I feel like life is sort of composed of connection, a span of commitments for two weeks, connection, commitments, connection, repeat. In my own life I spend a day or two catching up on emails and connecting, then I vanish for a couple of weeks attempting to squeeze in or juggle various commitments... I can't juggle... I think this simple, matter-of-fact metaphor speaks greatly to the fact that juggling simply doesn't work.
I'm a spirit of non-linear thinking and being, but residing in a world of linear concepts. This is challenging. It's not to say that it's "hard", because that's a choice I choose not embrace. I mentioned to a friend of mine recently how I prefer my life to be easy, and she laughed, saying it was impossible... why? If we're creators of our own realities, why, why would I create a reality in which I am knowingly making difficult choices? Perhaps a simple concept, and it's not to say that the uncontrolled aspects of life don't have their own roles in which we do not control, but what about the control we do possess?
With that mindset, I'm, currently, just doing what I want. I laugh in spite of that statement, like I am somehow in defiance over the world... like I am snubbing my nose at chores that beckon to be done, at work that requires this deadline... these are factors that I choose to accept as a reality I created, but right now I'm having more fun simply doing it on my time frame. I can't tell if this is controlled by my inner child or inner rebel, either way, it's nice to put down the facade of pretending I can juggle when juggling is more of an Olympic sport.
I've been busy contemplating some shifts in class material, finished teaching a class a couple of weeks ago that I really love teaching, but I am always finding it challenging to squeeze nearly a week's worth of material in two days. It's adapting the concept of "pick the best, leave the rest". The exciting piece was that after class had ended on the second day, I came home and started to channel this vision of the intensive that we're planning at the school. My director seems to like the outline of it, and while I know this is a collaboration of both views, I'm keeping handy the vision that came forth for future endeavors.
I spent a good day or two after class with a fairly sore throat. I don't utilize my outer voice much in daily life. Communication, outside of immediate family and friends, is done in what we're more accustomed to in this world: email; texting; Facebooking... it's connection in a way that leaves us more disconnected in soulful relationships, but it's connection as we know it now. I'm guilty of it, of simply "liking" a status and that somehow means that my relationship with someone is still thriving. Pathetic really, but I play a role in it as well.
As a result, two days straight of constant talking is not something my vocal chords are used to, so I come home with my throat being tired and my voice done. This also speaks to on-going throat chakra issues that I continue to work through, but I know that the "balance" in communication can't be limited to inner voice utilization, but rather composing more refined moments of outer communication. This is a challenge for those who enjoy more hermit-like living... such as myself. I enjoy the quiet. I'm not a "crowd" person. The larger the crowd, the smaller my voice. Not "small" in fear or power-over -- I experienced that for years and found ways to shift it. It's simply "smaller" in that I retreat to comforting moments of observation vs active participation. There is some interesting experiences when you take on the challenge of "fake it 'til you make it". What a funny world we live in sometimes...
We were without power last week for 14 hours when a powerful wind storm hit New England. A few hours before the wind started to reach its climax, I was thinking about the power of Air. Air with its relationship with communication, with truth, with speech... I started to think of classes I teach, about the utilization of my outer voice, about my avid need for journaling, utilizing my inner voice... then I thought about personal truth... there were so many thoughts, just sitting there, listening to the rain come down, thinking about Water, about love, about divinity, about its connection to Air and Wisdom... all of these thoughts piggy-backing off of the other, and the more I started to think about the center piece of personal truth, the harder the wind began to blow. Trees were swaying back and forth, the wind was howling, really howling, and I felt like my own personal climax of thought was approaching...
Then the power blew. And we were without power for 14 hours while I thought about Air and personal truth, and my own reflection in that connection.
There were many strands that night, beyond that simple paragraph above; the strands found themselves coming to one common ground: something I had heard in a podcast a couple of months before. I remember listening to this interview when this one question was asked: What is the message of your life? I literally stopped dead in my tracks and paused the podcast.
What is the message of your life?
