See me, but don’t look. Hear me, but don’t listen.

I have always found it easier to express my feelings through the written word. When I was six years old I left my Dad this note on his computer keyboard. I don’t remember why I was mad, but I do remember sitting at my desk trying to sound out the spelling.. “ss..t..ooo..p..ed”. 

dad

 

I was always quiet about what was going on inside me, but I wrote about it constantly. My journals from when I was little contain hilarious anecdotes about how I was struggling to overcome a bad habit of saying “I love you” too much, philosophical questions about life, and explaining the odd uncomfortable feeling of having stories stuck inside my head (I was convinced that I was destined to be an author). When I got older I kept writing; I’m sure one of the reasons I survived my adolescence was due to my obsessive poem writing. All of those journals have since been burned, but I still know what they said.

tongue

I have found it interesting to look back on my writing and see the hidden (or not so hidden) messages that the words carry with them. With the awareness I have now, I can actually pick out evidence of survival maps and my old stories within the misspelled messy text of a little girl who pretended her dolls were real and got excited over crust-less sandwiches. 

afraid

For the most part I kept all of my feelings to myself growing up; however, when I did have the courage to connect and share these feelings with others, I did so by sharing something I wrote. Either a note I wrote to them or a poem from one of my journals. Written words have always been my portal to connect with others…and that was even before the wonderful invention of text messaging ;).

hands

Sharing, even with the distance paper created, didn’t always prove to be safe. I took in that lesson deeply, and for years I kept my writing secret and my conversations quiet. Over the last year I have made leaps and bounds when it has come to being open to sharing my inner world. I’ve done this, again, through writing. What I have found lately is the better I get with sharing my thoughts and feelings through writing, the greater the divide becomes between who I am here and who I am in person. 

opencan

I write confidently and authentically. I own my emotions on the page and share them openly.

In person I crumble.

I write bravely, while I speak timidly. I write truthfully, while I censor my speech.

tellyou

I think writing will always be where I feel the most comfortable and strongest when it comes to expressing myself, but writing alone is not good enough anymore. I want to have that strength and openness in my face to face interactions. I want to connect when we can truly connect. I want to be able to connect to my emotions while looking you in the eye. I know the strong & healthy part of me wants this, but even writing it makes me cringe and want to hide.

relentlessIt’s an ongoing struggle of “See me, but don’t look. Hear me, but don’t listen.” I can tell it will be a long battle, and I’m up to the task… but I’m sure there will be many more notes left along the way – at least my spelling has improved since 1992. 😛

 

When Progress Feels Like Pain

apart

It’s pitch black. I hear myself panting, desperate to catch my breath. My heart is pounding with a force and urgency that I can feel throb through my entire body. Drenched in sweat. I feel sick. Confused and terrified. I catch the red lights in the corner of the room – 1:40. Stumble to the bathroom on weak legs.. am I sick? what’s wrong with me? am I ok? Unable to answer any of the questions swirling in my head I eventually catch my breath, get back to bed, and close my eyes….2:45.. 4:30.. 5:50..

When healthy looks broken.
When strength sounds like weakness.
When progress feels like pain.

feel Survival maps and old coping mechanisms are putting up a good fight lately; they are loud and aggressive. They taste sweeter than they should and feel like failure. And still, I know, they are there because they are being activated.. because I am actively working against them..because I am being courageous enough to look at deeper issues that summon them to attack.

In truth the choice to be courageous is a response to being clobbered with emotions, not an offensive strategy. It’s not like I was thinking the other week, “You know what, I’m feeling strong lately.. I think I’ll go look for trouble in the murky waters of my subconscious because I’m sure I’m ready to take on what’s there and I’d be happy to have the opportunity to grow some more”. Nope, it was more like being hit by a truck of difficult emotions and overwhelming thoughts and memories..and then choosing to sit in the wreckage and pain, instead of trying to limp away and pretend it didn’t happen.

feelithealit

The double-edged sword of getting stronger. It seems emotions, thoughts, memories lie like dormant volcanoes in the abyss of our minds, waiting to erupt. Waiting until we are strong enough to handle what’s there. It waits until we can handle more – and then it makes us. Upping the ante because it knows we will survive it. Our minds believe our resilience will allow us to come out of this alive – but the impact of the explosion is still devastating and lava still burns.

struggling

Yogis talk about this process in relation to samskaras; the subliminal activators -the imprints left on consciousness by actions and volitions. “In order for us to be free from the power of these subliminal activators, each samskara will have to be experienced again – and fully digested. Yogis found that there is a hierarchy of samskaras- that some samskaras are more deeply etched than others. ..some are grooved into consciousness like “a line drawn in water”; some are grooved like “a line drawn in sand”; and some, like “a line drawn in rock”. “ (Cope, Stephen. The Wisdom Of Yoga. pg. 197) It is believed among yogis that the more our consciousness becomes balanced, as The Witness (Observer Stance) becomes stronger, it is inevitable that these old impressions will resurface – in the process of purification (to allow us to heal them).  

healing

It’s a process…(Prying up Floorboards and Rebuilding the Puzzle). It’s been almost a year since I wrote that blog post..and I’m still a fucking puzzle . I mean, really, how many more pieces are there?! It’s hard to have patience for the struggle when I just want to get on with it and live the most of this life. And yet I know, this is living too.

better

Another volcano erupted and I’m not sleeping, I’m panicking. Eating cereal and hiding in bed. Looking lazy and hopeless to the outside world, while fighting a battle no one else can see. I’m exhausted. I miss when my strength was being used to thrive instead of holding my ground. I miss when sleep was a sanctuary. I’m desperate to get back to that, and I know that I will.

seed

For now I sing myself a lullaby to prelude the terrors that lurk in the darkness…”There is purpose to this pain, there is growth that will come from this suffering.” Growth that looks like complete destruction and feels like torture. Growth.

 

When healthy looks broken.
When strength sounds like weakness.
When progress feels like pain.

Spreading My Wings and Staying Grounded

It’s been a year since the inception of Mindful Dragon. One year ago today I took the plunge to share this with the world, share me with the world. A declaration of my commitment to living authentically.  

courage

This process has provided me with many opportunities to practice vulnerability, authenticity, and courage.  It has given me a modality to reflect on what is going on in my inner world. It has allowed me to understand more of what is happening, and extend compassion for what is there.

This blog has sparked connections and deepened relationships with amazing people. I can’t thank you all enough for what you have given me by reading my thoughts and sharing yours; you’ve given me a sense of feeling seen, heard, and that I matter. It has strengthened my connection to healthy tribe, and widened the horizons on who is included in that tribe.

I have come a long way in the year. There are still many things left to overcome, learn, and grow from; but I see myself tackling them as a dragon now. I know there will be more darkness to come, but I also know that in that darkness I can stand strong…or at least pick up the pieces after falling down. There’s this unshakeable belief in my own resilience that I hold now. It’s new, it’s intriguing, and it feels fascinatingly powerful.

wildly

I feel inspired to bring my personal development and Mindful Dragon to the next level. I have some big plans for year 2. They simultaneously scare me and excite me. I can’t wait to share more details with you – for now I’ll just say that I want to delve deeper into the goal of building healthy tribes and expanding on the ideas of “spreading my wings” – while staying grounded of course 😉 .

images (1)Again, I want to say how grateful I am to all of my readers for coming on this journey with me. I hope we can continue on this journey together; forging new paths, building connections, inspiring each other – and together start a dragon revolution.

Much Love