On Letting Yourself Have The Experience

Do you want to do some filming this afternoon? My husband calls out kindly to me.

Yes, I reply, a note of resignation in my voice. I love my pony; I love chattering about my work but I really do not like The Filming. Especially the type of filming that means I’m riding my lovely horse. To me, that’s traversing sacred ground. Poking noses all up in your riding business with The Lenses. I’d really rather not.

I’ve become familiar, very practiced with the talking to The Camera behind The Computer. Once, if not multiple times a day, I see my own face pop up on the screen, have to deal with my antipodean tones booming back into my ear balls.

It used to be that The Speaking To The Camera brought me out in hot sweats. For someone who always had a lot to say, suddenly I had none. The Speaking To The Camera will do that to you. Make your words crystalize over as they start to leave your mouth.

Sometimes, the Word Fairies like to mess with you. I do not find them funny. They catch your words and rearrange them, making sensible and rational thoughts turn into unsensible and irrational sentences. They’re really pesky beasts.

When I first started my business, all those years ago I had neither the camera nor the money. I also didn’t have a blank wall to film against (our quite small house sports the cluttered look). Instead, if you were to drill a hole in my door and poke your eyeball through, you’d see me sat in my mother in laws living room, perched upon a desk, hovering somewhere between the heat pump and the floor, my laptop a meter or so away piled atop a pile of books.

The background wall was peach.

If you think starting out is glamour, I can assure you, it is not.

Why am I telling you this?

Because all of those hot sweats over all those many years have got me to a place where I can comfortably sit in front of the camera and press go. Which means when it comes to new experiences- like filming more with my horse rather than me resting on a chair- I recognize the feelings as similar to what I’ve felt before. And from here, I tell myself, the only way is through.

In the process of learning anything, you have to let yourself have the experience. If you can tick the box that tells you that you’re safe, the next biggest impediment to progress is the ability to let yourself learn.

The ability to let yourself feel uncomfortable and do the thing anyway. The ability to let it be frustrating and to know that you’ll get better over time. The ability to release the need to be perfect and to let the word fairies mess with what you have to say. To continue on in spite of.

At the start of my ride today, as my husband hit record, my brain told me I’d forgotten how to ride. I almost say the words out loud- I’ve forgotten how to ride!- but then I stop myself before the thoughts take form.

I will not give that thought a voice because it isn’t true. Just because I feel different, doesn’t mean that somethings wrong.

It just means there’s a person in the arena with a camera, when normally there isn’t. And all I have to do is practice what I know.

The only way is through.


❤️ Jane

I Dissent: A Letting Go Of Patterns

The first thing to emerge was my hand, reaching across the room to find my phone. 4:56 am. A little surge of success welled up inside me. Intercepting the alarm increases my ability to not wake the other sleeping people. As a 5 am riser, I’m the first in my household to awake, the movement from bed to desk a strategic mission of sorts.

Our house, a little brick bungalow built in the 1960’s, likes to talk as I walk through. There’s a particular snaking pattern I make along the floorboards; stay closer to the door of my bedroom, take it wide as I move past the boys. The pattern of maintaining silence.

Closing the door to the kitchen takes about 5 seconds; any faster and the door creaks; any slower and it catches in a way that’s loud enough to wake the smallest of sleeping ears and rouse them up.

I’ve spent many dollars on mugs, and yet the one I choose to drink from every morning is the cheapest one I’ve bought. A $2 mug from a discount shop that holds just the right amount of coffee and has the required size and feel. I’m selective about my mugs. The texture, the thickness of the rim, the roundness, and the shape. It all matters. It contributes to the experience and the taste.

I carry my mug, my notebook, and my book up the winding path to my office. To the human eye, I’m creeping. To the spider world, I’m an abomination. A whirlwind of destruction breaking the gentle threads of silk that have been woven overnight from plant to plant.

I sit on my chair and open my computer. Already, I feel like I’m behind. While everyone around me sleeps, I notice the descension of all the things. The writing wanting to be done, the sessions needing to be taught. The activities involved to mothering and being with the boys. The emails and the things, gathered in my stomach like a firm and solid rock.

But this morning, rebellion. I know this feeling. She and I have danced together many times. There’s a real and present tension between the life we are committed to and the patterns that present.

My pattern: Of overwork, of feeling like I can never do enough, like time is on the run.

The life I am committed to: Of noticing, of deep attention, of gratitude, of creativity. Of surrendering to the landscape around me and learning more about my place.

So, this morning, I dissent.

I take myself away from the computer and all the things. I throw a jacket over my pajamas and go outside. Through the long and thickening grass slightly wilting with the dew. Underneath the Manuka and Kanuka, their blossoming flowers appearing like sprinkled icing sugar on dark branches overnight. Through the gate and across the field to my horses, all standing in communion.

They wait together, doing nothing. View finding. They lick and chew. Peaceful. I stand and join them. And I remember to remember. These are the moments I live for. They dissolve the moments of angst and concern that are not real.

Soundbites of reconnection. Experiences of seeming nothingness that demonstrate the everything. Moments we must remember to take when it feels like have the least amount of time available to do so.

When the old patterns arise, I will dissent. When life convinces me, it is something to be endured rather than enjoyed, I will dissent.

And I will show up here, and I will write about it, as a reminder to those wanting to hold hands and do the same.


❤️ Jane