By popular request, I’m putting Friday Year of Inquiry calls into the schedule.
I love when people ask for what they really want and need.
The calls for YOI are set for Tuesdays 5 pm, Weds noon, Thursdays 9 am, and Fridays 10 am. All Pacific time. You choose to attend all or one, listen to recordings, participate live, whatever works best for you. Early bird rate if you enroll by Saturday. Write if you have any concerns or questions.
I have something to tell you that I haven’t mentioned it much.
Or, at all.
I’m going on vacation, and I mean completely on vacation with no cell phone access or regular computer access (I’ll check emails a little) and not much writing.
I leave on August 19 and am gone until September 7.
While I’m away, some of the most popular Grace Notes will be sent, but you’ll notice a lot fewer notes from me in your Inbox for a few weeks.
The upcoming absence of communication reminds me of interesting ideas in human relating.
What happens when you have less communicating than before with someone you really care about?
My first close friend outside of my family was age 7-8. My family had moved from England to Kansas.
I made a great friend that year. Second grade. We spent tons of times at each other’s homes and saw each other every day at school.
Then my family moved away permanently.
When you’re eight, you don’t really communicate or relate with writing, phone calls (at least I sure didn’t) or any other way besides in-person direct contact.
So if your caregivers pack up everything and head thousands of miles away….
….that friendship is pretty much over.
Looking back at my first experience of friendship change, I can see where my mind went down some stressful alleys.
I’m lost, there’s no one else, no one else knows me this well, I don’t know anyone else like her/him, we have inside jokes that can’t be replicated anywhere, together is bliss, apart is scary, life is dull without “x”, I have to memorize and never, ever forget her address, there will never be another one like her/him/them.
These thoughts don’t seem just for kids, have you noticed?
The stressed mind, so childlike and innocent, starts in on these kinds of thoughts when you’re getting divorced, or your neighbors are moving away, and you’ve been an adult for years!
Poetry, epic novels, matters of life and death, honor, love, meaning all come out of the pain of relationships coming and going.
So what is so stressful about contact being over, different, changed, or diminished?
OMG, what if I go away, and…..what?
How do you react when you think all those stressful thoughts, and you believe they are true?
For me, I’ve imagined I’ll feel lost, sad, empty, lonely.
I get frozen and I don’t make a move. I go back and forth trying to figure things out. I debate what’s right, what’s wrong. I breathe more shallowly. I feel tight and tense, or hurt. I might not reveal the complete truth. I’m careful. I make lists of pros and cons.
I imagine later on, in the future, feeling sad and regretful.
Who would you be without the belief that if I go away, it will be a bad thing?
In any way?
It’s almost hard to imagine.
Having memory, and images, so vivid in the mind, it’s hard to think that I could have these memories of people and not almost immediately think of the loss of this person.
But what if that was not 100% true?
What if there were wonderful things that could come out of lighter, less frequent communication, or going away, or leaving a relationship the way you know it, or adventuring on to something new and different?
Or even death?
One of the best ways to sit with turnarounds and allow them to fold around you like a comfortable blanket of awareness, is to see the actual times something changed in the past when relating with someone, and notice what good came of it.
You’re not trying to squelch out the grief, you’re just opening up to more…..and not zipping to “loss” so fast, the way the mind loves to do.
Here are some examples that I’ve found, as I look at people close to me who have disappeared, for all the various reasons this happens in life.
- With my father’s death, I had to learn to stand up on my own two legs, and feel his voice inside my heart when I sought wisdom and clarity
- With my family moving when I was eight, my whole world opened up to mixed races of people all around me, one of the best school teachers I’ve ever had in my life (Mr. Adams), and taking a thing called a bus to school
- When it happened again (my new best friend Sarah moved thousands of miles away in 6th grade) I discovered yet another new best friend appeared, Kathy.
- The friend who panicked with misunderstanding (or whatever went on over there) set me free from going to restaurants and bars I didn’t like much, and hearing the same unresolved stories about her husband over and over again
- In my previous marriage, we no longer had conflicts about money or fear about who wasn’t getting a job (me)
- With one man I dated, there were no more worries about who he was having sex with and where
- With another man I loved, I could notice how much I also loved stability, quiet, lack of drama after he left.
I could list more.
Every single time a friendship has space in between, it is an invitation.
Speak the truth, allow the space to be as it is, see what else is available.
Without anger, panic, control, pushing, pulling, or being lost in, well, “loss”…..
…..you get to see what’s right here, in this moment now.
And if you have a problem with silence…..
…..you may be thinking something that isn’t really true for you.
Turning all the thoughts around about communication change: