"What are you doing with her?" my 14-year-old demanded. "I just found her."
"I dunno, just want to borrow her for a bit."
"Okay," she replied.
I knew full well what I was doing with her: keeping her as a token reminder to tend my inner child. I've been on a baby kick ever since an amazing one-year-old's birthday Sunday. I wrote about that last post (http://salonforthesoul.blogspot.com/2014/11/celebrating-miracleness.html)
So she's been tucked inside my Scottish, wool sweater pocket inside a nest of clean, but not crisp Kleenex. Periodically, I reach in and touch her, much like a worry stone. To reassure me that I haven't lost her.
Yesterday, it took my tears and a few confessions for my shaman to tell me that I am burned out and in need of nurturing. "That's why you have the baby." He, as always, was right.
I have felt so tired and overwhelmed this week at the mountain of work awaiting me as I organize a formal board of directors for Artsy Fartsy Saturdays, the arts exploration I launched for at-risk middle schoolers, file paperwork and wade through months awaiting the IRS 501c3 designation. Some days it seems like a super structure built just to keep the program going and growing. Anything but simple. I have so many lists of possible board prospects and a recently acquired knowledge of how to build a board thanks to an intense ArtsWave program I completed. Didn't help that an attorney who handles non-profits warned me at a seminar not to go that route if I don't have to. An incredible amount of work, he said.
More work. More work. More work.
That's all I have been seeing.
Yet that wasn't all I wanted to talk about at yesterday's session. I mentioned the new, local church that wants to help. I was really jazzed about that earlier in the week and found that meeting so affirming. Complete strangers who heard me talk, called my work "passionate, from the heart and making a huge difference." Enough so that they desire to partner with me in helping these families.
Some help. Some help. Some help.
And then there was the other thing I wanted to process with Gary: the close encounter with the snake I'd had in September, While hiking in my little five-finger yoga shoes, I suddenly felt something slimy brush against my ankle. Fortunately, I walked on before it registered. When I looked back, I noticed a rather large white snake coiled, rising up and hissing at me. On another path, a larger black snake quickly slithered across. When my college friends and I returned to the lodge and one went to take a show, she discovered a worm in the drain. Enough. I get the snake message.
One of the first things Gary asked me is if I had meditated and asked the snake what she wanted. Never occurred to me, though the idea was very appealing. He walked me through the ins and outs of snake medicine: that they shed their skin slowly and, in this transformation, are temporarily blinded. That their new skin is bright and alive and they are vulnerable. That they unhinge their jaws to eat large prey and only eat occasionally; they can swallow large amounts. And, then we addressed the kundalini energy. The feminine energy coiled at the base of the spine.
He imagined I was low on that, so that became a focal point of the bodywork. While I took breaths in a circular manner, coached by Gary, and his trained hands eased my aching muscles, I began to see the snake. The big, white female snake. I normally don't talk during the bodywork portion of the session, but I told Gary that one of my favorite stuffed animals had been a white snake with red-heart eyes. I also giggled and offered that Harry Potter could talk to snakes. "You can, too," he said
Before I knew it, the snake told me her name, Charlotte. "That's the name of a spider and my spiritual friend," I shot back. "Mine, too," she said, batting her big eyes. Soon, Gary released me, I felt energy return and it was time to leave.
I must be insane talking to snakes named Charlotte and keeping mini babies in my pocket.
I've experienced a very low energy day. Perhaps because my off day revolved around the shamanic work, lunch with a friend who wanted to learn about blogging, shopping for a baby-shower gift, arriving home too late to take my youngest to theater practice, attending a two-hour evening Bible study, then picking my daughter up at 10:30 pm.
In the study, we have been slowly exploring Pauls' first letter to the Corinthians. Last night, I was reeled in by the idea that we are God's temple. God resides within and there's no need to go elsewhere. Ah, perhaps I'd better take care of that treasure. Which led me to the 23rd Psalm, which I had studied with my mother's Bible group Wednesday. What struck me was the passage about being made to lie down in green pastures: forced rest.
God may be telling me to take a break. But I trudged on anyway. Stumbled into the studio almost in tears of sheer weariness and prayed for nurturing and encouragement. The phone rang and it was my mother. She called to check in and tell me that a local club she belongs to wants to help Artsy Fartsy.
More help. More help. More help.
And she let me unload a little. Actually, a lot and I felt much better.
Nurturing. Nurturing. Nuturing.
I hung up and checked e-mail before sitting down to write this post. It was almost unfathomable what rolled in. Seventeen potential board candidates that I will meet next week at ArtsWave have an interest in serving Artsy Fartsy! A chemical engineer, attorney, digital marketing specialists, arts professor, financial analyst, HR managers, brand manager, small-business developer, a non-profit consultant, tax manager and a chemical engineer ... oh my.
Don't tell me God doesn't answer prayer.
• How do I take care of God's temple?
• What do I do when I am burned out?
• What signals help me see this?
• How does prayer work for me?
• How aware am I of it working?
she rolled around
in my pocket
a few days
was with me
and I still
things I can't
and are left
Listen to this post: