Lately I’ve been afraid of falling. Wearing boots all winter with no traction on the bottom does not help - but neither does all this winter ice. But this immense fear happened almost overnight. Suddenly I have this irrational and very real fear that I am going to bust my crap on the ice and break something. It has gotten so bad that about 5 minutes into taking an evening walk with Matt yesterday I just about cried and almost turned around to go back home because ice was everywhere - almost as though it was teasing me - daring me to walk so I could slip and fall. Because yes, suddenly ice can talk.
Matt who so kindly offered his hand on a particularly tricky piece of ice made the comment that he's not afraid of falling and suddenly it hit me. I am so afraid of falling which is such an accurate metaphor for my life right now. Transitions await and my fear - while I recognize it - has kept me stuck. Afraid to leap I am clinging on to any comfort I can find. And not even shoes with better traction can help me because this is a fear that runs deep. In that moment all I could be grateful for was returning home after that very scary walk.
We live across the street from a school which means that on any given day there are numerous cars parked in front of our house. And now arrives winter - and with all the snow piles the only saving grace has been the narrow pathways shoveled out for us to access the street from the sidewalk. The problem is that lately all I seem to be able to notice is all the cars that park directly in front of our cleared walkway, preventing me from accessing the street from directly in front of my house. I was so angry one day that I wrote a note and left it on someone's car. I was polite enough in the note but inside I was fuming. Like why would someone do that? Do they not see the cleared pathway? There's obviously enough space on either side of your car - why do you have to park directly in front of it?!!
So as I always do when I am angry - I took a deep breath and I reflected. What does this mean? Why am I so angry about this? All this means is a little inconvenience to me in terms of having to go around the car or walk a little further down in either direction to another open walkway. The thing is I could fall on our walkway but for some reason it doesn’t feel as much of a risk as going the other direction. What I came up with in that moment is that it is comfortable to always know where you are going but that's not how life works. Sometimes there are things thrown our way that we need to adapt to. And I know I am supposed to take it as a sign from God that in that moment - that particular direction is not for me. The problem is my ego and my shoes win - always. And what that manifests as is fear and anger. I was able to calm down enough in that moment to have enough sense to remove the note from the car and leave it as that but I still struggled with the message from above and I knew this is something I'd be working on for awhile.
A call and a clearing
As I do every morning after dropping my children off at school, this morning I went home to meditate before getting ready and going to work. I received a lot of messages but one very specific call to action which was to donate my shoes. Now anyone who knows me knows I LOVE shoes - or at least I did. When shopping I was more likely to leave with shoes than any other piece of clothing. Over the last year though I have reduced my clothing and shoes significantly which was a huge feat. But today spirit so gently reminded me that I wasn't yet done letting go of the one thing I still struggled to release. My shoes, my comfort. Up until this point I was more likely to donate a pile of clothes rather than shoes on any given day despite the fact that I probably have worn the same 2 pairs of shoes all winter long. But when spirit talks I listen so into the closet I went.
One step forward . . .
I felt accomplished and clear. I left the house with a huge bag of shoes and a bunch of Mykel's old school bags to donate. The song "bag lady" comes to mind, "Bag lady you gone hurt your back dragging all them bags like that...." I mean yes - talk about releasing!! My shoes, my comfort - them bags - the crap I carry around with me all the time. I'm well on my way. Woohoo!! I'm free! I step outside into the bright morning sun and then bam! Frozen, like a ton of bricks. What awaits me but a flippin car blocking our walkway who clearly had a good 20 feet on either side front and back and yet here it was - blocking MY path!!! I then proceeded to do what any sane person would do. I turned back around - walked into the house and screamed so loud I was certain the neighbors heard. Once I composed myself I left the house, bags in hands, on shoulders - everywhere and I just stood in front the car - suddenly the weight of the world on my shoulders - and I cried. In that moment all I could do was ask why - ask God for help because I just couldn't do it. It was too much. And it was then that I noticed the logo on the wheel -Subaru.
For those who aren't familiar, Subaru is the Japanese name for the Pleiades star cluster which is also represented in their logo. And I knew - this was happening just for me. All of it. A welcome home of sorts. The return to source - to who I am - to where I came from - to what has kept me supported. To what has brought me back to my own light. Myself. And I surrendered. And in that surrender I walked in either direction - home.
Message from Spirit
The return home. You are a wanderer. You are meant to explore – not in the comfort of the paths that are neatly laid before you but out of the confines of all the structures and binds that keep you tied. You are meant to be free and move with the elements - with the wind. To create your own path not follow that which others have created for you because it is there and it is safe. You are meant to trek where no others have gone far and wide because that is who you are. Your path will not lead to destruction – it cannot. It is impossible as long as you are the one leading it. The fear – the practicality of it all is not lost upon you. It does not feel practical it does not feel safe and yet it is the only path you can possibly take. The only one that is known to you. Everything else feels unknown and beautiful. Unknown and beautiful. Full of possibilities.
Growing up I was always taught to say "excuse me" whenever I burped. I mean in the world of fast food, grease and things that I probably shouldn't have been eating anyway, I can understand that it was the polite thing to do. When I exposed other people to my burps, and maybe even the smell that accompanied it, saying excuse me was probably the least I could do. Over time it became just part of something I did as if on auto-pilot and that which I taught my children as well. You burp, you say excuse me.
