The Blinding Flash of the Obvious That Stops You From Manifesting

 

It is Sunday morning and I am enjoying a rich cup of coffee with just the right balance of cream and coconut sugar. The house is quiet, it is cloudy and cold out as winter is trying to make an early appearance in October.  I am feeling kinda blah. I am in that in between weekend coming off teaching one workshop and preparing for another one. Lots of energy moving through me as I release what is coming up and prep for new things. However, sometimes, like now, things don’t always get released, rather they stay stuck like glue and I ruminate over them again and again.

I am watching the clock as I have to get ready soon to leave for Soul Motion. A Soul Motion session is described as “… explore intention, free-form dance, and movement supported by alive recorded music and simple guided facilitation in what can be called Soul Motion, body prayer, movement meditation, or conscious dance. “ My friend Mark is facilitating this and I committed to going. He creates a great session and I know it can be a powerful healing practice as I did it weeks ago and had a profound experience. But…now, I don’t feel like being with my thoughts and feelings nor being fully present in my body. I get another cup of coffee and scroll through Facebook.

A friend who I invited to the event messages me that she would love to come but… her spirit couldn’t make it out the door. I shared my own resistance and that I know doing this I will have to be with myself for 90 minutes in a different way, while having to face some things that I would rather not. I share about the need to show up even if we don’t feel like it when we know it will be good for us. By now I have convinced myself as well as my friend.  I close my laptop, put on my big girl panties, a pretty flowy top that makes me feel energized, and I show up to Soul Motion. I move, I dance, I cry, I pray, I sit, get quiet, get loud, and connect with my soul in a physical way. My monkey mind was eventually quieted, inspiration came, and a missing piece to a process was revealed. I survived, I flourished…even though I didn’t feel like it. And my friend, she loved it and was still in her words still “flowing” Sunday night.

Transformation, manifesting …it can be hard. It can be hard because we have to show up…even when we don’t feel like it. It can be showing up to something that we know will help us, showing up to workout, or showing up to a class, or showing up and having a difficult conversation. When we show up for ourselves in our lives, then we can allow Spirit to assist and we can manifest our desires with joy and ease.woman-2888122_1920

Yes, sometimes we intuitively know something is not right for us, but often when it comes to getting uncomfortable, we just don’t want to. That is fine if  you don’t desire something different. But if you do, you need to say yes to yourself even at times when it is inconvenient. We need to invest in ourselves, with our time, money and focus.

The wise spiritual leader Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson said:

“There are two types of events in life: Good and very good. Sweet and bitter-sweet.

Why bitter-sweet?

Sweet, because from each event in life we grow.

Bitter, because it is so painful to tear ourselves away from who we once were.”

When we look to transform  and step into our highest vision for ourselves, it involves letting go of the parts of ourselves that no longer serves us as bitter sweet as it may be. Freedom is on the other side. Notice when you start showing up for yourself, who else starts showing up for you. Now, what have you been waiting to do? Where do you desire to show up more fully in your life?  Oh, did you just get that googly feeling in the pit of your stomach? Yes, let’s start there.

 

Would you like to dive deeper into ways to live a more fulfilling life and learn tools that can forever change you life? Julee has one more workshop this year. Click on the link below . Or contact Julee to learn about her private coaching opportunities.

 

Manifesting Your Heart’s Desire Through the Akashic Record

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How to Quell the Anxiety of “What If”….

There were paper dolls all over the floor of the back seat of the car I waited in after the accident. I was 5 years old and my family were on our way to a family vacation at a resort in French Lick, Indiana, when our car got hit by a drunk driver. My sister broke her nose, my mom had part of her eye brow cut off and my dad a huge bruise on his stomach. My brothers and I who were sitting in the back seat, came through relatively unscathed, physically that is. I had to ride in the ambulance with the truck driver who hit us. I am sure someone else was with me but I don’t recall. I just remember staring at him lying there. My sister had to stay in the hospital and the rest of us got a motel room. That experience taught me when something good is happening …something bad will follow.

My Dad wanted to make up for the vacation that never was and for the accident. So later that year, he flew us all to Florida. What I remember most about it is lots of water, and that my sister and I got new matching outfits, she always had the red version and mine was blue. It would seem that experience would teach me that after something bad, something good would follow, but that didn’t stick.

