Yesterday, I sat with a friend who came in to my life just at the right time. And who I feel is a kind of kindred spirit, with similar professional backgrounds but who have stepped out of one arena and into another, similar, more curious, spiritual, enlightened one. In both those arenas we have played fast, worked fast and learnt fast…
Until recently. Over cups of peppermint tea and scrambled eggs we both shared that we had moved our lives into the slow lane. Taking our foot(s!) off the gas doesn’t come easily to me, nor for her but we have both realised the benefits.
I look back now and I recognise that my ‘superwoman’, ‘I can do it all’ attitude gave me no time to look inwards and see how confused and lost I was. And even perhaps allowed me to avoid looking deeper in to the clear signs and obvious clues and open mistakes to realise what was really going on in my marriage.
Having put my consulting, my mentoring and my business to one side, I not only realise that I actually have time to enjoy doing what I love doing the most, because I am in the present moment, rather than thinking of what I need to do in the next but I have had to look at myself; I have had to look at my feelings and rather than discount them as just happy, mad or sad… mainly mad and sad buckets… but understand the root of the mad and sad as frustrated, unfulfilled, confused, guilty, ashamed, hurt, betrayed, lost. And then more importantly, rather than just saying happy, actually being happy by working out what really does make my heart leap, my mind sing and my soul soar.
By having so much in my life, I was stifling and strangling my authentic self. But out of this catastrophe, and from letting go and slowing down, she is emerging. And she is rising strong.
Talking of rising strong, I have been guffawing with laughter with ‘Rising Strong as a Spiritual Practice’ by Brene Brown and her stories to explain her research.
I often question, how on earth I have been able to move through this experience, these experiences even! Yet more so, how I have been able to do so with relative speed; especially in comparison with others who have experienced a similar revelationary trauma. Each morning as I open the curtains of my light, bright room looking over our beautiful gardens, and feel the sense of peace and love in my heart, I physically have to pinch myself to know it is reality.
But today, Brene helped me to see that people who rise strong after trauma have a few things in common. The two I picked out as being wholly relevant to my story were the ‘integration’ part of rising and the writing.
I missed the name of the professor, but James Someone, Somewhere in the USA has spent 40 years studying trauma and those that write down their experience, and write it with all the honesty of a 5 year old, with no redrafting, and as a daily practice for between 10-15 minutes each day have moved on to acceptance, forgiveness, compassion and peace far quicker than those who don’t. So while I still get questioned and I still question myself on my blog and the publication of it, I am clearly in its debt. Making it public made and continues to make me accountable to really look at what is going on in my head and my heart, daily.
The second part that she spoke of comes after the ‘rumble’, the rumble being the review of what is going on with you. And that is the revolution phase, when you move into integration: integration from the Latin integrare – to make whole. When you look at your story, when you see what is missing, and rather than making it into a conspiracy theory by filling the gaps with fear and false belief, you take the learning, do the work to fill the hole and by doing so force a revolution; you become whole again.
I have looked, we have looked, long and hard at ourselves, and each other and worked out and continue to work out what is missing as unique individuals, and as a unique couple and fill with truth.
And love, always.
It has been a fast ride and at times, I have needed my crash helmet and I have no doubt, I will need it again!