Ever been knocked over by a huge ocean wave? It turns you upside down, and you get lost in a pool of dense salt water for about 3-4 seconds, only it feels like a lifetime? That was what 2010-2012 was like for me. Living with a numb feeling that’s so difficult to describe to someone on the outside. A chronological string of bad decisions, all because I was in search of a different feeling, a different way of being.
Yearning for something, but I didn’t know what it was; embracing everyone else’s needs but my own, not realizing the damage I was doing to the very same people I thought I was protecting.
Ambivalence is one of the most painful things a person can feel. It’s all on you. Everyone else will be paying for the next decision you make so it sure as hell better be a good one. Pressure to get it right. Suffocation, confusion, and hopelessness; the kind where you can’t even cry because your feelings are so locked up, yet the mere thought of change feels like an ice pick chiseling away at your soul. If there were only some certainty...one linear path to follow, is that so much to ask?
Unfortunately life doesn’t work that way; we never really know what’s coming down the road, and so much of the suffering that’s endured is unnecessary. At some point we realize our survival tools were there the whole time if we only stood still and listened to them. My soul had something important to say but it was ignored because it didn’t make sense. Well, sometimes things don’t make sense and there’s no explanation for it.
I celebrate now, as many of those dark and stormy clouds have passed, and as we head into summer, I am given even more space to reflect on that journey and how its humbled me. It’s so much easier to live your truth when you simply take the time to stop and listen.
The Winter of Listening
I wanted to share with you a poem that was recently recited by one of my dearest yoga teachers, David Vendetti, written by David Whyte that has since been passed onto my students. For me, it represents the feeling of coming out of that dark wave, standing up, and realizing how shallow the water really is. So shallow that we can stand up! It’s just understandably difficult to see the bottom clearly in the midst of being tossed about. But we can stand up. We can stand up and quietly walk to shore.