The following summer we went to a family camp somewhere in the woods. It was a boys YMCA camp that had one week dedicated to families. Our family shared a cabin and there was swimming and other activities. We were having a great time and then my dad got a call. His mother, my Bubby, died. We packed up and had to leave before the end of camp.

Those early memories have stayed with me and imprinted fear and worry that when things are good, don’t get too comfortable because something bad may happen. You have to always be on alert! Since getting married and having a child those feelings seem to have heightened. More people to love and more worry and fear of what could happen to them… or to me.

Being on alert is exhausting and keeps away the very thing I crave most – peace. I come from a long line of worriers. I am the youngest of four children and my dad used to say that he had a worry list. When one of us would come off, someone else was sure to jump on. Every time I would travel out of the country, my Mother would try to be excited but her worry and fear she carried about being out in the world was projected on to me which made preparations difficult. In the end, she would give me her blessing understanding my need to explore the world.

I try to be so bold when I let my 11 year old daughter ride her bike to the Red Box kiosk to return a movie or our neighborhood Co-op to buy bread. I try to make sure I have something to focus on so I won’t keep looking at the clock and letting my mind race to all the “What If’s.” When I wasn’t much older than her, I was taking buses and El trains in Chicago by myself to meet friends at Wrigley Field to watch Cub games. Being on the other end now is different, but I tap into the strength of my mother and loosen my grip…slightly.

Now, I am finding that as I get more excited about new work projects and travel that… “what if worry” is getting magnified. The voice that says, “Don’t get too comfortable…don’t feel too happy.” Recent events in the world help to magnify the worry. And it is not even winter yet. That brings along its own worry about weather and safe travels. Although when I am in a heighten state of alert, a beautiful sunny day and my husband and daughter driving 35 miles north for the morning, can bring on a mild state of anxiety until they return. sea-2777535_1920 (1)

Bad things happen …to everyone. No matter how much we hold our breath, no matter how much we worry AND  no matter how much we are happy and enjoying life. Being in a state of worry is the opposite of trusting in Spirit/Source/G-d and can put manifesting our desires to a screeching halt.  So, how do we shift out of it? Here are some things I find helpful. 

1. Focus on what you can control not on what you can’t.

What is going on in your life that you may be avoiding? Is it a project you want to do, something that will move you out of your comfort zone? Is there a self-care item you have been putting off like eating well, exercising, taking care of health concerns, etc. Is there a dream or desire you are ignoring? Focus your attention inward, and check in with yourself. Take action on what you have been avoiding. This will empower you and bring you back to what you can do to support yourself.

2. Meditate, Pray, Write, Get inspired

Take a few minutes to get quiet, out of your head and into your heart. Our heart is the source for truth and wisdom.  A real simple thing is to close your eyes, take some deep breaths, put your hand over your heart but not touching, just giving it energy. Ask for a message and connect with what is your truth not your fear. Let whatever feelings are there come up and be released.

If you feel comfort in prayer, which I do, pick up a something that calls to you and read it…or just talk to Spirit. We are never alone and there is always support around you. One of my favorite sources is Marianne Williamson’s book, Illuminata: A Return to Prayer. It contains prayers and wisdom for most things you can think of…even worry.

Writing about what is coming up for you is a healing way to find out what may be the source of fears and help open you to new ideas. Writing is a great way to release what you are holding on to so tightly and tap into the wisdom of your soul.

3. Move

Connect with your body, move some energy and release some feel good endorphins! Go for a walk, hop on a bike, put on some snow shoes and get out in nature. Put on some music and sing and dance. Play with your animals or as I often doing on the anxious Sundays, go to the Y for a swim!

4. Gratitude

Focus on what is good in your life and all the love and abundance you do have. I have been keeping a gratitude journal for many years. Most nights before bed, my husband and I write 10 things we are grateful for even on the roughest of days. I always commit to writing 10 even if he falls asleep before we are through.  Some days, the list is filled with spectacular things. Most days it is filled with the more mundane like, our cars are still running, leftovers for dinner (yay, no cooking), rain for the garden. What often is written is the phrase – Trust Over Hope.

