we receive life. The world gives us what it gives us. How we take it in and what we do with it is where we can make meaningful choices. With Mother Earth, we too offer ourselves through our actions and our words for others around us to receive. We can become more mindful of how we bring ourselves to the world – choose our words and our actions with awareness and care. We are the co-creators of our lives. We are the co-creators of our world. We have a say in how this story of humanity – individually and collectively – unfolds.
Here are a couple of things to ask ourselves as we deal with this year’s harvest:
What sensations can you notice in your body?
What words do you feel bubbling inside of you?
What words do you actually want to speak, and what actions do you actually choose to take?
Give yourself space to have your experience. Take your time. Tune in. Attend to what comes up for you. Be Mindful of what is around you. Let the discomfort become a place of discovery. Receptive of the gifts, the lessons, and the mess. Thoughtful of what you are generating. Grow your awareness. Breathe in what life is giving you. Become attuned to how it makes you feel, what kinds of thoughts it provokes, what your body says in response to what you are absorbing. Ask yourself what nourishment you can receive from this experience. What story are you telling yourself about it? What do you want to do with this? How do you want to carry it forward into your interaction with the world around you?