Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Thinking about solidity

I’m in a really great place. That which I’ve been working for was crystallized for me last week at the Ranch: trust, love without grasping. I’ve been making these insane leaps of progress, understanding and experiencing flashes of where I need to be. I know that I am past the panic that precipitated this soul-work, and if I have questions, I can approach them from a place of deeper wholeness. I’m not doubting myself at all, in the moment. I feel confident, and I can say that I’m genuinely happy now.

I know that this is God’s work in me. I'm only beginning to ask how to sustain it. It’s all so completely new. The people I’m close to are rejoicing with me. My community supports me in this work, and trusts me to do it. I’m as committed as committed can be. I have been the walking paralytic. The next step is to lose the “paralytic” identity, and just walk, because humans do.

When I was… 23 I think, my parents, grandmother, and I went to Cannon Beach, OR, for Christmas. I think it was the winter after my grandfather died. I almost didn’t go with them; the deal was that I could if I didn’t “rock the boat.” That meant conform to absolutely everything: I got yelled at in the grocery store for expressing a preference of salad dressings. We were there for a week, and one night I couldn’t take it anymore. I essentially snuck out, and walked into town and back. It was raining off and on, and so windy on the beach that it was hard to stand against it. I walked down the beach into town, and along the streets back up the hill. I remember stopping under a dripping, windswept tree, alone in the dark, and just standing there, breathing. I did an impromptu visualization, connecting my own roots to the earth. I was trying to tell myself, you will be okay.

A year ago, I asked my friend Max to teach me how to speak slowly. She taught me a meditation. Here’s how you do it: Take off your shoes. Stand on the earth if you can; on the floor, if you have to. Bend down and breathe into your back, feeling your muscles relax and expand. Stand up, touch your stomach, breathe with your diaphragm. Consciously, until you get the rhythm and feel of it. Then… visualize your legs and feet as roots, pushing down through the subfloor, into the soil that supports, feeds, and nurtures you. As you inhale, slowly, draw water through those roots, up through your body. Hold it briefly with your diaphragm, then release it up through your lungs, and exhale, letting your breath fall as air back down to the earth.

Repeat, until you know you’re grounded.

I didn’t need to do it at the Ranch, but it’s a good practice while I’m in the city, and I’ll take it up again.

Yes, I’m doing great—but it doesn’t feel real, yet. I’m working on knowing how to walk, until the motions are just as natural in a windstorm. Right now, I only can talk about it in metaphorical language. These are new skills, and the weather is fine. I know I can claw my way out of just about anything. When I have had to do that, I always could. But I’d really rather keep myself steady, so I don’t need to unsheath my claws at every incline.

I can imagine what it’s like to be solid. I think I know how to get there: just keep practicing courage, until the need to do so drops off. Essentially, keep doing what I’m doing now. I suspect I won’t feel the shift; it’ll simply stop being a question.

My friends will know I’m there before I will. You’ll know, when I stop writing about it.

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