let the world pour in

It's been a few weeks since I've given much attention to meditating, to sitting in the quiet and opening my heart. This afternoon, I realized I hadn't read today's message from The Book of Awakening. When I read, I read with a pen, in case I want to underline an important excerpt or come back to a particular passage. Many times during my readings I feel as though I could underline the entirety of the message. I felt that today when Nepo explains the ways that talking a lot can keep others at a safe distance. I may have mentioned this before, but a friend once told me that I could talk forever and never give anything away, never say anything. In the South, the making of a good storyteller is knowing exactly when to give yourself away, at least that is what I learned from the women in my family. I was always scared to offer too much of myself even though, as Nepo suggests, the constant conversation is a way to throw our hearts out there so that we feel less alone and more connected. However, all that talk is unnecessary. All we have to do is keep ourselves open, be who we are and the world will rush in.

For so long, that is precisely what I was afraid of. I can see it my poetry from the past, in the yearning and sadness present in my words then. And now, it's all I can think about, how to stay open and present and authentic, especially when so much is going on in other areas of my life that seem very much the opposite. Last week was terribly overwhelming. I fell behind in almost everything. I was forgetful and terse and came down with an awful migraine. The weekend was much better. This week I leave for a conference in Atlanta with a presentation I'm really excited about and a nice break from the hectic schedule I've been on. I'm determined to arrive openhearted and let the world fill me up.

a way to get there

I was on Spring Break last week, which was a nice break though I was busy working on a conference presentation, grading papers and other work.

I haven't written much here because I don't know how to talk about some of the things that are going on in my life right now. I used to believe that I could write about anything and I know I've been very personal with what I say in this space. But I've come to some difficult realizations, lately or rather they came to me and hit me upside the head. It's as though I have been sitting in a dark room and suddenly someone flipped on a switch and I realized how dark the room had been. I am making changes which I know need to happen but change is scary especially when you're making changes that affect those you love. And though there's a part of me that knows this is exactly the right thing to do for the time; I'm left saddened and scared and simultaneously excited about what the future might hold.

I slept terribly last night and I am probably more anxious than I allow myself to believe. Mostly, I'm tired and drained and hope I have the energy that all of these next steps are going to take. I remain the luckiest girl to have such supportive friends and family who continue to listen and encourage me. I hope you all know how much it means to have you with me in all of this. Most of all, I am lucky that M is with me. I remember recently Oprah saying that people in your life who truly love and want what is best for you, want you to be your best self and will never hold you back from accomplishing your dreams. Never have I felt this to be more true and I am only surrounding myself with people who feel that way.

Sometimes I think that when we are unable to see the road we should be on, roadblocks and dead ends and washed out bridges will prevent us from going down the wrong ones until we figure out our next move or until there's only one road left but what you see along the dead-end route may be the one thing that helps you figure out the right road or at least a way to get there. I am trying not to live with regrets or remorse and instead focus on a way to get wherever it is I am supposed to be. It's clear the road I was on as nice and comfortable and settled as it was, wasn't it for me. I keep thinking back to Dominique Browning's book Slow Love and the way she talks about discovering the world again once she's forced to slow down her life. I don't feel as though I'm slowing down, necessarily but I do feel I am slower than I was and that I'm coming to something significant about discovering who I am and what I want again, particularly in a professional context.

I thought that I would have all of this figured out by now; I really did. Though I also thought I would be living a bohemian type life writing novels and living in a loft, so some wild dreams end up making no sense in reality. I've been working on another blog post inspired, like most things in my life, by what I read and it is about the life I imagined, something which has hovered in my psyche since January that I'm trying, finally, to wrestle out.

I appreciate you being patient with my silence and vagueness. I promise close to full disclosure once things fall more definitely into place.