 5. LET GO!

Easy to say right? Truth is, we are not in charge of everyone else and the world around us, as much as we would like to be it is not in our human being job description. We are empowered creators of our desires. When we are in a state of worry, anxiety and fear we squelch that power. Worse yet, we will energize the things we don’t want by focusing on them. I will let you in on a little secret, when my monkey mind starts going to all the crazy negative places, I will say…out loud…even in public places….SHHHH…sometimes my head even shakes! It works. I cut off the negative “what ifs” and move on.

We all deserve good in our lives, and for some of us learning to accept and relish the joy is new and a decision we need to make every day. As Ralph Marston says – “Happiness is a choice, not a result. Nothing will make you happy until you choose to be happy. No person will make you happy unless you decide to be happy. Your happiness will not come to you. It can only come from you.”

TRUST OVER HOPE       

 

Would you like to dive deeper into ways to live a more fulfilling life and learn tools that can forever change you life? Check out Julee’s two upcoming workshops. Or contact Julee to learn about her private coaching opportunities.

Manifesting Your Heart’s Desire Through the Akashic Record Stevens Point

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Vulnerability Breakthroughs Exposing Your Scars and Diamonds

 When you allow yourself to be vulnerable and let go of numbing agents like food, alcohol, the Internet etc. there is a side effect. Your tolerance for bullshit will go way down and surface wounds may be ripped open and take an express train to the depths of lifetime’s worth of pain. Don’t be scared…it is all good in the end!

A friend recently helped to reignite an old wound. I am grateful because this time when all the rawness hit me, I confronted it. I didn’t respond passive aggressively, didn’t ignore it, didn’t plot a response for some day in the future, didn’t try to feed it and cover it up, rather I made a conscious choice to be vulnerable and dealt with it head on.

From the outside, it may of not of seemed like a big deal. We were making plans to go to an event and I felt slighted, left out, not valued etc. When I got a text about the evening, it triggered a deep wound. The pain I was feeling seemed out of proportion. However, over the last few weeks I made a big commitment to myself and to G-d. I committed to living my life in a more authentic vulnerable way. This includes going on a serious journey of becoming healthier which embraces not using food as a pacifier. In doing, this I have created a space that by its nature forces me to feel things at a deeper level, and when I am being courageous, explore their origins.

I had this image of the game Battle Ship and my friend had the red pegs to put in my ship and sink it. Sometimes, people in our life who are here to help us learn and grow, seem to know all the right buttons to push, or the red pegs to put into our ships that causes them to take on water.

We always have a choice as to how to respond. Last night I chose to get curious and explore the pain. I have a very old childhood wound (and I am sure it goes back even further) of feeling left out and unimportant. I am the youngest of four kids. I always felt everything that went on at home very deeply, even if it wasn’t happening to me. My Dad would yell at my brothers or sister, they would get mad and I would be the one to cry. The running joke in the house was “Julee has tender feelings.” It was started by my Mom, not as joke, but as a way to help my simasks-827729_1920blings and my Father be more compassionate. Instead the opposite happened and it was used mockingly. That sensitivity has been a great gift in my life and allows me to be successful in the work I do with people. A challenge of being very sensitive personally while being empathetic with others, is understanding when it is not about you (it rarely is), when situations are being presented as a learning opportunity. At the same time, we teach people how to treat us, so we do need to acknowledge our feelings and express how we want to be treated.

Brené Brown, writes in her book, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead: “Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”

If we don’t accept who we are, imperfections and all we will never feel included. That is the journey I have been on. I have stopped waiting until…..I lose more weight, I get organized, I have figured it all out etc. I am taking imperfect action in my life and it feels incredibly freeing! I invite you to do the same.

When we show up for ourselves, as ourselves in our lives, we attract others who are doing the same and they will be there to encourage and support us. I have seen that more and more over recent weeks and I am excited to deepen those mutually supportive relationships.

As Oriah Mountain Dreamer says, in her poem, The Invitation –

“It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.”

