Monday, April 26, 2010

The grounded gypsy

have a new friend who, as I write and, perhaps, you read this, is on her way back to British Columbia from Indiana. She's either on a bus or train, I'm not sure. Neither was she when we parted from the writing conference yesterday.

She cobbled her way to the conference by ferry, sleeper train and fortuitous ride on the fly. Her plans to drive with someone fell through last minute. Somehow, I know that didn't faze her.

I told her she was a gypsy and she didn't argue. She has an untethered, ethereal quality about her, which drew me to her.

My life seems anything but ethereal and untethered most of the time. Kids, appointments, schedules, projects, etc.

However, the past five days at a rather intense spiritual writing conference allowed space and time for detaching and freedom. To the point that, about halfway through, I had to ask what day, specifically, it was. I didn't have to know or, really, even care. Meals were provided (including all sorts of gluten-free goodies like brownies, cookies and muffins I usually must bypass), a schedule was available, I had a comfy bed at a nearby 17-room Victorian house and there were beautiful grounds to traverse anytime. A paradise of sorts.

A paradise for hard work and harder lessons, which would never have occurred in my normal life.

The work of finding clarity for the next step of my life by examining the experience of others, searching my soul, seeing a plethora of possibilities, winnowing that list and settling in to what truly fits me right now. It's only with a day of perspective that I can begin to unearth some direction. There's so much swimming inside my body and mind that needs to calm, dissipate or be expelled. For me, it's not a mental process, but more of a bodily one. There was a lot of talk at the conference of embodiment. I know I physically take things in, so this spoke very deeply to me. Now, I need to unload and only keep what is mine.

A tough challenge.

So while I might prefer to be ethereal and untethered as I have been, I must ground myself to incorporate the conference experience within the context of my daily life. Another opportunity to balance the inner and outer worlds. I find the only way to do that is to take a periodic break from the grind, truly detach, then come back refreshed and, hopefully, in a different place.

I think my new friend has figured out how to live that inner-outer balance with regularity. She's a wonderful model of the grounded gypsy.

• When do I detach and untether myself?
• What happens when I do?
• How does that shape my life as a result?
• What is my inner-outer balance and how do I tend it when it becomes lopsided?
• Is there someone in my life that can be my model or guide?

Push, push, push
rush, rush rush

get this done
and that

write it down,
mark it off

it feels so

as if I'm at the
mercy of some
sinister plan

that will eat
me alive


I step

take a
time out


turn that
machine off

and myself
back on

ahhhh ...
so much better

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