On Strike

Sometimes, life is too hard.

I mean it. Sometimes, I just have to give up.

Not permanently. Not in a dangerous or devastating way.

But yes, I am saying that sometimes you just have to say, “Enough.”

Do not get me wrong. I am all for positivity.

If it were not for having learned to watch my thoughts and understand that I am not my thoughts or feelings, I would surely be dead today. My thoughts have a tendency to the dark side. The side that urges me to death. The side that has had enough of pain and sorrow and wishes for me a return to the void as soon as possible.

I have come to respect and have compassion for that dark side tendency of my mind. It is, its own way, trying to help me survive. But I have put it in the back seat of my psyche as a passenger on this ride through life. I do not let it drive. It would drive me off a steep cliff, like that last scene in “Thelma and Louise.” I observe it. I am not it.

Back to positivity. I thoroughly believe, after much personal experimentation, that there is, indeed, a tremendous power in our thoughts. Choosing life on a daily basis and choosing  how to respond to life and the thoughts and feelings that arise as a result of living moment to moment are a crucial key to my having a fulfilling existence with some degree of serenity.

I have learned I can direct my thoughts. I can see when they are in a groove, an old, habitual, familiar song. I can pick up the needle off the record (remember those?) and set it on a new groove. I can literally rewire my brain over time with consistency and commitment.

I believe in and have benefited from the power of mantras and affirmations.

These are all tools I use to co-create a rich and full life each day.

Yet.

I also believe, after many failed attempts to do otherwise, that there is a value and a necessity to having times where I can throw my hands up, literally and figuratively, and say to the Universe, to God, and, perhaps most importantly, to my Higher Self and all of my selves: “I give up!”

Somehow, for me, exercising my ability to say “Enough, I cannot go on another inch, I am done, that’s it!” has been very important.

Some part of my spirit, deep down inside, perhaps very young, very formerly traumatized, needs me to heed her desire to say, “No more.”

I tried to push away her voice for many, many years. First, I drowned it in food and alcohol. Later, I drowned it in positivity and recovery. Finally, I stopped and listened. Really acknowledged and listened.

I had to truly stop snd listen. Once I could hear her voice, it was very easy to find compassion for her pain and her suffering.

She did not trust me at first. Understandably, she had no reason to believe that I had any interest in her needs whatsoever. I get it. I’d neglected her for so long. Denied her existence, or worse, judged and bullied her. At first, I didn’t trust myself to be able to help her, make her feel safe.

But I made a commitment to her to always be there for her. To listen and help her. To make her the priority over anything else, as a matter of fact.

To parent her. And as a parent, I do not let her run the show. She is too young. Too raw. Too wounded. But I do honor her needs. I take them seriously. I give her attention, affection, acceptance. I give her my love.

And when she says “Enough,” we stop.

Not forever. Not in a dangerous or permanent way.

But we stop. I stop.

I unplug from the striving. The adult-ing. The New York City drive-ing.

I go on strike. I take a pause. I withdraw from the world.

I take a beat. I let her relax as fully as she can. I hold her hand and say, “I know. It is hard. I hear you are weary.”

And then, when she has had my attention and has been given a rest, when we both feel that it is time, I get back into my life and the world again.

She snuggles back into my heart, and lets me enter fully into the moments of my life.

And so I enter back into my life again. Awake. Ready to strive. To pursue. To stretch and grow.

Whole.

The Path

A year ago, out-of-the-blue, I was overcome with the desire to challenge myself to post daily. The idea was to do it for a year.

I had been struggling at the time with unexplained, extreme fatigue. My ability to be active in my normal life was severely impaired.

The posts became a daily lifeline to my creativity. A way to keep being in the world creatively, even if I could not be physically.

It has been an amazing gift.

That daily connection to readers and other writers has been crucial to my well-being. I am so very grateful for whatever wisdom inspired me to self-challenge myself.

I missed a day or two. But I did post a day for about 362 days. I wish to celebrate that. I could easily just bypass it, which is my tendency of all actions I take.

But not this time. Today, I acknowledge and celebrate my having posted daily for over a year, with a few three exceptions.

I showed up no matter what. On sick days, depressed days, vacation days, super busy days, days I really did not want to write.

And I learned to just write no matter what. To let things be less than perfect. To “just do it.”

I “met” amazing fellow writers and have been exposed to so many wonderful, different verse blogs.

And now, just as suddenly as the idea came to me to do it daily, I find that my desire to continue posting daily has gone.

I am so curious about this. Is it because I am now fully back into activities of my life?

Or are my creative impulses unpredictable?

Is it because I “completed” something and so desire some new challenges?

That has yet to be revealed.

For now, I accept that I challenged myself to do something, loved it, learned a great deal from the doing of it.

I thank those of you who have read me daily or several times a week (or any time!)

I look forward to finding my new pace. Perhaps every other day…

I welcome the wisdom that will surely guide my next step. I have learned to trust my own process. Look where it has brought me so far!

Inspired by The Daily Post Word Prompt: unpredictable

The Clearing

I feel the sunlight through my closed eyelids

Warm, solid, like a nudge from the sun

“Go on, girl,” she says

“Don’t look back anymore”

And I know she’s right

The time has come to truly begin this journey

I’m finally out of the dense woods that’ve been my home for so long

I made a beautiful space for myself there

But it was never meant to be my permanent home

And so I open my eyes

Look around at the roads that lay ahead

That lead from this clearing I now find myself standing in

I take a deep breath, and I take my first step

Into my life

Inspired by The Daily Post Word Prompt: journey

Friendly Fire

Is it a lack of courage

Or a refusal to use it

That defines cowardice

I can feel possibilities

Yet let them slip away

As I stay with my Fear

Arms locked like cousins

Does that make me a coward

Or am I just aligned with the wrong side

Is it possible to lack courage

Or do we pick a team and then deny having picked

Inspired by The Daily Post Daily Word Prompt: cowardice

Clown School Daze

Today marks the completion of my five week clown and commedia extravaganza.

I am not the same person that I was five weeks ago. I am different in ways I don’t even comprehend yet.

I am exhausted in the best of ways having truly spent myself each day.

In clown, if you let yourself, you open up like a little flower.

I fell in love over and over again with my fellow clowns. My heart broke open daily and then expanded several sizes and is bursting from my chest.

The world is shinier. I hear music everywhere. I make up little songs.

I carry the moments of courage, of tragedy, of brilliance, of mess, of genius, of laughter, of wonder, and of the amazing live theatre we made together these weeks with me forever.

I found out some very important things along the way.

I am too tired to try to articulate them today. I know they will be revealed in my future work.

I am sated, for the moment, and I celebrate these weeks.

My appetite will return.

But for today, I am sated.

And grateful.