It is the 5th day of Lent. I grew up Catholic and had no concept of what this time of year meant to me until about 5years ago when I attended the Ash Wednesday service and something connected. I loved it, I loved the idea of this energy of turning in, like a collective time of reflection, slowing down and assessing. It felt like I was a part of something bigger than me, it felt ‘right’ coming at the end of winter, before we gear up for the higher energy of Spring. It feels like the Universe is saying, “Here, take a rest, think about things a bit and then it will be time to wake up and make choices.” I love isolation so this feels like I have a reason to do it. (that’s my confession) I also love the feeling of being part of something bigger than me, starting with Ash Wednesday which is a reminder that it is from ash you came and it is to ashes you return. The message I get is, “calm down, you are only a blip in time, now, once you realize you are not going to need to carry the weight of the world on you shoulders, think about where you have been, where you would like to go, and what can you do to lighten your load to get there.
In the past, I have given up sugar, given up buying frivolous things, added a meditative reading, this year I am giving up telling my story. (I say this as I am writing this, telling my story to you…) It is harder than I thought but also has revealed something quite wonderful.
I decided to do this when I was reflecting on the many times I would be telling a story about something and before I could even finish someone else would jump in with their story. I felt frustrated so often I thought, Geeze, I must do this too, and felt I wanted to take a look. Good times. I caught myself doing this 3 times on the first morning. So I practice, I listen with more intention and tell my mind we can revisit the story I want to share if it is asked for. Otherwise, I listen and stay quiet, and I have noticed this feeling of Velcro being pulled inside my body, like a physical not wanting to let go when I keep my mouth shut. I have felt like I HAD to share my story lest I completely disappear. Like I was going to turn to ether and float away. Well, I will just have to see if that happens, self, because I REFUSE to share unless asked.
Here is what I have found after 5 days. First of all, I didn’t disappear, yet. Second, it takes A LOT of practice, like pressing reset with every breath, I keep forgetting and then I hear myself blabbing away and can’t figure out how to cut myself off. Finally, and this one feels like, a biggie, I am noticing that without my story to tell, people don’t really notice, they just want to be heard and the ‘you’ they want to share with is whomever they have decided you are and may have absolutely nothing to do with whom you feel you are.
Chew on that for a minute.
Boiled down, it doesn’t really matter, people have created the story FOR you, you don’t even have to keep the momentum going. You can just be, be a vessel for listening, be a human form breathing in and breathing out. There is a huge energy shift with embodying this. Huge.