I know I haven't been here much. But I have been here (see image above).
Monday morning I went on a walk around a lake. As my pace became faster under a canopy of forest, I realized I hadn't moved my body like this in over a year. The life pulsing through my veins and bones felt so deeply healing and good.
Our move to Washington paralleled some huge awakenings about my life. Choices needed to be made to marinate in and live in my own truth but more importantly, to protect my heart and to feel safe. I just ached to feel safe. These choices to free myself from that which didn't serve my heart and my soul were not easy and were full of some grief and separation and loneliness. It felt like a peeling that left me raw and needing to cocoon and rest and be still. I didn't have a lot of expectations of myself beyond learning to live life more in the present, settling into an entirely new h*OM*e and loving my boys and my family with all I had. I surrendered to the aches and pains of going from being so seen, very public and constantly-connected to less seen, more private, inner and solitary. Just recently, a dear friend going through a similar transition of online to offline said to me "I've felt very much out of site/out of mind". I knew intimately and had compassion for what she meant about feeling a sense of being invisible to others. I was living it and yet it was okay, it was so good, what I needed and it was deeply humbling.
Humility has been my companion this year along side gentleness. Humility has been my constant reminder, that gentle whisper throughout my life but most especially now. Being a mother to an intensely wild and beautiful and sensitive child has brought me closer to humility. Stepping away from and losing relationships I thought were deeply rooted in trust brought me closer to humility. Quieting the noise and the influences and constant adoration has brought me closer to humility. To me, humility has always been a home where my true self is. A place I can surrender to egolessness. A place where right now, in this moment, I am enough. For me, in the midst of humility there is less striving and more being, there is deeper compassion and loving. There is less temptation to be anyone or anything but my true self. There is an inner strength that comes from within rather than with-out. To me, to continue to empty my mind and soul of the ego...that is where wisdom and enlightenment set me free. Yet, it is my constant practice to create boundaries where this process can be honored and lived. It can be messy, oh so messy and full of pain because of my humanness.
Throughout my life, in any kind of institution or following of sorts (school, church, blogging community, online media, etc), I have had this awakening. I find myself (not by intention) being swept up by very human desires: the glamor, the attention, the praise, the acclaim and consistently, I have a very similar experience. I pull back, I grow quiet, I do my inner work, I renew, I reinvent. Part of it is the gypsy in me, the wanderer that does not follow, nor do I lead, I just drift because I know there is so much wisdom to gain by exploring. Part of it is that I am a deeply sensitive soul and in circles or tribes, religions or followings, there can be exclusion to that which is outside and I am not comfortable being part of anything that excludes. Part of it is that I see clearly that so much of that need to be seen and heard comes from a very achy, hurty place in our hearts, which makes us all equal and teachable to one another. Part of it is that I witness those that are guiding or leading become so consumed with their leading that their own lives, loves and hearts are not given needed attention and care and therefore, what they are teaching is not what they are able to live.
All of this causes me to pause and reflect. It brings me to periods of stillness, of rest, of letting go, shedding and renewing and surfacing again.
So as I was moving my body to a faster rhythm under the trees the other day, there was this awareness of how every pore on my body felt heightened, alive. I could feel my heart expanding, chest opening, face to the sky, limbs stretched. I felt my whole being surfacing from the safe, still place I have created and begin to move again...through the light...and also through the darkness. Fear came to me and my face grew wet with tears. But the tears did not come from the fear. The tears came from a knowing I haven't quite felt so intensely before. The tears came from love. A deep love, a tenderness for and an embracing of my fears.
I wiped my tears under my sunglasses and laughed to myself. I heard this whisper. Perhaps my inner voice, perhaps the Divine. It said something about walking through fear in gentleness is possible. I don't have to be fierce because fierce is not my nature. I can greet fear with gentleness, with compassion and with humility and will still be able to walk through to the other side stronger and rooted and yet free.