“When the resistance is gone, so are the demons.” – Pema Chödrön, nun/author/Buddhist teacher
The last time I published a blog was last June. As a writer, that blog-post-per-capita figure is somewhat alarming.
The fact that I didn’t post a blog in the summer is not a big deal to me because I spent most of my waking hours in July and August finishing my first book. While plowing through revisions and formatting to make an early September publishing deadline, mama wasn’t exactly looking for other opportunities to express herself. By mid-August it was starting to feel like I was competing on a writer’s version of “The Amazing Race.” And you know what, I did it! I won! I had my brand new book in hand to sell at my first speaking engagement of the fall season! What a triumphant feat! What a glorious feeling!
What a way to drain my battery right before heading into a busy fall of speaking engagements.
It was more of a bottoming-out than a drain. I kind of hit the proverbial wall.
In early September I started to feel…not myself. I woke up most mornings terribly anxious. I couldn’t come up with an original idea for the stage or the page. I wasn’t excited about going back on tour. It was a deadly combination of not being able to and not wanting to continue doing the hard work that comes along with running your own business.
Week after week, I continued to feel “stuck” due to my malaise and anxiety. I desperately wanted to be the “go-getter” I normally am, but no dice. I tried to push my way out of the fog, but no clarity would come. I sat on the phone with my mother in disbelief. I fought against the reality that I went from publishing a book to finding it hard to read a book.
By mid-October I was so sick of feeling “stuck” that I started to think about quitting. I was traveling to a speaking engagement in Kingston all the while re-framing it into the first show of my farewell tour. As irony would have it, the show in Kingston was a great one and I had a blast on stage. Oh, Murphy. You and your crazy law.
When I got back from Kingston, my wee bit of success and enjoyment inspired me to change my mind about what I was going through. I chose to embrace the fact that I was “stuck”. I allowed myself to feel creatively uninspired and entrepreneurially static. I committed to doing my very best on stage and nothing else. I began to work with the fact that I was pausing (for whatever reason) and put my ambition on pause. I stopped resisting.
I decided to rest instead.
Yep, if I wasn’t getting ready for or doing a show, then I was at yoga class, out on the curling ice, hanging with my friends, or chilling out at home. I went with the flow of my path rather than against the grain. It felt so good.
This past fall, I was once again shown the power of surrender. The peace that is created when you put down your weapons and end the battle. The battle is often seen to be you against the world, but it is and always will be you against yourself.
Surrender takes place when you stop asking, “How is this happening?”, or “Why me?”, and you finally ask, “What will I make of it?”
Surrender can often be the shift in consciousness that brings you the ease you are dreaming of. Next time you are entrenched in the battle, wave the white flag and trust the path. Decide to live in the mystery during those times when you wish your life came with background music so you could understand what the hell is going on.
After a few weeks of viewing my “stillness” as my friend rather than my enemy, my spirits began to lift. In late November, I spoke at a women’s event that ended up to be one of the best performances of my life. More importantly, Stella got her groove back. My spark had returned. I was inspired to move forward with my work again.
I continued resting through the holiday season into the new year. A couple weeks ago, I returned to my work feeling myself again with all kinds of projects underway. I am more committed to being the messenger than ever before.
The next time the universe changes the tempo of my life or presents any other change in my circumstances, my intention is to play along. I so clearly see that the essence of suffering is arguing with what is.
For whatever reason, I was stopped in my tracks this fall and I was shown the suffering I cause for myself when I want my circumstances to be different than they are. The very essence of stress is arguing with what is – when you push something away – when you say “no” to what life is presenting to you.
When you let go of what you think your life is supposed to be and allow the path to unfold, the peace that is created within sets the stage for the next miracle.