Its presence revealed, thankfully, midway through my hike at the park. My pace had been steadily amping up as I made my way through the meadow, heading towards the lake, despite the patches of ice under the snow. It suddenly got my attention…my feet stopped moving. I took a few deep breaths.
It was the e-mail I’d received from Tenaya, my web designer: “Congratulations, your site is live!” I hadn’t paused for even a moment to let it sink in as I’d read the words two hours earlier. So, there it was. I recognized this feeling. I was in the early anticipatory stages of intimacy whiplash and no-one but me even knew my website had been born! I was caught off guard, since I’d naively convinced myself that with enough awareness, it could be avoided. “Be Prepared” only gets you so far.
I’d had my eye on this condition, lurking, as I intently wrote the content for my re-launch of HerSelf Studio. Symptoms include anxiety, urge to contract, withdraw, and various attempts to diminish oneSelf with questions like: “Why do you want to do this anyway? It doesn’t really matter.” “Who do you think you are?” Initially, as I'd joyfully followed my creative pulse, describing my offerings, who I am, and the surprise arrival of my first blog, each with innumerable edits and total re-writes, I’d said to myself, “You can take all the time you need. You’ll know when you’re ready. Trust yourself.” Despite all my past experience and all the wisdom and reassurance I showered myself with, it’s here anyway. Visions of humiliation, rejection and bursting into flames. I’m talking ‘un-liked’, exiled, and a-l-o-n-e. Life is serious.
Perhaps announcing new offerings, inviting others to come be curious, come explore with me, will always end in ‘gulp’. The fear of no one showing up for my party. Sharing my stories, my inner explorations, my spiritual path, simply put, being Me, may induce an intimacy contraction of equal proportion. Concern for approval has had a great cost but I’ve already said ‘yes’. Shining our light seems worth the risk of this primal instinct. Daring to speak, whether out loud or in a journal, sets our hearts straight; for me, it’s a sacred practice that allows reconciliation within mySelf and with others. It’s a muscle that requires regular exercise.
Each courageous voice with its story is part of the tapestry and inspires the next. The strength of collective spirit. Radical change is already in motion. It’s in the air.
Wild ride of truth
Allowing breath where there’s been none
Impulses from spirit
Lift the burden
Quagmire of what has been
Reclaim your wings
Dedicated to the ‘Time’s Up’ movement.