Sometimes we can see our goal or vision but we just can’t reach it. We feel like it’s literally just beyond reach. We can smell it, see it, taste it but it’s just over there a little beyond arms length. Doubling back sounds counter productive but may be the smartest thing to do. If we take a beat, back up a few, sit and allow this to be as it is, then we open the space needed for the new direction to come in. We can see another way around that will allow us to go further than we were now.
I thought of this as I tied my two dogs out in our backyard on their leads. The leads are anchored between two great big lovely trees that are magnificent and beautiful. That lead has another lead on it that attaches to the dogs’ harness and allows the dogs to run freely between the trees and as far out as the attached lead will take them. These leads, of course, get stuck on stumps or rocks or wrapped around other trees. This is what made me realize that I need to take a beat. Just stop for a second, quiet down and reassess. But not reassess my ‘thinking’ yet rather my connection to the divine. This is where we can ‘feel’ or ‘know’ which way to go that best aligns with us and our highest purpose. I do feel like I’m following my intuition, which is the way I want to live, but I also have a lot of irons in the fire, so to speak, that can leave me confused and unsure of which way I’m ‘suppose’ to go. I have a lot brewing and I love having a lot of creative things going on but it also can leave me scattered and feeling like I don’t have enough time or I’m not getting enough done. The need to prioritize came up in my tarot card pull yesterday and today the spontaneous thought as I was tying the dogs out really brings that message together. Stop a second. Prioritize. Get clear. And then and only then move forward with purposeful aligned action. The only thing is, we never know when we will get the messages to move forward and a lot of times the hardest thing to do is just to stay still. And that’s where I am right now. Just trying to stay still and be okay in what my ‘mind’ tells me is useless wastes of time, but yet my heart/soul tells me is necessary to really understand what messages are coming from my intuition and the divine and what messages are weeds of the mind and ego.
So getting back to my dog. There’s the big tree which is closest to the house and that has the first lead attachment to it that spans to the second tree. The running lead we clip to the dogs harness can go left or right around this big tree. So he can either run right or left around the big tree to get further into the back yard. Most of the critters, chipmunks and squirrels are running around by the shed which is to the right back corner of the yard. My dog, Sims, got clipped on and then ran around the tree passing its left side and ran towards the back right corner towards the shed. Since the lead had to use a few extra feet to wrap around the tree to the left he was able to get close to the shed but not actually get TO the shed like he can when he goes right around the tree. This left him stretching and pulling and whining because he could see where he wanted to go but he just couldn’t get there. I stared for a second and thought, how many times does he do this and not learn the lesson of just making sure to go right around the tree allowing him the most length in his lead possible? And then I thought of me. Oh yeah, I do the same thing. I have all these ideas and I’m running around ‘the yard’ in my head trying to get to the ‘shed’ that I can see and want to be at but because I’m so busy just running around and chasing squirrels and chipmunks and not fully paying attention to the aligned direction I’m going, I feel like I end up just out of reach of my intended destination. Now the truth is, maybe I don’t. Maybe that journey is the intended destination because those are lessons I have to learn; and not that there ever really is a destination because things keep right on moving and changing. But when feelings of choking myself off come, I know I’m running around too much and not paying attention to clarity and being still enough to align with what I know feels right.
I can do this by journaling and writing up my contract with myself which journaling is something I love to do so would work for me and by scheduling in STOP time. Downtime, mediation, quiet time, alone time, contemplation time, prayer time whatever you wanna call it without any intent on momentum. That time is strictly for being. Just sitting in that moment and not striving or pushing or looking to gain something. Just being. I’ve had a daily practice in the past and lately I’ve been better about having a daily practice of yoga, mediation, qigong or walking/hiking, reading etc that allows me to quiet down my mind and relieve anxiety and stress but one thing I’ve been noticing, that I’m working on, is that even then I’m letting thoughts come in and catering to them. I’ll stop my yoga flow to jot down an idea that comes into my head. Or as I’m on my peaceful walk I’ll pull out my phone and make notes to check into later. It’s because my mind is always active and running that I must make strictly being, without allowing thoughts to take over, a priority. The time to ‘not pander to my thoughts’ but to say thank you to my thoughts for coming but not listen to them in that moment. Not write them down. Not get stuck on the thoughts and keep following it down a rabbit hole. Just let it come and go. This I know I need to work on and will pull me back from choking myself around the tree. Allowing me to cut through all the noise to really be able to feel what is right. I’ve been getting better at this as of late and I really do feel a shift happening and I’m going to keep at it. Even my paintings have changed. My paintings went from active and splashing and sort of chaotic, moving as I worked through my emotions or anxiety to now being very much a mindfulness practice for me. Where I can focus my mind on just that one task and put my full attention into the act that I’m doing without thinking of the next step just the part I’m doing. I absolutely love it. It has helped me tremendously. I still like splish splashing paint so of course I still do that but I also try to do that more mindfully. Appreciating every drop and splat and swish. Then I put mindful presence into the continuation of that painting shifting into more defined shapes and mixed colors and it all comes together beautifully, ceremoniously.
Mindfulness practice has really helped me focus better but I know that making space for quiet, doing nothing and not allowing my thoughts to take me out of that state will help me even more. And I have to make it a priority. Because my busy brain would rather be ‘doing’ anything else. Watching my dog wrap himself around the tree making him just out of reach of his goal showed me that I’m doing the same thing to myself. I’m choking myself by straining and pulling and running around all busy in my brain and out of my brain, that if I just stopped pulling, backed up a few steps and went back home, (quieted my mind) I would be able to see clearer where I wanted or needed to go. Maybe it’s a few steps over to the right and then around the tree. And there I’d be, along the path that will get me to that shed I can see ahead of me.
Another thing I know is that it doesn’t even matter what you do. It really doesn’t as long as you’re not choking yourself off from your intuition. If you’re following what feels good and right at the time and you’re trusting your intuition about what you’re suppose to do, then that’s the right thing to do. We learn the lessons we need along the way and we may never get to the shed but we may get to something even better. Or we never get to the shed but get to something we didn’t desire but this end leads to something unexpected that we couldn’t even have imagined. Either way the lessons are there for us to take and keep moving forward. All are equally good because we are trusting our intuition to lead us. And that makes life feel good. And what’s better then life feeling good?
Do you ever feel like a dog wrapped around a tree pulling and straining to get to the critter you’re chasing? I’d love to hear. Leave me a comment.
From my heart to yours,