Ok! So there you have it! If you read along so far expecting me to have it all figured out – sorry to disappoint, but I don’t. I am writing this live from the road remember…things are still in process and our work here is about learning to love the process...even if we have to start out with gritted teeth and clenched jaws and a stomach full of butterflies!
I am learning things along the way being “in process”. Like for example how challenging it is to give up socially acceptable labels that give you an identity and a pass to fit into the “normal people” club! So if you went to school, and got a somewhat decent education with a diploma or degree of some kind, somebody will hire you and put you behind a desk with a computer and maybe even pay you decent kind of money! The thing is, that this perk you get in the form of a pay cheque for trading maybe 8 to 10 hours of the best hours of the day, can get pretty addictive. Because it lets you buy things! It lets you be a “somebody”! It lets you go places that you can’t go to without it…like that vacation in Mexico where you used up 1 out of your 2 or 3 weeks of vacation you get per year, to eat yourself silly at the all inclusive buffet and got so drunk with the free drinks at the pool bar that you even forgot that there was other things to enjoy like the beach and fresh air and the ocean!
That’s what happens when you have to “work” for a living! You start living for those pay cheques because they feed the hunger and possibly your family if you have one…temporarily that is! Unless, you are one of the few minority where either through following your own inner wisdom or having somewhat grounded parents who found their own way back to life in time so they didn’t have to direct you into a career of their choice as a way for them to have a second chance…you find yourself blissfully happy and waking up excited to go to “work” every morning; you may have found the secret formula. You might actually have found a way to “play” and earn a living!
If this you and you love your life and are making a living out of doing what sustains you, then I’d say congratulations! You have one piece of the happiness puzzle figured out! If you don’t belong to this fortunate minority and life just feels like too much effort and you find yourself constantly climbing, searching and coming up empty, then I’d say that you belong over here with the rest of us who are lost in this maze and caught in what some affectionately call, the rat race.
I now believe that we “numb out” from feeling reality in many ways. There are lots of distractions to keep us from noticing ourselves. For if we did wake up and took a good look at our lives as we live them now, what would we find? Closets full of clothes we don’t wear, cars we are still paying off, homes stuffed with stuff that we don’t really use and where are we? Likely backed into some dark corner of our mind watching television re-runs while eating everything in the refridgerator, trying to not think about the mounting debt while playing perhaps with our latest toy…maybe an iPad?
But enough about the world…let’s get back to my story….the one I got distracted from earlier on in this post! So where does this leave me?
I’ll tell you what I am not doing right now. Right now and during many occasions I have had to hold back parts of me that want a project plan to walk me to my next “career”. They’ve been itching to “project manage” me somewhere into the known world…the one that likes things neat and tidy and loves putting people into boxes and giving them labels like dentists, doctors, cashiers and Human Resources Consultants!
Other parts of me, like the parts that listen to my ”soul,” want no part of that agenda! Having found out the hard way what can happen when I don’t listen to these other parts, I am learning…trying a different route. What this actually means is that I had to and am still in a way getting comfortable with being in limbo!
If you really want to knock down your ego a notch or two …try this dance…try learning to limbo while holding onto your identity as you have known it! It is equally both a state of being and a dance and you might not know how flexible or inflexible you really are until you try. It’s a whole other groove when you are bent backward, head slung back, knees out, legs trembling, and the whole world is watching you! And all you can see is what life used to be like back there! The way forward is just not in your line of sight when you are caught upside down!
You will hear all the voices of the millions of “others” whose path you have crossed your entire lifetime during this dance. Voices that will haunt you, shame you, guilt you and bring forward a slew of other feelings to get you to re-join the known world. Only the crazies or the really brave hearted venture into the unknown worlds and believe me…on this journey there will be many occasions when you won’t be able to tell which group you belong to…the crazies or the brave hearted!
So what does limbo mean to me? It means that I don’t have the answers or a clear map as to where I will end up on this journey. Although I am getting pretty good at the noticing clues more recently…for the most part, I am letting this somewhat mystical master called faith whom I have never met in person by the way…lead me somewhere. It is the most difficult invitation to accept…the one sent by faith…believe me! Trusting someone you have never met or been taught to make friends with early on is no walk in the park. But, I’d rather climb this mountain and slide back a few times and keep trying than the alternative of selling out me to myself again. Learning to embrace the very few highs and abundantly overflowing lows that come serendipitously on the early parts of this journey are tough! I struggle with them every minute of every day. There are just too many billboards, human and non-human that promise safety and security if I go back to what I know!
But there is one thing I have learnt so far…”they” back in this other world of glamour, glitz and status cannot ever compensate me for the infrequent yet powerful “internal blings” that whisper for me to continue…stay on this path and let it unfold. I know with some certainty there are treasures of another kind waiting to reveal themselves in due time! Perhaps faith and I have become friends after all…
If you are on this journey, here’s some of my own notes from this phase (and trust me when I say that this is a phase and an essential stage) for your comparison...
- Get really, really flexible! Maybe even practice by doing the limbo! It’ll give you a good taste of what’s to come as you are suspended in air without the predictable world you knew to fall back on.
- Bend backwards and go all the way and enjoy the view while you are at it…this new perspective of the world will serve you well when you come back up!
- Get comfortable with being uncomfortable…transitions tend to wake up buried friends and other such insecurities…it’s a great time to bring healing to old hurts as they rise up to greet you at each corner or minute of your day!
- We’ll add more markers along the way…happy limbo-ing for now!
To be continued in part V of the when I grow up series!