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The Intersection of Doubt and Decision

The Intersection of Doubt and Decision

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”

― John Muir

 

Here it begins, the process of letting go and there is no turning back. Fear is a shadowy figure that lingers and finds me in my dreams each night. It is but one thing to repeat affirmations promising to relinquish all that constricts. It is yet an entirely different beast to make these same affirmations a reality. The bridge between the two is great and one can easily get trapped in a limbo of uncertainty.

 

For me, this intersection of doubt and decision was marred by a trail of anxiety, tears and what can only be described as a complete breakdown.  I sobbed for what I thought my life should be and knew that in my tears, lie all of the regret and fear resulting from this false sense of security. Material things have energy and at times this energy can be misconstrued as comfort. Why I ever thought an old Christmas decoration, coffee table or blanket equaled love I will never know. What is clear is that extracting myself from accumulation has been the most difficult thing I have ventured to do second only to my divorce.

 

Calling my sister, after saying goodbye to the place I have called HOME for the last three years, I choked back tears trying to sound strong when in fact I was completely crushed. She tried to comfort me and offer reassurance to no avail. In the midst of our conversation, a giant hawk flew over her car, nearly landing on the hood. In this moment of complete exasperation, an angel had let it be known that my sister and I were well taken care of.  Speechless for a moment, my sister finally managed to say “Just let go, Vin. It is time for you to fly.”

 

“The mountains are calling and I must go.”

― John Muir

 

The rest of the trip to the city in which my RV is currently parked was a blur. I remember crying out loud and thanking a legion of angels for providing some comfort during a most difficult transformation. I remember telling myself to just let go and I clearly remember the moment when my heart finally heard the message and doubt became decision, fear became motivation.

 

That same day, my boyfriend had his own experience of Divine intervention. As he struggled with the feelings of separation from the home that he has lovingly nurtured for the past decade, a crow flew right above, circled and dropped a feather at his feet. Take this for what you will, but the message for me could not have been more clear. We are meant to take flight  in this moment even if it means flying blindly into the storm of the unknown. It is time.

 

“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.”

― Henry David Thoreau, Walden

 

Next week, a yard sale has been scheduled at which I will sell everything that remains save some clothes, dishes, and personal belongings. This final release from the cords of connection is necessary in order to make space for the next. It is in this space that my adventure begins. The intersection has been breached and the decision has been made. There is no looking back, only forward.

 

Feeling the weightlessness of this release, a sense of anxious relief permeates the air. No longer having to shoulder the burden of material things that provide nothing beyond utilitarian need, my time to walk with nature has arrived. This vagabond with gypsy blood is now a mystic wanderer searching for words unspoken, yet only experienced. Understanding that nothing can provide what I already hold within, I have released all expectations and joyfully complete the purge of the material for the fullness of all else.  Now it begins.

 

 

Life is Not A Rough Draft. Write Your Story

Life is Not A Rough Draft. Write Your Story

The Mystic Cookie mobile writing sanctuary. Photo by Dylan Mattina

 

All the “not readies,” all the “I need time,” are understandable, but only for a short while. The truth is that there is never a “completely ready,” there is never a really “right time.” As with any descent to the unconscious, there comes a time when one simply hopes for the best, pinches one’s nose, and jumps into the abyss. If this were not so, we would not have needed to create the words heroine, hero, or courage.                            

Clarissa Pinkola Estes

 

Here I stand, on the precipice of great change, with a familiar shudder barreling up my spine. A feeling of extraordinary unease settles in, as if crawling out of my skin. I know change is coming and contemplate what it might feel like. This story of mine will shift and become new, unfamiliar and written in wet ink. My current place will be forgotten just as in the past, a turned page to a well-worn book of my life.

 

As with any book, I may or may not pick it up and reread sections, sharing stories of the past and lingering in that space. If I linger too long, I risk never writing the final pages. I could quite possibly overstay this chapter and ultimately miss what is meant for me. What a tragedy to never fully live into potential by becoming frozen in the now.

 

Writing is a metaphor for life in so many ways. A writer begins with an idea, broad in vision, small in detail. As each page is completed, the characters come alive. Characters may surprise by leading the story in an unintended direction. Life, just as in writing, begins with the stories we tell ourselves. We “write” an idea of who we are, what we do and how our life should evolve. It is often quite a surprise when our story veers off into uncharted territory.

