Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: tension

Practical Spring Magic

As the Sun enters Taurus, I can feel the urge to dig deeper, be a bit more solidly on the ground, and hold damp earth in my hands. To focus on tactile items and tangible actions – books, kissing, taking the garbage out, strumming a guitar, folding clothes, scrubbing the bathroom, being spooned. Practical. Daily practices. I feel the restraints and confusion of Mercury retrograde loosening their hold.

While I’ve been taking time for restful self-care, I’m sensing that there is a new current running beneath me:

“What matters, really, is creating, which is not something I could’ve said even last week, but it’s becoming very clear. Self-care is actually not enough. ‘Taking-in’ is not enough. I need my own output for my own stuff. But what? Create what? I don’t think it matters. All of it is so important – the act of it being the lifeline I think I need. It’s not about what I ‘have to do’. It’s not about ‘work’. And it’s not about what I create either. I think my soul is freaking out because I’m not giving it time. I’m just not. All week was some good self-care, some stuff I didn’t want to do and lots of social output, and yet, no actual creating. I’m still in a shadow phase. I’m still feeding that need with other people’s books, podcasts, thoughts, language, songs – even their stories – about songwriting and creating…” (morning pages 4.21.12)

This is the uncomfortable noise running under the past few weeks. I don’t feel completely awful and depressed, but I also don’t feel at ease – each day is a bit of a struggle in the most boring ways. I’m hiding out, ignoring emails, reading a lot of Harry Potter, and it doesn’t seem to be getting better. I’m not moving forward.

My self-care is lifting me up, but I’m not using that energy for a personal “greater good”. Instead, I think / worry / panic about all the shit I should be doing with this energy – paralyzed by those “productive” items on my To Do list – and not allowing myself to explore my imagination. I’ve given myself permission to rest but not to create. To quiet my left brain but not receive from my right brain. I’m allowed to save up my energy, but I’m not allowed to use it unless it’s to do something “practical” a.k.a “productive”.

But the most practical thing I can do for myself is to create. And so, I am taking a cue from the cycles of the sun and working to transfer “creating” to the practical side of my life. Small daily actions create change. I’ve seen it work over the past 2 years, from allowing myself to just be, to not weighing my worth against my work, to taking more self-care and now, to this new phase – filling my days with creating, with the beginnings of a new season, following the patterns of spring, like the birds and the bees and the seeds on the wind.

Sparkles Align

A friend invited me to Yogaworks South Bay. It was the first time since Thanksgiving that I attended a yoga class.

With overcast skies and light drizzle we drove on quiet LA streets. We told stories of huge snowstorms. My friend spoke about her little third grade shoes being stuck in the mud during a fire drill. Her fiance immediately recalled a scene when he has accidentally blew the fire alarm. I felt immersed in life, as cheesy as it sounds. I was present.

Sparkles

As a friend says, the good thing about having a bad day is that you know the next day will be better. Today was – yoga, coffee with a friend, and cooking not one, but two soups. These are all things that comfort me, specifically the types of things I avoid when I need comforting.

Yesterday, I dreaded yoga. I thought I had made a mistake committing to the outing. My thoughts ping-ponged between “You don’t really want to go” and “Did you just say ‘yes’ out of obligation?”

I honestly had no idea. It seems the reason I have trouble deciding what I want is that I’ve lost parts of myself to enmeshed relationships and people-pleasing. Why listen to myself when I receive so much validation from caring for others?

Well, to start – I’m the only one who really matters (to me). And I don’t think it’s something we’re taught when we’re young, but being able to soothe ourselves and be self-compassionate is paramount to our well-being.

As I was chopping onions for my soups, I thought about their aggressive defense mechanism of producing a toxin that makes our eyes tear and burn. It made me think about people and their actions / reactions. “I can say ‘she’s controlling’, but don’t I also play a part? Aren’t I the one being controlled?”

It made me pause. What has been my role, what have I gained, from believing I’m being controlled?

Honestly, it displaced my responsibility of caring for myself. I’ve been so focused on others that all I see is myself in relation to them. The outside, the external. As soon as a tense situation resolved itself last night, I felt free – free to do yoga, to smile, to get less sleep and have more energy. But that power is already in me, somehow, I just don’t know how to access it yet.

It’s a tiny shift, but it matters. Like the sparkly water running through the Santa Monica Library cafe in the picture. A moment caught in the sun. An adjustment I’m making to align myself, feeling where the tension is and breathing through it.