Day 51: The Solitary Traveler

Isolation. It’s a word that strikes fear in many. So many people that I talk to cannot stand the thought of being alone. They bounce from one relationship to another, one event to another, one text to another…

The irony of this life is that while we need each other to have fulfillment, we all travel our paths alone. Our journey to transformation is a solitary one. There is no right or wrong way to go, as long as there is motion. Stagnation is the enemy of growth.

My journey has been exceptionally lonely the last few days. My team of supportive friends has all been occupied with other endeavors, and I am happy for them. It kind of amplifies the silence though, and I realize that for once in my life, there is silence. Usually I have voices going round and round in my head tangling things up and mucking about. In an interview with Russell Brand, Ed Stafford (an English explorer and survivalist) told this story about Australian aboriginals and their belief that we have three brains. The first is instinct and lives in the gut and is the largest brain. The second is the heart which houses emotions, and the third… the smallest…. the logical brain. They call it…. something like “nondopido”. I am sure I am butchering the spelling. The word that they use is the same as a fishing net that is tangled beyond repair. According to Stafford, they believe that we, in the Western world, live in the logical brain and this is the reason for all of our strife and discontent. I have to say I agree wholeheartedly. The uncomfortable part for me right now is that the voices are much quieter than they were, so that familiarity is gone. The logical brain is quieting and I keep waiting for my heart turn over, to pick up the slack and it has its moments but sometimes there is just… nothing. We aren’t even going to talk about my gut… that needs some more sorting out before it’s working optimally.

As children we are taught very early on that education and book learning is superior. Success means going to college and getting a degree. I subscribed to that thinking my entire life, and now I find myself, on the verge of 36, in a profession that took me forever to get through all of the academic hurdles, only to realize that I feel mostly dead inside. I feel like all of my creativity has been extinguished. Finding things that make me heart light up are few and far between and when it does happen it is this small cracking that is almost incomprehensible. It’s hard to identify. The only time it hasn’t been, in as long as I can remember, was with Mr. X. Meeting him was this massive flood of love, my heart opened without question and dared to show itself in public with him at my side. Right now, I am without Mr. X, I am taking a much needed break because the confusion of our situation has caused me to reach a threshold. If I listen to my heart it wants to jump in with both feet. If I listen to my head it tells me to walk away. My guts… well they are in their own stratosphere. It is as if my systems aren’t talking to each other and there are these little short circuits that keep happening. I know that what I really need to do right now is focus on me. And stepping away for a while is allowing me to do that. It isn’t by choice, and I haven’t gone easily. I know it is the right thing to do, and a huge part of me has known this was coming for a while (maybe that’s my gut talking) but I really didn’t want to listen. It hurt my heart too much. When I look at it that way maybe my systems are talking louder than I thought, I am just ignoring them.

Back to the silence.

I had a moment today where I was able to drop pretty easily into a meditation. Thoughts came and went, but none stuck and for a second I felt connected. This is always a wonderful feeling. Then there was a flash of light and a warming over me that I know is love. Then nothing. No light, no darkness really, no thought, no spark of the heart, just this endless abyss. It wasn’t really scary, it was just… lonely. It felt like an in between place. I feel like I have been here for a really long time. Maybe the slowing of the voices is paving way for clarity. Maybe it is space to be able to take the next steps. I really don’t know at this point.

What I do know is that if my story can help anyone then I want to facilitate it. I know that I start a coaching program this week. I know that in order to help people my heart has to be open and I know that my heart opens very little around other people. Quite frankly I am scared that I won’t be able to access that level of love and caring that I need to be useful to humanity. It happens with animals because, well, they are animals. There is no fear, no insecurity, no judgement… just love. To do the same with people… I’m honestly not sure that I am capable of that. For as long as I can remember I have been looking for a place to dock my heart, a place where it can safely open and I have always felt that was with another person. I wasn’t wrong. But I also know that if I cannot be the safety that my heart needs that my gifts will never be fully available to the world. They will always be behind a veil. Can I be successful that way as a coach? Probably. I think there are a lot of people hiding behind curtains, but for me to consider myself a success I have to be able to show up completely authentically.

My only focus on this program right now is completing each step and each exercise to the best of my ability. I have no idea what the future looks like, and having another career in place allows me to be comfortable with that unknown. It also allows to me to just… focus on me. Use the tools on myself, see what works and what doesn’t and I know by doing that I will grow in the process.

The internal journey may be solitary, but in writing this I am reminded I am not alone. None of us are. If the internal pain and loneliness can be harnessed and used as motivation to push through to the other side, I know I will find whatever it is my heart is looking for. ❤ ❤

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