July 27, 2013

Tripping Out: We All Have Baggage.

My kids are on a trip for three nights and four days. Yippee!

I have been looking forward to this trip with a slight bit of guilt but still thinking this will be good for everyone. I will have much needed quiet time, relaxation, and be able get to my endless to-do list and enjoy.

What I didn’t except is, of course, what happens.

My plans for the long weekend were stellar, yet as I prepped for their departure, all sorts of emotions surfaced.

Fear, guilty, worry, anxiety, panic, sadness, abandonment.

I rallied against these feelings with fervor. I became snarky, jumpy and a downright bitch. I was fighting my internal self of: emotionally pretending to be tough—but actually I’m a creampuff disguised as a porcupine.

I also have an incredible ability to set my expectations slightly on the overachiever’s spectrum of improbable.

Day one:

Paint the house (interior and exterior). Hang glide. Rearrange furniture. Install a new kitchen faucet.

Day two:

Donate used clothing. Write a novel. Organize paperwork. Read three books. Clean the roof. Rewire electrical outlets. Study astrology.

Day three:

Weed the garden. Take a dozen yoga classes. Trim hedges. Power wash the driveway and patio. Take flying lessons.

By the time I schlepped them off for their weekend away, I was in tears. Plenty of tears.

It’s not safe to be driving in a river. Sunglasses don’t help. I was paddling with one oar. At each turn a new wave of emotions came crashing in. And then another wave of thoughts:

What if something terrible happens to them? What if something happens to me? This is ridiculous! Why am I reacting this way? What is wrong with me? It’s only a long weekend. Most people would rejoice at this reprieve. You were one of them just a day ago!

How can I go from happy to zany in minutes? The horrific, bittersweet calamities in Life of Pi flashed through my heart and the rope became my snake.

“As we navigate our paths, each of us picks up bits of wisdom and insight along the way. With these tools in hand, we address not only the challenges we face, but their existence allows us to begin to form our personal mythologies. Those of us who pray believe that our chosen definition of the Divine will hear us. Those of us who strike out on our own believe that we have the necessary tools within ourselves to overcome our challenges. Through our lessons and the understanding of our own answers we each develop a unique system of belief. Some of us hold onto those beliefs for a lifetime; others out grow them from time to time and shed them like a snake shed’s its skin.” ~ Jeffrey Pierce

That first evening alone, I had to put the brakes on my unraveling and regroup. I pulled out my mat. It is a practice, (I lamented) and when I don’t practice, how do I expect to stay grounded? How will I benefit from the lessons swimming before my eyes? (Hand to forehead, doh!)

As a beginner, I only know simple. I focused on breathing and reconnected to my body. I had to get back into the zone of now. I had to find my inner guru of intuition and trust. She was there waiting for me.

Later, I revisited my to-do-list and brought it into reality land:

Let’s start with one yoga class, skip cleaning the roof, deadhead two rosebushes, sort a small stack of papers and meditate. If I do more, awesome. Equally important, it’s okay to cry through the silence touching my heart.

It’s been a full day and half of insights and the emotional rush exhausting. Perhaps I was working on some past life samsaras. I don’t know. I do know I have tapped into these feelings before and this time I stayed with them, worked through it and I am stronger. I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing for this moment in time: letting feelings arise and sitting with them patiently and kindly.

It’ll all be good and I can now smile as I see things are unfolding as they are supposed to.

Day one (reality): 

Migraine at 9 a.m. It is now 5 p.m. and I remain in my jammies. The remnants of my migraine have eased. I have emptied the dishwasher. Did one load of laundry. My cat has moved from the chair to the sofa. He purrs constantly. Ice-pack remains strapped to my head. I need a shower but the effort is way too much. I still miss my kids but I’m peaceful.

 “If we learn to understand the fabric of our own lives as seen through the lens of our spiritual paths, we come to realize that there is a lesson to be learned in each moment. We learn that falling and picking ourselves up to try again is where strength, perseverance, and wisdom are forged. We discover that our challenges make us stronger, that they allow us to let go of concepts and filters that hold us back. And with the combination of both strength and freedom, we find ourselves stepping deeper and deeper into the heart of our paths.” ~ Jeffrey Pierce

Meanwhile, the kids have checked in and are happily reporting all of their adventures. Instead of me doing a million and one things—they are.


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Ed: B. Bemel

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