It’s been a challenging few weeks. A good, though tiring school holidays in which sadly my husband and I were at odds for a large part of, coupled with family drama sweeping me into the heart of some strong and conflicting emotions, left me feeling, by the end, discombobulated. A week back into school, a bit more sleep within, my husband and I in a more buoyant space and a growing inner-peace around my family issues, and I’m feeling more ‘back’ into myself. Less flighty. Less confused. Less reactive.
There were things that arose during this time, thoughts dawning, connections made, that I wanted time to pursue, in reflection and in writing, but I was in amongst the processing, up in the air, down in the maelstrom, re-combulating. And I knew I needed to be there.
I am landing now. Here are some of my meanderings along the way:
A tender heart. During an intense week, feeling immensely raw in the aftermath of the dealings with my family, these were the words I kept coming back to. As old wounds were resurrected, as my mind charged with historical arguments, I kept coming back to my more recent understanding; a tender heart. When I could, I would let the mutterings continue but return quietly, to holding my heart tenderly in amongst the fire and my fury. In compassion. And, with cultivating this space, my heart opened to tenderly see the hearts of those also in pain in my family. I am still fragile and I still hold gently, softly my heart but there is a glowing warmth, aliveness and peace in scars that once I held so tightly. I’m not going to throw myself back into the lions but, as I’ve travelled through the last few weeks, I can see their bite isn’t personal. It’s because of their hurt too, recent and from long ago.
How in these moments can I grow? Despite peace starting to establish within, my thoughts still revisited the battling landscape between my brother and sister. In moments I would catch myself feeling caught, physically fixed, fraught. And then the question popped into my mind. How can I grow in these moments? Simply asking myself this seemed all I needed, as if the question itself needed no answer. The question seemed, seems, to automatically, invite a recognition, an acknowledgment, of growth. To not focus on my sense of stuck-ness but where instead I was blooming. And so I have been coming back to this question in the last week or so. In moments of tangled-ness, just to ask and witness my flow. I love the question. And appreciate I don’t have to go searching for an answer. My answer is here, within me. It helps me refocus, very simply, and it brings me to our plants at home. I’m great at watering them but it was only in the last year that I learned the significance of feeding them too. I’ve been pretty good at watering myself for a fair while but I’ve been missing the feed. I’m learning this now. In these moments.
Embrace your inner-queen. With a sore throat for a week or so over the holiday, I used our cat as a reminder to help me stop. Whenever he sought attention I tried my best to stop and meet him. And myself. There weren’t many windows to do this alone but in those that I could an inner-dialogue with God began, spread over a couple of days. With the kids out with my husband one weekend, I lay on our bed with our cat, and ventured in. Listening, I suddenly felt myself deep within as if a queen. I felt an assertion in myself, of my inner-authority. Knowing a command of my inner-land, my core-needs and how fluidly they exist. And suddenly, touching upon my inner-queen, I tried to shove her away. Gosh! How dare she say with such pride what she needs? How dare she think she is worth this much? Golly, as I saw her, at once, I wanted to dismiss her. So proud, so beautiful, so clear, I couldn’t see the space in which she deserved to be recognised. It was a powerful moment of acknowledgment, both her appearance and my pushing away. And made me think in the afternoon that followed of our societal obsession with princesses. How young girls are encouraged to aspire to them, despite much womanly wisdom over the years to assuage this. Culturally we’re STILL intent in our persuasion for them to be princesses waiting for their man. Yes, even in the guise of Anna. One half of the Frozen sister-duo, she seeks her man throughout, finally ‘complete’ in the arms of Kristoff in her quest for love. And the negative image of the queen prevails; either passive and indebted to her king or wicked and evil and out for revenge. Princesses are the Queen-lite. Sweetness, but the diet version. And I think of our daughter and how I want her to be her own queen, her own goddess. In command of her ship, knowing her land. Authorative. Yes!
“For when you are truly loved, when you are entirely seen, when you are fully held, it is the end of your world as you know it. Life is always seeing you in this way.” These are the words of the wonderful Matt Licata, whose wisdom inspires me daily. In the midst of the sadness that surrounded my desire to dialogue with my family, these particular words helped me remember what’s underneath the veil. Of each and every single one of us. He talks in great depth too about the precious moments between sleep and waking. He talks about how in these moments we are in our richest connection with the Beloved. He speaks to me profoundly in how he describes this space. It is one I have cherished for many years but, now with our two early waking young folk, find it difficult these days to linger there as I used to. I need to connect to this space, I have known it for long, and his presentation makes me realise why I have valued it, why I felt it’s been so significant to my sense of balance, my being.
An open skyline. I lived for years in East London. It was my spiritual homeland in many ways for a long time. But, my husband and I moved a few miles away five years ago, in a need to upgrade from one bedroom to two. However, in moving, even though in distance so close, we downgraded in skyline. Part geographical, part architectural, we loose here the open sky. Open sky and the direct eye-line that it enables; that with head poised forward and up, can throw a gaze straight forward and see ahead without craning eyes upwards. Daily, for years, having this at my fingertips for my vision (external and in), was music for my nervous system. It was effortless nourishment for my soul. I now, daily, have to crane. To throw my sight can only happen, this side west of the Kingsland Road, when I pull my head back and gaze up at the sky. It creates a simple tension and changes my mindset. I miss the immediacy of my former luxury and look forward to finding it afresh somewhere new.
And so I keep meandering whilst I re-combulate. I’m enjoying this space. Happy Monday folks!
Image: American Children’s Illustration