Wednesday, 18 March 2015

The writing's on the dirt

I can't believe what just happened.

So I'm writing about it as soon as is possible.

I've had a symptom flare up. It's been gradual - it started Monday morning and hit it's peak this afternoon. It is felt physically as an ongoing abdominal discomfort, so its quite contained but its affect on the rest of me is far-reaching - other bodily systems and functions are altered and then my emotional and mental state follow suit.

I have been here many times over the past eight years.

At one point it was daily for months, which turned into years. The good news is, I have improved - this symptomatic situation has become less and less frequent, but it still strikes too often and when it does the whole of my world looks dim; helplessness settles in as we have not yet found a way to relieve it, nor prevent it from happening in the first place.

So this afternoon I found myself in familiar territory - frustrated and despairing over not being able to decipher the trigger, my hope of a different future disappearing after very recently being quite optimistic about the positive changes that were occurring.

Not knowing what else to do, I decided to pray for help. While chopping the veggies for tea I pleaded with the Heavens above to show me what I needed to do or what I needed to know to get better. I then got on with my evening - cook dinner, hang washing, taxi a child, walk the dog.

I didn't really have the energy to walk, but I knew I needed the fresh air and the forest.

At a much slower than usual pace Harvey and I set off through the bush. My mood had hit its typical low, my mind wondering what, when, why, how? One minute Harvey was trotting along quite happily beside me, the next an abrupt stop and he was just behind me - pausing for one of his many wees no doubt. I nearly didn't turn back to look as he makes regular stops throughout our walks, but this stop went on for longer than normal.  I twisted around to check on him, and there it was.

I still can't really believe it, yet I know from experience that the universe works in wonderful and mysterious ways. This is what I saw...exactly as I saw it. And I didn't pass anyone, nor did anyone I know know I was walking through the bush at 7:04pm tonight.

I stood dumbstruck for a few long seconds. Then I cried. And then the laughter came.

I had just asked you-know-who for help and I reckon this was my answer.

Write. From the heart. Write. Love writing. Love sharing. Write. Write till you think there are no words left to write and then write some more. Write the pain away. Write the sadness away. Write it all down - anything and everything that might help - the blog, the private journals, the thesis, write it all!

I mean seriously, what are the chances?

If Harvey hadn't stopped there to wee I would've missed it. And you know what, I've been witness to this kind of uncanny synchronistic stuff too many times to be any kind of skeptic. So I have taken that leaf and pen perfectly positioned in the dirt as gospel.

As I sit here happily tapping away, I know I don't need to wonder anymore about my telos (see yesterday's post). I don't know what the words will bring, nor what words will come. I don't know when or how or even if my symptoms will clear as a result. I just know I have to write, from my heart, as much and as often as I can and be open to the healing it might bring.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The search continues

This week's post arrived on my doorstep yesterday afternoon.

I'd been wanting to write for Seeker & Sage for days but the topic was yet to appear, and now I know why.

This book is one of many that I ordered last week to help me with my Masters Thesis. Actually, it was another book by this author I was chasing but when I Googled psychologist James Hillman and saw his repertoire of inspiring books lined up across the screen, the Seeker in me couldn't help but want to read and own a book titled, The Souls's Code: In search of Character and Calling.

When you buy books on-line you can never be sure when they're going to show up, nor which will come first. So yesterday's delivery was a delightful surprise.

I couldn't wait to delve into it but kids and projects and errands and dog grooming and dinner left me no chance to do what I so desperately wanted to do - curl up on the couch and start soaking in the words from this number one New York Times Bestseller. Ha...I'd never even heard of it till last week, and now I was in love with it before I even turned page one!

Incidentally when I get a new book in the mail the first thing I do is check to see if the seller has 'randomly' placed a receipt or bookmark among the pages. If so, I take it as a sign. I open the book to the designated marking and see what it has in store for me. Usually it is something that sends me into goosebumps - something I need to know.

