Friends, support, and synchronised swimming as an Olympic sport…

synchronised swim

 

First off, what is happening to Time?! I wake up, start to do something for a moment and when I look again it’s almost time for bed. I’ve felt myself getting anxious and fearful about not ‘achieving’ enough during these short-seeming days, and so when I’ve caught myself getting into a state I’ve been trying to remember my practice – I take a breath, feel the fearful fluttering as fully as I can (it really only wants to be heard and understood, in all its alliterative glory…) and as I do this I also connect to the big ocean of Joy…Ah, there it is! The fear softens and relaxes its clutches a bit and I usually end up having a little smile at my own lovelycrazy expense. It’s all okay!

But sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s really hard, and I feel the chaos of what’s happening (both within my own small world and without, in the bigger, wider one) pulling me into its wild dance and I’m scared and I dig in my heels to resist. Recently I’ve been resisting letting go of expectations I didn’t even realise I had, and the resisting has been making me tired and angry and sad. It’s my role as a mum of two gorgeous teenagers that is currently providing me with this particular Awesome Opportunity (as in ‘What is happening here might feel rubbish but is really an Awesome Opportunity to grow and learn in disguise, honestly…’) but the triggers that wake us up to where we might be stamping our feet and resisting Life could be anything. Can you relate?!

And so it’s been other people who have made getting through this bumpy patch a whole lot easier for me – sometimes offering practical help, hugs or little nuggets of wisdom mined from their own experiences,  sometimes sending a silly text, or just being there for me to dance with or share a laugh with in the Post Office without even knowing my name or having the slightest idea what’s been going on in my own little world. They haven’t tried to change things or take what is happening away, but they’ve just been around in their different ways, and I’ve felt their warmth and lovely humanness and it’s been the perfect medicine. Other People are the best!

To be open about the times when we are struggling, as well as the times we’re on a roll, can be important to those of us on a path like this. It gets things flowing and moving again rather than keeping things stuck, and to show up just as we are in any moment and ask for the support we need might even give others permission to do the same and receive in their turn, creating a healthier and more loving community. Win win! And this isn’t about being needy or giving our power away by expecting others to fix us somehow, but is a gloriously natural exchange that, who knows, might even lead to us all realising that we are all already totally supported on every level in any case. Maybe it’s only by all of us getting intimate with our own Wondrous Mess and loving it back into shape that the collective Wondrous Mess that is our outer world will begin to transform too.

So reaching out can be a radical act. There’s scary-seeming stuff out there, to be sure, and there is also a lot of support and encouragement and Love, and if we feel disconnected or lost,  or see someone else is going under, we can reach out and hold a hand, or catch someone’s eye and feel part of something Good. A friend recognises your struggle because she’s been there too, and when she whisks you out somewhere to put the wiggle back into your walk, she knows that you’ll be doing the same for her when she needs it. We’re all in this crazybeautiful dance together, and yes, we all have our own unique moves to make and are each responsible for the little piece of Love that We Are, but we are never alone. We can choose to pretend that we are if we want to, but we are not.

More on this in my upcoming post Coming Out of the Cosmic Closet, so hold onto your hats for that one, but for now, let’s just chew on this idea that supporting ourselves as we begin to remember the Love that We Are includes reaching out and connecting to the other exquisitely imperfect human beings around us. Maybe it also includes starting to see ourselves reflected in each other, which might be challenging if we widen this out to  really include Everyone and Everything going on Out There in the big wide world,  but hey, we’re here on Earth aren’t we? Got to love a challenge!

 

holding hands finger

When we hold hands, who is holding whom? And is the holder ‘stronger’ than the one allowing themselves to be held? Pondering this is like a delicious yoga twist for my mind. Bendy!

 

I once knew an amazing acupuncturist who helped me to get back on track when I was tired and stuck, as well as teaching me the importance of being able to ask for support and then really, deeply Receive it…I wrote a poem to celebrate him because we all need a bit of that sometimes, a bit of extra care and nourishment to help us reconnect to the Big Something that is Love, that is really Us, dontcha think?! Check it out…

 

Corinne looks startled as she suddenly remembers she is Alive, and Totally Supported on every level…

 

So yeah! Thank YOU for being there, for being you, just as you are, because you being you, in all your wonderfulmessy humanness, supports me to be me in mine. I’m sending this out as a big piece of Love just for its own sake. Catch it, play with it, pass it on. I’m saying, ‘I’m reaching out to you, and am here as you reach out to me…’

Connections create beautiful patterns, just like those awesome synchronised swimming ladies in their flowery bathing caps, a kaleidoscopic dance of smiling support and fascinating inter-relatedness. Imagine what this looks like from far, far away, how the Big Picture of Connection appears from say, a different star system or distant galaxy. I bet it looks beautiful, and perhaps in a strange and enchanting language those patterns communicate something about us, incredible human beings all doing our best on this magical Earth. Perhaps they spell out words like ‘Hope’, or maybe they read ‘This Is The Shape Of Love’ or ask something like ‘Does This Look Like The Future To You?’.

Who knows, but Connection is a language I really want to get better at. Want to learn it together?

 

 

I would love to hear from you in the Comments…Let’s Connect!

 

Yes, it’s a wild ride (but I wouldn’t have it any other way…)

best magic carpet

A while ago I felt really moved (in a ‘Corinne, this is your deepest, truest self speaking, and if you don’t book those tickets, I’ll have something to say about it’ kind of way) to book myself a ticket to Spain and go and live in a tipi for a while with some really beautiful souls where we danced and ate veggies from the garden and pointed out the eagles (yes!) and the vultures (40 of them in a huge swirl!) to each other in between dances and swimming in the river…

When I booked that ticket I had no idea I was going to do all those things, or what I was really signing up for, but I knew I just had to be there. This was an interesting feeling in itself as I hadn’t felt it for sometime, so I was curious, and wanted to see where it those Spirity breadcrumbs might lead.

