There’s a little box–I suppose it to be like a tiny trinket or treasure box–that’s deep inside me. I file things away there. I don’t think I really realized I did this until I was forced to explain how I was feeling one day during yoga teacher training.
Everyone has their own meltdowns and breakthroughs during this process and usually these come somewhere during the middle of training. I was past the halfway mark when mine arrived. It came like an Arizona storm and left just as quickly. It didn’t bring enough water to help grow anything but it brought enough wind to make things messy. If you’ve ever experienced a southwestern desert storm you’ll know what I’m talking about. The wind picks up and blows dust over everything and there may or may not be rain. At least that’s the way it’s been for the past several years. We don’t have good monsoons (which I love) like we used to. Monsoons that clear away the dust and bring blooms, humidity and skies that are somehow bluer and more interesting than the plain, hot, dry and intense summer skies. After a good monsoon everything seemed different to me–I seemed to see with different eyes. The summer weather we’ve been having now leaves me feeling stagnant and stuck. I go through the motions of the day but that’s about it. At any rate, this meltdown did not provide any real clarity for me. I just knew there was something (“IT”) that I needed to find and deal with. That’s when I realized that I had a kind of kangaroo affect going on with my box. I just took things (emotions, situations, stagnation, you name it) and filed it away for “later.” Some things are really jammed in there, perhaps that’s why I can’t quite get in there and clean house like I would like.
Before you think I’ve lost it like a mad dog or Englishman in the midday sun, you have to know that I’m the oldest child of old world-like parents. They don’t see life the same way as my contemporaries’ parents do, which presents its own challenges. Also, I was always the peace-maker and people-pleaser of the family. Head “feather-smoother” should be one of my titles. I also realized, today as a matter of fact, that the box of tools that are in my hand currently don’t work for me. Why? Because I wasn’t allowed (and didn’t allow myself) my own set of tools, I was too busy fixing/helping/adjusting/you-name-it to tend to my own garden and find my own tools. When I expressed myself it was either “inappropriate”or just plain not ok. Growing up I laughed too loud, felt too deeply and talked too much. I still do that, but it’s not always as open. I often skirt around the real issue, mostly because it’s too much for others, in turn, becoming too much for me. Years of not being fully true to oneself can really take its toll. It’s not that the “me” my friends and family know is false, it’s just not the fullest expression of myself. I know there’s a whole lot more joy and creativity in there, waiting. There’s a whole different element of me waiting to spring out of my personal Pandora’s box, if I would just let it. I resist opening that box, even when the lid is clanking and rattling and beckoning me. Too much will fly out and it’ll be too messy. I have to face my fears and stand up for myself. I know that I have to deal with it and I’ve been trying a little bit at a time. Mostly because I know that what I’m working with now isn’t really working–it’s very intermittent. Life’s a process and I finally have the resolve to accept that (versus just knowing it to be intellectually true).