sailing into big sky country

I am not afraid of storms,
for I am learning how to sail my ship.
— louisa mae alcott

It's another rainy, dreary day here in South Carolina. My mood matches the gray. I don't want to think about whatever the next step is. I'd rather choose wrapping up in the bed and watching a movie but I tried that last night. It didn't work. The core of me knows that, though a good session of pillows and a movie is called for from time to time, now is not the time for that. 

There is a storm brewing within and it is spilling out all over me. I am churning through life right now. One moment pulled to the top and the next, I am scraping the bottom. On the surface, I am determined and focused. Sure. I keep saying that I am sure. It's true. 

What is within is not doubt. It is not uncertainty. It is agitation. It is all systems go. My fires are roaring to life. I am preparing for launch. It feels huge. Expansive. It is overwhelming. 

In my rawness, every thing is sensory overload. Sounds are amplified and i feel pounded by even the slightest noise. Music is my muse yet every note is pulling the ache from my heart, pooling into my eyes, tears streaming down. What is wrong? Nothing is wrong. Nothing. So many things are right and I am not sure that I feel comfortable with so many things being right. Maybe that is why I feel the unease.

I had a mentoring session last week and one of the questions was "what is ready to grow?" I quickly wrote down my answer: me, my life, my work. In my meditation, I envisioned myself under a big sky, a huge sky, an expansive sky. I felt small but knew that I would grow to fill that space. But for now I feel small and the bigness feels a bit scary. 

When I went to see my son in Yellowstone in August, I was surprised by how the hugeness of the landscape pulled me from my moorings. The first day and a half, I felt frantic and uncomfortable. I told my son and he said, "well, Mom, it is Big Sky country!" Yes, yes it is. I feel like I am in Big Sky country right now. In Yellowstone, I developed strategies to feel grounded. Whenever I could, I contained myself. When we went into restaurants to eat, I would sit in the corner with walls around me. I ate heavy food, meat and potatoes. I played with rocks at the lake. I am needing some strategies now to help me navigate through this storm. 

There are tools that I haven't been using as well as I have in the past. My journaling practice is thin. My painting practice is sporadic. My planning sessions are pushed to the end of the line. I never reach the end of the line. I've forgotten to plant my intention deeply and to not let it get removed for anything less important. 

  • I need my creative practice. 
  • I need time with my husband.
  • I need connection with my children.
  • I need community and deep conversations. 
  • I need playtime to explore.
  • I need to feed my body well.
  • I need to move the body.
  • I need nesting and naps. 
  • I need time and space to be still and listen. 

These are non-negotiable. These are my anchors, my tethers.

Taking time to write these words this morning help me see my way through. It helps reduce the big feeling of the storm right now. It helps me return to feeling sure that I know how to sail through this storm. It's huge. I keep saying that I am a small dreamer, that I am more comfortable with the small things however, I don't see small when I close my eyes. I feel huge calling to me. Shit. Ok. Gulp. Let's do this. 

Last night before we went to sleep, my husband said to me, "Tomorrow, you paint." It's such a simple and informed directive. He wasn't suggesting. He wasn't commanding. He was directing me back to myself. He knows me like that. 

Let's get busy, shall we? It's time to paint.