A couple of weeks ago I went to a Mom's Night Out at our local bead shop (which is about to close, sniff.) Made a cute ring. They had Coldplay's "Parachutes" album playing over the speakers. I had forgotten how much I loved this album. And I have this album. Excellent. I'm listening to it right now, so I can finish the post I've been brewing over the past two days. That's not to say it will flow, but I have a lot in my head, and I want to write about it. Maybe one of you out there will be able to make sense out of all of this - my mind does not really work linearly. Yes that's a word, because I say so.
I mentioned yesterday that I attended a women's spiritual retreat at the beautiful Grailville in Loveland, OH. It was a really lovely place - nature paths, a labyrinth, and an environmentally friendly waste system of which they were very proud. The first evening we spent around a camp fire, getting to know each other. The next day we had a few large group activities, plus two break out activities. I chose to do a writing exercise and meditation.
The writing exercise began with a short guided meditation and then an essay called "She Let Go." Then the facilitator placed several sheets of paper around the room with prompting questions, which we were to answer with one sentence. "What is one thing you have never shared with your partner?" was one, I can't remember the others, because the prompt that opened a whole barrel of brainsludge was "What do you need to let go of?"
About a month ago I was dwelling on one thing or another and my husband, who is often more astute than I give him credit for, asked me, "why can't you just let go of anything?" And, of course, I couldn't answer him. I have no idea. This is why I'm in therapy, for crap's sake.
My one sentence response to the prompt was "all the crap in my head that is holding me back."
After this exercise, we had 10 minutes to just free write whatever came into our heads. I filled up 2 pages. With "all the crap in my head."
Two full pages of vitriol. Horrible, hateful things I would never say to another person, but I say to myself, over and over, every day.
I wrote and wrote, faster and faster, my handwriting getting less and less legible. I was not writing this to get advice, or to punish myself, or so someone would say, "Oh, no Missy, you're not ________." I just wanted to get the crap out and on the page in front of me.
And then I read it out loud, to everyone at the session.
After the writing session there was more large group activity and discussion, and then meditation. Not guided meditation, which I love because it relaxes me, but a true Buddhist seated meditation. For 20 minutes. It was...hard. Really hard. But it gave me time to process what I had written about myself earlier - not really to dwell on it, either, but just to let it settle and brew. I'm still not sure what happened in my head this weekend, but I know I'm feeling a little different, a little less...hateful.
With all the stuff I obsess over, everything I feel guilty about, or stress about, my spirituality is not one of those things. My beliefs are less than traditional, certainly, but I've taken the time and space I've needed to work through them, and I've come out feeling comfortable with my spirituality, and the way I'm helping my children to cultivate their own spiritual selves. In working through all this with my therapist the other day (found a new one, by the way, so far so good,) she asked me why I thought I felt comfortable with this aspect of my life, and no other. I said I am confident that my beliefs are right for me, and for my family. She suggested that I try to view other aspects of my life with that spiritual self, that part that is confident and strong. Which is great in theory; I just need to learn to access that part of myself.
One of the things I noticed about what I wrote was that so much of it started with "I should." "I should be a better mother" "I should make healthier choices" "I should be a better listener." The psychologist I was seeing before told me I said that a lot, and why "should" I do anything? Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling connected or trusting of anything he said, and I totally blew him off, but this past weekend, as I was ruminating over the experience I had in that writing workshop, I realized - I won't be successful at anything until I turn all the "I should's" into "I choose's." That's good, right? Mine, people, nobody steal that. (wink)
Ooh, this is my favorite one - "Sparks."
Okey doke. That's enough deep stuff for tonight. I've fed my furry hoard of boarders, so it's time for another silly kitty pic.
|Kitty in a bread bowl - and yes, there was still bread in there. We did not eat it.|
Time to meditate and then sleep. Sweet dreams, friends.