Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Week One - A Tale of Woe and Connection

You must do the thing you think you cannot do. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

One week down...39 to go??

Actually, it's been a good week...and thirty-nine more of them doesn't seem too big a bite to have taken. Unless I remember that forty weeks will essentially take me until next July. Ooof! Then it sounds positively over-the-top. Especially for one who craves flexibility and freedom the way I do!

Surprisingly, showing up to the cushion every day has been a relief. Turning down the lights, lighting a candle, the incense, pulling the down blanket up over my shoulders as I settle in cross-legged on the edge of my meditation cushion. Deep breath in, deep breath out. In, out. Connect the breath in the belly. Still the mind. It's been welcome...a bit like coming home. Even if my mind is unruly and racing, even if it shows no signs of calming down. I wonder if maybe I'm not working hard enough to reign it in. If maybe I've almost fallen asleep way too many times to count as having shown up. Or maybe none of that matters and the concentration will come in time. With practice. With experience.

Isn't this true for all things? We don't step in as an expert. We need to allow ourselves time and space to flounder, to explore, to grow and sometimes to fail. And we must also allow ourselves the opportunity to succeed.

My meditation Sunday night was especially peaceful...which I am happy to count as a small victory. But along with that success came greater challenge because as it was, I had settled in deeply enough to actually hear my inner voice tell me something. It went a bit like this...

"Well, if you're really going to treat this like a true pregnancy, don't drink for nine months."

Pardon me?! Has my heart forgotten that my husband is a wine distributor??

My eyes popped open and my mind started calculating all the possible loopholes that would enable me to pretend that I didn't hear what I heard. Except that I did. Every shocking last word. The kicker was that I realized that if I was really serious about this, if I truly wanted to develop this relationship with my higher self like I've said I do, then I need to honor what was being asked of me. Even this (sniff, sniff).

It could be that this ends up being the hardest thing I ever do...and I've done a lot of hard things over the course of my 40 years. But then I think, really? Women have been getting pregnant and not drinking for nine months at a time forever and it doesn't kill them -- or at least I've never heard of any casualties. It doesn't make it any less hard, but at least I have leagues of women who have forged a path before me showing me it's possible.

Granted, I'm not pregnant which brings up issues all its own. "Why should I?" my small self cries. But if this were truly another life I was fostering and growing within me, I would treat my body as the true temple it is and would surely make room for this aspect of the overall experience. Why should my life be worth any less? We're so used to sacrificing for others, especially as women, and we've been taught -- wittingly or not -- that to focus on ourselves is selfish. Maybe this is my heart's way of getting me to clear out the distractions so I can open up to all the next eight months and three weeks have to offer me. Perhaps I'm simply being asked to sacrifice for my Self.

I might not like the idea of giving up my favorite vice, but I'm willing to suspend my disbelief in the spirit of exploration and discovery. In the spirit of connection. It's as if my heart has reached out and made the first attempt at contact. The least I can do is pick up my end of the line and say "hello".

With one week down, big adventures are already brewing, fermenting, gestating...in the way that in all process we are shown how much time and attention it takes to create something magnificent. Like a life. Someone else's or my own, I guess is irrelevent. And so I keep holding the space...//

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