I once told a very wise woman about my plans to move to Providence this fall over gluten free chocolate cookies and strawberries.
"Fall is a great time for change," she smiled.
I took a deep breath of knowing in that moment. Yes, fall. Change. Rebirth. Of course. Of course it is, the perfect time.
And so I've been readying myself. Keeping up this inner work I've been assigned. Noticing and feeling the sensations in my body with each decision, no matter how small. Continuing to journal like mad, pouring my words onto paper with heartfelt emotion. Taking it slow, adjusting and re-adjusting and re-adjusting again. Knowing that there is not One Great Step, but a series of miniscule shifts that create life-change.
The thing is, to create life-change, you have to be present to it.
Last weekend I took a trip to Squam in New Hampshire, along with Hannah and Stephanie, my online and quickly-becoming-real-life friends. I traveled first to Hannah's in Providence, then on to Steph's in Massachusetts, and then we all made the trip north for the weekend's art fair.
It was a glorious event, buzzing with so much talent and creativity and love and mesmerizing bloggers/artists that I think I was a little paralyzed. We visited all the stands, made careful purchases, declined the free beer (we're a gluten free bunch for sure), took a lot of pictures together. We left on the early side, making it back to Massachusetts by 1am, Rhode Island by 2, and I decided to stick it out and drive home, finishing the last leg by 3:30.
For a highly sensitive girl, it was a long day. And night. And even though I loved it, it took a lot out of me.
I slept late the next day and felt terrible. But it wasn't just the lack of sleep. It was the coming down from the high. The waking up in the same bed that I'm wishing so badly to get out of. The same house. The same town. Knowing I'd be going to the same job in the morning. Going from the high of Squam with these beautiful women I admire so deeply, to back "home" to my teeny space, seemingly alone. It felt final and devastating and murky and ripe with anger.
And here's the thing: I could make a choice about how to move through those low moments. Two very different choices.
I could fall into it. Get lost in it. Tumble all the way down to the depths of despair and turn back to familiar places of feeling stuck and never getting anywhere. Turn away from any progress I've made and instead grasp tightly to the old, the physical reality that so poorly demonstrates how much I've changed.
Or I could simply feel it. Acknowledge the hurt, the sadness, the pain. Honor it. Nod my head and tell it yes, yes, I know. Share it. Talk about it. And then realize, Yes. This is where the growth happens, the change. This is how movement is created, progress is made. I need to be present, right here. Still feel what comes up, but with more space. More possibility.
Being present to change. That's it. To be open, to be ready.....you must be here. You must be present. This takes an incredible amount of strength. And it is so, so difficult. But that showing up.....sometimes that's all it takes.
A few nights ago as I was falling asleep, in that in-between consciousnesses state of rest when dreams begin to form, I had a strange dream, almost more of a vision. A figure was suddenly before me, a face seemingly out of nowhere, with big eyes and a sticking-out nose and it came right up into my face and said, "Are you ready?" It caught me by surprise and I realized then that I was still awake, that this wasn't quite a dream. It was a little unnerving. But then I heard it again, "Are you ready? Ready? Ready? Ready?" Somehow, I got past the strangeness of it all and smiled. Of course. I must be ready. I must be ready to embrace the change, to make space for it, to welcome it, to open up to it, to hug it. I'm ready, I said. I'm ready.