As we transition into another Mercury Retrograde (whatever that means) and another super moon, this Sunday finds me in a sort of melancholy mood. The Full Flower Moon coincides with a total lunar eclipse in some areas, so a lot is happening above us.
As above, so below.
These words from Rainer Maria Rilke resonate deep within my heart.
“So you mustn’t be frightened, if a sadness rises in front of you, larger than any you have ever seen; if an anxiety, like light and cloud-shadows, moves over your hands and over everything you do.
You must realize that something is happening to you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand and will not let you fall.
Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any misery, any depression, since after all you don’t know what work these conditions are doing inside you? Why do you want to persecute yourself with the question of where all this is coming from and where it is going?
Since you know, after all, that you are in the midst of transitions and you wished for nothing so much as to change.
If there is anything unhealthy in your reactions, just bear in mind that sickness is the means by which an organism frees itself from what is alien; so one must simply help it to be sick, to have its whole sickness and to break out with it, since that is the way it gets better.”
IMHO, this is one of the best descriptions of what it means to hold space.
There will be times when you have to release and trust the awakening process. It may not be an easy thing to do, especially when a connection exists. Let others know you are there, offer support when asked and hold space for them in a kind, loving manner. The rest is up to them and The Universe. Holding Space The Creator Writings, one of my fave blogs.
I had heard the term but couldn’t wrap my brain around it, and as a slightly OCD Taurus who likes answers to questions and details and timeframes to be specific in order to feel safe, holding space is a confusing and nebulous and ephemeral concept, but I’ve been determined to understand because it resonates deeply with me. I’m relentless when it comes to understandING.
It’s a way of not doing anything when I’m all about doING and fixING and solvING. (All of those ‘ing” words that we’re trained to edit OUT of our writings.)
To hold space is to do nothING but BE.
That very beINGness of taking a breath and stayING silent and havING faith and trust that everything is happenING as it should–well, that’s nearly impossible for me.
The opposite of rain is sun. It rained all week here in SoCal, heavily at times. We received an official total of 6.20 inches of rain. That’s a LOT of rain for a mostly desert climate.
At times, it seemed as if it would never end. That’s the way a lot of things feel. Sometimes, you can endure so much pain and sadness that it seems as if it will never go away, that you’ll never be happy again.
I think it’s like going through a tunnel. When you enter, the light becomes dark and you are so immersed in it that everywhere you look, everywhere you turn–is darkness. It’s so dark you can’t even see your hand in front of your face. Every once in a while, someone might light a candle and you feel a momentary sharp stabbing pain to remind you of what it used to be like, but then the flame’s snuffed out and you’re thrust back into complete and total darkness. Which way is the exit? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel or will I simply stay here in limbo, in pitch-black inky hopeless melancholy? What’s the point of anything?
That was a heavy detour; my mind devolved and digressed and rambled through a rabbit hole of despondency. So there’s that familiar dark night of the soul too, that black spiraling tunnel of anguish.
Maybe I hit replay too many times on Kesha’s Praying. (see link below).
All I really set out to do with this post was share some pics of how much rain we had and how flooded my gardens were, in contrast to one day later, when we enjoyed a shiny sunny blue sky.
When author Alex Banayan interviewed Maya Angelou, it is alleged that she told him to write this sentence on his notepad and to never forget it. “Every storm runs out of rain.”
I hope so. I really do.
Here ya go:
Thursday’s rain…my arroyo seco, dry river bed, wasn’t so dry anymore!
Have you ever experienced an event so traumatic that inevitably forevermore all things will be mentally placed in two boxes labeled Before and After?
Like how people always remember where they were on September 11, 2001, or where they were when Kennedy was shot, or when the first man walked on the moon. Or when your mom died, things like that…you know where you were, how old you were, even what you were wearing or what you were doing. These moments are indelibly stamped in your heart and brain as well as the accompanying emotions.
I have my own personal tragic date of profound sorrow that will forever mark my future. There was happiness BEFORE: sadness and confusion AFTER.
My life is split in two now. What was will never be again as I dwell in a mostly perpetual state of grief, of dysphoria, of purgatory, of anhedonia.
That’s not to say there aren’t moments of brightness, moments that bring a smile to my face and lift my heart a little, but then I see a certain date or I remember a certain event and I mentally place it in its appropriate container: BEFORE or AFTER. I say to myself, oh yeah, that was before. Now we dwell in the after box.
If I see a story or read an article about, for example, Yellowstone, that memory goes in the before box. Ironing perfumed sheets for a homecoming or walking to the beach, Sunday morning buckwheat pancakes–or any one of the thousands of sweet daily memories since 1991–all BEFORE. Don’t get me started going down THAT road. There are actually about half a dozen dates that signify different aspects of after-and those recollections are even more painful to tidy up and allocate to their designated container.
BEFOREANDAFTERBEFOREANDAFTER. I do it automatically now.
For me, it signals panic attack time. I never experienced a panic attack BEFORE–now I know the triggers and force myself to use the tools I went to therapy to learn so I don’t once again spiral into a paralyzing dissociation with reality.
There is so much that is before. Why wasn’t I able to foretell the future? If I had only known. But I didn’t know, I couldn’t have known, and the abject shock of it all still colors my waking hours–and my sleep.
In my case, every single day I mourn the death of someone who’s still very much alive.
Unless you’ve walked this same journey, you might not understand how I can grieve for someone who still breathes and eats and sleeps. Although they aren’t clinically deceased, they are gone, and it feels like a true death in every sense of the word.
And now for me, I will forevermore be tormented by BEFORE and AFTER.
