Yesterday, I awoke anxious and unsettled. I took my daughter to and from soccer practice in the morning and ran some errands in between. When we got home, I was still feeling off and had this disconcerting energy. I started fussing to my husband about life and all its busyness. The conversation then led me to meddle into his business and so I decided that instead, I was going to quiet my mind and see what was really up. When I checked in with myself, I realized my desire to exercise and move my body. So I threw on my running shoes and headed out the door.
The movement felt good and the time for my mind to clear felt even better. I started to observe the scenery around me and the way my breathing took on an even rhythm. I noticed my lungs begin to wake up (and scream a little). I heard my shoes pounding on the gravel road. I noticed my arms pumping back and forth racking up the steps on my Fitbit. Then I looked down at my hands and noticed my thumbs tucked snuggly inside my fingers. I had noticed this before but I had not thought much more of it other than “Hmm, that is interesting. I wonder why I do that”. Today though, the thought stuck with me. “Why DO I do that?” I didn’t have an answer, so I decided to pull my thumbs out, open my fingers wide and run with my hands splayed open like I have seen some Olympic runners do. Running this way felt a bit awkward at first but it was oh so freeing. I felt a new surge of energy and began to focus more on the path in front of me, my thumbs leading the way. It was then that I realized that this was a metaphor for my life.
My blog post last Sunday was about connecting with my future self and taking one step each day towards my passion. I have made that my practice this week and have allowed new information and ideas to arise. This has been beautiful. Yet, like my fingers were showing me, there is still a part of me that is looking to the past and tucking my vulnerable self in.
There is a lot of stuff in my family’s lineage back there in the past. There are some things I wished I would have done differently. Heck, even today I wished I would have stop my complaining and gotten on with things. But, the past is the past and I am living right here, right now.
I know that the past is important. It has thankfully gotten me and my family this far. But sometimes the energy of the past slides up and overwhelms me with emotion. Like when I found out that a child I know was molested this school year. Or when I heard that my first boyfriend died of a heroin overdose last month. Or when I saw my nephew on CNN in July walking with his hands up out of a hostage situation (to safety thank God). These things makes me want to curl back up into myself and not take the risk. It is hard to be vulnerable when news like this can hit you at anytime.
But, the thing is that when I do not allow myself to be vulnerable and continue to move forward despite uncertainty, I cut off an essential piece of myself—my heart’s deepest desire. I am learning to breathe into my vulnerability and trust that it will all be ok. I am learning to tap into my inner knowing so I can get the support I need to make it through the bumpy patches. Like the quote from Anais Nin, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” So, let’s together continue to blossom. Let’s spread our hands wide and pump those arms. Our future selves are on top of the hill calling us forward.