The ability to start out upon your own impulse is
fundamental to the gift of keeping going upon your own
terms. . . . Getting started, keeping going, getting started
again— in art and in life, it seems to me this is the
—Seamus Heaney, poet
Me: There’s so much that’s happened in the last 6 months. I don’t even know where to start.
Him: Just start exactly where you are right now…
It’s really that simple.
Step back in.
Start by starting.
Exactly where you are, right now.
And so, today:
- I am releasing expectations
I am opening my hand.
Releasing the huge list of “shoulds” and “targets” that haunt me. I am allowing myself to be EXACTLY WHERE I AM.
Today, I’m listening to my body and giving myself permission to BE. I am in the garden and on the pages with my hand and heart wide open.
- I am also, slightly overwhelmed by stimulus
Actually, if I’m honest, more than slightly overwhelmed. I have Sensory Integration challenges. I don’t really talk about it much. A few of my close friends know. It used to feel like shame, but these days, it just is. I simply live it; I don’t judge it. I’m almost 5o years old and I’m finally figuring out how to navigate life in my own skin. Migraines and tears have shown me the path to honoring my sensitive soul.
I now know that I’m not Too Much or Hypersensitive
I don’t need to Get over it or Calm Down
I no longer engage in complex behaviors of Fight, Flight and Freeze.
I mean I still engage in a version of all of the above, but not out of terror. I simply pay attention to where I am and what I need and I give my Self permission to access what I need for health and life and presence.
I recognize that my sensitivity is part of the way that I see. I take in everything, all at once or sometimes by hyper-focusing on one thing. I see possibility in everything and everyone. My art and writing are full of throw aways from the rubbish bin and unique perspectives, because deep down inside I always believe there’s a puzzle to solve or dot to connect. I’ve learned to move slowly, so as not to overwhelm myself. Which means that sometimes I circle a project or scenario for a long time without landing.
The fact that I’m super tuned in, often shows up in my physical world and body. Sounds are extra loud and sensations are extra sensational. Thus sometimes, like today, my t-shirts are flipped inside out to keep the tags off of my skin.
Sometimes, I have to stop whatever I’m doing and remember to breathe. But I am learning to stay in touch, move with the ebb and flow and truly BE in my life.
- I’m also, squeezing juice out of paper
As I extend grace to myself in the midst of deadlines and taking-too-long projects, I am faithfully showing up to the pages of my sketchbooks. I am telling myself the truth and I am storing the queues and lists of things that will make sense later. I am sifting through my heart and life with words and paint and collage, knowing that when the time is right, it will all come together and I will approach whatever needs approaching, with a whole heart.
That’s exactly where I am right now.
Where are you?