It had a great effect on me. I haven't revisited it in depth as I would like (potential avoidance there?), but I have thought of it often. There is potential avoidance there. I spoke with my spiritual mother the other day about this piece, how for years it was the general "what's the purpose of my life" question that held reign. I remember being in an intuitive development class once and asking this very same question to my Higher Self. The instructor had us blindly pick books, using our intuitive sense to decide if that particular book we were holding held the answer to our question. Then in repeating this question to ourselves once more, we opened the book to a 'random' page, placed our finger where the answer was, opened our eyes and read.
That was nearly 9 years ago, and while I do have the answer written down in whatever journal I was on that year, I don't recall the exact answer, but the core of it was "there purpose of life is living, beyond that there is no purpose." There was natural ease in the answer. It went deeper into the meaning of life and how life is not meaningless for it never actually had meaning... my perspective then looked at it from a neutral standpoint. My perspective now still sees the neutrality in it, like a blank canvas... a series of blank canvases... creation in motion, one painting, one aspect of life, doesn't define all of your artwork (your life).
That book exercise is still one I practice to this day. I love the synchronicity life presents, and the constant symbols and messages that are revealed daily.
The past few days I have taken some time to ignore my work and obligations and focus on the safety and healing of Chileans from the massive earthquake. My brother is in Chile now. The day after getting our power back from our own wind storm my father called to tell me of the earthquake and we both silently panicked about my brother, wondering if he was ok, was he one of the injured, or worse, one of the dead. It was a good several painful hours of "what if" playing over and over, each circumstance getting worse with each passing hour. Thankfully, we heard from him, and he is fine. He slept through the earthquake (as only my brother would!) and is now trying to find any way to get home. Most of the family has been accounted for, while there are still many on my father's side we haven't heard from yet, but some of them are without power or even a phone... it certainly puts daily life into perspective. Looking around this room, all this "stuff"... empty moments sometimes trickle through, and lack of regard or compassion for even gratitude can plague even the best of us at any moment. I'm hearing this one line from a song a friend wrote, "I am so lucky indeed"... the context of the song is quite different and the "lucky" aspect hardly feels lucky in the larger scheme, but the mere line alone rings in my head, gratefully.
An emotionally exhausting weekend, I feel like I am easily losing track of the days this week, which is fine, thankfully there's nothing dire awaiting my attention. Right now I have been focusing on some upcoming workshops I am putting together, which is slightly different for me in the sense of the time frame of these workshops. I teach 2-day classes on subjects, or day-long ones. It's been quite some time since I have done a "workshop" in the 2-3 hour sense. It's good practice to return to this venue, though. Not many people have the time or the finances to do the longer classes, and I have been told by so many over the years of how people want to take classes with me, but I can understand how difficult it can be to shell out $250 for a 2-day class when other financial obligations await. Doing these workshops will allow others to take a class, feel a sense of connection to personal enrichment while not breaking the bank or worries of creating time in their own busy lives to have two straight days off.
The other up side to this is that I will feel more prepared when teaching for the Temple in terms of the time frame piece. Christopher has asked that they be 2-3 hours as well, as he's thinking of plugging them in just before Sabbats, or as a lecture series should I want to do something that requires more than an evening. It's more growth, more opportunity to put myself out there. I can feel the butterflies flutter in my stomach, the familiar nerves when teaching arises. Good nerves, though. I think it keeps my reality and ego in check. I like healthy nerves. Confidence is great, I lacked it in this department for quite some time and had to dive head in before really cultivating that full self-esteem in teaching, but I think it was best routed this way for me. I don't know that I would feel "good" about going into a class without that usual nervousness. For me it reminds me that I still have much to learn, even in the area of the work I do, there's still always more to learn. As I've told my students, I am up there in the front of the room as the instructor, sharing something that I have practiced and am passionate about, but in my classroom I am not the sole teacher. As I teach them, they teach me and each other. I really believe in that piece. I honor that everyone comes into a room with gifts that are worth sharing. I've had some amazing teachers along the years who have taken this approach and made me feel like my voice mattered, and for someone who has had perpetual voice "issues", this is a beautiful and empowering gift to share.