With the recent Equinox where the daylight and darkness are in balance for a day, we are now entering the darkest time of the year. It is a slow decent and a great time to let what is seeking light inside of you come up and show you its gifts. As I teach in my workshops, allowing yourself to go deep and peel off another layer may hurt momentarily, but that is how muscles get built. And those muscles help to support manifesting your deepest desires and living an abundant, joy filled life. Have a great workout!

 

Are you looking for some support to go deep and build those spiritual muscles? Check out Julee’s two upcoming workshops. Or contact Julee to learn about her private coaching opportunities.

Manifesting Your Heart’s Desire Through the Akashic Record Stevens Point

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Decluttering, the Emotional Agony And Rewards

 

I once wrote in a personal profile description, that I could solve the Middle East peace problem easier than I could organize my office. Still remains true today.

The time has come, for real this time, to confront the unruly piles of papers, boxes filled with stuff, half sorted through projects, files of “miscellaneous”, books (oy the books!), office supplies, and all kinds of organizing contraptions that were destined to bring order to the chaos.

The other night I shared my intention to clear my office during a meeting of my business mastermind group. A colleague said she had the cleanest house ever when she was avoiding working on a project, and asked if perhaps I was avoiding something. Her point was valid. I have friends that clean and organize when they are avoiding something or feel out of control in other areas of their life. I, however, much to my husband’s dismay, never have that problem. I have plenty of other avoidance tactics, but cleaning is not one of them. In fact quite the opposite.

When it comes to manifesting, “clearing one’s space” is a common process. One must get rid of the old to bring in the new. I know this deep into my bones. I use this with my clients in my coaching practice. It’s my own implementation, however, that remains a challenge. When I have done it, I have experienced amazing results! But, just like knowing that eating a heaping plate of veggies will feel better than a plate of fried chicken, I don’t always do what is best for myself.

I have attention deficit disorder. I have had it since I was a kid but we didn’t know what it was back then. I never had the hyperactivity part of it. My mom would send me up to my room and tell me to clean it and I would just kinda play around because I couldn’t create order out of all the stuff. It came to light in a big way when I was in 7th grade and my parents found out I was 25 assignments behind in math. I couldn’t focus in math and the teacher, Mrs. Lewin, yelled a lot and when she did, spit would come through her teeth. Yeah, it was gross and made it even harder to focus—except for the kids in the front row who needed rain ponchos to protect themselves.  Not much was done about my undone assignments, but my mom kept a closer watch and made sure that my math book made its way from the bottom of the steps after school into my room, where it was presumed to be opened and worked on.

One of the reasons I love working in the Akashic Record, the vibrational record of the soul’s journey, is that it is a great focusing tool. Opening the Record is a very clear, direct process. The energy comes in to support the process and helps me to concentrate. It helps my monkey mind stay focused on what is most important to support me in the now while giving glimpses into what is possible. I feel empowered and energized. On more than one occasion—, okay, on lots of occasions—. I get the guidance to clear my space….especially my office. Now, there are ways of energetically clearing space that is very helpful, but physically getting rid of what is no longer serving you is one of the most powerful things you can do. And for me, one of the hardest.

When I clear my space, it is all about decisions and it is confrontive. In my office I have years’ and years’ worth of projects—some completed, some not. I have notes on tons of calls, webinars, and course work. Client files, program files, books that held such promise that were never completed, some not even opened. Report cards and projects from my daughter, travel information, tax information, receipts, recipes, insurance policies, journals, love letters,  heaps of half-filled notebooks that surely contain brilliant life- changing information! There are the piles of things to read, to do, inspiration, thank you cards, prayers, and pictures. Workshop paraphernalia, travel memorabilia, magazines, craft supplies, essential oils, flower essences, supplements, nail polish, even a pillow for the cat! Yes, I know all these things don’t belong in my little 10’x10’ office, but here they sit along with countless other tchotchkes.