But not this time. Not this book. So I took matters into my own hands. I held the book and thumbed the furry outer edge of the pages slowly and delicately, just moving them enough until they started parting and then it became obvious to me where to open to.

The first word I saw was the chapter title in the top right hand corner of the right hand page...Fate.

Goosebumps. I read down the page until I found the message meant for me that day:

"The pull of purpose comes with force; you may feel full of purpose. But just what it is and how to get there remains undetermined. The telos [aim or fulfilment] may even be double or triple and confused about whether to sing or dance, write or paint. Purpose does not usually appear as a clearly framed goal, but more likely as a troubling, unclear urge coupled with a sense of indubitable importance."

That's how I've been feeling in a nutshell - about writing, about this blog, about Uni, about my thesis, about what I'm doing on the planet and point of it all.

I have moments where I feel full of purpose, but I don't know what I'm aiming for. So I try and name it but I am at once lost for words. But Hillman has today helped clarify the unclarifiable - that troubling ache and urge that strikes to write this blog, that thesis, both of which I debate the importance of yet which I feel the pull of purpose with and sense of importance that I cannot doubt or deny.

I am drawn to spirit too - the world that exists within and behind this world, and the mystery of the soul and what we can do to connect with and integrate its abundant guidance and wisdom. To work with that realm is another ache I feel, hence a sense of confusion as Hillman points out from a double telos as to which one to pursue.

But just like this book coming into my life somewhat unexpectedly, we don't always know what's next. Nor do we always understand the relationship and meaning between seemingly unrelated instances as they occur - but if we're open to seeing the connections and believe in a greater purpose at work then we can let go and trust that all is unfolding in our highest and best interest . Maybe it's time the Seeker was a little more patient and trusting that all will be revealed at the 'right' time. And when the urge strikes to go to the desk and write, write!

One last thing - I want to thank you, dear readers and family and friends, for supporting me as try and find my telos, my aim, my purpose, that I feel is so strongly bound to words and meaning and this thing we call life. It is a privilege to be read by you and my honourable pleasure to share with you that which is in my heart. Love and gratitude, G xx

Monday, 2 March 2015

The wisdom within

This morning I attended day one of a week-long early morning yoga intensive.

At 5.25am the alarm shook me out of my much-needed slumber and I wondered with a heavy head for the hundredth time this past week,
why did I say yes to this?

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of yoga, and it's not like anyone is 'making me' do it - I volunteered... with enthusiasm!

You see this particular yoga teacher is someone I love to learn from. Truth be told, it's almost enough for me to be in the same room as him. So it's not like I didn't want to do it - I just wondered at 5.26 when I dragged myself to the loo and at 5.27 when I was reluctantly running the shower and at 5.41 when I was backing down the driveway in denial...
Why say yes to getting up this early five mornings in a row? 
Why do it to yourself?!

It seems I wasn't the only one wondering why.

Not five minutes into the session and we've been asked the same question:
Why are you here? 
What was the impulse that made you want to come here today, 
this morning, and practise yoga? 

I pondered this why some more while sitting on my mat. And again throughout the practice. A number of reasons came to mind but I'm not even sure they matter. Our teacher's point was that we felt some kind of urge that then led to the thinkings that led to all the plans we had put in place to be there. We think the idea to say yes has come from our thoughts, but before that there was a felt sense of yes that came from the body.

Another why has just come to me as I write this post -
why am I even telling you this?

Because a dear friend was talking to me about this very thing over a cup of tea this afternoon <3

And because I think this happens a lot. For many of us.

We've all had that fleeting intuitive hunch that we feel in our gut or that little leap in our heart - the impulse to say yes or no to something. And often we do. But then our mind starts trying to talk us out of it. It claims to know what's best for us, or what's right. Or we feel it, but we don't know if we can trust it.

But as our visiting Yogi pointed out this morning, the body is intelligent. It knows what we need. And if we listen to those signals and urges more often, respecting this innate wisdom we all have within, then maybe we'd be more content, more happy, more peaceful, more healthy, more alive.