A few days ago, I woke up eager to start my day, and yet also uninspired by my first task – and what lay ahead of me. Two classes and lots of grading were on my list, along with a couple of student requests for recommendations. Despite having a cup of coffee, I immediately felt drained.
I searched through the memory of meals from the day before, and I didn’t note anything sinister that might affect my energy. I had wine, but not so much that I would be sluggish. Still, I just wanted to lie down on the sofa and nap – and it wasn’t even 10:00 a.m.
A few hours passed and another class was tucked in to finish an assignment. I had yet to review any of their papers. Like many university professors, I love teaching and feel like I’m always behind the wave with the grading process. I also know that once I start, I actually enjoy giving feedback and marvel at what my students have written – at least most of them.
Lunchtime rolled around, and I decided to sit on the patio and actually stop for lunch. I had a 1:00 session scheduled with my mentor, Laurie Seymour, of The Baca Institute, and I wanted to shake the feeling of being uncomfortable in my body so I opened a 10-minute guided meditation on the Peloton app. I’d already tried rebounding (jumping on my mini-trampoline) and that hadn’t worked. I continued to feel uneasy.
A Reminder to Listen
Laurie and I have been working together monthly for over a year, and I credit our time together with the incredible leaps and bounds I’ve made both personally and professionally. I’ve been listening more to my intuition and willing to take risks. I no longer procrastinate out of fear but may hold back when I feel that something isn’t right rather than push through. My creativity has been enhanced, and I hear myself owning my expertise in meetings. I’m also committing to my business in ways that I never before considered.
Yet, that day, I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin. And I truly dislike that feeling.
In the first few minutes of our conversation, I mentioned to Laurie how I had. been taking steps to move my business along. I’ve also been longing for some quiet time to write––just sit and write. Although, I have no particular project in mind.
“Well, have you?” Laurie asked.
“No. I’ve put other projects mostly ahead of writing to catch up on a backlog,” I replied.
“That’s the problem,” she explained. “You’ve asked for guidance, and you’re not taking action.”
I suddenly had the vision of a dam holding back a huge amount of water. The dam was me, and I was struggling to contain the energy behind the wall.
Whenever I ask what it is I’m supposed to be doing, the answer is “write.” The energy behind the wall is the writing that wants to come through me, and I’m not sure I can pinpoint exactly what it is I’m going to write.
Surrender as a Practice
Yet, there is a part of me that knows to answer this call, I must surrender. Surrender isn’t easy, mostly because I don’t know what’s on the other side of it. The urge to control outcomes and direction isn’t easy to release; although, it’s been a practice for some time.
Laurie later explained that once we surrender, the demand for more surrender grows. I’ve surrendered before – many times, and it does seem that with each choice to surrender, I am taken to a different level, whether it be personally in body, mind, or spirit, or professionally, by stepping into new roles as a writer, mentor, and consultant.
I’ve also witnessed during the times that I’m being asked to spread my wings and fly even higher. I feel the longing to expand and hesitation creeps in behind it. Yet, synchronistically, people around me begin to say little things in alignment with the longing to expand. They seem to see something in me and my capabilities even before I’m willing to put voice to it – to come out of hiding.
Overcoming Not Good Enough
My sense is that a part of me still struggles with overcoming the feeling of “not being good enough,” to step into a greater role. Yet, just as I’ve silenced the voice of the guidance counselor who told me I’d never write, I will silence the voice of my mother, mainly, who admonished me “not to get above my raisin.’” And so too, will I turn my ear from the ghostly voices of partners who demanded that their dreams and visions be placed ahead of my own.
I know it must be done if I’m to shake this feeling of being uncomfortable in my own skin. When I ask, what is it that I’m to do, and I receive an answer, I must do it – whether it’s rest, or write, or read, or move my body.
Apparently, surrender, like writing, is a practice – not something to be done in fits and starts, but to choose daily.
I’ve mentioned Laurie Seymour many times in my posts and my blogs. On October 24 and 25th, she’s offering a Tureya Meditation Intensive, and I’ll be there. I know it will be a transformative time. Please join us: https://thebacainstitute.com/turaya-meditation-intensive/