Wow. Unexpected incoming communication.
Two people can’t make the fall retreat.
A dear friend passed away of cancer.
Surprise news that what I thought I was offering in Year of Inquiry for “credit” was not the case inside Institute for The Work.
I hear a story about a very close friend from his family member that’s sort of shocking and weird.
Violence in Las Vegas.
Someone sends a really direct, cold email asking “Why did you do that? Don’t ever do that again!”
Weird, abrupt commentary and communication. A lot of it.
I notice I feel a little taken aback. Something’s shaky. The world seems a bit wobbly, or my feelings about the future. I sense things moving away from me. I feel like sadness is behind things, surprise and hurt, and grief.
I’m now anticipating something else could be incoming. I’m bracing myself. Storms.
I have an image of someone getting beaten up or kicked and they just go into a protective ball and wait until the one doing the kicking stops. (And I suppose the one kicking is the world, reality).
Kind of dramatic. Definitely Not Friendly.
I note that none of the incoming pieces of information are unmanageable all by themselves. I even laughed when one of two of them first arrived. Chuckle…that story about my dear friend can’t be true, can it? Haw…that’s bizarre with the whole credit-offering process for my year long immersion program getting withdrawn.
Yikes…that person’s email is so over-the-top. Ouch, in-breath gasp, more shootings. Ack, so many people without shelter.
It’s just they started adding up.
The reason I could tell I was getting a little over-filled with some dramatic or sudden incoming information or cold human behavior?
I had the thought “I’m shutting everything down.”
When I have this thought, it means I’m believing something’s too much, too heavy, too chaotic, too difficult….and one of my Go-To thoughts is STOP IT ALL!
In one hour I imagined selling my little cottage, breaking up with my husband, leaving the city I live in, canceling my plans to build a cottage for my mom in my back yard, quitting my business, and ditching town for another continent.
I know I need to do The Work, when this happens. Even if I’m not believing everything I think.
This is too much. I can’t take it anymore.
Have you ever had this thought? You’re getting pushed to the limit. Not one more thing.
An inquirer the other day in our Year of Inquiry group was just feeling liberated after doing a month of The Work around his separation from his wife. Then they skyped, she told him some different news, and he had the thought “Not more of this! I can’t take it!”
Another inquirer I once worked with had done several years of The Work around her suicidal teenaged daughter. The threats were in the past, she felt alive and free again. And then her daughter said she was pregnant. “Noooo! I can’t take this! I’m pushed past my limit!”
One of my relatives had a fender bender, and hours later had her purse stolen, and a few hours after that her toilets overflowed in her house. “This is too much! Why me?!”
It’s funny how sometimes the stress piles up. It’s one thing, then another, then another. Piling up to feel like the water’s getting too deep and we’re going to drown.
Let’s do The Work.
Is it true?
Waaaah. Yeeeesssss. It’s too much at once. Nooooo moooore!
Can you absolutely know it’s true?
How do you react when you believe it’s too much and you can’t take it!?
I feel smaller, closed in. I have images of the collapse of life as I know it. Doom. Gloom. Scary pictures. Separation. I don’t feel helpful to other people. I pull in and do Sea Anemone Pose. (That’s the yoga pose of those little sea creatures when they squeeze into a tiny ball because something threatening is swimming overhead).
Who would you be without this thought that it’s just too much?
Noticing how life has gone on, quite fully.
Someone else sent a beautiful, friendly, kind email. Someone called and left a lovely message. Someone pinged facebook messenger with a sweet question about a mutual friend. One of my favorite broadway guys raised a ton of money for Puerto Rico.
I hear the dryer full of laundry rolling around, comfortingly. The quiet sun coming through the blinds. The soft eyes of an inquirer who came to spend 3 hours of time (a mini-retreat) with me yesterday afternoon who shared so honestly.
I consider the profound sorrow and courage of the Year of Inquiry group this week going deep, deep, deep as we entered our Family of Origin topic and people did The Work on their childhood despair, violence, fear, suicide, uncomfortable sexual moments, feeling shame.
Hmmm. Holding all this is a lot.
But not too much. I’m breathing. I’m writing. I’m here.
Turning the thought around: It’s not too much. My thinking is too much. “It” is too little.
Could these be just as true, or truer?
I see that “it” (reality, the world, all these communications, what I’m going through) is not too much. I’m alive. I’m still upright.
My thinking is the thing filled with images, threats, future fears. It repeats the same concerns over and over again. Someone wrote me one cold email, and I consider it 12 times more. A friend gets sick and dies, and I feel the whole world is sad. I see images of terrible weather patterns increasing.
What about the turnaround that “it” (reality, all the incoming experiences) are too little?
Too little to change the inner sense of being here, feeling alive. Too little compared to the vastness of all I can be aware of, which is much more than all these things.
heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
less wondrous than your joy;
pass over your fields.
winters of your grief.
Much of your pain is self-chosen.
within you heals your sick self.
Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy
in silence and tranquillity:
For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by
the tender hand of the Unseen,
And the cup he brings, though it burn your lips, has
been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has
moistened with His own sacred tears.
Who would I be without my story? Doing what I can to help. Connecting with other people. Feeling peace, silence, being.