I was going to dip my toe into the world of writing from my gut, shining a light into my tortured personal journey as I stumble through the dark–I was GOING TO DO THAT.
But instead of spiraling down into that sad place, I grabbed my keys and drove into the village, deciding what I really needed was some therapy; retail therapy. Always the joker, the self deprecator; that’s me!
After a very rainy day yesterday, today was warm and fresh and shiny.
As soon as I walked into one of my favorite consignment shops, I spied a box of scarves and hats thrown haphazardly on each other like a pile of puppies. My eyes were drawn to a familiar brown and tan monogram on a scarf. I thought to myself, “it can’t possibly be authentic, but let’s take a closer look.” I picked it up. Hmmm, it sort of felt like silk. I checked the price tag. $12.00. TWELVE DOLLARS? It can’t be a real Louis Vuitton. Or could it?
I asked the salesperson, “Has this been authenticated?” She told me the owner didn’t think it was real so it wasn’t priced as a genuine designer. YES I WILL HAVE THIS, I told myself. Just then, my bad mood cleared up. I was firing on all cylinders.
One of my hidden talents is the ability to sniff out authenticity. Too bad that talent doesn’t extend to people, but that’s another story.
When I got home, I examined it more closely. The monogram was accurate, it was beautifully sewn, and I found a hidden tag that confirmed my suspicions- 100% soie Made in France. Yup, deffo genuine LV. SCORE!!!!!!
I also tried on an amazing St. John’s knit dress that I really really wanted, but even at resale prices, it was a bit too expensive, so I reluctantly put it back.
As I was meandering through the aisles, I spied a wall display. Draped over the shoulder of a red sweater was an oversized black and white houndstooth scarf. My eagle eye spied the logo in the corner: DIOR. Hold on, girl. Acting like it’s not a big deal so that no one else would want it…I grabbed it off the hanger–the original sales tag was still attached. It was 100% cashmere Christian Dior!!! And it was $20.00. TWENTY DOLLARS! How could I say no? This beautiful shawl-like wrap needed to be rescued. By me.
Instead of continuing to dwell on the things that weigh down my heart, these little treasures helped to cheer me up–perhaps merely a superficial bandage, but sometimes that’s all it takes to shake me out of a despondent mood. At least for a little while. Until next time.
I love to meet famous people. I’m fascinated by them…their fame, their accomplishments, their notoriety, and how they did what they did to become recognized by strangers. I wanted to be famous but I’m not. Sigh.
Over the course of my life, I’ve met a few people of fame: (in no particular order) His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Jim Morrison, Captain Paul Watson (Sea Shepherd), Bob Hope, Marty Feldman, Rob Reiner, Chuck Norris, Gene Wilder, Peter O’Toole, Al Gore, and a few more I can’t recall right now, but as I’m thinking about it, I see that it appears that I’ve only met famous men and most of them are now deceased. Hmmm, I will have to reflect on what all that might mean at a later date.
I ALMOST met Sir Paul McCartney on Saturday night, but it didn’t happen ‘cos the person I was going to be with got sick and he was my conduit to Sir Paul. I was THAT CLOSE. For real. Sigh again. I really wanted to chat with him, vegan to vegan. SIGH.
But now there’s a new level of FAME to achieve in YouTube videos, whether it’s a cooking show or how to apply makeup properly to achieve that perfect smokey eye — or how to identify and heal from narcissistic abuse.
Last week, I had an opportunity to meet someone who has a certain level of international FAME from his YouTube videos that spawned books and coaching and speaking engagements.
Richard Grannon, also known as the Spartan Life Coach, was in my SoCal area. He’s from the UK and has a huge following on YouTube and social media. With a background in Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), he graduated with a BSc in Psychology from Aston University, his coaching modalities employ Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Zen meditation, Hypnotherapy, Systems Thinking, Classical Psychiatry and Psychodynamics and Stoic philosophy.
What I found to be super cool about him is that he also developed a globally recognized brand with his company streetfightsecrets.com which combines simplified applied psychology with self protection concepts.
What that means to me is that you can learn to beat the shit out of people who attack you, while at the same time understanding their motivation for being horrible and mean. A win-win for sure!
Did I mention that he’s really charismatic AND a VERY good looking man? Well, he is. And he’s funny and says “fuck” a LOT, which is a plus in my book.
Notwithstanding the fact that this pic doesn’t look like me one single bit AND my hair isn’t even that color, it was a cool encounter with a famous person, that’s for sure, but there’s more!
The room was packed and as I looked for a seat, I did a double take when I noticed ANOTHER YouTube famous celebrity. We chatted for a bit during a break and she’s just as lovely as her videos portray her to be.
Sheri is a psychotherapist helping to provide support on difficult topics including abusive relationships and ways to recover. She has a BS in Political Science from UC Berkeley and an MS in Counseling from California State University, Fresno.
“I have spent years of my career working passionately for the disadvantaged, traumatized populations. My goal is to shed more light on the nuances of abuse and trauma in the hope that some people can gain some healing”
So…tell me…who have you met that qualifies as being FAMOUS?
And the hair? It looks like my head had a curl explosion.
Oopsie, it seems as if the picture on the wall behind me is slightly askew; my OCD side will fix it immediately, since I clearly have no control over my hair.
And yes, that IS my enchanting bathroom, and no, I’m not wearing any makeup.
It’s a different world now than when I first needed to wear glasses. Back then, it tolled the death knell if you aspired at all to be a popular gal and hang out with the cool kids.
I was continually taunted with.such witticisms as, “Hey, Coke-bottle‘s here. Ha Ha.”