When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
Get a move on!
You’ve got to move it! move it!
It seems to me that this entire year now has been about movement for me. Trying to power my way through the pain I felt when I was walking; telling myself that it was all in my head and not in my body; that I was getting in my own way because I was unable to just let go of anything that was bothering me and move; looking down and concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward – to where, I did not know.
Maybe it started when I retired from teaching. I love teaching – the energy of working with others and learning about myself even as they learn, being a part of their expansion and knowing that I helped them realize that. And when I retired in 2009, it seems to me now, that I did not move forward to explore and experience. I tried to continue within the parameters of educating and the educational system with which I was so familiar. And as it became apparent to me that that avenue was no longer open, I rather blindly struck out in another direction. And I did that over and over again – look around, try something new, try to fit into the expectations of that role as I understood them, come to know that it was not a fit for me, strike out in a different direction without giving myself time to listen to myself and wait before choosing to move. Each time, I now know, I did not give myself permission to be silent and wait and really know what I wanted to choose to have in my life.
If I were to put an image or metaphor on what my life felt like, it would be that I was constantly in motion and going nowhere very effectively. I was taking singing lessons, and working for my school board still, and working out at a local women’s fitness club, and teaching music privately. All of these were things to fill up a day so that I felt like I was really doing something and that I had to be someplace. And inside, what I felt like was a human-sized hamster going around and around on a very large wheel – seeming to run forward but actually not going anywhere at all.
Two days before I ended up in the hospital and unable to walk much at all, my voice teacher asked me what I was doing at my lesson. Perhaps he meant to ask me what my goal was in being there. I know that I felt threatened by his question. Had I done something to annoy him? Was I not a ‘good enough’ student? Was he kicking me out of the row-boat? These have never been easy questions for me to consider. There truly was something there for me to pay attention to. I just didn’t do that. I remember fudging an answer to the question and, once my lesson was done, having great difficulty walking back to my car. Each step became slower and tighter like I was trying to walk through quick drying cement. I wondered if I would make it.
And two days later, I was immobile – literally unable to move. Not being able to walk definitely called a screeching halt to everything for me. I had no choice but to stop what I had been doing. Stop and ask myself some tough questions that I had been avoiding: why was I choosing to do what I had been doing if what I was choosing did not add any richness to me life? what was I afraid of? whose voice was I hearing when I heard that I needed to get out there and work and make a meaningful contribution to society? what did [and do] I really want to have in my life? when would I give myself permission to choose for mySelf and not for what I perceived were the expectations of others?
It took time for me to make a choice that really resonates inside. And yet, once I made that choice, everything manifested for me quickly and easily. I decided to move away from the city where I had lived for over 37 years. Once that decision was made, my condo sold in just over three weeks. I finally got rid of the things I had been paying to store for 18 years. I got the move arranged and made all the contacts necessary to arrange to stop services. It all happened without angst.
Just proves to me that, when I go slowly and take time to know what I want and then choose, then everything moves fast.
As I write this, I’m reminded that growth requires space, movement and flow – a lack of restrictions which tie us up in knots and hold us fixed. And most of all, I remember that my personal evolution requires that I do not betray mySelf – that I choose for ME.
And, even though it feels very hippy-dippy-flower-power of me, I choose to finish this with the lyrics of the 59th Street Bridge Song by Paul Simon. They remind me to take time, have fun, play, be open to possibilities and that there is very little in life that is so all-fired important that it must be dealt with now. Time and space and movement and flow do provide us with what is needful for us to choose for ourSelves and continue to evolve.
59th Street Bridge Song
Slow down you move too fast.
You’ve got to make the morning last.
Just kicking down the cobble stones.
Looking for fun and feelin’ groovy.
Hello lamppost, what cha knowing?
I’ve come to watch your flowers growing.
Ain’t cha got no rhymes for me?
Doot-in’ doo-doo. Feelin’ groovy.
Got no deeds to do, no promises to keep.
I’m dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep.
Let the morning time drop all its petals on me.
Life, I love you. All is groovy.