“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.” ~ May Sarton
After spending three months in Ireland and two months finding and settling into our new home in Mill Creek, WA, I’m back at my desk again. My “desk” is a comfy down chair with an ottoman. I’m sitting here with my feet up, my laptop balanced on my thighs, a cup of tea and my phone within easy reach.
I can’t tell you how amazing these past months have been. The time in Ireland worked me to my soul’s core. Challenging me beyond anything I could have imagined. I’ve learned so much about myself and what’s important to me at this time in my life.
It hasn’t been easy.
Not that I expected being alone with myself to be easy. I didn’t. I was anticipating and prepared myself for the usual suspects—shame, regret, and inadequacy—to have a field day making their opinions known as if for the first time. Those voices are not strangers. And, they didn’t disappoint, being the first to greet me as I stepped into the quiet.
I wasn’t prepared for what happened next.
With nowhere to go, no schedule to keep, no Internet or cell service, I was forced to stay present and learn to tolerate feeling uncomfortable with myself for more than five minutes. My vision of writing by the fire, rain lashing at the windows didn’t happen. It was sunny most of the time. I went outside. And there I found what I was looking for. What I needed most.
I needed the sound of the distant ocean waves. I needed to feel the soft breeze on my cheeks. I needed to sit and watch the crows, gulls, and herons and listen to their voices. I needed to smile and say “hello” to fellow passersby. I needed the cup of tea with friends. I needed ten hours of sleep at night. I needed to not do a single darn thing.
I had to let go of feeling disappointment in myself for not writing as much as I’d hoped, and not living up to my expectations of what I thought I would accomplish while in Ireland. That my time there didn’t shape itself in the way I’d imagined. Instead, the gift was found in a deepening of knowing myself by connecting with the natural world around me.
I re-ignited my passion for the work I do.
And, while I could choose to spend the rest of my days sitting in front of a peat fire, reading, and sipping tea, I am instead feeling an enormous desire to step more fully into my work supporting others in finding their deep wisdom, trusting themselves to know what they want and guiding them to live from their heart.
We don’t have time for anything else.