I’d needed a new suitcase for my trip so I looked online and scrolled through loads of perfectly nice, perfectly functional luggage options. Meh…Then something caught my eye: a bejewelled little beauty, the veritable suitcase of my Dreams. I bought it, and soon it was on its way. Eee!

Now this was where it got interesting. The suitcase arrived, and rather than rip open the parcel in the child-at-Christmas type frenzy you might expect, I let the huge cardboard box sit in my hall, not just for one day, but for two, and then three. I was ignoring it. One day, coming through the door and manoeuvering my way round what had literally become The Suitcase In The Room, I knew I had to face it. What the dickens was going on here?

I took a breath and listened, scouting around inside myself to find out. Ooh, interesting: I didn’t want to open the box. ‘Why not Corinne?’ (talking to myself in a kind and gentle way, so as not to scare myself off the trail…) ‘Well, when I open it, I know I won’t really like it and it’ll be a huge disappointment and I’ll feel rubbish.’ I suddenly recognised I’d been in very similar situations before, Dreaming something into life, then pushing it away by telling myself it wasn’t what I really wanted, and feeling hugely let down and upset. And here, in the middle of the floor was this box, like an enormous present containing something beautiful just for me, and I was already getting ready to reject it. Hmm. (How I love these little inner-stalking missions…)

But it didn’t stop there. I dug a little deeper and found the gold: underneath lay a little part of me that believed I didn’t even deserve anything beautiful, that it would just disappear anyway, so pretending I didn’t really want it was the best way to proceed. Gosh! Whilst that might have been true long ago, it wasn’t what I wanted to believe or do now, so I gave that little version of me a hug and we decided to move bravely on.

So, ceremoniously brandishing the kitchen scissors, I cut through the tape and slowly opened the box. My heart was beating, and I think I may even have been sweating a bit. I could feel myself not wanting to look, putting off the inevitable heart-sinking ‘Oh, it’s not as nice as I’d hoped for…’ moment, but I pushed through and pulled out the suitcase. Right then, I felt the temptation to reject it. It was interesting. I felt the possibility of convincing myself it was garish and ugly, feeling stupid for wanting it and now having to lug around this lumpen reminder of my disappointment and failure for the rest of my days…But that approach actually felt a bit boring, so in that moment I chose a different one. I saw its beauty. It was beautiful. It was an awesomely beautiful suitcase, but, friends, indulge me, it was so much more than that.

I was experimenting with actively saying Yes to something gorgeous, welcoming Beauty and Lovely Stuff into my life, and celebrating it. So I chose to choose that, and every day I would stroke this little suitcase as I passed it (at one point I even hefted it up into my arms like an unwieldy and squarish child so I could dance with it) and started to see it as my magic carpet, my travelling companion to unknown and mysterious places, and it would kind of twinkle back at me with the delicious promise of adventure in its suitcase-y eye. I started declaring, ostensibly to myself, but just in case the suitcase (or Anything Else) was listening: ‘Welcome, Beauty! Welcome, Love! Fantastickness, thanks so much for showing up!’

suitcase.jpg

‘Why, thank you…’

This was the true Gift: I’d spotted an old pattern of behaviour that didn’t fit me any more, loved it into a happier shape and had consciously begun to welcome Lovely Things into my Life. And so, my magic carpet flew me all the way into a wondrous adventure and back, and afterwards, as I came into land in Everyday Life, things felt a little bumpy, and there was some definite turbulence as I made the transition from slow-motion-off-grid-tipi-experience and onto the nail-biting-single-mum-of-teenage-boys rollercoaster. I guess at some point I’d booked myself onto both.

But the great thing about magic carpets is that from all the way up there, you get a whole new perspective on things, so returning from my journey and in the face of my two boys healthily pushing boundaries all over the place (it’s their job, I know that, and they do it so well…), I was more able (mostly, when I wasn’t leaving the room to take a breath or have a little weep) to remember the Big Picture and connect to the deep humming frequency of Joy. It’s challenging but helpful to do this when you tidy up a boy’s room and find something weird (then realise what it is, and you wish you hadn’t), or when your teenage son answers your polite request to move a sock with a whirlwind of roars and expletives that leaves you blinking slowly and wondering, ‘What just happened there?’ And it’s ongoing, this challenge to hold my centre in the centre of a little whirlwind here and there, but actually I wouldn’t want it any other way – it hones my Commit To Joy warrior skills in a way that just wouldn’t be happening otherwise, and I’m a better person for it, I know this.

Like so many of you expressed last week, things can feel simply overwhelming and crazy at times, and we’re all feeling it, both in our home lives, and when we look out to the wider world we are all part of. Let’s remember that the small steps we each take to bring more Calm or Love or Joy to our own small experiences might be rippling out and making a difference to the Bigger Picture, and as we calm ourselves, talking gently and with tenderness to those parts of us that are sad or hurting, maybe that’s us also doing our bit to soothe the world.

So, lovely friends, as we encourage the presence of Beauty in our lives this week, say Yes to Love, and start to really believe that we are all worthy of this, let’s share how things unfold for us, encouraged by knowing that we are all in this together. Yes! And watch out for Magic showing up in its many shapeshifty forms (this post was going to be called ‘When Is A Suitcase Not A Suitcase..?’) because who knows what breadcrumbs might start to appear on the path, to lead us into Goodness knows where..? Magic carpets ahoy!