Writing for the Women’s Spirituality Newsletter is an interesting quarterly time of reflection – I can recommend it for any of you out there half tempted!
This time last year I wrote about heart sensing, of heart palpitations and questioning how to live heart-fully. In 2005 I was speculating on how to combine Christmas and Summer solstice and stay sane, let alone spiritual, and in 2004 I was engaging with dance, tears and the sacred.
“I can't explain myself, I'm afraid, Sir, because I'm not myself you see. ” – Alice
November 2007 sees and feels me grappling with disappointment, transition and in the words of Alice (in Wonderland) – yes “it would be so nice if something made sense for a change. ”
I am quoting Alice in Wonderland as right now I feel somewhat like I imagined she felt. Which rabbit hole am I down? Did I eat too much of the cookie or not enough of the mushroom? Disappointment has popped back into my life like the Cheshire Cat and rendered me almost inarticulate for this article as I seem to equate writing for a spiritual newsletter to mean only writing in the positive!
David Richo talks of the full career of disappointment - realising it, grieving it, and then growing because of it. When I’ve written about transition before, I’ve talked about marking what is ending, going through the neutral phase before popping out into the beginning again – the land of opportunity. This time it doesn’t sit so comfortably.
On the face of it, I’ve had a successful year – my work income is up, I’ve had good client feedback,
my son has had a great first year at University, my daughter a most interesting year in Australia, I have made several quilts – including my gorgeous “Emerald & Scarlet” for my 50th and so on. I could write an in-depth gratitude list. Yet here I am, pondering on, and grappling with, disappointment.
From my perspective, disappointment and expectation are close buddies. It seems I had expectations of being 50. Some of the things I thought would be sorted out are not, or not in the way I expected! I wanted space and time to breathe this year but not at the cost of the recent and unexpected loss of work and income. I expected that my husband would have his business in a viable state, but it is not.
Rather than whine on, I’ll cut to Alice again – “However I thought I was further on than the beginning or am I merely at the beginning of the next part of my life?
Oh yes, she who works with transition is absolutely in one of her own – lots of things ending, with all the feelings, questions and speculations that go with endings and being in transition and none of the certainty that goes with being ‘in’ the next part.
Germaine Greer recently talked in a radio interview of the “irritable search for certainty” and I laughed and laughed – this is certainly my personal experience. And unlike the irritable Queen of Hearts – “Now, I give you fair warning, either you or your head must be off, and that in about half no time! Take your choice!" – I can’t chop heads off, nor do I intend to depart from life or marriage.
Well, when one's lost, I suppose it's good advice to stay where you are until someone finds you. But who'd ever think to look for me here? - Alice
Such a good question – who indeed? If I am to find myself how might I proceed from here? The Doorknob would have me “Read the directions and directly you will be directed in the right direction”.
It would appear that the Universe – bless her – has provided that direction by saying:
“Thou shalt pause and regroup; fresh opportunities need your time and attention”.
Reading the directions occurs for me through meditation, and leaning into those people and practices that sustain me – whether it’s dancing in my pyjamas to the “Doors” in the morning, swimming in the sea or walking in the beautiful Titirangi bush.
Recognising that I am in transition – and getting clear about what I am grieving for and what I am relieved about - is immensely helpful.
As to where from here, a final word from Alice - “I wonder if I've been changed in the night? Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I'm not the same, the next question is 'Who in the world am I?' Ah, that's the great puzzle!”
All Alice in Wonderland Quotes from: http://quotations. about. com/od/moretypes/a/alice1. htm