Thursday, 15 June 2017

Letting Go and Moving On...

Letting Go and Moving On.

A big subject for me just now as I prepare to leave the house of my dreams, and I Googled these words to see if there were any hints out there to help navigate this rather bumpy-feeling path. I hadn’t looked before because I thought it was only ‘the death of a loved one’ or ‘a painful breakup’, or ‘a business failure’, etc, which could in anyway validate my enquiry.... After all my current letting go and moving on is a choice I have made, one I am blessed beyond measure to even be in a position to make, and one where I have had about three years to work through the discomfort and regret before I move next week. And yet there is still this heavy, clunky, fear-full grief around, a 'something which just is’ as part of all our lives at times, and yet one I notice I feel I don’t want to have, or maybe even ‘shouldn’t have’; being a teacher and mentor of releasing and relieving uncomfortable emotions. And so, because I am ever learning about my trade (and I have to get on with the packing) I am pondering this ‘clunky feeling’.

It seems most words are written for those who actually have no choice in the matter of letting go and moving on; it’s more ‘ripped asunder with having no idea where to go next’, and my heart bleeds for them. No, for me I am standing on the edge of a precipice which I walked up to all on my own. But it’s still as scary as hell - ‘what ifs’ filling my mind like white noise, preventing clear and rational thought.

I remind myself that we live in a ‘mind’ world - change your mind, think positive, tell yourself it’ll be ok, lots of good things will happen, worse things happen at sea, you’ll be fine, you’re doing great, don’t worry so much..... But our minds live in our bodies and our bodies is where we feel. My body is used to certain items and how they feel, how they work - like the sofa, the washing machine, the lawn-mower, and the background sounds, and the way the light enters a room. New ones will take getting used to... And these feelings are unconditionally valid to our bodies, even if our minds like to mock at their seeming selfishness. Just now I feel trepidation as butterflies in my stomach. I feel sadness as an ache in my heart. And I am simply using my mind to relate to you the feelings I have in my body. 

I know that seems a separation - me and my body - but we’re a team, a ‘one-of-parts’, a relationship; each bringing different things to the party that is Me. And the mind does not know it all, it really doesn’t. My body did all the experiencing, and which it well remembers, and it wants to warn me of and protect me from the unpleasant experiences, and to care for me and its part of me. It doesn’t want to experience more of the ‘making a(nother) big mistake’ stuff, or the ‘stress from trying to do everything solo’, or the ‘exhaustion from not taking regular rests’.

My body has moved house too many times to even count. And pretty well everyone of the moves were traumatic in reason and happening. So my body is resisting to the last. Calling out for reassurance. Reaching out to know it’s not alone. Checking this isn’t the same as all the others....

This house has been the first home I feel where I have felt safe. This house was where I thought I’d be forever. I saw this house in my mind’s eye in 1982. This house was the culmination of 28 years’ dreaming. And it was an out-and-out miracle when it came to me in 2010. So leaving it finds my mind being all grown up and my body being about three years old.  And my mind wants to shut my body up. But I also know this can have detrimental effects, if not now, later on down the line. 

So I am asking my body how it feels. What does it need? It wants to know it's being listened to. Nurtured and appreciated, not just used. And to be trusted to manage, not doubted. Mostly it needs to be acknowledged; to have the feelings felt, even the ‘I have no idea what I am feeling’ feelings. 

Given that there have been a lot of horrible feelings associated with ‘letting go and moving on’ for me, just maybe the ‘I’m not sure what I am feeling’ feeling is because it isn’t the same feeling as before. Just maybe I am doing this thing better than I ever expected. It just feels wrong because it is unfamiliar... I ‘should’ (ha!), in my role as Alexander Technique teacher, know that one because when we let go of familiar-but-unhelpful movement and life-reaction patterns the new seems all wrong. We need our AT teacher to not only reveal new ways of being to us, but to reassure us that all is going well, because relying on and needing our old sensory feedback can pull us straight back where we were before. I notice as I sit with this that something in me is expecting certain feelings - shame, guilt, embarrassment, resentment, anger, terror, self-damning, contraction, stiffness - but I’m not feeling them, and it’s weird. But it’s also pretty cool!

I’ve been able to do a lot more inner work here in this amazing Tree House; its been possibly the best teacher of my whole life. ‘TH’ taught me in to it, taught me during my stay here, and has taught me out of it too.  And held me safe during all of it. I am incredibly blessed. But, as the saying goes: ‘Ships are safe in harbour, but that’s not what ships are for’, and ‘TH’ said this to me about two years ago, and despite blocking my ears for ages before hearing, and then going through all those emotions a few lines back, I eventually listened, and now here I am, surrounded by boxes, change-of-address cards, and a sense of ok-ness I need to ok.

This ship-of-me will miss this beautiful ‘harbour’ very, very much. This me-ship is not gung-ho at all - really very timid - but will head out to ‘see’ anyway... 

No, I didn’t need others' words for letting go and moving on, however lovely they are; I just needed to hear my own. Listen to your own body’s words too? They are for you, by you, best for you.

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