eleventhbeatnik

musings of an aquarian age counterculturist


Yesterday’s News: Unsubscribe Me.

The simplification of life is one of the steps to inner peace.  
A persistent simplification will create an inner and
outer well-being that places harmony in one’s life.
Peace Pilgrim

Glancing at the calendar, it feels a touch too early to be pondering spring cleaning.  Still, the need to clean house and organize my surroundings and by extension, my life, nags me with persistence.

Last week I finally finished a painting project that has taken a couple of months to complete.  Okay, fine: more than a couple.  Regardless, it was with a sense of accomplishment that I at long last stripped off the green painter’s tape, finished touch-ups, and packed up the tools – essentially removing the obstacle course that has existed in the living room so long that I somehow stopped seeing it.  I think that is a well-known characteristic of procrastination:  that which we do not wish to deal with is far too easily buried under other distractions.

In any case, I relished the moment when I was finally able to sit down to survey my surroundings and truly see the results of my labour.   Taking in the vibrant new wall colours was indeed a heady business.  (Good-bye and good riddance coma-inducing beige!)  I took pleasure in noticing that the apartment was starting to look like an actual home rather than an abandoned construction zone.  All that remained was to acquire a few pieces of previously-loved furniture in good condition that would suit the place.

Alas, coinciding with Paint Project Finito, it became clear that ever seeing those longed for finishing touches through to fruition would be an unlikely outcome.  Apparently, it will be a moving van rather than a delivery truck on the horizon.  It turns out that departing this place is more a matter of “when” than “if”.  Despite my initial feelings of disappointment, moving is not a new experience in my world and a part of me welcomes the excitement of starting fresh.  Although I am not necessarily thrilled about having to deal with another move so soon after the last one, I understand that the circumstances in this situation truly are completely outside my control.

Taking into account my direct experiences with disruption in general this last couple of years in particular, I’m doing my best to take the view that it is in fact life’s disturbances that open up new pathways and opportunities.  Taking a deep breath and stepping into the fear of the unexpected with as much peace as possible allows for a broader view of previously unseen possibilities to take shape.  It is in those moments of acceptance that an opportunity arises to glimpse something brighter and better waiting, if we move out of resistance and into ease and flow.  Not easy, but worth the effort.

Another major plus about moving is that it provides and excellent chance to de-clutter and identify any and all crap taking up real estate in closet space serving no particular purpose aside from collecting dust.  From that viewpoint, it appears my urge to spring clean is well timed after all, given that there is now really no choice about it.  In the planning of emptying closets and junk drawers, it has also become glaringly obvious that another area of my life is in serious need of paring down:  my email account.

Over the past couple of years while navigating a huge life transition and undergoing some pretty heavy soul searching, I swear I must have signed up for every self-help guru’s newsletter around the globe.  In that time of pain and grief, it was a comfort to pour over advice and opinions from healers and thought leaders I admired; who appeared to have a wellspring of knowledge I couldn’t seem to tap into on my own right then.  There was a time when I read every word and soaked up all the positive thoughts, affirmations, opinions and “how-to’s” like a sponge.  Lately though, I’ve come to realize that it has been many, many months since I’ve read any of those newsletters.  In fact, most of them have gone unopened and often sent straight to the trash.  The insight and guidance that was once so very helpful, no longer seems to fit.

In terms of my personal life, these days I’m far more invested in the support, love and guidance offered by people who know me personally and love me despite my flaws and missteps:  loved ones, my counselor, teachers, herbal studies classmates, my blog community.  That’s not to say I’ll stop reading authors and writings that I enjoy.  It simply means that it is okay to let go of what no longer seems nourishing or applicable right now.  By letting go of voices and messages of the past, I’m making room for new speakers and writers and teachers to emerge in my consciousness, allowing for the the potential to discover different principles and ideas to help me learn and grow in real time.

So as I prepare to purge the abode (yet gain) to start over in a new place, I am also clearing out my inbox.  I am spring cleaning my life.  I am making space.

With a nod of thanks to Yesterday’s News, it is time to say:  Unsubscribe Me.  

photo credit: google images

photo credit: google images


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A Word on Authenticity

On the eve of my wedding anniversary with my pending ex-husband, my thoughts and emotions are scattered all over the map.

I considered writing about healing:  it continues.

I considered writing about coping:  I am.

I considered writing about rebirth:  in progress.

Without question, all of the above applies.

Yet there is one subject in particular taking up a hefty share of real estate in my thoughts the past couple of days.  To that end, I would like to address this little nugget:

Authenticity.

Before going any further with this, I must first own up to the fact that I’ve been subjecting myself to many a self-help book in recent months.  Oh, you’ve been there too?  Good.  I’m not the only bleeding heart on the block then.  But seriously, I think it is simply a side effect of being human.  When something inside feels broken, it seems natural to try to fix it.  I’ve been going to counseling, reading the books, journaling, expressing on the blog, getting back into yoga and meditation, saying affirmations, and even creating a dream board.  All good things.  Healing things.  Helpful things.  Positive things.  There is no doubt in my mind that these methods of self-care are effective personal growth techniques.

But you know what?  It doesn’t always feel authentic.

Sometimes I feel like I’m literally living the cliche of “fake it, ’til I make it”.  Other times, I feel like saying “fuck it, let’s get real”.

For instance:

Sometimes when I’m feeling especially angry or frustrated, having a book tell me that I should look in the mirror and say “I love and accept you just the way you are”, makes me want to smash the mirror and burn the book.

On days where I’ve been feeling so incredibly sad that I don’t want to get out of bed or speak to another living soul, reading that I should “connect with my tribe” makes me want to dig a hole and crawl in.

In moments that I’ve been feeling particularly fragile and betrayed, to be told “let go and forgive” feels like being asked to hang myself for the transgressions of another.

This is sometimes referred to as the shadow side.  The darkness.  Where the nasty bits live.  These are the parts of ourselves that we don’t like to talk about.  We often fight hard to escape the nasties, and with excellent reason.  Those feelings are heavy to move through and difficult to witness in ourselves.  While I’m certainly not advocating that we dwell in those places should we choose to admit that is where we are, I think it is important to acknowledge that those emotions, while unpleasant, are a normal part of the human experience at some point or another.

So today, on the eve of my wedding anniversary, I am fully open to the authenticity of my emotions. I am confessing the fact that I have a post sitting in my drafts entitled “Friday, The 13th” with some text I’ll just chalk up to “processing” a difficult milestone.  My better judgment is dictating that those words will remain in draft. But I can’t resist posting the image I chose to accompany it.

Friday the 13th?  I’m feeling a little bitchy about it.  Authentically bitchy.

Friday the 13th

And for Godssakes Don’t Get Married.