“Men and money are kind of the same in my life: they come, but they mostly go.” (H. Shippit pre-marriage).
So true. Men, money, friendships, jobs. They all go eventually. As an aspiring Buddhist, I recognize the impermanence of all things. Last week, our beloved family dog Anouk was put down and even though I don’t live in Barrie anymore, my heart broke. We spent so much time together over the years: at the boathouse, when I lived in Midland (I’d often kidnap her for weeks at a time to keep me company) and when I’d dog-sit if Dad went away.
I was reminded again of how everything leaves us when I was in Hawaii. One morning I went on a beautiful hike to Mahaulepu Beach near Poipu, which is a beautiful coastal walk on the southern area of Kauai. Along the way I found a small beach adorned with hundreds of cairns visitors had made and left (a cairn is a human-made pile of stones). I made one myself, said a little prayer and did a little meditation, then took a couple of photos before continuing my little jaunt.
I returned to the same beach a few days later (after a HUGE storm had happened) and saw that every cairn that had been there stood no more. It was a bit sad, and I had (yet another!) a huge recognition of how things change so quickly. Nothing stays. I wrote a song years ago about this notion of change and impermanence with my song “Stay”.
On that melancholy note, I’m doing my best to stay in one place. And it’s bloody hard. Two weeks ago I had to make the decision to stay in Nelson and forgo leading my trips in Peru this spring. I love those trips. I live for those trips. And yet, my body didn’t want me to do those trips, even though my mind, with its relentless FOMO (fear of missing out), begged me to not give those trips up. Eventually, I had to surrender and listen to my body, which has been really tired for several months with adrenal issues and low iron, which has left me with not much energy. Just the flights alone were making me feel tired when I really thought about it. And I realized that’s the key…the feeling aspect that I usually ignore. What does my body feel when I’m making a decision (not one of my strong points of fave things to do)? When I thought about leading the trips, I actually felt tired and anxious.
Many people have said that I am fearless, and my leo lioness pride kind of liked that, and for the most part, felt that to be true. And yet, here I am now, afraid that I can’t do the things I usually can do. This is pretty humbling, and depressing, and liberating, all at the same time. It’s one of those things where I really need to accept where I am at the moment. And at this moment, I don’t think I could do the Camino again right now, or hike to Machu Picchu twice in two weeks. And so, I’m staying home. It feels weird, but it feels right. There was an immediate sense of expansion when I came to that decision, and for me, that affirmed I was making the right one. Don’t get me wrong, the doubt still insidiously creeps in from time to time as I look at Facebook and how the trips are going without me and I question myself. However, I immediately get my answer when I think about how my body would react to being at extreme elevation, expending energy hiking 8 hours a day, and giving my love and support to a group of women: I want to lie down on a couch just thinking about it!
And so, here is a new phase of my life whereby I am trying to be more still, to do less and to breathe more.
Question for You: How often to you rely on your “feeling” as opposed to your “thinking” when making a decision.
As always, I thank you for sharing your time and energy with me in this dialogue; it truly affirms to me that we are not alone on this journey.
Love and Light,