In my experience, Life likes to send us invitations to heal.
These often come at random moments, when we expect them the least. I have had some great breakthroughs in a therapist’s office, and my Morning Pages continue to be one of my favorite portals towards clarity; and yet, these breath-stopping, gut-punching, thoroughly unexpected “WOA” nuggets tend to always propel me forward — paradoxically while asking me to pause whatever I am doing at the moment.
A few nights ago in my bed. It was the end of a rich day and I was looking forward to snuggling up to a bit of reading about someone else’s life. In this case, I was getting ready to be delighted by more of Storm Large’s memoir “Crazy Enough.” Because you know, there’s a distance, there. Whatever might be going on in her life, surely has nothing to do with me. I like that.
And then, on page 162, BAM. …
I am tired, this morning.
The kind of tired that’s on the other side of a night of no sleep, or interrupted sleep.
Someone I love was sick last night, thousands of miles away. At one in the morning, a trip to the ER was made and for the rest of the night, my phone was next to me, with hourly check ins. It seems that things are settling, now. A tough night melting its edges a bit with the morning sunlight.
I’m left with this tiredness. …
At a cardiology appointment last week.
I am there for support. To soothe nerves, take notes, hold a hand and ask cool headed questions.
As we enter the waiting room, I can feel my own heart shrink around the edges. Nice room, art on the walls, many chairs, tall check-in counters. The kind that separates elegantly the well from the not-so-well..
We find our spot with one empty seat on each side of us and we get settled for what could be a long-ish wait.
I watch people enter the room, make their way to the tall counters then look for their own waiting spot. …
On my way to the dentist (yes. Again), my phone rings.
On the other end of the line, my daughter dives straight into the reason for her call: “mom, did you hear the news?” — Hmm. No, I have not. Somehow I have a feeling these may not be such happy news. I wait. “Notre Dame” she continues. “Notre Dame is on fire.”
My answer to her non-question is immediate: No. No, Notre Dame is not on fire. The same response she had given me when she was 4 years old and I had told her that I thought that little pimple on her chest might mean that she had chicken pox. She was instantly adamant. No. No, she did not have chicken pox and no, Notre Dame was not burning. Period. …
Did you know about the power of … shaking?
A friend of mine has been studying Somatic Therapy and couple of years ago, she shared with me the powerful effects of the simple act of shaking.
She had explained to me (and I hope I am saying this correctly) that the reason we shake when traumatic events happen to us, is that the body is using its wisdom to help us move the trauma out, before it can lodge itself in our cells.
She also said that when something unsettling or upsetting happens to us, we can choose to voluntarily shake our limbs — and that we will often feel some prompt relief. …
For most meals during our Retreat, Danielle had been laying copious amounts of exotic food in front of us. From saucy meat stews to tiny cod fritters, mountains of root vegetables and savory bananas to artfully arranged delicious fruit plates, many of which we do not recognize. Even their French names often eluded me as even though the island of Guadeloupe is legally French, this sure wasn’t the food I grew up with, in the “Metropole.” It was exciting and it scratched our group’s itch for the Essences of Adventure and Discovery. Oh, and Nurturing.
Danielle and her mom Esther took their job of feeding us quite seriously and when we happened to not finish our plates, the looks that fell upon us could be intimidating. Once, I attempted to pass on something that came my way and was told with no room for negotiation that I would try it. I did and of course, I was glad. …
“A year ago, bundled up in my rental car parked on a tiny Greek harbor in the dark, I am talking with a coaching client / friend.
She needs to make a big decision and when I close my eyes, I can hear that something thick is in her way, something that has little to do with logistics.
She talks some more. I listen some more.
Then, as is often the case when someone makes the space for us to truly explore our own nooks and crannies, something important bubbles up, warm and soft, perfectly ready for me to catch it: she shares with me that she had often been told that she was noncommittal, or as some of her friends put it, “a quick quitter.” …
So many languages and with that knowing comes the knowing that no matter what, I will never speak them all. Arabic. Arabic kinda makes my stomach do happy things, especially in songs. So does Hebrew. With a little focus I could speak fluent Italian and Spanish fairly quickly, and that would be nice. And that would still leave many, many languages out of reach. Meaning, many many people I will never be able to talk with, but more specifically: many more ways in which I will not know myself.
When I speak French, my heart and my brain connect with a Frenchness, a way of being, of thinking, of expressing myself. No matter how much I fight it, a whiff of cynicism (we call it humor) sometimes creeps in. I shrug more often, while a layer of superficiality automatically gets scrubbed off, somehow leaving things more substantial. …
On the phone with a friend yesterday morning, we are catching up on each other’s lives; the places we’ve explored for the last year or two, the things we’ve learned.
She asks me about my 6-month trip and she says something about how I must have been scared, all alone out there.
I turn that word around in my mind for a few seconds, try to find the places where it would land, and I come up empty. No, I was not really ever scared.
I was alone, and sometimes I was lonely. I was occasionally sick, I was bored once or twice, I was lost on occasion, I was mind blown, too. But scared? …