"And the day came
when the risk to remain tight in a bud
was more painful than the risk it took
~ Anais Nin (French/American writer, 1903-1977
Or at least to stop doing what we're doing because it's causing tremendous pain.
Which is what the passage did for me in 1994, "the year of my awakening." Anais Nin's words spoke to my heart and gave voice to the silent screams within: "I can't do this anymore!"
The "this" was living my life on other's people's terms and according to their expectations (which I had, over time, adopted as my own.) Hurry, rush, be more, do more, get it right. Be perfect.
For many years, I'd heeded a loud inner voice, a brassy "should" filled one, that urged me to keep going; to don my Super Woman cape just one more time so that the life I'd built, a fragile house of cards, did not come tumbling down.
Thankfully, the day came when I realized that the pain was too great to keep doing it. I was worn out. The moment I read Ms. Nin's words, I felt relief. Permission granted. Within moments, soul wisdom flew in on shimmering wings and entered the portals of my heart, filling it with boundless joy. I woke up. I remembered who I really was.
That's the very moment my "year for me" began. A year of saying Yes to myself and No to what wasn't working. A year of trust that my soul would guide me where I needed to go, of surrender to my Higher Power which was welcoming me "home."
As I look around today, in my community and on the internet, I see many people who are in this place of pain of which Ms. Nin speaks. I assume she had been there herself for her to offer such profound guidance.
Our soul calls us again and again when we have lost our way. The soul is not a wounded animal that needs healing but a wise guide, holy and whole, sourced and immersed in the Sacred One itself. It finds us and leads us to the shores of human wholeness if—and this is a very big IF—we have the ears to hear and the heart to listen.
Most of us are moving so quickly we can't hear our soul's calling. We are bombarded with noise moment by moment in a world that thrives on such and continues to perpetuate more. We are dumbed down by television and battered by the news media. We are so caught up in the act of juggling the nuances of our lives that we are ever in motion, striving, working hard at making ends meet, trying to get everything just right. We don't dare stop. Our flimsy house of cards lives might fall apart—and so could we.
This struggle causes pain. It causes us to feel as if we are trapped tight in that bud of of which Ms. Nin speaks and we are stuck, unsure of how to open to the light of day ... and the freedom that we innately know will come with that.
But it's a risk to open up to your true self because, in the end, you and your life will not be the same.
Breath, books, the wise words of others. Water and fallen leaves on a soggy trail. Sunsets and sunrises. Journal pages and warm blankets. Each gentle urging, midwifed by growing self-compassion, brought me back to my soul self.
This same formula can work for any of us if we are brave enough to take the medicine. There is a risk involved in blossoming but the fruits are delicious.
In 2013, I am embracing another year for me though this time I am not down and out or flat on my back. I am healthy and whole but a bit overloaded from mistakenly taking on a sense that I have to do so much to live well. I am "paring back" and, at the same time, going back. Back to nature. Back to the simple things. Back to the shore and to the woods, to places of nurturance. To journals and blankets and timeless days that go on and on ... The "work" will get done. The money will flow. All will be well. I know this to be true.
When we listen to our soul's calling, there is nothing that is not just right ...
This year, I return "home" again, one gentle step at a time, to the quieter places within. My soul is eager to engage in meaningful conversation. She has secrets to tell me. I am ready to listen.
I do this—each of us can do this— one firmly held intention, one compassion-filled breath, at a time.
Perhaps you will join me. My bed is very big and I have lots of blankets, journals and books to share ...
Learn more. www.ayear4me.com