 

As one that rewrites this internal narrative many times over, I am still caught off guard when being assaulted by the winds of change. It is clear that people, including myself, struggle with discrepancies in our stories. I compare this struggle to a new pair of shoes that just don’t seem to fit, but after being broken in become the most comfortable shoes owned. This “breaking in” of fabric is time consuming, uncomfortable and may result in blisters. A new direction will feel alien at the onset. It takes some time to declare ownership over any new perception of place. Soon, it will be as if the now has always been, fascinating how this new reality becomes singular so quickly.

 

Even with this feeling of trepidation, It is important to make every attempt to sit with this discomfort. As the author of my life, I am afforded creative license to rewrite anything I choose. Why wish for a riveting story, when I can write and live into it! Remember, it is not only in moments of joy, exhilaration and passion that good stories emerge. It is also in moments of trepidation, sadness, anxiety or fear when a story becomes intensely meaningful, profoundly moving and beautifully intimate.

 

Write your own story and enjoy the process. Don’t be afraid to edit at will, making adjustments as needed. Find the joy in the process, not the conclusion. Just as with a good book, curl up in a window and find joy in observing the unfolding. If lucky, our stories will have more twists and turns than a great mystery novel. Given the journey I am about to embark on, I am certain mine will.

 

Waypoints

Waypoints

 

“Most people are on the world, not in it– having no conscious sympathy or relationship to anything about them– undiffused separate, and rigidly alone like marbles of polished stone, touching but separate. ”

― John Muir

 

The time is quickly approaching, I can feel it. The time in which I have the choice to remain frozen on the banks of life or move forward with the river as it ambles along to the next waypoint. These waypoints are deeply marked on the map of my life. In hindsight they jump off the page; moments in which I stayed in the wrong relationship, raised my beautiful children, decided I was not smart enough for that job, went back to get my masters degree or stayed in an unfulfilling job. All very clear in the rear view mirror. My gypsy spirit has either beckoned me down an unfamiliar path or held me in place with a knowing that the time to move along was not at hand. If pressed, I would have to say that I have experienced more beckoning than holding, so much so I am getting a bit tired of the unrest. Tired of the risks, the uncertainty and the constant wading into the unknown.

 

How do I know change is looming? It announces itself with a specific feeling of agitation, a sensation of being undone ever so slightly. The rhythm of my day seems off and I begin to accept a certain level of disconnect with all around me. I sometimes think this is akin to a long goodbye, a gift that allows me to move on to the next chapter without much consternation. On the other hand this disconnect can be off putting. I wonder if it blurs my view of what is really happening, clouding my better judgment.

 

In moments such as these, I call upon my intuition. This requires a trust of self that has been earned one mistake at a time. Life can be treacherous, a virtual landmine of decisions that can set one off in the wrong direction indefinitely. It is in the ability to redirect oneself that strength is earned. A strength in knowing all will be well no matter the circumstance.

 

It takes great courage to break with one’s past history and stand alone.”

-Marion Woodman

 

We are never only our past mistakes but a combination of moments that have ushered us to present. My map is filled with waypoints, some I wish to forget and others that brought me great joy. What I can say with clarity is that I have explored, taken risks and moved off the banks of the river more than once. In some instances I nearly drowned, but in others I floated to the surface and enjoyed the easy ride down the river. In moments of drowning, I thankfully found a gentle strength that has remained. I know I can swim. Knowing this gives me courage to speak with my heart and find joy in all instances.

 

Trust in self is paramount. With resolve I can dream big, plan for the future and even face down failure with no harsh expectations. This does not mean that by taking risks I am fearless, on the contrary I am scared every single time. Jumping from one waypoint to the next is uncomfortable at best. It requires strength of character and a commitment to not look back, at least not for long. Yes, I am tired and this uncertainty is like an old friend I no longer want to speak with. What is clear is that I have more waypoints ahead. The journey is not over for me and I must find peace in the process. I understand standing on the banks is no longer an option. I am fast approaching the last chapter of my life and the time to move along is always now. While I long for a gentle swim down a lazy river, I will surely experience more rough waters along the way. I trust in my ability to weather the storm, ride the waves and identify my next adventure as it comes into view.