“Tell me, what will you do with your one wild and precious life?”Mary Oliver
I am in a state of transformation/expansion/phase change/growth spurt.
For the past two weeks I have been getting a daily headache. It begins to make its presence known mid-morning, after my husband has left to take my son to school. I try to will it away with every holistic practice in my toolbox, but still it throbs, knocking like a dull and unwelcome visitor behind my brow. Eventually I give in and swallow a Tylenol. You win, headache. I’ll just mask your pain and move along.
I know what it is. It’s “Worry” and “Stress.”
I woke up the other day with my jaw clenched, thoughts rolling round and round…
Something is shifting in me.
I have spent the last six and a half years fully consumed with the tasks of mothering: a job so emotionally intense and carnally important that I have barely noticed as my own sense of self has blurred and faded. I am ready to go back to work.
But even as I type this, I don’t know what that means.
I dedicated the decade of my life before motherhood to other people’s children; giving my heart and soul to the teenagers in my classroom, guiding them not just in the acquisition of scholastic aptitude, but through the complicated mazes of life, navigating their dreams and goals. As much as I loved that work, I know I cannot go back to it in the same way. My own children require too much of my daily energy reserves. I feel one group would suffer as the other depletes me.
So then, what do I do with myself now?
I mean, I know what I want to do. I want to facilitate workshops for women to collectively work through their healing journeys. I want to use my words to help others find the voices they’ve lost. I want to hold space for women to find their inner strength and wholeness. But is that even a job? It’s risky and unknown. How would I even start?
At outdoor yoga class this morning we stood in mountain pose with the sun on our cheeks, and my dear friend Amanda opened with this quote: Your life expands in proportion to your courage [paraphrased from Anais Nin].
There it is, I thought. Truth bomb.
If we could just listen to the guidance in our hearts, whether we believe it comes from God or the universe or our own soul, imagine what beautiful lives we would create for ourselves.
Too often we dismiss that guidance because it seems too difficult or radical or uprooting. We are afraid we would be pushing the limits or attempting the impossible.
But maybe our fear is just self-doubt. Maybe that nagging little voice that keeps urging “do it!” is really the one we ought to be hearing. Is there really ever a “right time”? Will we continue to line up excuses until our opportunities are nothing but echoes and we can rest satisfied that we no longer have options?
Maybe one of our quests in this life is to find the courage to heed our inner voice and go for it; take the chances that we know we will regret letting slip by. When all signs point towards the path we yearn for, why not just take those steps?
I know I will waver and falter many more times as I ponder my phase change. I know that I will struggle to take my own advice and my grip on my courage will sometimes slip.
But I will continue to listen to that little voice. And I will continue to let that heavy, pounding Worry know that it is free to leave my head at any time.
I am going to lift my foot and take a step.
©Skye Nicholson 2020