“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
“Don’t go back to sleep.
“You must ask for what you really want.
“Don’t go back to sleep.
“People are going back and forth across the doorsill
“where the two worlds touch.
“The door is round and open.
“Don’t go back to sleep.” — Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks
I so badly want to go back to sleep.
The past few weeks, spurred by Mondo Beyondo and Power Stories, have held awakenings I can’t ignore, even though I want to, awakenings to deep-seated dreams, beautiful, exciting, frightening…These have been knocking on the doors of my heart and soul for years, but, until now, I’ve always managed to go back to sleep. I don’t think I can this time.
They require risk.
They require vulnerability.
They require courage.
They carry the possibility of rejection and failure.
The life I have here simply cannot contain them…Some of them, yes, but not the fullness of the bigger picture of them.
I find myself headed down the first drop of the rollercoaster that is a dismantling process. I have, as a dreamboard I made back in the summer said, “So much to undo…”.
I have to stop the cycle of giving away the power I have over my own life, giving it to family, to the drama inherent in my day job, to the self-disparaging tapes that run in my head on a loop, to perfectionism, to my fears that I will never have enough, do enough, or be enough. That’s going to take some doing. This process of undoing is going to be the hardest, the trickiest, and–obviously, given the way things have continually gone the past few years–take the longest.
In the meantime, there are other things I can undo while I wrestle with the psychological demons. These are more simple, more mundane.
I have massive shedding of clutter to do. I can’t pick up and move until I streamline my belongings. I’ve gotten to the point that I’m starting to feel crushed by my clutter. Decluttering my physical space, in itself, is not easy for me, but it is easier and quicker than cleaning out my mental clutter.
I have a camera with which I can continue developing my photographer’s eye and vision. This is work toward one facet of the larger dream. I can also save up money for my first professional-grade camera, which I hope to have in my hands by Christmas.
I can write. I’ve already committed myself to another year of NaNoWriMo, and that is getting my full writing focus for November. I want to cross that 50,000 word finish line at the end of the month with my novel’s delightfully imperfect first draft. I think this may be the year that I do it. Again, this is work toward one more facet of the larger dream.
I can develop and stick to a regular yoga and meditation practice, both, again, work toward the bigger picture.
I can write all the dreams and ideas down in my journal, all the glimpses of the bright and hopeful future, to remind myself why I’m sifting through–or crawling through, as the case may be–the muck right now.
I can practice kindness, both to myself and to others. I can practice gratitude for every step on this journey. I can develop empathy. I can start allowing vulnerability. I can cry when I feel like I need to instead of shoving the tears down until the dam bursts.
And this process of dismantling is going to take as long as it takes. Something tells me it’s not going to be quick. The trick is to stay awake, and not allow myself to be crushed by its perceived weight.
Don’t let me go back to sleep.