World is on fire, it’s more than I can handle. Tap into the water, I try to bring my share, I try to bring more, more than I can handle. I bring it to the table, I bring what I am able.
-Sarah Mclachlan, “World on Fire”
It’s been nearly 7 (count ‘em SEVEN) months since I’ve blogged. What the F*$K?! That’s fo’sho no way to acquire a readership, now is it? So what’s been stopping me?
The truth is: I was paralyzed; by my fears, by my demons, by that special sort of genetically-gifted, environmentally-induced, personally-indulged-in depression so many of us experience. Sure I said F-you to the other big “F” (read:”Failure”) in my last post, and I meant it. But man, if I have ever felt as though I were literally frozen in time, unable to lift one heavy foot in front of the other, it was earlier this year.
Spring slipped in and while the desert flowers began to bloom, I wilted and hid. Then, at the exact moment in which I threw my hands up in the air and admitted defeat, I discovered these words: …when you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. -Kahlil Gilbran.
I’ll spare you the details of my particular plight (because heartbreak is heartbreak is heartbreak), but I can tell you this: the realization that I was experiencing such intense pain SIMPLY BECAUSE I had experienced such pure pleasure, was a total revelation. And the very instant I acknowledged how magnificently I’d been blessed in my life, the deeply visceral sensation of emptiness and loss that had become my personal insignia, began to dissipate.
I sat in GRATITUDE for my life. And suddenly, rather than lie in bed and shop online, I was able to break free from the shackles of my sadness and LIVE. I felt a flow of creative energy course through me so fiercely, it nearly knocked me off of my Freebird-clad feet.
It was clear to me that NOW was time to feed my soul in all the ways I knew how. And so…
I went home to LA.
I hugged by my Best Friend (who #doesntevenknowwhatahasttagis).
I danced with a soul sister, the incredible and incomparable writer, Jennifer Pastiloff.
I played in the sand with my best girl, Emerson Eden, my daughter, my love.
I took classes (Thank You, The Creative Residency).
I did yoga. (Sat Nam, Yoga West Los Angeles).
I spent time with my first, foremost, and beloved Teacher Guru Singh.
I saw Sarah McLachlan at The Greek.
I forgave (in my heart) those who have stolen or harmed me in some way, intentionally or not.
I swam in the ocean.
I hiked in the Colorado mountains with my family (shout out to Momo & WingNut!).
I traveled with my loves.
I got lost.
I got found.
And can you believe it: none of my re-awakening included SHOPPING?! Holy shit, I can’t!
It did, however, include taking in the city and sights I love so dearly. I spent hours here and there strolling my old Santa Monica stomping grounds, beach-cruising Venice’s Abbot Kinney, peeking into shops on West Third Street in West Hollywood, and browsing LA’s famous flea markets. What I didn’t feel the need to do was to actually purchase anything.
I already knew that nothing I could buy could fill the void within.
Only living in deep gratitude can do that. And that, my friends, is a silent endeavor. It’s a quiet giving back to the Universe; a subtle disarming of the layers of defenses built up as a result of pain and loss; it’s an intense SURRENDERING to a greater good/God rather than merely SPENDING for personal gain. For the first time EVER, I felt I could forego the temporary rush of something new for the eternal satisfaction of something better.
After all, the things that fill that stark, sore space inside can’t be tucked away in a closet, but are immaterial, intangible, often illusive entities. Sure we can appreciate art and design and fashion (lord knows I sure do), but the things that legitimately satiate us aren’t available for purchase.
Now..because I am HUMAN… And a total GIRL… There was- eek!!– ONE pair of boots I discover this summer in Colorado that did a damn good job at tempting me into believing that they absolutely contained all of life’s happiness and surely, if I couldn’t bear a 2nd child or publish another book at the rate I’d planned, THESE would make me happy! Right?!! Right?!!
I loved these boots immediately because they were already worn and broken in; not stiff and stifling like other cowboy boots I’d seen. After glaring, glossy-eyed over them for a several minutes and dreaming of them for several nights, it occurred to me: gorgeous as they are, I don’t need to spend my lifeblood to purchase boots someone (or something) else has worn in. I got enough step in me to break-in my own soles, thank you very much.
We all have our own path we must walk. And sometimes, sure, if you’re living in this material world, it will involve indulging in whatever toy or treasure it is that you desire. Thing is, I don’t care if you wear socks with your sandals or sport $1500 Louis Vuitton rocks-stud stilettos. What matters is that you walk the path that’s right for you.
If you want to embrace this one short minute here on earth kindly, gently, sole-fully, I ask you: what do YOU need to do to reawaken that dormant energy resting quietly at the base of your spine (that’s chakra-speak for all you non-yogis)? Or, in other words, what do you need to do to INSPIRE YOURSELF? Carl Jung said: “The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.” So I’m thinking, for now, or at least until it gets cold, let’s just go barefoot. That way, we can each walk our own path- together.
I know you’re spent. I know you’re skeptical. I also know you’re not alone.
Walk with me, won’t you?