Before I can even organize, I have to go through and purge and sort. I checked the calendar and no one really has to come over for the next 2 weeks. Phew! I have now taken over the living room with boxes, bags, papers, and other stuff from the office. My daughter wanted to watch TV last night and, as she looked around for a place to sit,.   I yelled, “ – DON”T TOUCH ANYTHING!” Of course, the cats don’t respect the clearing process. They climb into the sorted boxes and chase balls, knocking over the painstakingly sorted piles. Last night, as my husband strategically searched for a place to move a few things so he could squeeze into a tiny corner of the couch, I said,. “You know this is the hardest thing in the world for me to do.” He nodded. He has lived with me a long time. Thankfully, he also gets how important it is for me to do this.  artwork-142877_1280

One day down and this organizing project has already brought up lots of emotion. My office has been a holding tank of my past—old dreams, disappointments, triumphs. This process is forcing me to make a lot of decisions, helping me to release some of the past, and supporting me in gaining clarity on what I want to create now. Making decisions is one of the most empowering things we can do! As Tony Robbins says, “It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.”

I have only gotten through a minuscule chunk so far, but I am not giving up this time. I am committed to eating that elephant one bite at a time. Bon appétit!

I invite you to check out my latest offering on Manifesting Your Heart’s Desire through the Akashic Record. Don’t wait! It is coming up very soon! Make the decision to shape your destiny!

Manifesting Your Heart’s Desire…Through the Akashic Record

 

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Embracing Your Gifts – “Woo Woo” and All

 

It doesn’t just roll off the tongue. For nearly 20 years the cornerstone of the work I do has been a challenge to describe in a 30 second elevator speech…an answer when someone asks the ubiquitous question, “What do you do?” I often narrow it down to 5 words – “I do personal growth coaching.” Which is in essence true, but doesn’t give people much information. And from a marketing perspective, it is far from compelling. But it is easy, and a great way to deflect further inquiry and turn the conversation back toward the other person.

I have always felt a great kinship to Jonah, the biblical prophet. Jonah, given an assignment by G-d, said, “Nah, I don’t think so.” And then, something about a huge storm and being swallowed up by a whale convinced him otherwise. Jonah tried to run from his calling and, in many ways, I have done that, too. Seeking safety in my comfort zone, crawling inside the belly of the whale, getting tossed out on occasion only to find myself crawling back in and bemoaning about being stuck inside.

So what is the calling? I have been given many great gifts – as we all have been given.  One of these gifts is being able to access this powerful, wonderful, body of energy called “The Akashic Record.” The Akashic Record is the vibrational record of every soul and their journey since the soul’s inception. It is a record of everything that has happened in the world and it’s talked about in most major religions. In a very tiny, tiny nutshell – it can be accessed for guidance and healing to empower you to live your best life, create a deeper connection to Spirit (whatever that means for you) and come into greater alignment with your soul. It is something I initially learned from someone else over 20 years ago and, through a series of events which included a lot of letting go, trusting, being brave and saying YES, a new process was given to me by Spirit which  allowed me greater freedom. This is a process I use for myself, work one on one with clients, and teach to others.

When I first learned this, I was living in Chicago with a “normal job.” I was a local executive director of a national non-profit. One day, a colleague from the national office was in town to help with a big project we were working on. I shared with her what I had learned and said if she was ever interested, I could do a session for her with the Records. She was game, and later that night we met in the far back of the office – lights out, candle lit, hoping the 80 year old board member that lived in the apartment above the office wouldn’t make an appearance. He didn’t, but that was a benchmark of me walking between these two seemingly conflicting worlds. The pull to focus on this new work was getting stronger. One day, I was sitting in the office of the Commissioner of Cultural Affairs for the City of Chicago discussing our project with her along with a few of my colleagues. She had the most magnificent palatial office overlooking Lake Michigan that I had ever seen. It was a huge win for us to have the commissioner’s support for our project. I kept thinking I should be so excited, this is something I have worked hard for, a project I strongly believe in, but as I gazed out the window into the deep blue waters of the Lake…I just felt emptiness.

With support and guidance from the Akashic Record, prayer, along with my own knowing deep in my heart, I was able to leave that job to focus on this new work. My colleagues and family thought I was a little crazy but most came to respect that it was the right move for me. Along the way, I would take short “time outs” where I would do some temporary work for additional financial support and to figure out what was next.

