Lately, I’ve had some painful lessons that have manifested in the most glorious joy. I have to share some of the things that have helped me. If you already live like this, and these insights are not a surprise, I’m so excited for you! Please share and teach me more!
Here’s what I’m covering: how conflicting emotions can exist inside of you and how you can still live with joy. This, my friends, is your ticket out of the nauseating amusement park called “Guilt Shame Judgment Landia.”
If you are reading this on the go, I’m giving you the gift of access to a meditation that helped me to reach this level of happiness. Sheila Pai, of A Living Family, created it. Her work is so comforting. And she created a special page just for us! Once you provide your name and email address, you can download it. You’ll get the meditation in your email box. I enjoy them and hope you do too! (By the way, her Nurturing You book is the kindest, most gentle self-care book I’ve ever enjoyed. I credit it with a lot of my ability to step back without guilt and just be.)
“You’ll always be too out of the box for me.”
One of my favorite blog readers wrote to me after my I Love You More Than a Boy Cheese Sandwich post. She said how happy she was to get back from church and see my email and then told me that I’ll still always be “too out of the box” for her. That was such a great gift. The fact that she is happy to read my words even if she’s not a charter member of my “woo-woo crew,” she can appreciate my love. So dear reader, it’s out of the box for us, and into the bowl!
What’s in your bowl?
So here’s the deal, it’s very, very simple: two things can exist in the same bowl. (Hint: you are the bowl.)
I’ll give you a personal example. During my son’s spring break, I was supposed to visit family. I was so excited to see everyone for Easter. And then my son got sick and we didn’t go. I was sad. And, because I have a lot going on in my life with work, the launch of my book and my impending move across country, I was also relieved.
Pretend I’m a mixing bowl: pour in sadness, relief and happiness too (because I could still be with my husband on Easter). I imagine them as salt, sugar and flour. It’s like when you are blending the dry ingredients in baking.
During this time, I was working with someone on my much deeper issues rooted in fear and courage. And when I was talking with her, I had a strong message to tell her to “crack the egg.” As we are charter members of the same crew, I had no problem telling her that I felt a figure, like a bear, leaning over me saying, “crack the egg, give it to her.” Honestly, at the time, I wanted to turn behind me with my best Philly girl self and say, “Alright already! I’ll tell her. Quit leanin’ over me!”
So I shared what I was told.
I could not get the image out of my head. I made a drawing. It sat unfinished on my floor. I looked at it every day. I pasted the dictionary definitions of “ubicada and desubicada” in the bowl for while. Then I only left “ubicada” because I couldn’t rip it off. The verb, “ubicarse” in Spanish is one of my favorite words. It means “to situate oneself” or some say, “to locate oneself.” When you feel “desubicada,” it’s like feeling out of sorts or discombobulated (another fabulous word).
Then, one morning, I finished my prayer meditation, and sat on the floor looking at the picture. I jumped on Facebook. I watched all of the events in Baltimore, Nepal and much more. And this poem came to me. I wrote it on the canvas.
Trust the Habit of Peace
Trust the habit of peace and unraveling
there is a knowing and a flailing
you are more than the sadness and happiness in this bowl
the ubicada and desubicada
you are the light of a mother in yellow pulling her son with fury out of the fury screaming sunshine amidst the burning
there is rubble in Nepal
Po po pushing for peace
and pushing our sons
the bowl of is, and is not, is overflowing
crack the egg
let it flow so we can find courage
prick up our ears
today is the Sabbath
today let us walk barefoot
and remember our piece of creation
your fingers and my fingers are the same
reach for me and let me pull you
You can feel safety again
plant seeds, water
and open the window of your heart
let these words bring peace
Why Guilt Doesn’t Fit in Your Bowl
It’s tough for me to explain, but if I take that bowl of dry ingredients and crack an egg in it, then start whisking the egg together, it’s actually me. It’s all of me at the same time. It’s life. We can be happy and sad at the same time.
Guess what, here is the bonus insight: you can leave out guilt! Think of guilt as the needless genetically modified chemical-filled ingredient which you don’t want in your bowl anyway.
See, I could feel guilty that my mom bought eight pounds of mouth-watering delicious cheese for my spring break visit because she was excited to see me and I wasn’t there to eat it. (For the full impact of the cheese connection, you can read this post.)
Or, I could just accept what’s in my bowl: the sadness, relief and happiness. My persistent shoulder blade pain can be relieved if I just crack that egg and whisk it all together, accepting what is, while refusing to judge it.
Did you catch that? Let those feelings move through you without judging them. You don’t have to spiral into how you are a bad friend, son, daughter, spouse, parent or human being. And that’s what Sheila Pai’s meditation has helped me to do.
Wait! This just in from the inimitable poet Terry Spencer Edwards. Upon reading this post, she added something so insightful, I had to share: “This is indeed a powerful post. I got so much out of it, my sister. And it reminded me that if you don’t crack the egg, you can never fully bake your potential…and get yourself ready to create the next confection. Forgive the metaphor, but it is powerful to remember that the dry ingredients are good, important, essential, but they change into something else once the egg is cracked…something flowing, something that can rise.”
And that, my friends, is what co-creation is all about. That is why I invited you to teach me.
A few final resources to help you with the stuff in your bowl:
1. This radio show on Synthesis and Synchronicity by Maria Rodriguez was a major factor, as in life-changing, in the way I allow myself to receive and perceive information.
2. These resources about tribal shame, a concept unraveled by Dr. Mario Martinez in his book, The MindBody Code: How to Change the Beliefs that Limit Your Health, Longevity, and Success: Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook post about it; Bethany Webster’s article titled The Importance of Enduring Discomfort for the Sake of Transformation.
3. Sheila Pai has created a loving, nurturing space in her A Living Family site. You already know I love her Nurturing You book. I also so wish I could be at her Mindful Mama retreat on May 16. She only has 5 spots left so if you are anywhere near Philly or want to fly there, check it out! She has some a cool e-course on Mindful Communications too. I just love the way she shows up in the world with compassion and connection.
4. Scorpio Moon resources: there are some major planetary shifts going on right now, including a full moon tonight. I enjoyed Carrie Ara Campbell’s comforting post about what to expect during this time. If you find yourself over-reacting or having “old stuff” triggered, it could be that you are sensitive to what’s going on in the world. As a conceptual anchor, it is believed that Buddha actually achieved enlightenment during the Scorpio moon. I also just learned valuable information on a call today from Christina Caudill about the subject. I think you can sign up here to receive the recording of that call. (I also must credit her with the fabulous term “woo-woo crew.”)
Phew! I am going to have to keep this post as a reference for myself because I’m still learning all of this. Thanks for sticking with me.
So, from my bowl to yours, I invite you to crack the egg, baby! It’s life, it’s love and the world needs what’s in your bowl. The world needs YOU!