Grumpy Caterpillar Mode
It’s a chilly, wet Frida
y morning. I am struggling to light a fire with damp wood, which is aggravating my change of season irritability. There hasn’t been time to do a proper fall cleanse and my liver is responding with fatigue, cravings and grumpiness. Luckily this will get better as I can adjust my lifestyle. I make a cup of green tea to sharpen my mind for writing.
I have been pre-occupied with Felix starting senior kindergarten (French immersion) in a local public school. We have already missed the bus once, forgotten some of the required supplies and sent forbidden foods to school twice. The teachers probably think I will be one of those problem (grand)parents. I sent home-baked, non-allergenic cookies to class for Felix’s (5th) birthday yesterday to redeem myself.
Ahh, I hear the fire take behind my back while sitting on the floor at my living room coffee table, laptop in front of me. This is my home office when it is cold out. My spirits rise with the warmth. Time to focus.
The last part of the summer was probably one of my best ever, slowing down more, taking time for myself, experimenting with a pond cabin retreat, creating a meditation/yoga room, cleaning old clutter, taking lots of naps. My energy started to improve, digestion was better than in 20 years (!), weight and cellulite diminished, even the vision in my right eye was clearer. And then I drove 6 hours to a wedding and back in two days (no regrets, it was lovely), followed by all kinds of immediate September things plus getting a new (second hand) car after the one I bought in June was totalled in August by my daughter (who is luckily and gratefully unhurt). Nothing urgent, just too much. My system collapsed again. Which is why I’m cranky.
Now that I’ve started to experience rejuvenation, I have far less tolerance for pushing myself—or being pushed. My body and mind want to finish their healing and are upset at the inevitable interruptions…which are opportunities to develop non-attachment, breathing into the present moment, smile…I just find that hard to remember sometimes.
EMDR therapy has continued to be amazing. In the last session, exploring an unhealthy relationship to a male friend, I suddenly hit a flashback. It took ages to stop sobbing and being in terror. Old trauma creates curious attachments in the present, ones that I’ve never been able to explain, that didn’t seem to make sense until now. My whole life is being lived as a reaction to my past.
As a counterbalance, I have solid glimpses into a life without terror. I realize that I couldn’t even imagine this kind of peace until now, it’s such a different mind-state, strange even, like becoming a new person, moving from caterpillar to butterfly, a wholly different being. I also know that there is no guarantee that the process will finish in this life and that I have a protected situation that allows me to undertake inner work.
Which motivates me to keep going—I want to share this process, creating a program for deep healing by donation that takes people who are ready through their wounds in safe little steps that are doable in everyday modern (read crazy) life; to use community to support each other in healing to our core; to bring recovery into our families, schools, workplaces, churches and recreation so we can move out of chronic survival consciousness into something more…whatever that may be…I don’t know myself yet; I just know it is so different that it feels like we can create a new world from that place…whether true or not, I’m not sure… I have the hope that this is part of the “tipping point” that I read about and not a delusional moment…that we really do have a destiny of becoming a peaceful, collaborative species instead of killing ourselves off…that the 90% part of the brain we don’t use (yet) is there for exactly this evolution…and that even a small percentage of us making this transformation will affect the rest of us in a wave of change, like toppling the Berlin wall.
On a related topic, I receive many emails about conspiracy theories, the new world order, the illuminati, impending disaster and how to survive when everything breaks down. Coming from a family who went through world war II, these warnings have always been very real to me. I spent a decade as a young adult trying to find a way to be part of the solution. My conclusion was to work on two levels, inner and outer—inner development, the most important, to affect change through the mind field we share; and building this healing centre to eventually reach out to our local community with strategies for thriving and creatively finding a way out of our mess.
Enough dreaming. The most crucial part of this process is acceptance of and staying in the present and I need to seriously continue my practices if I ever hope to do that…allowing and trusting the deeper reality…letting go of the delusion that I am in control!
Pond Cabin Retreat
On a sunny Thursday in August, I spent a working day from 9-4 in the tiny cabin overlooking the pond beside the clinic. Planning and looking forward to it definitely contributed to the benefits.
The retreat started with lighting a candle, settling into my breath and prayers of gratitude. The candle was left it on a little stand with flowers and rocks to boost my spirits throughout the day, increasing my appreciation for altars.
Sandy Rawson joined me for an hour of coaching, with skilled and gentle questioning to bring out my own wisdom about the issue with which I was retreating: how to take more time for my healing while fulfilling my responsibilities to family, friends, patients and staff. I came to several useful and practical decisions, wrote them down and got ready to relax for the rest of the day…
Instead of food, I brought water and a protein drink, taking the opportunity to cleanse. It’s so much easier—and effective—when we’re not under stress! Because I could lie down whenever I wanted, there was no hunger for emotional eating, which for me often comes up when I feel overwhelmed by too much to do. As it was warm enough (and perfectly private), I could take off my clothes and lie outside on a blanket on the ground in the sun, receiving energies from earth and sky to recharge a body depleted by decades of stress. Crickets, birds and tree frogs serenaded my rest. Later I did some inspirational reading, wrote in my journal and made notes for how the pond cabin retreats can be improved, for instance with a little manual full of instructions, pictures and suggestions for first-time retreatants.
Once I was ready to go home, I sat in front of my candle again, amazed at the power of a day of quiet. I plan to do it again in early October, using the wood stove to have another warm and cozy day of reflection. Except this time I’ll plan in a sauna and massage!