“In order to have new views of life you have to have new conversations. Then you take new actions. And then you get a new result.”
I did it.
I went to a Landmark forum meeting. Like many people I’ve heard of and known a few people who have done Landmark and have given it the shady side-eye for a series of reasons.
-You did Landmark and you’re still not happy. Why?
-It has to be a racket
-It sounds cultish and sketchy
-Ummm…don’t tell me what to do.
A friend of mine, a really lovely lady who I like a lot invited me and it just so happened that it was time. I’ve been seeking so I heard the call. I practice having an open heart and being aware and conscious of my cynicism and self imposed blockages. This was free. Why not? So what ended up happening was that I connected with people on an authentic and vulnerable level. That’s not a small thing. It never is.
The last time I was at a meeting like this was the Kamaria circle my dear friend at soulsistah4real invited me to be apart of. Again I was invited by friends who were graduates of the program because they know something about me and they see that I need some structure, development, discipline and breakthrough to get my whole life together. They love me. The Kamaria circle is Black woman centered and about developing leadership skills in women of the diaspora. I went to my friends graduation from the Kamaria circle last year and it was amazing to see the transformations and the seeds that had begun to flower from the work Black women were doing there. And I was still scared. I was afraid I was not up to the task of making a deeper commitment to myself. That sounds crazy just reading that. Scared to make a deeper commitment to myself. But I get it.
Last night at Landmark I was gently encouraged by a graduate who was sitting next to me (I got there right on time but to late to meet my friend who I spotted sitting further up in a different row) to go up to one of the mics set up next to stage where the speaker had invited guests to come and share with the audience. When the opportunity presented itself I raised my hand and was called up with one other guest. And I shared. I shared what I was working on about myself and challenges and realizations and gratitude for having been invited. And it felt good.
And afterwards several people came to me to thank me for what I said and all I could do was say thank you to them for being there and that I was so glad that received whatever they needed from what I said. I can’t tell you how good that felt, to be able to give something to people just by being my authentic self. So simple and yet so powerful.
My heart is still spinning. It was like a natural high…
It’s been an emotionally exhausting Summer so far.
I’m having trouble staying awake at my desk and that’s a bad sign. My mom has been visiting with us for the month of July which means I’m up late a lot hanging with her which had been great but then I’m up very early because the cat has been sleeping in the bedroom with my husband and I and he gets up at 5am on the dot like clockwork.
We’ve all gotten really close.
I will be off on my second vacation of the Summer next week and I’m really thinking seriously about staying off the internet or any social media for that entire week. Because quite honestly, outside of my daily morning ritual, the only thing I do consistently without fail each day is log on to the various popular social media platforms. And sometimes I don’t even know why. And that worries me. I’ve become very preoccupied with certain prolific youtube vloggers, I’m constantly on Snapchat, facebook and instagram and I noticed last night that when mom had to call my great Aunt who lives in London on my cellphone, (We don’t have a landline) I literally felt lost without it.
I didn’t know what to do with my hands!!!! My thumbs were having an anxiety attack.
So next week, while I’m on vacation I’m shutting all my social media interaction down. It’s not going to be easy but I have to. I’m not saying all social media is bad but many people I know have hit a wall with it and now that time has come for me.
I used to play board games, develop film, write stories with a pen and paper, listen to music like just listen to music and nothing else. I used to read books! I can’t remember the last book I read! Oh man that Snapchat is addictive. LOL!! I have a feeling that a lot of it has to do with remaining in a place, at a job that I’ve outgrown and not knowing what my next steps should be. And then instead of trying to figure that out, I log on to hulu and watch “Clear and Present Danger.” That movie is sooooo good!
But I digress.
I want to produce more than I consume or at least as much as I consume. I wonder if that’s even possible. I’ll be exploring that during my Social Media fast.
It’s been a challenging but rewarding long holiday weekend. It’s been busier and more challenging than I would have wanted but I’m starting to learn that there’s a plan for everything and it’s not always the one we might wish but it’s always towards our greater good. I am grateful and thankful for having had this time to figure out that despite what often feels like chaos and disorder there are a few things I know definitively.
- One of the things I love most about nature is that there are no ads there! I dragged my husband put to walk in one of the several large parks in our neighborhood we have not yet explored and as we were entering it I head some distant car or radio somewhere playing the Woodside Honda jingle. And it occurred to me in that moment that we were about to leave that behind for a bit when we headed into the park, that the moments I spend in nature devoid of being mentally invaded by jingles and poster boards, commercials or brand names are what allow my mind to find rest, contentment and recharge. Nature doesn’t try to sell you anything. If anything it allows you to reconnect to yourself and the present moment and it that to see and feel a wild, uncontaminated beauty. I need it like water.
- My husband is my partner in the truest sense. I know he doesn’t like being in nature as much as I do or for the same reasons but when he’s there with me he fully commits as much as he can and in a spiritual sense, he’s the one who tethers me when I’m flying to high or become lost in curiosity and amazement or even fear. To have a life partner who can truly support you, someone you can laugh with, let go with, build with is truly a blessing. When I lay with him at night, when I’m in his arms, when we touch I know with everything in me that he’s my one, the one I fit with, the one I can trust, I can fall into. We respect one another’s space and boundaries and are always working towards discovering ways we can fulfill each other’s needs in a balanced and authentic way.
3. Cleaning is a spiritual thing. Lately, when I am at my most frustrated or at a loss or helpless feeling, I clean. I never thought I would ever be a woman who cleaned for catharsis but I guess I’m becoming one. Whenever I do it, I feel like it’s symbolic. I feel like creating order and cleanliness in my living space is creating something similar within me or sending a message in the universe about what I want and need, that I am opening up a way to allow new things in. My reason for cleaning on Monday was more specific. My mom is coming to visit and stay with my husband and me for a bit and I’m very excited to have her here and to spend quality time with her. Coincidentally, the new moon was this weekend so cleaning and disposing of trash in preparation for my mom’s arrival is all happening in divine order as she would say. I’ve just been listened to music all day, my husband and I teamed up to clean and sweep and store groceries while taking small breaks in between. The small things are beautiful things. Monday felt exactly right.
- Disciplinary practice is the only way to manifest anything you want. I have been getting up in the morning and doing my yoga and stretches for months now and today for the first time, my lower back doesn’t feel tight or achy. It was so much easier for me to clean and help my husband carry groceries and generally not feel like I’m falling apart because my back is better today. Physical and mental health are the first level of wealth and we all deserve that. Staying on top of my physical health has been one of the best gifts I’ve given to myself and it won’t be the last. Making time each day to tend to my body, gets me out of my head and into my heart and spirit. It makes all the difference I need to be able to see that I am capable of more than I am able to presently comprehend.