24 Aug

It’s long, but it helps explain how I got here

I wrote this piece about a month ago with the intention of posting it to my personal blog. Somehow, it never made it to the publisher. (Go figure – read my last couple of posts, and the reasons may become apparent.) I’m glad it waited, though. It fits better here anyway.

19 July 11

They had to kick us out of the pool at Deep Eddy this afternoon after I’d been there for only an hour and a half. Because of thunder. Who’d a thunk it? My parched and weedy grass is looking at me in disbelief (and despair) as I write this. I wasn’t ready to leave, of course, but I figured it was finally the time I needed to sit down and work out a post about this miracle of a summer. I’ve been putting it off for too long.

My day didn’t turn out as planned – even without the unexpected closing at the pool. I actually worked my Google Calendar this week with an office-like mentality not seen since May; Rachel (my coach) tells me I’m in the Land of Both right now, giving up a little of the rest time I’ve been cultivating to make room for some work again. Today I had intended to go to my usual 6:30am yoga class, stop home for a little breakfast, get to the pool by 9:30, spend the afternoon crossing off some to-dos (drop off clothes at Goodwill, deposit cash from a craigslist sale, email recruiter re: contract work, knock out some necessary household shopping), then be back at home in time to shower before meeting some other craigslist buyers at 4:30. I made it to yoga (I’m still hitting the snooze, but this survives as a priority), but when I got home I was so sore and exhausted from the Ashtanga class I’d ventured into yesterday that I couldn’t resist a little nap. Which turned into a big nap. At 11:45 I accepted that I’d missed the morning pool time I so love, and resigned myself to an afternoon indoors.

As soon as I’d gotten lunch, though, the phone rang – my craigslist folks wanting to reschedule for the weekend. So… pool time after all! Goodwill, bank, Target, at the pool before 2:00. And then 90 glorious minutes of sitting in my float, watching people and their tattoos, getting splashed by the kids, lounging under the trees, smelling like sunscreen, reading my Eckhart Tolle (and feeling my I Am).

And thunder! Gray skies! Who could have predicted there would ever come a day when this sight would be such cause for celebration, or even attention? To be excited about the rain, for a Michigan girl whose summers were nothing if not gray and always too cold to go to the waterpark. Huh.

No rain today, of course – just a spitting – but worth getting excited about all the same.

So… the back story here is… I quit my job about a month ago, with no real idea of where to go next. That’s twice in the span of about a year, for those of you keeping score out there. I’ve come to see that there was just too much uncertainty and too little security last summer for me to fully embrace what I had planned (and still needed) to do then. (Leaving my very safe job in Chicago and packing up the car with an unsold condo on the market were enough for me at the time. Add to that those very shady movers and you have one young lady who’s ready to settle down and take the first job that will have her.)

After a year of working in… let’s just call it the wrong job, I’d forgotten what I had come back for. Or maybe it seemed like it wasn’t here after all. But it was here. I just needed to open my eyes and see it.

In the past month, I have driven home in a towel and a wet bathing suit more times than I have in all of the 10 years before that. I have slept weekends away without a hint of guilt. (What was there to feel guilt over? I needed the rest.) I have also:

– had fantastic conversations with my coach, Rachel (she’s wonderful)
– been inspired by the following books: The Alchemist (Coehlo), Finding Your Own North Star (Beck), A New Earth (Tolle), The Purpose of Your Life (Adrienne), Making a Living Without a Job (Winter), I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was… (Sher)
– learned to make yoga pants out of an old t-shirt, embroidered cocktail napkins for my mom, and refashioned a beloved dress I’ve had since college
– sold some possessions, donated others (also beloved, but past their prime in serving me)
– spent so much time with good friends
– shared margaritas at 2:00 on a Wednesday
– cooled off and relaxed at Barton Springs and Deep Eddy
– Kundalini’d my heart out at YogaYoga
– cleaned the studios in seva there, too
– had a Vedic astrology reading (so worth it, and believe me, I understand your skepticism)
– indulged in a hot stone massage (also so worth it)
– gotten to know myself, and what I need
– started to fill in the vision I have for the next step
There are times – lots of times – when I worry. I am a worrier by nature. I worry that I will not be able to find a job when I’m ready to find it. I worry even more that I will give in to the temptation to find something whose primary quality is security, and take that job out of fear. I worry that this time is too self-indulgent. And I worry that my dreams are just that, and too silly to ever come true. But then there are other times when the picture is very clear to me, when it seems like the dream can’t nothappen, when I know that a life in line with my values is possible (and even necessary), and when I see how much a month in the right space can change everything.
09 Aug

On the importance of retreat

It’s been quite a while since I’ve said anything over here. Not because I’ve lost interest, or even motivation – but rather, I think I’ve needed a fair amount of time to let this idea… oh, gosh, I hate to say marinate, but is there any better word? It’s needed to sit, and soak things in, and become something better.

In any case, I’m getting ready to put more out here on a regular basis, and I’ve been putting it off these past few weeks because I hate to announce that I’m getting started only to sputter out after a couple of posts and disappear again. I read something this morning that kicked me into gear, though. And it’s too good (and too relevant) to park it over at delicious and promise that I’ll write about it later.
Tara Sophia Mohr wrote this week about her time away on retreat – you can read the post here. I’m new to her writing, but she’s come along at precisely the right time for me (and doesn’t everything?). I’ll say more about this in the near future, but for now… read her words, and let me know what you think.