November 2016 | Navigating Our Two Sides

Greetings from my new home! Moving and uprooting my life definitely challenges me in the most unusual and unsettling way. I found I am not as prepared for it as much as I'd hoped.

Being in the mountains during Fall is quite a gift. I look around and see the bursting of colors, the richness of culture and the warmth and joy of the people here in Blue Ridge haven. It's more than just another place to live, it's a state of mind, an opportunity to create, a chance to explore both inside and out.

However, I think we all know that we can feel these wonderful emotions of extreme appreciation, passion, joy and enthusiasm, and simultaneously feel lonely, confused, overwhelmed, afraid and sad all in a given day...a given moment. And it isn't wrong, it just is. There are always two sides of us battling it out. The way out of the emotional hamster wheel for me is to decipher which voice, which side of me I want to keep listening to. When I can stop a feeling of persistent worry about something trivial, I start to ask the bigger questions, going beyond the angst of daily struggles.

How do I want to lead my life? how do I want to treat others?

The bigger questions lead me to the smaller, daily situations and encounters.
How do I want approach an extremely stressful situation or the complexity of a day where nothing is going right? Is this really as bad as I am telling myself it is? What can I choose for myself in this moment, as hard as it seems?

I'll tell you one thing: I have a lot yet to master..a lot. Sometimes that shift feels like turning a cargo ship 180 degrees. The complication of being human is not easy to navigate. It can be somewhat subdued with these questions and realigning how I want to show up. However, the real clarity and comfort comes from my faith. I am not necessarily talking about religion. I am talking about a faith in a better life, faith that there is meaning to all of this, and that there is a strong guiding presence and force that has helped me along, and is showing us the way, the path to benevolence. AND it's the faith that my actions count, my efforts matter greatly, and they make a difference even if it's just for one person.

Last week, the ATT guy showed up at our house, got his van stuck and spun his tires, digging deep trenches in our newly graded driveway. He then almost went off the side of the hill, almost crushed the drain pipe and almost took out some beautiful trees. I stood at the top of the drive, frozen, as I watched him continue to make it worse and started wondering how the heck we were going to pull him out. He eventually made the turn, with the help of our carpenter, then tried to patch it up with his feet saying "I'll fix it". I looked at him somewhat calmly (but probably sneering) and said "and how will you do that?" He said "with a shovel."  I hid my smirk, knowing he didn't have one, and proceeded to walk inside, freaking out internally and called our builder in desperate tears. After leaving a message I decided to try and shift, calmed myself as best as I could, and remembered that nothing too horrible happened (just a lot of close calls). When he came in the house I decided to treat him like a guest, maybe even as a friend. I could tell he felt terrible and was being extra careful inside. We started talking and I learned a little about his life and he about mine. He then explained that the ground was pretty soft since we hadn't had much rain, so that could be why his van got stuck. I refrained from saying "yes or it could have been your crazy ass driving down the hill taking the turn too fast." In hindsight, I see that my reaction overall wasn't the best, but it also wasn't the worst. Mastering our lives is an ongoing journey, and we learn so much along the way. We learn how to balance caring/being meticulous with letting go, being calm without apathy or resignation, humility without self effacement, tolerance without indulging others, diligence without anxiety, and a strong will without obsession.

With Peace,