a little stream of consciousness this friday morning. - which for some reason comes without capital letters... i don't think i think in capitals.
in my work i feel as though i have moved through the initial six months of chaos and confusion and found a few foot and hand-holds, a way to climb slowly but surely out of the pit of hopelessness and overwhelm and up onto a platform from which i will know how to begin.
if i look back i see something interesting - i dwelt in the chaos because i couldn't find my way out, because none of my traditional tools (listing, planning, mapping, discipline and order) were working, because i couldn't make it happen. i didn't stay there because i knew there was goodness and truth in staying there. but you know what, i really think there was.
these shapes that are now appearing (small but well formed little projects, wonderful collaborations and networks) could not be forged by force from the chaos, they refused to take shape when i was trying to control it. now, some long weeks after i finally let go a little more, they are coming together in their own ways.
now, as they come together, is the time for lists, plans, maps, discipline and some order. now they have come into their own they are ready for some structure. now i am in my natural element, with big sheets of white paper and piles of sticky notes (anyone from the NZHRC who still reads this blog may smile at this image, i was for a while there famous for my sticky note planning method).
so now i look back and see myself sitting in the midst of the chaos, of the hopelessness and despair and i wonder, what were the things that helped me most to get through this process? well, for a while i wasn't really getting through it, i was just hanging on for dear life and railing against the pain of it all. during that time i tried to use all the techniques that were known to me - physical exercise, discipline, routine, stability. none of these things helped.
evenutally i gave up, i threw my hands up in the air. actually i threw my hands out towards thew world and said - i give up, i don't know what is wrong, or why nothing will work. and i think that 'i give up' must be about as close as i could get at that time to 'i let go'. doesn't it sound easy? 'let go' you'd expect it to be so much easier than hanging on. and maybe in the end it is (i'm still learning). but initially, when i was feeling lost and confused and without ground, the scariest thing in the world was letting go. the waters were swirling madly about me and hanging on seemed the only sane thing to do.
but i gave up, and somewhere in the giving up was the seed of letting go. i think that the last four weeks of a regular meditation practice have done wonders for my ability to let go. i'm also learning that letting go is not the same as giving up, that i can let go long before i get desperate enough to give up.
i'm still using a guided meditation tape for my morning meditations, although i think it will be time soon to try it alone. but for now i alternate between richard miller's 'yoga nidra' and ian gawler's 'practice of mediation'. ian, in particular, has a lovely way of saying 'simply letting go' and i find his voice coming to me, whispering in my ear about 'simply letting go' at different points through the day. it is not an unwelcome voice.
what helps you to let go?