During the last time out before I moved from Chicago, I met Joe. We were both working in an office of a mega health care company doing financial analysis work. Joe was a minor league baseball pitcher. He was taking his own time out during the off season to earn some money before spring training began. Joe’s cubical was on the other side of mine and at 6’6”, he stood out even while sitting down.  We didn’t talk much, but on a break he shared that he had been having shoulder pain and the team doctors couldn’t figure out what was causing it. I shared with him something to the effect of – our physical pain can be caused by unresolved emotions and manifest in our bodies and suggested he might want to look at that for himself.  I sat down to get back to work and a few minutes later Joe appeared at my cubical, pencil and paper in hand. He started reading back to me what he had written down. It began “Julee says…” and it was verbatim what I had just told him. He wanted to make sure he had gotten it right. I was in shock. It was metaphysics 101 and nothing I thought of as profound, but it was all very new to Joe. I confirmed what he said was correct and he went back to his cubical. I just sat there unable to work. A little voice inside of me said – go offer to help him. So I went over to him and said, I may be able to help you see what the pain is about. It didn’t feel right to do a typical session for him in this environment, but we agreed to talk soon after work. The next day, I went over to him after everyone else had left for the day. I was guided to put my hands near his chest and shoulder, but not touch him, just focus on the energy. I started getting visions of his mother.  So I told him and asked about her.  It was his turn to be shocked as his mother had passed away and he was having a hard time working through his feelings. He kept talking about what was coming up for him as I allowed the energy to flow through me. The next day he came in and his shoulder was feeling much better. He also had more awareness’s about his relationship with his mother and others in the family. I typically don’t do this when I work with people with the exception of when I teach a workshop to help people integrate the energy. I believe I was guided to do it this time as a teaching for both of us.

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It was through working with Joe that I knew I had to make a change and leave the comfort of the temp job, and of Chicago, and move toward my heart’s desire.

A couple of years ago, I launched a new program – Journey to Meet Your Mate, Aligning Heart, Mind and Soul to manifest your perfect match! I felt passionate about helping woman as I had gone through my own transformation to get ready to meet my husband and then welcome our daughter. I thought I would finally be able to leave the “Woo Woo” behind and be able to offer something that people would understand easily. However, my journey proved that in order to serve people in the highest way, and be the best coach I could be, I had to integrate my special gifts no matter how “out there” it may seem to some people. It’s the only way I can be true to my soul and spirit and stay out of the whale’s belly. I also realized that the gifts I carry are only tools. In the end, we all have to do the work. It is not so much about the tool we use, but about the masterpiece we create.

I have decided to create some new offerings and break free from the rules I have set for myself in the past. First up, Manifesting Your Heart’s Desire through the Akashic Record.  Check out the details on the link below

Manifesting Your Heart’s Desire Through the Akashic Record

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Prayer for Oneness

I wrote this Prayer for Oneness many years ago. It was inspired by observing a group of people who were fearful of anyone who did not believe as they did. While I was teaching a workshop this weekend, I shared the prayer and was reminded of its timeliness.

Read the prayer and if it speaks to you, please share it.

 

Dear God,

Help me see the oneness of mankind.

Let me not sit in judgment of others

for I know my judgment of them is a reflection

of my own inadequacies.

Let me know that there is but one heartbeat

that beats to the pulse of your Divine spark.

Let me see this spark in everyone I meet today.5917148794_e31d553b24_z

Let me feel the love they carry in their hearts

even if it is masked by pain.

Let me have compassion for their pain

even when it is disguised as anger.

May I have the strength to respond to everyone

in a loving and gentle way.

May I take comfort in the knowing

that nothing happens by accident

and in each experience, there is a teaching.

Let me see the blessings in each encounter

I have today.

May I have the courage to extend your love,

which rages inside of me, outward to the world,

freely, joyously, and without attachment.

Amen

 

Copyright © 2001 Julee Duessing

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When The Excavator Shows Up At Your Door.

 

 

It is 6 AM and I take a peaceful walk in the garden. I look to see if the beautiful zucchini plants have left another gift. Lots of volunteer tomato plants have popped up crowding out the coveted peppers and weaving their way through the rows of carrots. The kale has escaped munching from visiting deer that come in the darkness.  Then I glance over and see THEY have already been here this morning. The big box full of testing supplies are outside in our yard where the temporary water hose connects to the house. I know my quiet time will be short lived. Soon after I complete my garden exploration the earth starts to vibrate, the high pitch whistle of trucks backing up begins and the pounding and excavating begins for the day. The symphony of noise will continue all day into the evening.

