Over the past three days several extremely frustrating events have occurred, which almost threw me down into a spiral of self-pity and doubt...(luckily as I'm writing this I've just had several rounds of belly laughs with one of my sisters, so it's all good now!)
So here is what has happened...
TUESDAY- I woke up planning on driving up the coast into LA and hosting a beach clean-up somewhere between Long Beach and Santa Monica. Several of you were so kind and had emailed me to volunteer your time and supplies for the day! (so grateful for you!!!!)
Anyway, I woke up with this plan in mind, but first had to run to a local printer to pick up a project for a client...this is when things got nutty...the printer simply didn't print my project of drawings. For whatever reason it got left on the side of their table and it just didn't get done! I have NEVER had this happen before. I picked up the original drawings from their office, without any prints, and on my walk back to my van I decided that I would use a printer in LA on my way to the beach clean-up, and then rush mail the prints to a client! PERFECT!
So I climbed into my van, turned the key and...rumble rumble...nothing nothing...rumble...and then the turn over. So that wasn't good. I turned off the van and tried again. Same thing, a big delay before the turn over. Staying calm, I decided to swing by our mechanic to have him take a look at it before I headed out to LA. PERFECT!
After dropping my van off, I worked on some projects at a local coffee shop, and realized that by the time I got my van back, it would already be too late for me to host a beach clean-up, especially with LA traffic gearing up within the hour. Embarrassed, I emailed everyone who had planned to meet me at the beach, and apologetically canceled the event. A few minutes later I got a phone call from my mechanic, who laughing, said that there was nothing wrong with the van, and that it started up perfectly every time he started it! UGH! Seriously? Just my luck.
At this moment, anxiety kicked in. I was overwhelmed, not only by the failure of the printer and the wasted time with the mechanic, but also the daunting reality that I was about to go to LA and stay in the city that has brought me the most joy and also the most pain in my life. I suddenly choked. I didn't want to go back there. I didn't want to be brave. I didn't want to relive memories and I didn't want to bravely face the darkness and weight that had almost blinded me for almost two years of my life....(but that's another story that I will be telling you later).
So I picked up my van from the mechanic, drove to my favorite beach, and had a glorious meltdown.
Anxiety is something that I have both struggled with and have managed my entire life, and recently I have finally come to a place where I can actually feel it coming, and I can dispell the fear around it by personifying it or simplifying it. I often say things like this, "Oh hey anxiety, I see you. You are not allowed to bring fear here. Tell me why you are here and give me a word-list of the things concerning you, and then I will say goodbye to you." Or sometimes I can feel a heavy weight coming on and I can deal with it by drawing or working out, or calling a friend for a good laugh. Ironically, these moments of extreme anxiety are also the moments where I feel extreme intimacy with the Divine and with creativity. If I allow myself the space to feel it, to go through the dark tunnel and trust the Divine to guide me, I almost always meet creativity at the end!
And this is exactly what happened.
I decided to make a post about this on my Instagram account, and it resonated with thousands of you! Once again, I found beauty in a paradox, and so did you. (I think in the future I may write out a short narrative about my journey with anxiety, and perhaps open up a discussion and art show to go along with it, but that's getting way ahead of myself right now!)
Anyway, so after my meltdown and after finding creativity, I decided to stay home from LA and rest.
The next day, Wednesday, I woke up, finished a few errands, and hit the road! Feelin' good! First stop was the printer to get those damn prints finished properly for a client. After successfully arriving in LA and completing my printing project, I hopped back into my van to take off for the coast, when all of a sudden the AC stopped working...UGH! Really?
Dumbfounded, I drove around, trying to figure out what could have happened. After several attempts at finding a good mechanic in the area, and after calling my sweet Pops, I decided to head back to our family mechanic in SD. Staying positive, I changed into shorts and a tank, and began a sweaty 2 hour drive back home.
Which brings us to today...
This morning my phone was ringing and I noticed the caller area code was from Santa Barbara. I picked up the call and found myself speaking to a recording of a park ranger from my campsite, informing me that my reservation for this evening had been canceled due to an out-of-control wild fire in the area, and that all campers had been evacuated to a near-by high school... What? Really? Now this?
Without a car and now without a campsite for the night, I decided to surrender my control, and go with the flow. When I finally picked up my van, the mechanic informed me that I had been driving around with a smoking compressor, and he was surprised that it didn't catch fire while I was on the road!
Boom. There it was. Understanding.
I don't know what you believe, but for me it felt like the Divine or the Universe or whatever you believe had been delaying my trip so protect me from horrible car problems in a remote area AND from getting evacuated from my campsite in Santa Barbara. Wow.
Tonight I am reflecting on waiting. I am thinking about how most of my energy is geared toward acheiving goals, successfully completing tasks, or getting to a result. It often feels like I am operating through my masculine energy. (Bare with me) When I think about how I could react and operate in stressful situations through feminine energy, I see that this energy would have me set goals but not be attached to the outcomes, to go with the flow, and to operate in peace. It is learning to function in a balance of both the masculine and feminine energy.
My best friend, who is brilliantly in tune with my spirit texted me a quote from a book she is currently reading, " To be 'eggy' is to set goals but release attachment to outcomes, to surrender to what wants to happen rather than pushing for what you're tying to make happen, to put your desires out there without doing anything to bring them into being, to simply trust that when you move in the direction of joy, ease, peace, harmony, love and the highest good for all beings, the Universe, like an army of sperm, falls over itself tring to bring your desires into form."
The art of living in balance. This is what it's all about. The past three days have brought me into awareness of striving to live in harmony with both my anxiety and with my masculine and feminine energies as I once again take off on this journey tomorrow.
Thank you for reading this LONG post, if you even made it this far!