I have been struggling to sit quietly and recognize what resonates within my heart...what makes it sing and dance and feel joy and light....I have recognized I practically glow in an environment of learning.
I've told this story before--but this is a quick summary for my IMG classmates. Returning to University at 34, a single mom, starting a Masters in Library and Information Science, (half way across the country from where I was living, but close to my family), I could not believe that my sole job for each three hour lecture was to sit, with coffee in hand, consuming, interpreting, assessing and questioning the words that filled the air with potential and purpose. Sometimes I would catch myself smiling for no reason, certainly not when deadlines piled up and papers were due, but in the stillness of the lecture hall, I felt it hard to contain the giddiness that bubbled in my heart. That was 13 years and one breakdown ago.
This feeling was rekindled when I tool my oldest for a tour of the university he now attends, and so I filed this feeling away, intent on finding a way to bring more of it into my life.
At the end of October, my Mood and Anxiety Group finished at the hospital. The thought of being without some sort of structure and support didn't seem like a good idea, yet I had been putting off registering for a certificate program in Adult Education I had identified as something I might find useful if I returned to work or began to look for something else. What was my resistance?
That is when I found Amy Ahlers and Christine Arylo. I can't recall the trail that led me there, (the Internet is funny that way. I remember searching 'treadmill dance music' on YouTube and ended up being introduced to OK Go's treadmill performance. Which amazed me so much I forgot all about my exercise plans that day....so a sort of win lose situation?)
Amy and Christine promised me I could learn how to identify my inner mean girls who tell you things that hold you back and keep you stuck and how to shift the way you hear them to make room for the voice of your inner wisdom. And here I thought I was the only one who had that whisper in their ear...failure, loser, weak, not good enough....
I missed the first web broadcast I had registered for and almost didn't sign up for another time slot. But I figured oh well, if I miss it again, no big deal. Somehow...in the middle of my long-list-of-things-to do-day, (which is pretty much every day...being off work for a year now --it amazes me how I can be busy all day --how did I ever work and do all this? Ahhhh right! I couldn't!), my Inner Wisdom found ME at exactly the moment the webcast was to start and said:
"Ummmm..., " (I picture her stepping though a narrow door, arms outstretched behind her, legs blocking the opening, holding back the hoard of inner mean girls clawing to get out. She endures smacks on the head, hair pulls, kicks to the shin; her face turned from them to avoid eye gouging. She is bruised, her hair a wreck--what she must have had to go through to even get to the door!), "...I...(swipe)....I uh....(smack)...think that web thing....(pull, kick, kick)...starts in exactly....(whack, pinch)...two....minutes!" (yank).
I checked the clock. She was right!
I look back. She was gone. There was just the door. Closed tight.
So I wiped my hands on the tea towel, tossed it on the counter, grabbed my lukewarm coffee, found the weblink and settled in to hear what Amy and Christine had to say. After that kind of battle, I think I owed it to my Inner Wisdom.
Amy and Christine were lovely! Their energy and warmth made me feel welcome. Their passionate beliefs in this sort of soul work radiated through my speakers and I believe it is something they just can't keep to themselves. Their words resonated with me, and even before they finished, I was reaching for my credit card to sign up for Inner Mean Girl Reform School.
It's impossible to write about all the things I have done since starting. I invite you to check out their site and what they offer there, for free, to anyone who is interested in learning more.
My journey to recovery is becoming more of a journey of DIS-covery and dammit if I am not a pretty interesting subject! Who knew? When I started blogging almost 100 posts ago, I called my blog Work in Progress---but I did believe there was going to be that completion. The signs would come down, everyone shake hands and pat each other on the back at what a fine job they had done, and life would "return to normal". I would have nothing to write about and this blog would fade away.
The Leaning Tower of Piza may now be stable (ok may seem like an odd segue--but you will have to go back to post one to get it...which you can! HERE); beautifully, uniquely off kilter in its own perfect way....but nothing stands still. Not even stone. Constant work is required to keep the Tower beautiful and clean and safe and lovely.
So now I continue my own discovery; an ongoing restoration of my soul. Amy and Christine and all my fellow students will be a part of this next step and I so look forward to it! And as always...I am, a Work in Progress.