Real Time

 

As I said here, much in my life is unknown and still doing its hidden, quiet work right now. The markers I usually turn to when searching for grounding and stability ~ my work, my address, my husband's occupation ~ have all been scattered about like seeds and are just now beginning to take root. I spoke with someone today about the opportunity this gives me to further strengthen the core of solidity and centeredness within myself, and how, despite the very human challenges in these episodes, I thrive on this. In all of the more daunting chapters of my life, this is the way I choose to look at it ~ uncomfortable and unsettling as it may be on the surface, deep down there is powerful work going on. These are opportunities to fortify and channel all the energy being churned up into something positive, powerful and transformative.

But here's the thing ~ this is also difficult, and at least once a day these days I'm having some kind of freak out. I was sharing a bit about this with another friend the other night, and her immediate response was, "Oh, I'm so sorry," and my immediate reply was, "Don't be," because this isn't a story of sadness. These emotions aren't bad or negative or unhelpful. These emotions are normal. They are going to bubble up, and this is going to continue for who knows how many weeks and months ahead. This is major transition we're going through; this is the loud clickity clack of the train shifting to different rails, heading in an entirely new direction, where our destination is nowhere to be found on our map or in our guidebook. It is thrilling. It is frightening. It is a daily exercise in letting go.

I am going to try to share the story of all this as it unfolds as an exercise in real time processing and exploring. Not only for my own informal research on what it means to live an integrated, mindful, meaningful life in the midst of all the twists and turns it throws me, but also to be transparent in the hopes that it offers anyone who happens to stop by here a nugget of light and inspiration. Another discussion I had recently was about taking the stories we share with one another, receiving something valuable from them, and exploring all the ways those bits of light, wisdom and experience become integrated into our own lives. What a process ~ receiving what we need from the stories those around us share. It can be just that simple. Just ask Jen.

A quick example ~ when I did the Breast Cancer 3-Day walk a few years ago, one of my fellow walkers shared a story about when her husband retired. He had expressed concern in the days leading up to his retirement about what he would do ~ would he be bored? What would it look like? On his first official day out of work, a lunch date he had planned fell through, and my friend was out running errands. When she found out his plans were cancelled, her immediate reaction was to race home to him. But she stopped herself, deciding it was better for both of them to let him go through this particular experience on his own. She then wrapped up her story by saying, "And I haven't seen him since!" The point being he had plenty of things to do and experience as a retiree, so much so that she ended up with a great punch line to an otherwise incredibly poignant story.

Believe me, I am thinking about that story a lot these days. I received something from my friend years ago ~ a tiny nugget of wisdom, a reassurance (before I even needed it) that everything would work itself out in this time of change.

So I offer these stories and experiences here as just that ~ offerings. I am here to tell the truth, I am here to share how this goes. Let the games begin.

Christine Mason Miller

Santa Barbara, CA

Writer * Artist * Storyteller * Guide