In reality all is well in my life as I begin The Path today, and yet I notice I am feeling really bad inside. It’s very peculiar. Yes, there are some old challenges making a reappearance (just to give me another opportunity to see whether I have truly moved through and beyond them!) but nothing too troublesome. And yet, I notice a deep desire to do a U-turn, go home, and collapse. I really don't want to keep walking the walk today. Not wanting to go forward - resisting the urge to go back - I choose to stay with the discomfort. I wander a little deeper into the woods and find a bended tree trunk on which to pause for a while.
I notice thoughts around how much lighter the walk seemed before I put pressure on myself to make something more solid out of it, that is, sharing my insights and photographs and writing a book about them. Feeling vague, light-headed, and a little dizzy I notice a sickening sense of doubt as to whether I really have anything to offer. I sit with the feeling in my stomach and my throat despite the strongest urge to get up and go home.
My attention is drawn toward a yellow leaf with two black dots that seem like eyes. It looks ghostly, like a mask. The words pretense, and something not being real spring to mind and I notice that is how I'm feeling about my writing right now. Is it just an illusion? There is a sense of despair as I consider all that I have given up (let go of) to be here. To be free to do my thing. And yet I am still struggling. Just as I am about to fall into a downward spiral of self-criticism I recognise this old treadmill of suffering on to which I am about to step for what it is. This thing I do whenever I am in the process of wanting to launch something new in my life. I get to this point...and then Bam! Self-doubt kicks in and I start to question whether its really what I want or whether it is of any value. Whether it’s worth it.
Having worn my new ski jacket (a coat of many colours!) for the first time today, I realise I am feeling a little self-conscious. It is more vibrant in real life than it had appeared online. As I come out of the woods I also notice some agitation that the sun is too bright (I know!). It’s blinding me. I feel really angry. A hot sensation makes it way up my back as if something is getting my back up. The words How dare I! and Who do I think I am! rattle indignantly around my head. I notice that as usual, just as everything is easing up and becoming lighter in my life, I am hit with a life-quashing feeling of WHAT'S THE POINT!
I realise this is my struggle to relax around who I am and where I am, at the same time as allowing myself to become more. To Be and Become - the art of being human! I can feel the rage to be. The rage to launch. The rage to shine. Rage, that I am being stopped...by my own self-doubt and fears. Before I know it I am at the top of the hill looking down. Breathing a lot easier now. The rage has passed. Phew! From this vantage point I recognise the value of pausing to sit on that tree trunk and allowing myself to feel the discomfort. There is some relief around completing a cycle on both a physical and emotional level: walking onward around the path as well through my fears. I appreciate that had I not done this I would have most likely found myself in a very familiar place of stuck-ness. Lacking motivation. Depressed. As I near the end of the walk, it seems the wisdom of the path (Life) cannot be manufactured, or simply gleaned from a place of safety; each individual journey must be walked through and personally experienced. This, I realise, is what I have to offer.
Trained in a depth, buddhist-based psychotherapy, using everyday outer world experiences to develop inner wisdom, one day at a time.