Today has been one of those weird ones - you know the times where you actually know what's about to happen (what needsto happen) yet when it does it still takes you by surprise, and you find yourself dealing with waves of emotions to be digested, reflected upon and made sense of? I guess it could be likened to a school exam, where you know in your heart of hearts that you've done really badly and yet are still shocked to receive the official confirmation in the form of a bad result?
The funny thing for me is that before today day had even started, I was already in the place of knowing and choosing this particular outcome - so the news was no surprise. No, the news was just the natural tidy up of lose ends, burnt and beaded threads that had been flapping in the wind, slapping frantically against my bare skin, urging me to wake from a dream that had turned in to a nightmare.
Like I said - a weird one. The signs are always here. There's always something going on. Always a truth that rumbles gently - or finally crashes around using every available method - until it's noticed, and actioned. Co-incidence and serendipity - being in the flow - allowing and enjoying - when those are the kind sensations and experiences that fill my time, then I know I'm acting from my own inner wisdom. When there are struggles and difficulties, that's when I know there's a lesson to be learned - but it can sometimes take a while for me to heed the lesson, however good the outcome will be! Change, you see - even the good stuff can be daunting!
On Saturday I enjoyed a particularly helpful Skype conversation with a friend of mine (thanks, Grasshopper, you know who you are!) - one of those so called happy co-incidences, because we hadn't spoken for ages and yet he'd popped in to my head just half an hour or so before I received his call. Concerned that I appeared somewhat troubled, he offered to take me through a new coaching process he'd been learning. Of course I agreed - I love this stuff, and was also keen to quieten the inner battles that had been tiring me. So, with his help, and with him acting as my guide and my witness, we walked through some of my core beliefs. To my surprise, it turned out that I still had the last vestiges of an old and deeply engrained parasitic belief that for years had been burrowed tick-like in to my being. The old and worn-out song that I'm not good enough. Small - tiny, in fact - but there none the less. So through our honest conversation, and following this new process, he helped me to at last release myself from the remaining defiant pincers that had, until that point, still kept a part of themselves embedded in to my flesh. Gotcha you sneaky, slippery little sucker! Phew. That feels better!
And, out of the blue, another co-incidental bit of help came my way this afternoon when I dropped in to see another friend on my way back from town. I'd expected to share a coffee and the usual welcoming, questioning female chats I enjoy so much with his wife - but she was out. So instead he and I sat in the sunshine discussing life, the universe and all that is - or was, or could be, or might still be. It was a delicious and most unforeseen pleasure I was least expecting - perhaps we drank too much of that really strong coffee - or perhaps it really was serendipity. I don't know for sure. But the resulting free-flow of conversation was both surprising and enlightening - and a most unexpected gift.
He spoke to me, quite candidly, about the 'inferno' that he (and others) recognise burns within me - insistent, voracious, and on occasions somewhat threatening to others. He spoke about my constant drive to search, adventure, test, push, overcome and bloody well 'do' more than is necessary. He pointed out that (my nature being as it is) I am likely to always continue along that path in one way or another. I spoke about the concept that we all seek 'witnesses' in our life - people who can share our experiences, people who validate our opinions through agreement or variation. We both explored the idea that without feedback and conversation (listening, speaking, sharing, comparing) we confine ourselves to a grey, one-dimentional palette that limits our experiences. He also threw me some facts and posed me some questions, likening the human journey to the swinging of a pendulum.
Enjoying the coffee and sunshine, together we discussed the notion that, like a pendulum, when we surge in positivity (or negativity) the natural course of nature's law is that we'll experience the same in the alternate spectrum - the equal and opposite natural swing and balance of life. Indeed, a notion that for years I've shared with those who care to listen - and also with those who (in my younger years when all this inner-game stuff was a new obsession) I would corner and pester until either they understood the point I was making or would simply walk away. Yup, I guess you could say I've always been a little intense!
My friend gave me some wise and honest advice, based on his observations of me over the eight years that I've lived here in France and had the honour to call him my friend. Not usually one for speaking out, it came as a welcome surprise to hear his well thought out opinion. He suggested that my challenge is to find the normality within the wild swinging of the pendulum that has, until now, been the blueprint of my existence. To seek the normality as the pendulum speeds over it again and again. To notice exactly what normality is, and to enjoy it. The wry and knowing smile spoke volumes"those who find it say it's much closer than most people think... isn't that the stuff you study and teach Mel?"
His advice beautifully mirrors that of a conscious and very personal intention I made public a short while ago - my decision, my choice, my declaration to now live my life for me - for Mel Carnegie, age 46 and a quarter. To find out, from a place of safety, who I really am. To put myself first and to heed my inner self. To let my intuition grow, thrive, and guide me. Because, no longer willing to play "the fighter" or "the survivor"... I've realised that I've finally "done it". I've made it through. I AM enough (I always was - doh! - don't you hate it when that happens?) and now my conscious focus is to enjoy my life. To appreciate the here and now. To wake up and smell the coffee, or slow down and admire the roses - whatever phrase we choose... whatever pace we enjoy.
My friend, today, was advising me just to be me - to enjoy the 'normality' that is actually what life is about. I shared with him my understanding of who I think I really am, how I really choose to enjoy my live - which is to live a simple life, to love and to be loved. My friend smiled.
And guess what, as I'm typing these words, the track that's just started playing in the background right now (as if by coincidence?) is one of my all time favourite tracks that alway signals forward movement for me - Eddie Reader's "I'm In The Right Place Now"... as I said at the beginning, funny ain't it?
I have a feeling that I'll always be an adventurer. I'll always seek more from life. I'll question, I'll analyse, I'll push, I'll prod, I'll poke... I'll piss people off - and help others to find their pathway... and you know what? I'll always keep finding more to excite and engage me. I already have the best memory albums of life's travels - and there's plenty more space to fill. Bring it on - gently and steadily from now on please.
The news I started this post with, is that the Journeyman I spoke of in a previous post has gone his own way. It's certainly true that he has taught me much - mainly that I'm worth so much more than I was once willing to settle for. So, to you, Journeyman, I thank you. Class complete. See you in another lifetime my friend - our work here together this time around is done.