I’ve settled into the rhythm here: the daily walks up and down the hill to the beach, the weekly trip to the farmers market for sourdough bread and fresh, ready fruit, and the quiet evenings sitting outside with Cody as the sun goes down over the big hills.
Against that steady, comfortable rhythm, I have become very aware of the places where I am oh, so uncomfortable.
I did not think that, living across the street from the beach, I’d be bored and lonely and spending much of my time posting comments on FaceBook. But, like Jon-Kabat-Zinn wrote, “wherever you go, there you are”….and all of your challenges come with you…
We think that if we just had this, or did that, or lived here, then life will suddenly be easy and perfect and magical. HA! We forget that the one variable that is part of the equation is still our own self. That, until we change our core beliefs and behaviors, we will be confronted with the same challenges we struggled with before this or that or here.
Case in point:
When I lived in my bungalow in Phoenix, I was a workaholic. When I was able to close the lid of my laptop and not rush to answer emails after business hours, I sat in my Ethan Allan recliner and perused the internet and watched hours of television. I swore that, when I lived in a cooler place, I’d walk more and veg out less.
Well, here I am, living at the beach of my dreams and I am still a workaholic and I still choose television and the internet when I want to escape. Sure, I’m walking more often, sometimes five or six jaunts a day. But I haven’t changed my essential behavior of tuning out if I’m not working.
Yet, what I’d REALLY like to be doing is deeply connecting with real people, live, in color, not just virtual friends on FaceBook. I didn’t do this in Phoenix and I’m not doing it now.
I could make a list of “reasons,” but really, I know they are just excuses. And so I need to do some deeper asking.
What am I afraid of?
Why am I REALLY not making the effort to get out of my own space, my own self, my own limitations?
What if I DID?
What do I have to lose? More important, what might I gain?
It’s not that I don’t talk with people. In fact, I’m very friendly out in the world. I enjoy the banter with my neighbors and the pleasant exchanges with the woman who rings up my groceries. But I don’t know how to connect with people who I might develop deeper friendships with. And this is what I crave the most.
Because what I’m looking for is less about company and more about intimacy.
I know it has nothing to do with where I live or even the weather outside. It’s all about how I show up, and how much I am truly willing to risk without expectation when I do.
My mother used to tell me, you meet your real friends doing what you love to do. And, if I look at how I connected with my closest friends, it was through yoga, through writing, or meeting friends of friends.
So this week I am trying a new yoga class and attending a kirtan, a sacred call and response chanting circle. Both are favorite heart centered activities that will give me opportunities to connect more spiritually and compassionately with others and with myself.
And in the midst of it all, I continue to remind myself to have patience, that this is a journey, and that this is deep stuff I am working through. And that I am in a beautiful place to be opening up to my beautiful self.
How do you hold yourself back? What do you crave the most? Please share your own story by clicking on the Comments below.