On Holding Fast, When Life Gets Lifey & You’re Not Sure You’re Down With It

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On holding fast,

Or when life gets life-ey and you’re not sure you’re down with it.

I’ve had some questions, some swirling of feelings expressed in my membership recently that spoke to the life-ey-ness of life that we are all familiar with. How it can sometimes be a lot to hold. That there are disappointments, people not behaving the way we hope they might (or perhaps we, ourselves, doing that). Grief. So much grief and loss. Ugh. And then that niggling undercurrent that can manifest in feelings of invisibility, or beyond that, sometimes even hopelessness.

It’s destabilising because it should be. A life well lived is a life of curve balls and disruptive energies. Experiences that cause you to question and think and wonder and ultimately, change. To evolve.

But it’s these qualities that are also the hardest to hold. They call things into question, and to change, and you can be left with a feeling of discontent. They can make you feel a little crazy if your bodily container is yet to figure out how to embrace them.

I was marinating on these conversation this morning and remember had some words spoken to me a while back by a very dear friend and mentor that I thought might be helpful to share with you now. This was taken from a time when I myself was really struggling. I sought her out as an ear to listen to my woes, and as a person I trusted to hold my hand as I ventured forward into the unknown.

She said, your container is expanding fast, Jane. With every conversation and interaction, it’s getting bigger and bigger. As she spoke to, she held her hands in front of me and began to move them out to the side, as though holding a beach ball within them that was expanding every second.

Your work then, she said, is to focus on this energy.

She took her hand and traced from her head, down the centre of her body to the ground.

‘The expansion is occurring. Your work is to stay connected and grounded within it.’

It might seem weird to group lots of what I’ve said together with the concept of expansion. At the time, as we lie in the metaphorical (or perhaps not so metaphorical) foetal position, expansive can be the last thing it feels like after all. But I believe anything that shatters the fabric of how we know our current selves in doing exactly that- expanding us. Even if it’s (whatever ‘it’ is) is doing so seemingly against our will.

But let’s get down to the big stuff.

The purpose of this writing is ultimately to share what staying grounded and connected looks like to me in the midst of rapid change. Or perhaps more so, what it doesn’t look like.

It doesn’t look like comfort.

It doesn’t look like calm.

It doesn’t look like clarity, even.

What it does look like is openness. Even if that’s just a splinter of light. A slight opening between your ribs that lets your heart peak out, if only for a moment.

It looks like holding fast. Holding fast like a piece of sea kelp in the ocean that stays anchored to a rock.

It looks like waiting for the spinning ideas and possibilities to land in a way that informs my next right step. Knowing that they will land. They will.

In the midst of new ideas, conversation and possibility, you don’t have to force what comes next. Your only job is to be with it. To be open to it.

And then within that, to stay present in your life. To keep moving. Literally keep moving.

To get your toes in the earth, whenever you can.

To be with your horses if you are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to do so.

And to be ready. For whatever the greater world has planned for you next.

To be expectant that there IS a next for you. Of course there is. You’re fabulous.

If your world is rapidly expanding sideways, keep focused on the up and down.

Hold on to your beach ball for all its worth.


❤️ Jane

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