I am diving into what I do not yet know!

I have a foggy head today. I woke up at 6 am, as is my custom, to write in my journal, trip around my apartment in the ever darker 6 am light, feel the morning and the freshness of the day, and eventually write. I like the morning, especially the early morning, it’s quiet and my mind is clear, or at least… more clear. But my lord was it hard to get up this morning! I can’t stay in bed because then I feel I’ve wasted the best part of the day. Apparently, however, I can go to the couch, write in my journal and then take a “nap” until 10 am, and feel fine about that. Anyway… onward.

I am now enrolled in, um, 7 courses for my graduate school program. I’m also continuing my ministerial program, which completes next May and has monthly readings, listenings, and writings. I’m also starting to write some food politics articles for Edible San Diego, and perhaps help them find some advertising with the companies/organizations located up here. I signed up today for a weekly singing class. The beginning one was full, so the program director at Blue Bear Music School advised I jump into the intermediate, so I jumped. I have a job interview tomorrow morning. But if that falls through I may have a work study opportunity. Saturday mornings, and occasionally Tuesday afternoons I work at the farmer’s market too. I also eat, exercise, sleep, and have friends, and I even bathe, regularly. Each of these things either represents a part of me that I want to cultivate, or is something I do because it maintains my health. I want to sing. I want to develop my capacity to support others in their spiritual emergences and life transitions. I want to study organizational systems, sustainable systems, and how to lead transformation, it excites me more than anything I’ve ever studied. But I am totally overwhelmed by what my schedule is now looking like.

Today after ordering 24 books online and printing over 100 pages or course syllabi I stared at the wall thinking where am I actually going to put all of this physical stuff? I’m dreaming up my own new system for organizing my school papers, printed articles, and other work  just so I can engage without being swallowed up. And part of it is going to be in my bathroom. You know that joke, “step into my office” with a gesture towards a closet or a restroom? I think that may become my reality.

I know I am not the first person who has ever taken on more than they feel capable of, and that knowledge helps a little. But when I entertain going into where that fear takes me, a place where I want to shut down and cancel my life, I just know that that is not the option. It’s good to remember what your choices are when you feel trapped, sometimes the feeling of being trapped is an indicator of the need for change. But sometimes what will mean freedom can look a lot like prison, and vice versa. While I may feel a tightness in my schedule, I feel a freedom when I think about each of these paths and what they mean for me, why I’ve chosen them. What I am trying to trust is that this fear, this fear that I won’t be able to do what I am signed up for, that this fear is like the hard part in a yoga posture. It’s the edge that you hang out on, retreating back from and going over, and breathing into. What I suspect is that part of what this new life is about is learning how to allow more to happen and be done than you thought was possible by simply engaging both with your task in the moment and with the broader context at the same time.  I think it might be about letting go of the idea that you know where you will be challenged, or where you will end up. At the risk of sounding too airy, I just have this feeling that what I’m learning is more than the content of the classes. It feels like learning how to push boundaries in a non-egoic way, if that is possible, and  not too arrogant of a conceit in and of itself. The truth is, I found myself in the middle of this, and I feel compelled to trust it. And I actually don’t have more reasoning behind it. I don’t know if I can do this, and maybe I’ll find the lesson in a few months was actually that I am indeed not superwoman. But, I’m breathing and moving forward.

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2 thoughts on “I am diving into what I do not yet know!

  1. ahhh yes….that ohh too familiar feeling of being in too deep. it is interesting that we feel fear, and other low energy emotions when facing huge challenges. how is it we can achieve in the midst of extreme stress and fear? yet, after reaching our goal we are but steps from our next fearful endevour. you know, i think i’m going to do a couple of things: one you mentioned…letting go of the anxiety and fear, b/c that shit never helped anyone. two involves me remembering that “i did it despite the forces working against me”. sometimes i forget that i can control my mind instead of it running all over me, and when i remember that… it makes all the difference. Talk with you soon

    1. Yes, because in the act of becoming aware of the fear you now have a choice. You can go into the fear, retreat, avoid, and act from that place, or you can choose to see it and open anyway, go into the flame like a moth in one of Rumi’s poems. Know that taking risks is the only way we make leaps. It is that way with all kinds of fear, with work, life, love, etc. There is a buddhist phrase for it called tonglan, or something like that, which means sort of breathing in whatever negative feeling it is that is either yours, or coming from another person or the world, and to simply hold that feeling with love and acceptance. I like this idea because it takes the power away from the emotion.
      The other part of this is that the fear exists because our culture tends to see things as positive or negative, success or failure, which doesn’t allow for the possibility that failure can be success and vice versa.
      When you let go of the fear and just trust that you can meet what is asked of you, instead of doing things in spite of forces working against you, you accomplish things with the help of others, the conspiring of the universe, and the grace of whatever your god is. So you accomplish greater things, hopefully with the awareness that it was not you alone that accomplished it. yeah, we need to talk soon… iron out the administrative hold situation?

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