Tuesday ~ March 31, 2020
I woke up unrested and cranky this morning. So far, it has been one of those days where literally everything is a trigger. I want to blame lockdown, but deep down I recognize that this is just a regular part of being me. It’s something I have been experiencing more and more often the more self-work that I do.
I did not realize when I began putting the microscope up against my own Self as a doctoral student, studying the concept of sustainability and what I began to refer to as self-sustainability. I went through a very deep transformation over the course of my four years in a Sustainability Education doctoral program, and then I thought I was done.
I did not realize that the more layers I peeled back, the more I found to “work through.” When I began studying yoga and meditation five years ago, I discovered that this was yet another practice for peeling back those layers and glimpsing whatever was lurking beneath (for better or worse).
The more I discover, the more vulnerable and sensitive I seem to become. It’s like I have removed all of these layers and left everything in broad daylight for the world to see. There are no fences, no protective gear or even glass windows to separate all of me in my authentic vulnerability and raw realness with the endless triggers and upsets from a complex universe.
Some days, I am able to put into practice the lessons I have learned from my research into self-sustainability, my yoga practice, wisdom from my personal live-in guru (also known as my husband), and the many nonviolent communication workshops and literature I have read.
Then there are days like today, where I just want to stop everything, lift my head to the sky, and scream until every last shred of frustration has left my body and I can be completely free to float away to a place of bliss, where the sun is shining, there is no husky fur to vacuum, no black mold to clean with bleach, which inevitably causes the fingers of my right hands to balloon out and itch until I am prepared to give up playing any musical instrument by cutting them off if and only the promise of phantom pain and my guru husband keep me from doing so.
There is no lockdown. There is no social media, drawing me in with that silky invitation to “Go ahead, post something you put your heart into, people will donate, people will click like and love…” And then if/when they don’t, I inevitably feel a wave of shame, of not being good enough, never good enough, wash over me and vow never to go onto Facebook or another other platform ever again.
Today, I have tried without success to clear out the fur, which clings to everything because it has actually been dry in Belgium and that means there is more static electricity in the air.
Today, I noticed the flattened dog shit in the middle of the street and remarked to no one in particular that the old, fat man who had trained his old, fat Labrador to take a shit in the middle of the street so he wouldn’t have to pick it up because cars would run over it had struck again.
Today, I returned from my long, relatively soothing walk in the woods and dropped my earbuds onto the counter only to hear a “plunk” and realize I had somehow inadvertently dropped them into a pitcher full of water.
I took laundry out of the washing machine to hang up to dry. We have a combination washer/”dryer” but the dryer does not actually dry anything. There are two settings for the dryer, one is an Intensive dry and the other a low heat dry. Both take more than two hours. Both leave the items damp and with fur still clinging.
I took t-shirts and long sleeve and shook them vigorously in a vain attempt to remove velcro-like husky fur. On one attempt, the sleeve whipped back and swept across my eyeball, causing an instant burning sensation and tears to well up.
Why!?!? What the…..
Ok. Time to shift this energy to something more livable.
Deep breath in.
Deep breath in.
What am I grateful for?
My husband, who is passionate and patient and loving.
My sweet husky, whose fault it is not that he happened to start blowing his coat right at the start of a seemingly unending period of isolation from the rest of the world.
My cats, who are adorable and snuggly and a regular reminder to not take everything so seriously.
My health. My ability to walk in a beautiful forest every day. The sun shining in Brussels, which can be a very dismal place in the grey, wind, and rain.
My friends and family, with whom I have been in contact with during this difficult time and whose love lifts me up.
The people who have sent me kind messages of love and support after tuning into my daily concerts.
The people who have bought my book and donated to my fundraiser.
The roof over my head and food stuffed into my tiny, metric fridge.
The good people at Jim Beam for making a smooth, relatively affordable bourbon.
Online yoga classes.
Leaves on the trees, which first appeared this morning and which I watched from a sun-drenched bench while waves of sunlight created patterns of light over the forest canopy and permeated all the way to the forest floor, where tiny, white flowers were blooming.
Hilarious videos from other people in lockdown in different parts of the world, which make me laugh out loud.
Did I mention I am thankful for bourbon?
What are you thankful for, my friend?