“You often feel tired, not because you’ve done too much, but because you’ve done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
― Alexander Den Heijer
I found a lot of light in a hopelessly dark year. During the Great Pause, I tore up the script for myself and started rebuilding my inner voice, my inner refuge, and my outer energy; piece by piece. Imagine puzzle work; its slow and meticulous. No one sits down and pours out a box of puzzle pieces with speed and accuracy in mind (well, maybe there are some super competitive puzzlers out there). No, it’s mindful work. You make many attempts sometimes in the same area, often stuck. You walk away from it; sit down again later with fresh eyes. And, bingo, the first piece you choose fits snuggly in. Puzzles can be solitary, private work but can also be extraordinarily fun, and efficient, when you invite others in.
My puzzle began with some therapeutic counseling which taught me how to speak my voice to nurture those around me and reiterated to me just how important it is to ask for help. It moved me on to learning, finally, how to find control and freedom in food and nutrition, which ultimately allowed me to be humble enough to discover incredible new ways to move and honor the body I have. I learned that physical health, at the expense of mental health, is not actually health. When I realized the difference, I found so much more joy in the intuitive combinations that worked for ME. I identified a new, slower and more intentional pace in which I want to live my life. A pace that allows me to actually see the pages turn before me, and not just get lost in a whirring blur of words and page numbers.
I began intentionally allocating my time in soil that served me most, rich in nutrients that i was deficient in. This included the people I spent time with, the voices I chose to give volume to, the structure of what my days created before me.
I used to spend a significant amount of time wondering and worrying about people that likely didn’t spend an equal amount of their time thinking about me. When I was finally able to let that go, the space created in my spirt self was astonishing! “You mean, I can choose this other area to focus on that actually brings me joy?” Yes! It was always there, but I just wasn’t able to choose it because of the clutter I was carrying around. You have to be willing and able to set things down in order to be able to pick new things up.
Sometime last year that book came out about the lady who dropkicked everyone into gear about cleaning out their houses of things that “didn’t spark joy”. Because I perpetually clean and purge, I wasn’t really able to hop on the bandwagon but I used the pandemic as an excuse to begin doing similar work in my mental spaces (self talk and passions/priorities) and with my relationships. I no longer felt the perpetual need to hoard onto self doubt and criticisms of myself because it was literally taking me on a road to nowhere. When I learned ways in which to show more kindness and grace to myself, it became so much more natural to show those softer tones to the people that I love. A flower cannot possibly bloom and bring radiance to the bees if her soil is not tended to first. Our soils are the enablers of all we want and need for others.
What is the status of your soil? What are you trying to plant? What also should be pulled up from the roots and cleared away? I urge you to ask these questions often of yourself, check in frequently on your heart’s landscape and adjust as needed. This life is rich and wonderful, and so are you. Meet the Universe where She is, and She will grow you higher than any soul could hope or mind could hide.