The thing is lately I've been burping for seemingly no rhyme or reason. My diet has changed significantly and I can tell the difference between a food burp and an air burp. And lately what's been happening, along with my own energetic clearing and shifting, is a huge increase in "air burps." First thing in the morning, after a great meditation, during some great breathing exercises. My burps have become my friend. Like a welcome reprieve after a long, hard energy clearing session. A pat on the back from above that I did a great job clearing the muck either in my sleep or through my own intentional work.
So as the burps started increasing I no longer felt the urge to say excuse me because I no longer think of my burps as some offensive release of air that inconvenienced others. Instead my burps have become my greatest blessing. A physical sign that I'm doing the damn thing. I am releasing decades, lifetimes of stuck and stagnant energy. And after a significant release I belch loudly and proudly. The bigger the better - yes!!! And I am teaching my children how to pay attention to their own energetic releases as well, cheering them on from the sidelines when they burp. (I'm still working on the farting, but a little at a time, eh?)
And when the occasional stinky food burp rises up I recognize it as a sign from my body that I am not treating it kindly. That I am filling it with further muck which means further work. And some days that's okay - some days that bag of french fries is all that will satisfy me. I show myself compassion, I let it go and I continue doing the work.
And so instead of saying excuse me I say thank you. Thank you burps for becoming my friend. Thank you God for creating a body that allows such a release. And thank you Maricella for doing the work and recognizing the difference between offensive and awesome. XO!
My entire life has been made up with lessons, teachers having arrived in various forms. With every reflection, every journal entry comes the realization of the exact forms those teachers have taken. On a recent reflection my teacher came through as my hair. For those who don’t know me, I have decided to grow my hair out. That wasn’t my original intention. It started with a breakup with my hairdresser at the end of last year. A devastating loss and yet I now realize was one of the first lessons my hair was teaching me. Lesson 1: Let go of relationships that do not serve me.
Lesson 2: Don’t care what others think but more importantly don’t tie your importance to your looks. My hair had become my identity but more importantly a reflection of how I felt on the inside. Anytime it grew out even slightly I felt like I was suffocating, and cutting it was therapeutic – a release from the confines I believed society had placed on me but in reality were merely a reflection of the walls I placed myself in. So without even realizing it I kind of gave up on my hair. I let it do what it wanted to do. I felt zero pull to cut it and was able to ignore it once it got the point of where I’d normally feel suffocated. It just didn’t bother me anymore.
Lesson 3: Let go, but within comfortable reason
After a few months of it growing out I finally accepted the fact that I was actually letting it grow out. The thought of my hair finally came back on my radar and while I didn’t know where the journey would take me I didn’t feel tied to any particular outcome. It was about this time that I felt it necessary to get a little trim because while there are many things I could feel comfortable with, having a mullet was not one of them. So I went to my new hairstylist and proclaimed I was growing it out which leads to Lesson 4: Acceptance without expectations.
See usually I would have a plan whenever I attempted to grow it out in the past. It would include such things as having a cute, short bob or to have bangs or whatever “on-trend” thing was that I felt I wanted to be at the moment. Inevitably my attempts would fail, suffocation would ensue and it’d end up getting chopped off anyway but it was always a valiant effort. This time around though felt different. I didn’t have a plan other than to wait and see how I felt – maybe to put it more aptly it was to wait to see how my hair felt because it isn’t weird to think of your hair having a life of it’s own, is it? Which leads me to Lesson 5: I am not my hair
My hair is not me and I am not my hair. And yet I have allowed my hair to express how I felt on the inside since I was so afraid to project that on the outside. My hair, having been short, exuded confidence. It made me feel powerful, fearless and a risk-taker. I received compliments all the time, often with people (men and women) exclaiming how brave I was- how they could never pull off short hair or be bold enough to do so. And in some way I felt victorious – like yes, I showed you, I showed everyone. I am CONFIDENT! I am FEARLESS! I AM…I AM….I am……scared. I am none of these things. I want to believe that I am these things but I don’t feel them at all. And while my appearance shows you what I want you to believe on the inside I am a scared little girl who is trying to navigate this world that feels really scary. And as I touch my hair I realize that it has merely been a reflection of my own doubt. It has been a reflection of my own ideas of self-worth. And it came as the perfect teacher when I needed it the most.
Lesson 6: Letting Go
I don’t know where my hair is going and I don’t care. All I know is how I feel in any given moment. In fact, the only mirror I have in my home is in the bathroom and even then I rarely take a second look once I am out of the shower. My hair will dry as it’s supposed to, it will style itself as it wants to and if I ever get the residual sensation of not being able to breathe, as I occasionally still do, I have a great collection of headbands that seems to do the trick.
My hair has taught me to stand strong in who I am no matter how that looks on the inside or outside. Some days I feel like curling up in bed and not moving. Other days I feel like dancing in the street without care as to who sees. And you know what, that is okay. My hair has taught me to accept where I am in my life. Life is a journey – a roller coaster of lessons and love and beauty and joy. And no I don’t have it all figured out nor do I need to. All I have to do is trust that whatever I need will come my way when it is meant to and everything else is just noise. I forgive myself for all the times I did not express compassion on my journey and I am grateful for listening to myself this time around.