I’ve been struggling. The last few months, coming out of lockdown, getting back to school, getting back into routine – Life should be sweetas! And really, it is! Loving gentle coffee and chats in the afternoon with other moms, dropping in on a friend who has hurt her leg – the freedom of being able to see others, play – just be. Even if we have had the threat of “another lockdown”, and global uncertainity looming over us still… But at the same time, I kept finding myself exhausted, emotional, on the edge of tears and snoozing away on the sofa, or watching crap movies and reading worse books.
Proper escapism stuff.
My diet has been crap. My child has delighted in way too much screen time – more than I’m comfortable with. And I looked around at the world coming out of the UK lockdown and all I saw was judgements, fear, anger – finger pointing. And I just found myself grieving the loss of kindness and compassion I was seeing… And I crashed.
And then, after a few weeks of grieving and overwhelm – I started clawing my way out of it once again.
The reality is that, for me, when the kak is hitting the fan, or life is tough – I get going. I thrive. I love the chaos and challenges presented. And when life smooths out, and the threat becomes more distant – less immediate – that’s when I fall apart. Because I can. It is safe to fall apart then. This time, the immediate threat had loosened its hold – lockdown was eased. But there was still the global stuff going on – and it really caused me to question my role, my ability to do more and be more present in the world… Because that’s the thing. I want to do more, be more, give more. Play a role in this shift in culture I feel is actually happening. And looking out at the world, all I could see and feel for a while was this immense heartache and pain at all these “Bad things coming to the surface…” And I just found myself overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with grief, overwhelmed with the lists of jobs that needed doing, the trying to set up work and on and on… I was exhausted and heartsore. So, I just stopped.
A Bestie once said to me that she was jealous of me. That there had been so much change and chaos and stuff going on during my childhood years – and I just seemed to coast on through it all with a smile… And that she though it had given me some serious skills! But she had hit 30, and that stuff was just starting to happen in her life – and she didn’t have the coping skills I developed as a child. I had never thought of it that way, but it did make me smile… She is also the person that, when things smooth out and life gets easy again – I often have a cry on her shoulder over nothing really. And rembering all of that, and this pattern of mine, really helped me move forward again.
I stopped. I recognised just how much I was grieving at all this anger, fear, judgement I was seeing. This perceived loss of compassion and kindness. I let myself feel into my own fear about wanting to do more, be more, give more, support more, offer more – and let myself feel into how, at a global level I can’t. I just can’t. I’ve done protests in the past. I’ve challenged status quo, I’ve done stuff. And I just felt exhausted and overwhelmed…. Unable to offer anymore of myself. And so I stopped.
I came back into the quietness and the stillness. I let myself have the time on the sofa, I let myself read crappy novels and watch ridiculous TV. I shut off from social media. And then, I also started feeling into my roots. Coming back into a practise of looking for Beauty in my day to day life. Small things. A caterpillar. A butterfly. Raindrops held in a web or on a flower…. I came back into stories that inspired me – the Celestine Prophecy. I looked for individuals who hold this type of work, or communities, or stories aligned with Beauty and synchronicity. Looking for synchronicity in my own day to day – and finding it slowly re-emerging. I came back into the music that lifts me, inspires me, soothes me. Using sound at different times of the day to create a routine. I started pushing myself to remember to take my vitamins, to get sleep, to eat good food, to get outside for a walk, to soak up the sun when I could, to dance…. To notice how my body and emotions were reacting to the food I was taking in, or my surroundings. To come back into practise of pulling angel cards or inspirational cards. I came back into practise of sitting with the big, sad emotions – and then asking myself what lay beyond them…. And, sharing all of this with my child. Because one day, perhaps, these are life skills and practises which will support him. Perhaps.
Consciously, rebuilding a sense of connection and inspiration with my daily life. A renewal… Coming back from the overwhelm and re-affirming that sense of connection I feel with Beauty. The Beauty that surrounds me and fills me and flows through me. That flow of Life, and Soul which whispers of deep soul-ful, health-ful, connected ways to live. And that I believe in. That I believe is – for all of us – part of creating new ways of being, living in community, connecting….
We all have different ways to come back from the overwhelm…. And I’m sure this won’t be my last time coming back from it. It is certainly not the first time I have come back from this. And I see so many others, returning into a place of deeper connection. Talking about their sense of loss, or grief, or fear, or anger at the world around us and how so many of the interactions are. Like me, I hear many of them cry out – “why can’t people just be kind?” And I understand, I KNOW that we need these fiery warriors, out there, fighting for so many beliefs, changes, history being changed…. I know that we need these perceptions of judgement and polarities happening…. Because it is simply part of life expressing itself, finding its way…. And having fallen into the overwhelm once again – I am so deeply grateful for the process of it. For the deep self-questioning, the self-analysis.. the navel gazing, meditations, flower essences, writings, meanderings and creativity that has been part of my path through this. The sub-conscious resting and returning – even amongst the junk food and the TV binge…. For the clarity that arises from going through the overwhelm, the dark times of heartache and grief, of feeling so alone, and sense of alienation, and hiding out on the sofa.
And so. I come back to this. Beauty calls me forward. I give gratitude for the Beauty that flows throughout my life. For how it calls me forward, how this sense of flow I feel in noticing beauty, giving gratitude, calls me deeper into a sense of connection and flow. How when I am feeling this flow – co-incidences and synchronicities occur which call me deeper… And how this is a powerful, peaceful place of deep flow and beauty. Right now, I cannot stand up and shout, and protest… My body falls into exhaustion at the thought… But I can stand, quietly, dancing, observing beauty and offering places of rest and soup to nourish wherever it this path beneath my feet takes me.
First, I nourish myself.
And so, I want to say to you – if you are stuck in the overwhelm. Take your time. Do the inner work. Look for the Beauty. Come to dance when you are ready.