Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Weathering the Dark

though this post feels vulnerable, i'm putting it out there. we are one, right.?

Recent change in location and situation, change of season, (a several-week lag in taking nutritional supplements, on my part...), and death in our midst, shook the emotional foundation of our little family a bit. Mexico seemed like a foggy figment, very far away. I felt the need to hunker down and weather the darkness like a mama hen, collecting my little one under my wings and holding real solid and still for a while. Unable to tell the story from the eye of the storm, we are just now emerging, our ruffled feathers beginning to smooth down to a semblance of calm.
Ever the researcher, I reached for study material that felt good like a soft warm blanket in the middle of the night. I found the book Simplicity Parenting which brings order and rhythm to modern-day frenetic chaos, and Jon Young's 8 Gifts from Nature online course which teaches personal fulfillment as well as cultural repair through Deep Nature Connection.
This email from Julie Charette Nunn also felt good. Though it didn't make sense and I couldn't begin to answer her questions in the moment, I grasped onto it and read it often, like a bright scrap of paper in a sweaty palm during an intense psychedelic journey.

The yellow, red, orange, brown and black leaves are falling to earth.

Giving way

What is giving way in you?

Who are you not?

What trappings must you absolutely let go of now to live your most precious life?

This Autumn time energy is a good time [for] practicing surrender.

This Autumn time energy is a good time for eliminating what doesn't work.

Creating space for what you don't know yet.

And expecting goodness to come from the mystery.

Seeing my little girl laughing and at ease again means the world. Feeling my neck and shoulders relax after being knotted for more than a month helps, too.

photo series: grape leaves in autumn

P.S. My question, though, is: how does one honor emotions without getting bogged down in them? At some point I wondered if my dark place had simply become a grumpy habit. It was then that I tried to implement my favorite Thich Nhat Hanh's practice of smiling. A mindful smile helps us to have humor and remember that "this too shall pass."
Here's what I looked like on one of those first days of pulling myself up out of the muck and shaking my feathers out.

Yikes! That's what a sense of humor's for, right? When you see photos of yourself where you were aiming for a smile and came up with a grimace.

Ah, Life......
Can't live with it, can't live without it! There's something irresistible-ish about it!


Anonymous said...

oh no! trouble in family land is not good news! But what you say, and the way you say it sounds so familiar to me too. "How do I honor emotions without getting bogged down in them?!" I have struggled (mostly unsuccessfully) this semester to find balance between business of school and allowing for my intense personal drama to unfold. Always, the lesson includes some amount of "be patient" for me...sometimes there are other lessons too. I also have a smile/grimace photo of myself from a few days ago that I have not posted. I love you, and understand as you go through your dark times. As a wise woman recently told me (YOU!), "sometimes life is dramatic". Thank you for the reminder, it helped me breathe a little into it.

Tiffanie said...

Aww! Thanks for the support, Sister!! I appreciate my own advice mirrored back my way. This is true friendship. :-)
I love you!!