The City is a doing a total reconstruction of our street complete with replacing the old sanitary sewers, storm sewers, water mains and street surface including curb, gutter and sidewalks. I have been dreading it for two years knowing our street was most likely next after the same work was done to an adjacent street. We live in the oldest part of our city with systems over a 100 years old. While I knew it would be loud and inconvenient I had no idea the magnitude of the energetic toll it would take. I decided I could either be anxious and resentful the whole time or use it as an opportunity. The situation was clearly out of my control, it was going to happen and as a bonus, we will get assessed about $3000 for the work.  Perhaps this could be my own inner excavation as I soon learn there is nowhere to hide.

They start prepping months out so it was a constant flow of workman around our home. When the construction makes it way to my front door – there is nowhere to hide. We live in a hundred year old 2 story house. I work out of my home. My office is on the first floor so I decided to take my laptop, go upstairs and set up a card table in a corner of my bedroom to get me through the construction project. Much of the work I do with clients is over the phone, so I figure out if close the windows and keep my AC on I can get through sessions. But when it comes to writing, and planning – it doesn’t help much.  The constant pounding is so intense it feels like the house will collapse. After a few weeks of this…it feels like maybe I will too.

I take my daughter with me to the local coffee house. Here I will work. She picks out a treat, I get soup, fire up my laptop, she on her tablet, and now I will work. I listen to the conversation at the next table between a professor and his student. Darn, their project sounds exciting. They both seem so engaged and I lament never going back to school for a master’s degree in anthropology. Then I remember my propensity to miss classes, cram for exams and that I would really need a doctorate to do much of anything. Ya, good thing I didn’t go back to school. My daughter’s battery is fading and so is my focus as I eat half the scone I was going to bring back to husband. The library! Yes, the library is quiet. I can work and she can pick out some books and play.

I pick out my cubical on the second floor of the library overlooking Main Street. It is quiet. Oh, these chairs are so hard. I connect to the Wi-Fi and spend way too long trying to find the name of a minor league baseball player I once knew for a piece that I am writing. Smells start to waif upstairs from my favorite Asian restaurant in town, Green Tea, which is next door to the library. The actually reality of the smells penetrating through the massive concrete building are slim but I am inhaling it in my mind at least as I start dreaming of Thai red curry while I scan the Internet.

While trying to work other places didn’t seem to help, going to the beach at one of my favorite lakes did. The ungrounded unsafe feeling seemed to ease as I made frequent trips this summer to Sunset Lake with a good friend and our children. While the kids play we chat about our lives and what is coming up for us. Often I was hearing mysaware-1350046_1920elf sounding negative and critical of both myself and others. I don’t like when I get into that mode but I found myself slipping there more and more lately. In particular, I repeatedly expressed frustration at an acquaintance who I felt was being disingenuous. She posts things often on Facebook about her life that seemed to be for show and contradict what she has shared with me. She (let’s call her Betty) often offers a modification of the truth in my communication with her. I am pretty straight forward and have an expectation of other people to be the same way. My friend delicately pointed out to me that I have mentioned my challenges with this person before (okay, a lot) and essentially, why am I still engaging with her at all?

When someone in our lives triggers us as much as Betty was triggering me, clearly there is something to learn from it. I was up high on my self-righteous horse. As the excavation was happening around my house so too was an inner excavation going on. I have been feeling that I have been watching life go by and not fully participating in it.  Betty was out in the world and documenting a piece of it all on Facebook because she needed to be seen in a certain light even though she was hiding in her house most of the time. She wasn’t being authentic. And now hiding in my own house is feeling very uncomfortable and I am calling my own authenticity into question.  What show am I putting on for other people?

The summer was the excavation. This fall is about seeing where the parts of me fit together and building a new foundation. I am still raw, sitting on the floor with all these jigsaw pieces of myself. My soul isn’t going to let me put myself back together in the old way. They just don’t fit that way anymore. Finally – the fear of not moving is greater than the fear of moving. So I am taking the first step and putting in a piece of me – the writer.

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