This week’s play date was a bit…thinky.
For the past week I’ve been facing down a deadline (with the most stubborn, grumpy procrastination attitude EVER) and also facing a distressing lack-of-change in another area of my life. A lack-of-change that was making me doubt my desire-for-change and my motivation and all of those attendant tiring thoughts that go along with that little downward spiral. You know the sort.
So I decided to doodle and think about both of these issues, and here is what I ended up with:
That big scraggly blue creature there on the left holding up the GO NO FURTHER sign? She was the first thing I drew, and she was full of: doubt, uncertainty, discomfort, anger, misunderstanding, fear. Even though she’s poised directly over that big bright deadline (3/11! Yikes that really is soon!) she’s telling me to STOP, or else. She is where I am, right now.
Way over on the right you can see a hazy, indistinct person. She’s just a big question mark of confusion, but she’s holding the YAY balloon. That’s where I’d like to be.
By sitting down to doodle this all out, I realized just how distinct and scary and real the now is, and by comparison just how confusing and far-off the future me really is.
There is a bridge between the two, as you can tell. And there are qualities that I think might bridge the distance, too: rest, clarity, safety, that kind of thing.
But I could also tell that absolutely none of this was getting me closer to an idea of how to get there.
So I made a little book, as you can see on the right of the picture. A tiny book! Made using my wee stapler! So fun.
Because I wanted a special book in which to try to figure out what I know about Future Me who is so hazy and indistinct.
The part where things get a bit wacko(Hahaha, haha — because clearly up until now this blog has just been an absolute picnic of sanity, wouldn’t you agree? Please pass the crumbleschmumpets, thank you very much.)
Future Me started out reticent, far away, tenuous, and then she got really talkative and specific.
Let me start at the beginning! I asked about Future Me: What do we share?
Answer: Our history. (Though she tells it differently.)
Aha. Because what I think of now as unalterable truth is actually all about context and framing. So probably before I can get to Future Me I will unlearn and reform some key assumptions and ideas about myself and how I work.
Fair enough, I thought. That was a nice answer, thanks Future Me!
But I was desperate to know: What is the bridge between here and there? And because I still had just the barest, faintest, AT&T-est of connections to Future Me, I decided to do a little Shiva Nata on this question. Nothing much — just two minutes of basic arm whirling, number-scrambling brain calisthenics.
(Ha. I should have known.) Shiva Nata unleashed the very specific, very generous answers that were waiting. Since telling our history differently was not quite enough, I got this:
In the future, this now will seem like the first stage in a long series. Of hitting barriers, disconnection, lack of belief and overwhelm of doubt.
Not because it’s a problem that keeps reoccurring…
…but because these obstacles are like successive revelations as you penetrate the mystery of becoming Future Me.
Like the seven veils: this is the first one.
Tandava. The veil of the illusion of reality.
But wait! She had more to say when I asked What gets me through the veil?
Easy! Willingness to flail. Which is recognition of and reverence for the flailing, the mystery of it.
And: the Self Who Doesn’t Know must be as loved as the New Self Who Arrives.
This is the ceremony. Love of the self that Is and Flails is the birth of the new self.
Shiva wants to destroy the veil but requires the ingredient of a loved sacrifice.
What? Sacrifice?! Scary, but she had one last clarification. Or maybe it’s a muddying of the waters:
The old self doesn’t go anywhere: you become large enough to contain the newer self and learn how to bridge and stitch them together.
And at this point, the clarity of all these downloading messages devolved into a scramble about birthright and shining self and love and wonderfulness, and suddenly my Secret Play Date was over.
I felt like I’d just had a Mystic WooWoo Hippie Vision (TM), but I didn’t really think about it too much: there was a fire lit under me and I took that little sense of peace with me and banged out a first draft of the very thing I need for that troublesome deadline. Huh.
Meanwhile, what in the everloving bunny-hopping heck is going on
The seven veils? The beloved sacrifice? Wow. And I thought the exploding vision was weird.
I get that I have to love Flailing Me, the me who struggles with the obstacle. Maybe that’s obvious (is Don’t Love Yourself ever the way to do anything?) but clearly it’s something I needed to hear again.
And I get that all this talk of ceremonies and birthright has something to do with this particular kind of flailing being necessary.
But the final bit, the growing self who learns to stitch and bridge the two selves together…that’s not clear to me. Or not yet. It’s kind of a zen koan: the way through the veil is the way through the veil. The way to bridge the two selves is to bridge the two selves.
I guess that’s how it works sometimes — and I’m not one to argue with Mystical Future WooWoo Hippie Visions (TM) so maybe I’ll just kind of sit on this one for a bit longer, let it simmer and bubble.
I want to think more about: stitching together. Dipping into the future (the self who knows, who has already gone through this change) and then coming back to the safety of the present. Borrowing future confidence. Knowing that the bridge won’t be a bridge until I look back and see it.
Happy Tuesday, friends. Here’s hoping that you, like me, have plenty of eyerolls and grains of salt in the cupboard to handle any Mystical WooWoo Visions (TM) that may come your way.