Somewhere between tenacious will power and sleepy eyes, between fierce desire accompanied by horse power determination, and spiraling down the road of 2020. Somewhere between a steadfast destination and the abyss beneath our feet.
Eyes tired. Chest tight. I breathe slowly and have another coffee, trying to stay awake for a little longer and get some work done. It’s not even the lack of sleep. I am usually an energy fireball. Give me coffee and I can move like the Road Runner. A couple of weeks of relentless resistance to productivity injured my sense of selfhood.
A lot of people are talking about going through an identity crisis right now, and about the desire to go back to “normal.” Lots of people crave the life they used to have. There’s grief in the air. Not just for the people lost to the virus. Not just for income loss. We are grieving the lives that have been lost to police brutality and systemic racism – not just now but over the extent of history. More of us are finally awake and ready to rise and make some good trouble (in the words of John Lewis) and make real change. And there’s also grief for life as we have known it to be before Covid.
The worst thing that could happen to us is if we come out of this unchanged.
We are shedding skins. And we might need to rest. We are growing new ways of seeing things. And our eyes need sleep. We are being churned and burnt and reconfigured. We might need to release into the process instead of forcing it.
What we were determined to accomplish before this year dropped us off of the face of the planet, might need a makeover. How we’re showing up to meet obstacles might require a different approach. Going at full speed like we did before is not a sustainable option for a lot of us.
We’ve all tumbled into a bog that demands our faces to get messy and muddy in the process of unlearning habits, settling into new rhythms, and setting new intentions.
One of the most challenging adjustments for me when I became a mama was getting into a new rhythm. Fast and slow at the same time. Non-stop doing and nothing gets done. I made choices to be more of a mama and less of a career woman, at least for some time. And it spinned me in many different directions within my soul. It has thrown me off my throne, barefoot and naked and covered in the ashes of who I once was, and placed me inside a maze. Not a clear path. Not an obvious path. Not a glorification of self kind of a path. But worthy of every step kind of a path. A roaring soul committed and devoted and stripped off of who I knew myself to be.
My goals placed inside a bag, heavy on my back on this twisting winding road. I climb. I descend. I scramble. And the landscapes are gorgeous. And the air smells of wonder. I wander through dark forests and tears stream down my face and make rivers that I then need to swim across to the other side. Goals are wet, still packed inside that bag, heavy on my back. Until the fires. And then they burn.
I keep on walking. Crawling. Carving the path with my bare hands. I sow new seeds of vision in the burnt forest soil.
The old ways of push push push, more more more, work, work work, consume, work more so that you can consume, consume so you can work, work so that you can consume… The old ways are begging us to take a different route. The rat race. Do you miss it?
Will we become so rigid in our vision that it will eventually break (or break us)? Or will we adapt and find new ways? Are we gonna get stuck in how we used to do things, and how they “should” be? Or are we going to allow ourselves to pause and reflect and heat up and reshape and regenerate and recreate.
We need our will power, and we need to restructure how we use it. Our relationships to our goals and visions might grow deeper when we are simultaneously both determined and adaptable. Nature is showing us how non-linear progress is, how parts of the process demand of us to rise and grow and blossom and give fruit, and other parts commend us to dry up, surrender our art work, fall to the earth and seed it with new life, knowing that all begins in darkness, and that it will take time to germinate and sprout and reach for the sun.
We make progress. And then we hit plateau. We make new discoveries. And then we are ready for the next thing. We grow. And we need to rest, to release and to let go. Progress doesn’t move in straight lines. It curves. It curls. It spirals.
There’s some really hard work that needs to be done collectively. And it may require some really intense inner alchemy.
We will need to be ferocious and tenacious as we move through the rest of this year, making sure we VOTE, doing what we can to care for this planet, demanding changes in racial issues and other issues of inequality, and then following through. We will need to buckle down on our perseverance. And we MUST take care of ourselves. We need to breathe and get grounded and slow down and soften up. We need to embody who we are inspired to become.
So who do you want to be? What do you want to do? What are you determined to make your life about? Where do you need to drive more powerfully? What will you need to overcome in order to create what you desire? How will you need to adapt? What will you need to shift inside of you as you receive reality? Will we give up? Will we become so rigid in our vision that it will eventually break? Or will we adapt and find new ways?
Stand in your power. Bend with the wind. Flexible. Resilient. Lean into the waves. Adapt. And still keep going. Breathe in strength. Breathe out softness. Tenacious. Tender. Tough. Take a stance. And take gentle, loving care of yourself.