Like the frog living in an abandoned pool rich with algae, I created a home and routine in environs that seemed to suit me. But the owners of my proverbial pool recently picked up some chlorine, and suddenly my current systems no longer fit in this summer of my discontent.
When I drew a card from my friend Molly’s tarot deck yesterday, I chose the Tower. She explained the significance of this powerful card thoroughly and elegantly. My takeaway: I am not structuring my daily life in a way that is harmonious with my deepest beliefs and values. My sense of self/purpose is a little shaky at the moment. To live a rich, fertile life, I need to dissolve my current systems and thoughts of who I am and rebuild with a firm base and an open heart.
My wish when placing the card back in the deck was to imagine a new routine and mindset for myself WITHOUT resorting to analytical methods. I didn’t want to make lists of pros/cons, stuff I value, longterm goals.
Like the sensitive frog I really took this into my skin. And then I forgot all about it. By the time I was dropping my dear friends (Molly and other childhood girlfriend Jen) at the airport, my sights were set on the music lessons I had that evening.
But in the 70 minutes I had before teaching, I was drawn to the stack of dot matrix printer paper I had brought home with me from my husband’s childhood home. Ripping 2+3+2+3 sheets off at a time, I made a large square of paper on the floor and sat in the middle.
I began thinking of various thoughts, beliefs, aspects of my life I treasure, routines or habits I wish to change. I would reflect on each tangible idea for just a few seconds and then scribble it on the paper, wherever my gut told me to write it.
After getting all of these ideas, frustrations, questions out I felt calm. I taught my lessons, made a cup of tea, and then went back to look at my SFA (Square of Free Associations). Though my handwriting was uneven and there were blocks of text going in many different directions, there was an eerily clear order to it all.
Where my head had faced, I had written about the things that I value most
To my left, I had written about matters concerning work.
To my right, I had chronicled all the things that are NOT working
At my feet were three blank sheets of paper.
This was not what I set out to do. It happened naturally, magically, strangely. But in just over an hour I had magically drawn a new blueprint for living, from my feet clockwise around the circle. Reflecting, tweaking and implementing it is a much more involved process, but the basics seem sound:
1) Build an honest, uncluttered base. From still, rooted silence comes clarity, intuition, strength.
2) Move and breathe through the work I need to do to make a living. Momentum is everything.
3) Set my sights on and open my heart for the people/activities that I cherish.
4) Polish or purge the broken systems that are distracting me from the good stuff.
Create a home… Adapt… Move…. Create a new home.
If it’s good enough for our frog brothers, it’s good enough for me.
thinking about all this, and about you as you're living through these transitions. still much on the transition path myself.
meanwhile wondering if you know Carrie's song Map of Shadows? yuou may find it interesting to listen to just now — she's actually got a lot on that album (The Geography of Light) that has to do with the edges and the center of change.
Kerry Dexter, thanks for sending me here. This is a beautiful exercise. I am moved to think differently, and more deeply, this morning. Thank you for showing me the way.
Shannon, what an interesting and eye-opening experience for you. Please visit my blog (click on my name) for further support. I'd be happy to have you. I love how you followed your gut and followed a natural course. That is exactly how I found my BIKE. I think you have something here, and I am in awe of the spiritual connection. I'll add you to my list of blogs to follow so I can stay tuned for more inspiring words.
All my best,