I started writing a blog post yesterday about an experience I had a year ago. It was a story I feel I have to tell (and I will: the working title is Invited but not Included) but it rapidly grew to over 1000 words and I believe I was only half way through the telling. Since the medium of blog posting seems to favor shorter, tighter pieces, I realized I may want to instead break it into parts, and tell it in smaller chunks. So while I write the story, and then go back to edit, I will be able to tell how long it will be and then (hopefully) know the point of the story, or the point I am trying to make, and cut out the extraneous stuff.
I have been giving a lot of thought lately to what I really want to get out of blogging and the first thing that comes to me is: writing practice. I want to hone my daily practice here in a way that my handwritten journal is simply to “slow” to capture, even though I do not intend to give that up. I also want to explore certain ideas, concepts, ways of living, ways of thinking, and to allow for feedback, which is really why blogs exist – to get some conversation going on a topic, to be shared and to create some sense of community around ideas. Or at least that is my interpretation of why one might want to produce a blog. It is a way of being less alone in the world, to connect in some way to others, to find our tribe of people with whom we resonate.
I was doing my customary podcast listen this morning, taking in some thought-provoking and thoughtful insights (from the Robcast and from Hidden Brain) when I realized that I enjoy consuming information, taking in new knowledge and using my brain to puzzle through it all. It is brain candy and I consume it voraciously, like a binge eater consumes sugary foods forbidden from their diet. But sometimes I forget to ask myself what my own soul is communicating to me, or I seem to avoid it somehow. There is some inner knowing, some tickling at the periphery of my consciousness, and I am not allowing that sensation to permeate my being. I am afraid to know, and afraid that knowing will mean I will have to act on that knowledge. But I have convinced myself that I am not yet ready to know, not yet ready to act.
On of my favorite recent meditations from Insight Timer, the app that I use for tracking my daily meditation is by Anna Guest-Jelley called “May I know what I know.” It is a body awareness meditation in which I scan the various parts of my body, starting with my feet in order to bring them “back online” as Anna explains, when I realize I have lost contact with some part of myself. It honors the fact that our bodies have in them tremendous wisdom, and this helps us know what is true for us.
Truth. Oh boy, this could be another long post. I am sure to come back to it in future posts. But right here I want to say that admitting and absorbing our personal truths can be a difficult and painful process. For some of us, we have gotten used to a lifestyle, a way of doing things, perhaps ways of being in relationship that no longer serve us. By admitting that, or realizing that, we suddenly know that we will have to make a change. Though change can be good, it is also scary for us. Our brain develops habits and patterns of doing things, thinking in certain ways, to be efficient and to keep us safe. But sometimes these habitual patterns actually become destructive, or must change in order for us to grow, and to take ourselves to the next level of consciousness and self-actualization.
For so many reasons, we may suppress these truths and feel unready to know what we know. My current truth that seems to be emerging is that I want to leave the corporate world. I enjoy some parts of my work, and find some aspects quite fulfilling. I also long for something different, because I am waking up to the parts that drain my energy and deplete me. While I always try to focus on the positive, I realize that, to stay in my integrity, I will have to make a change soon. In my youth (20’s) I used to jettison jobs fairly quickly and easily when it turned out they did not serve me. Jobs were plentiful in the 90’s and with a solid college education, I just did not worry about finding the next one, preferably nothing like the last.
I am 43 now and recently re-married. My decisions affect not only me, but also my husband, and so I include him in my speculations and ruminations about what to do next. In the end of course I must make decisions that work for me, that align with my soul’s calling. But I also must consider how these decisions affect my family and loved ones. So a big part of me wants to work on a “side hustle” to find some type of income outside of my day job and allows me to use my creative gifts in a way that my job does not allow, without (yet) jettisoning the job, until I figure out what I *really* want to do next. And another part of me just wants to take a year-long sabbatical, sell all the stuff I do not really need, live on a lot less income (savings) and just rest from the corporate gig, follow my curiosity and see where it leads. That was something I could (and did) do in my single years, because I could and because it did not affect anyone else.
I actually fantasize about being laid off at my current job, and then having a little bit of severance pay (I think it would be about 16 weeks) to take a break and figure all of this out. Then another part of me says it is better and more responsible to be proactive and to figure this out on my own, before the company makes a decision for me. So my mantra in coming weeks will be: may I know what I know. As I meditate, journal and write through this question to figure it out, along with trying “side hustle” experiments, I expect my truth will emerge. And as I allow that truth to fully emerge, I realize it is still my choice what actions to take as a result.
If you have any advice for me, dear reader, on what has helped you take on big truths in your life, please share them with me below in the comments. Thanks for reading. May you know what you know.