Sometimes the way before you is cloudy and the way behind you is in flames. Don’t panic. When you can’t see what’s ahead and the past is a distant dream, find that armchair called Faith and sit yourself in it. Get comfy, because you could be there for a while.
At least, that’s what my guidance is telling me.
I’ve made some big changes in my life over the past few months. They’re the kind of changes that are not so obvious on the outside, but momentous on the inside. And I wonder if I have done the right thing.
It all started with a dream… no, really, it did 🙂
I dreamed I was floating in a river with two other women, one from my past and one from my future. They were having an animated discussion about a man; I was listening and occasionally saying something, but I was distracted because of the incredible natural beauty round me. There were iridescent birds skimming the surface of the water, trees laden with fruit lining the riverbank and the water was deep and crystal clear. The beauty of my surroundings was so mesmerising that I didn’t notice for a long time that I was in trouble. I had all my clothes on, even my shoes. The river was deep, I was struggling to keep my head above water, I was going against the current and UP a hill. In short, I was drowning in paradise.
I knew straight away what it meant, and I knew what I had to do.
I live in paradise. At the time I was running a small, fortnightly community market, which while valued by parts of the local community, was facing an uphill battle to remain viable. I was also (and still am) co-administrator of a website for my local community for which I had obtained the funding and written the content, as well as being the secretary of the P&C and helping out with reading and lunches at my son’s school.
It was like a light bulb had gone on inside my head, and I saw clearly what I had not seen before – I had shouldered the burden of supporting my community; so inspired by its beauty I didn’t notice that I was drowning under the weight of responsibility. Once I knew it, I couldn’t un-know it, so to speak. So I stepped down as Market Manager; and when no one wanted to take over, I closed the market down. The relief was instant.
The changes came thick and fast after that. An opportunity came up to do a course on using Social Media to promote your project or business. I loved it. At about the same time an idea dropped into my mind – could I study writing or journalism? I found a course online through TAFE. It looked perfect – Media and Communications. A friend said to me, ‘you must do it, I’ll pay your course fee to get you started’. Bang. Now I was studying two courses at the same time, living and breathing writing, media and communication. I was in heaven. Finally, something for me! A few weeks later, another idea dropped into my mind (this is how I get my guidance, and I don’t ignore it). Start a blog. Name it Smells Good Feels Good. A few days later, I had set it up and posted my first blog.
I have finished the Social Media course and nearly completed the 4th unit of my Diploma of Media and Communication, with a 90% average. I am writing regularly for the first time in years, and it gives me such a buzz.
All good right? Well, sort of. I feel as though my inner world has been re-vamped, but my outer world has yet to catch up. People I used to feel close to I feel distanced from, which is distressing for me. My community feels like a strange place to me now, and I find I don’t have the energy I once had for community projects. Groups I once happily participated in have fallen away, some deliberately, some in ways I had no control over. Everything is rocking, and my foundations are shaky but holding.
There is much sadness in my heart; it catches me with such intensity at times it takes my breath away. I don’t know exactly what I am grieving for; all I know is that sadness seems to be my perpetual companion these days. I find I’m glad of it, in a strange way. I have not had much time for the soft emotions in my life; I have tended to avoid anything that makes me feel vulnerable, but I don’t feel like I need to do that anymore. So I just sit with my sadness and wait.
All I can do is hold on to the still place inside of me and keep the faith. Head down bum up. There’s no point in trying to look ahead; there is nothing to see yet. So I just hold on to the things I know. My loved ones. My home. My writing. My study. Do yoga, meditate. Eat well, get enough sleep. Breathe. For Goddesses’s sake, breathe. Trust.
I allow life to unwrap itself in front of me. The mist will clear enough to show me the next stepping stone, and the next. Pretty soon, I hope, I will stand upon the escarpment with a view to the ocean, and my path will be shown to me.
Until then, you’ll find me in my armchair.