Category: Real life
I’m back in the liminal space. I’m waiting, wanting, preparing, exhausting: my self, my ideas, my patience, my nerve. I’m creating a new website and don’t want to write here any more. I’m creating new things for my tribe and finding it hard to narrow it down to the First Thing to make, already thinking about the third and the tenth. I’m drinking my coffee from a new mug and writing on a new keyboard. I’m so ready for the new, so ready for more. I want to be kissed, touched, seen, heard. I’m ready to slip out of this old self and step into the next incarnation, the next chapter. Yesterday is too small for me now; I want to run towards tomorrow. I want tomorrow to be today.
Remember, the entrance door to the sanctuary is inside you — Rumi
I attended a 3-day workshop with Sally Kempton recently. We were learning about kundalini and the goddess and the joys of spiritual awakening. There was chanting, meditation and a LOT of women in attendance. At one point Sally shared a few book and website recommendations with us, describing one site as “not too woo woo”. And I thought to myself what could possibly be more woo woo than kundalini, chanting and the goddess?! But I knew what she meant because I often use that term myself.
It usually pops up when I’m with a group of people who hold a mix of beliefs — when teaching a course, for example, I never take it for granted that everyone has the same references as me and I try to be as inclusive as possible. To me that’s just being polite and respectful. But lately I’ve become more aware of how I use the term in my everyday life, too. It’s the “this might sound a bit woo woo but…”s that have got to stop.
I know where this has come from. Looking back over my relationships I see I chose partners who didn’t share my beliefs. I still remember the withering looks I received and how I always felt the need to play down that side of myself. The not-an-atheist side, completely at odds with how they viewed the world.
All this has been swirling in my head since I finished reading The Dance of the Dissident Daughter. While Sue Monk Kidd’s background is vastly different from mine — I had a very secular upbringing — I devoured every word of that book. As ever, reading another woman’s story has emboldened me to own my own. It suddenly hit me that when I diminish what’s important to me I diminish myself, and while I may have been quick to do that in the past I don’t want to do it anymore.
I don’t follow a particular religion or a single set of beliefs, and while much of what rings true for me lives in the New Age camp for sure, these days I’m most interested in my own first-hand experience of spirituality. The best way I can explain it is this: It’s the connection I feel when I turn inwards, my sense of being connected to something much larger than me yet also unquestionably a part of me, too. And there ain’t nothing woo woo about that.
I enjoy learning about new ways to connect to the sacred within — hence the kundalini workshop — and ever since I bought my first tarot deck as a teenager I have always been interested in the metaphysical. As I get older my understanding of my place in the world is deepening, which in turn makes me more confident about embodying that with others. I love my spiritual accessories — my home is filled with crystals and singing bowls and more oracle cards than is probably necessary — but really all I need do is close my eyes and I’m there. I’m home.
We’ve come up with so many names and rules for what could be ‘out there’ — god, angels, spirit, universe, source, shakti, the mystery, the all-that-is — and while I don’t think any of us will ever really know the truth until we shove off our mortal coil, enough bonkers things have happened in the last nine years to let me know that there’s more to all this than just what we see with our eyes. I can’t prove it scientifically but I know what feels true for me. And that’s the bit that feels important — that we each find what feels true for us.
I guess you could call me a healthily sceptical believer :)
Reading… The Divine Feminine Fire by Teri Degler and Dancing in the Flames by Marion Woodman
Feeling… the pain in my teeth. I’m half way through my Invisalign treatment and so far so good — but there’s not a day that goes by where I’m not deeply aware of the braces, and for some reason, this new set are really doing a number on my molars. Ouch.
Smelling… fried eggs. This incense.
Tasting… coffee, always with the coffee.
Listening… to the silence of Sunday and the gentle rumble of cars passing. Birdsong.
Creating… two guided meditations to give to my Love Letter peeps soon.
Wanting… to be kissed. I can’t deny it. It’s the lazy Sunday morning effect.
Pondering… that today is father’s day and I have no one to send a card to. And how I am completely at peace with that. I was less so last year.
Reading… The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd. Oh this book, this BOOK. So many ahas, even though we share such different backgrounds.
Feeling… filled up from yesterday’s workshop with Sally Kempton and conversations with new friends.
Smelling… minty lipbalm. My new favourite perfume oil.
Tasting… a perfectly ripe white nectarine. Iced coffee.
Listening… the sound of my washing machine. The cars passing by. The hum of my laptop.
Creating… making notes about the oracle cards, ready to send to my co-conspirators this week.
Wanting… more time to read. I’m craving a whole month to just lie on my bed/sofa/in the park and devour books.
Pondering… the bravery of beautiful Jenna, who had brain surgery last week. She wrote to me yesterday: ‘Hi Susannah, I was part of the first Sacred Alone group. I just wanted to write a quick email of thanks! Right after the class doctors discovered that I had a brain aneurysm. This meant weeks of tests and just a week ago brain surgery far away from my home (I live in the United Arab Emirates). I just have to say a huge thank you because the meditations from that class have carried me through this really rough time. So often when scared I meditated – the lake meditation I found especially helpful. Also the doctors continually remarked how peaceful I was and how perfect the procedure was (like my body was helping them!). I am so thankful to you and to that class. It is part of my life, my soul, and my spirit. You have touched my life and helped me to go through the most difficult thing I’ve every faced – brain surgery. Thank you is not enough. I hope each who takes this class is as blessed by it as I have been. Thank you.’
* a post inspired by all the lovely lists I’ve seen around the internet. If you feel inspired do share your own check-in in the comments or if you blog your answers leave a link!