I keep a journal, as many people do. I write in it as the spirit moves me. Sometimes it’s a few times a week, sometimes I don’t sit to write for a month. But journalling is a helpful tool on the spiritual path.
Usually, my journal looks like this:
Nothing special. My own musings and brain drain.
You know something is starting to boil when my journal looks like this:
When I start shoving papers, printouts, and other stuff into my journal (here, I have actually stapled shit in) then you know I’m going through something.
I’m confused. And you can see the confusion in my journal.
Bits and pieces of the map shoved in amongst directions and wisdom and guidance from other people.
And wisdom and guidance from my own heart and soul.
This is always what my journal (and inside my head, pretty much) looks like when I’m figuring something out or on the verge of a breakthrough.
I write it all out so I can follow myself. I leave these letters as breadcrumbs on the trail through my journey. Sometimes I have to find my way back, so I can find my way out, like a maze doubling back on itself.
Then, on rare occasions, my journal looks like this:
So fucking full it spills out onto other sheets of paper.
Large sheets of paper.
The ideas are so big to me, the energy of them – of what’s in my head trying to find its way out – is so big that they have to be scrawled out into a bigger space.
Tiny pages with small pens just won’t do.
The last time I wrote things on big pieces of paper like this, I ended up in the ICU for 10 days.
I had pneumonia that didn’t want to be cured.
I had been to a retreat and drawn an outline of my body on a piece of paper. Large paper.
And I had filled it in with the colors and textures and images that made me feel most myself.
I ended up sleeping under the Paper Me for 10 days or so, when I had a cold.
Only the cold turned into untreatable pneumonia.
My doctors weren’t exactly sure what to do with me. Weren’t exactly sure how to fix it.
Which was pretty fucking scary.
The pneumonia didn’t want to be cured, but it did want healing.
Healing is different than curing, you know.
My pneumonia healed me by showing me that I could no longer go on with my life the way it was.
The career I was about to enter was going to kill me.
And my soul knew it. And my body showed it.
That small hospital room became a sweat lodge- pulling out all the toxicities in my life.
I made a choice, in that hospital bed, to take the better path.
When they finally figured out what was wrong (and I started coughing up the infectious goop),
I knew what was going to be right.
Big pieces of paper. They have changed my life.
Perhaps I should be scared of these pieces and what is written on them.
But I think not.
I think they are directions to a new life.
– – – – – – – – – – – –
I was going to stop the post there. Leaving it with some Pollyanna-feeling, intellectual and emotional half-truth.
But you know what? Changing your life is fucking scary.
Changing it on purpose, or even supposing that it might take a new turn all on its own…that shit freaks me out.
If all the ideas on those journal and other pages begin to come alive, my life will change.
Hopefully it will be for the better, but….who…fucking…knows?!
I think a lot about what change will mean.
How will these changes affect my children?
My personal persona?
My professional persona?
If I build the things on those pieces of paper, yes- they will be a map to a new life.
But what that new life might contain has yet to be seen.
And that’s scary.
I’m risk averse.
I like to know the outcome before I start.
Which is ridiculous, right? But, still…
It’s in these moments of fear and ignorance that I wish I had my own cheering section.
Giving me a thumbs up and some clapping and happy faces.
“Go! This will be awesome!” they would say. (And I would believe them.)
So, I feel vulnerable and scared.
(Could someone just hold my hand?)
But, when I step back and take a look at it from a bit higher up, I realize:
- There is a lot of cave-lady brain in there. Risk aversion- that’s her territory (she seeks safety). She can be soothed and calmed (with an orgasm or three- yes!). Calming and reassuring her in my own mind, and in the arms of my lover, will help open her energy and direct it towards my changes.
- It’s probably the most embodied, sensual, feminine thing I can do to be vulnerable. To open myself and be real. To feel it. Later, I can move to (or get help for) the more masculine “doing” part of the project. But, right now, feeling what’s going on is important. (And, strangely, let’s me rest. What is, is. And I can fight it or go with it, even if ‘it’ is fear and vulnerability.)
So, big pieces of paper and what’s written on them can change your life.
But you can’t really know what that change will look like.
I can only accept that change is happening (a.k.a. freak the fuck out)
and stay with myself as I take each step.
Knowing that what will be, will be.
And that the only thing I can do is bring my best at any given moment,
even if my best is worry or fear.
Maybe this is another emotional half-truth, I don’t know.
I do know that it allows me to both be and do.
And that is helpful.