I have not written for weeks. I have no idea what I am going to write about now. I just knew that if I didn’t write something, then I would never write anything. So, I’m just sat here putting down whatever words pop into my head, without worrying about whether they sound sh*t, brilliant or just plain old boring.
I stopped writing because I became addicted — to the engagement and feedback from others and that began to shape my writing and that’s no good. Because the minute I write to please or engage others, I stop pleasing and engaging myself. In fact, I almost stop being myself — because I’m moulding my words, my story, my life, to fit some artificial perception of what I think people want to read and I’m closing down the real, authentic and true parts of myself, which are ironically probably what would help others the most.
So, I stopped, just like that, I stopped. I deleted the social media accounts from my phone, I changed my routine from immediately jumping onto LinkedIn every morning to get something on there like my life depended on it and I started just hanging out with me and me alone.
I’ve been studying, mainly creativity, spirituality and soul midwifery (helping people who are dying). I’ve been meditating, listening to talks, reading books, walking the dogs, cleaning and maintaining the house, looking after the kids, journalling daily sometimes several times a day, about life with a friend, thinking a lot about fear and where it shows up in my life, working with a coach and generally doing a lot of soul searching, sh*t shovelling and really hard work on understanding my story, my behaviours, who I am, what the f*ck is this world all about and how on earth can I make my time here count — in other words it sounds like a mid-life crisis right? Except I don’t see the last few months as a crisis at all, more of a liberation — from social norms, judgement and expectations (mainly from myself) and a false reality that leaves me fearful, anxious and knackered nearly every single day.
Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t turned into Mother Teresa, I still drink wine, loose my sh*t, stuff my face with cr*p, swear like it’s going out of fashion, sometimes get so anxious it physically hurts, cry most days, walk around in a haze of confusion and carry of a bag of guilt like my life depends on it, but the difference is I’m no longer scared, tortured or stopped by any of it. I look at how I’m feeling and how I’m behaving. I ask questions, deep questions, many of which I still do not have answers to, so I share them with others. I no longer feel the need to explain myself or what I do- I’ve found a brilliant response anyway, I simply say I’ve gone back to studying, which is completely true, in fact I think we should all be students forever — of ourselves and of life, but the thing about that response is, it really buys you space, people nod when I tell them, giving the permission that we all think we need, to ironically live our own lives, they are genuinely interested in what I am studying, everyone can relate to the concept and then when I tell them, they are so gob smacked they don’t ask anymore questions and I’m free to crack on with it all without judgement, perceived or otherwise and it feels really, really liberating. It’s like I’ve finally found a way to create the space and freedom to do what attracts me without that god awful pressure to explain it, to justify it, to give it an end date or define an end goal — I am completely free to explore the parts of life that my soul gravitates towards, without having to explain myself to anyone including myself. Result.
So, I’ve volunteered at my local hospice, I’ll be spending a couple of days a week there, learning and supporting people as they approach their death and embark upon the next chapter of their life. I will continue my spiritual practice probably forever, I start a new course next week on philosophy, I have more training to do on soul midwifery, I have a family to care for, I have myself to care for and yesterday during my afternoon meditation, I realised that I missed writing and by not doing it I was starving myself of something which is incredibly important to me and also losing my ability to actually do it. Writing allows me to get things out, to detach myself a little and get some perspective on my thoughts, my feelings, my actions. It does not actually matter whether what I write is sh*t or not, just that is it true, for me. I do not write for glory or fame, I write to simply help myself and in the process if that helps others too, then that’s great. Who am I to judge whether others should or should not read my work, my work is just that, mine. These blogs are simply a way to let stuff out, so I can move onto whatever is next. There is no master plan, no end goal, no theme, no punchline. It’s just the sharing of a real life without bells and whistles, airbrushing or editing — ironically perhaps the hardest thing any of us can do, because the one person we often know least well is, of course, ourselves and even when we do finally get to know ourselves, we spend most of the time trying to hide the really important stuff, for fear of judgement or god forbid, being cast out of the tribe.
The reality is, that all human beings are flawed and traumatised in some way. We are only hiding from others the very things they are hiding from us. So, being honest with yourself is not just creating your freedom but also freedom for others. And that’s about as deep as it gets today — the reality is I’m running out of steam, I’ve got to get showered and take my son to school and I’ve said all there is to say right now.
Who knows what words tomorrow will or will not bring and honestly it really does not matter, as long as they are true and mine.