Responding To Trouble In Paradise

I woke up to a magnitude 6.4 earthquake this morning. It was rather perfect timing, actually. I felt at that moment, exactly how mama Gaia must have felt. She was mirroring my heart. Under pressure, uncomfortable, so much turbulence under the surface…sweet Jesus, something’s gotta give. And boy, did it ever.

The roof of our bedroom shook, the dogs outside starting howling and barking, while the roosters and chickens that live around our housed erupted in a hilarious cacophony of shrieks and gobbles. I laid in bed with half-smile of relief, not the kind of response you’d expect in these circumstance and I honestly surprised myself. My partner lay next to me silent, last night was the first (and last) time we went to bed angry with each other.

After 7 weeks of being on this adventure together, we’ve spent nearly every one of those days side by side, working on business, finding housing, getting settled. It’s been exciting and rewarding but also challenging and confronting on many levels. It’s not natural to fit two lives into one, and we’re just getting our bearings enough to venture out and make friends, give each other some healthy space. Last night I let these pressures get the best of me, and in an unconscious moment I snapped at him for doing something I thought was particularly frustrating. Not one of my better moments but I was humbled by it.

So here I am now, bed shaking and yet I’m feeling relief. It’s as if mama Gaia was reassuring me, “Hey, it’s ok to break down once in a while. You don’t always have to hold it all together.” It was exactly the permission I needed to let the tears roll, sob and express myself – to acknowledge the beauty in my own humanity. To admit to myself the fears I’m moving through and the people and things I miss, the frustration of not having freedom of mobility yet, the mixed feelings of overwhelm and isolation, of not having a routine or seeing my loved ones. This place moves at such a different pace than what I’m used to and it’s made me reflect upon my own lack of patience and trust in the flow of life. I have so many things to learn from this land and people.

So today, I let go of the things I was “supposed” to do, and made this day about loving myself instead. It’s not about what I “should” or “shouldn’t” be feeling. It’s not even about getting “happy’. I don’t need to obsess about what I “should” be creating or writing, but instead give myself permission to be unapologetically sloppy. To take care of the inner child that needs a little love and acceptance. It’s about pampering myself, giving myself permission to be wholly ME in all my snobby snot and glory. 😃 It’s about SELF LOVE. I’ve found time and again, it’s one of the HARDEST things for me to do at first, but it’s the BEST medicine for me when life’s outer circumstances have me spinning. It helps me ground and find peace in my center, to let go of self-judgements and doubts.

Self love is relaxing into the beauty of our flaws, uncertainty and life’s crack’s. It reminds me of the tradition of ‘Kintsugi’, this beautiful Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold laced between the cracks.Teaching us how to turn the broken bits of our selves and our world into something beautiful. If we can do that to pottery, my friends, we can treat our own flaws with elegance and grace too.

I have tendency to make big life-moves, forging ahead into the unknown with boldness only to take in the immensity of it’s tremors afterwards. I’ll feel my world shaken like it was this morning, literally and figuratively.

But you know what, I’m still ok.

Actually, I’m better than ok. Just making the decision to love myself today and be OK with the breakdown, be OK with the raw vulnerability and my “weaknesses”, has already shifted me into a state of gratitude for the gifts I have. Gratitude is when the real shift begins and miracles manifest. Now I’m finding the magic and humor in the raw moment. I have a good man next to me, who is human and makes mistakes too, but loves me and is there for me even when I’m at my worst. I have new girlfriends willing to hang and say “F-it” to today’s “should” dos (because we all need a break for self-care once in a while). Today, I have a beautiful place to explore with a fresh perspective, art to be made and an inner child to hug.

As I’ve said before, the universe rewards us for taking risks for ourselves, no matter how big or small. So the lesson in all of this is that our outer world may toss, turn and shake, but we’re still (and always) being held in the this giant field of LOVE. If we can be our own biggest support and stick to our daily practices of mindfulness, meditation and self-care, then we’ll find ourself still standing day after day, and the sun will shine brighter and our heart will be lighter and we’ll never lose sight of our way. Oh hey! 😉


p.s. No one was hurt in the earthquake, all good here. 🙂

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