The PNW summer is truly giving me life, the buttery sunshine and colorful wildflowers and abundant wildlife, as well as practicing being present and watching the persistent cycle of grow, bloom, decay, compost, begin again.
However, I woke up today (Monday) feeling heavy. I had weird COVID-related dreams. The news feels overwhelming. Things are out of my control. And life still marches on. I found myself feeling frustrated, like I had been transported back in April, once again processing loss of control, schedule, plans, safety, worry. It felt like starting all over again. A case of the reruns.
But I was reminded by my friend Julia last week that, contrary to the story I was telling myself, it's not the same as starting over again, even if I was working through the same topic. Growth, like grief, isn't linear. Processing something a second, third, tenth time is still different, will still be different, than the first time the issue or emotion came up, simply because you have the knowledge and experience and trust in yourself that you gained from the previous time. As an aside, I think we (I) sometimes do ourselves (myself) a disservice by focusing on all the ways in which we feel we are lacking, and forgetting all the hard work it took to get us to RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW. And disregarding the past means we forget that our process was never, will never, be linear, neat, or tidy. Of course growth seems like it should be linear when we're always looking forward! The only right way is up, right? Nope.
If growth is a line on a graph, it's not a straight line, and it certainly isn't going up at a consistent rate. For me, I don't even know if you could plot it on a straight line. It's more like the loops of a snail shell, or the insides of a sticky bun, or the unfolding of a rose as it blooms...it's not only up and down, but left and right, out to the sides, in your face. Whatever your preferred metaphor, growth occupies 3-D space.
And even if that style of graph is a more accurate facsimile of your journey, it still doesn't give all the details, all the small things that made your experience YOURS. A map of your bike ride will show where you went and how past, but it won't show that you stopped to tie your shoe tighter, or that the wind was blowing against you as you pedaled uphill, or that you slowed down because you wanted to gaze lovingly at the neighbor's donkeys. The magic is in the details as we experience them in the moment, not in doing a different bicycle ride every single time you go, or doing the same bike ride faster and faster every time.
My advice is: don't sweat the reruns. There's something waiting to make itself revealed to you in them. Love and gratitude, Megan
Some things that I've found helpful to recharge & replenish myself:
Recipe: Foolproof Butter Piecrust
Music: Lianna La Havas
Reading: Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s ‘WAP’ is a savage, nasty, sex-positive triumph - loved to see the Twitterverse clapping back at a misogynist congressman who criticized Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion. How dare these two amazing women be so bold, brilliant, and successful.
Cookbook: Sister Pie by Lisa Ludwinski
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