As I move through my days, I've noticed that the flags are flying at half mast. Every time I see this, my mind jumps through the same thoughts. My first thought is, "there has been a tragedy." Then I think, "Another one." Then I wonder if there were so many tragedies when I was a child. There very well could have been. I just wasn't aware of it. Then I wonder if the event was on American soil or abroad. Honestly, I've lost track. And I don't track their sources. It's too much for my system to bear. I send out my condolences and a prayer for authentic peace to the air and move on, until I see the next flag hanging at half mast. Thought cycle repeat.
I realized this week that I've been half grieving this Fall. This grief has been building to a point that I can no longer ignore it. I'm tipping into full grief.
Here's my list:
1. The passing of many beautiful souls this year. Old friends, friends' parents, family members that are no longer at our holiday table, old friends and acquaintances who are in the final days of their lives, making the most of their time left on this beautiful blue ball. I take solace in my knowing that they are on their soul's path. But I still grieve their passing.
2. The unexpectedness of this year. It has been a good year, yes. But there have been many things that I thought would work out that just didn't. Time marches on. I haven't lost hope by any means. But I am pressed against the jagged edge of reality. I'm being forced to take an honest stock of my life. I'm having to cut a lot of bait that I deeply cared about. For this I grieve.
3. The squeeze of my financial situation. Grief. Rage. Grief. Rage. Grief. I'm like a petulant child whining and stomping her feet when she doesn't get what she wants.
4. The gap between my vision and my reality. My time is like quick sand under my feet. Every week shifts and churns. Nothing is ever locked in. I manage to get things done, miraculously. But this shifting takes its toll on me. My web site, the keeper of my vision, doesn't match what I want to say. It's missing so much content. It continues to do so. More pressing issues make their way to the surface. This galls me to tears. I grieve.
5. I haven't thrown my leg over a horse in five years. I haven't snowboarded in 7. Biking and running are a distant memory. A part of my soul is dry and shriveled like moss in a drought. This part of me isn't dead or dying. It's simply waiting out a dry spell. There's wanting, yes. But she knows the rains will come in time. As long as I don't yank her from her safe haven, she will flourish again.
I'm somewhat of a grief newbie. It wasn't until I cracked myself open several months after my grandmother's death in 2012, that I felt deep grief for the first time in my life. Sadness, yes. Grief, not so much. I didn't know what to do with all that emotion at the time. Now, I have some rituals to support me. I give myself full permission to cry, to write in my journal, to rage, to sleep, to go deep into my grief, to let it wear me out so it can teach me what it wants me to know.
Why? Because grief is the pathway to moving my flags to full mast. It is the magic pill for preventing and treating emotional and physical numbness.
Just as we symbolically honor and recognize our grief as a nation by pulling our flags partway down, I honor and recognize my grief as an individual by pulling my flags partway down. I'm bringing them closer to me, closer to the ground, connecting with them before I set them free to fly.
There is something inside of me that wants to rise up. There is an intense flow of creativity brewing that will bring an evolution to my work that I cannot yet see. But I am so weary. So heavy with grief.
Am I sad? No.
Am I depressed? No.
Am I in a funk? Absolutely.
Am I without hope? Absolutely Not! (in fact, it's pulsing through my veins).
Here's what's happening. I'm on the precipice of living a fully creative life. It's not linear. It's full of chaos. It's a far cry from the normal and "predictable" that I have relied on and clung to as stability in my life to date.
I want to set my compass to this wild creative force. Tethered to my precious planet, I want to climb the mast in the high seas as the wind blows my hair around my face and carries my shouts across the air. I want to be weird. I want to be unusual. I want to be okay with saying things that don't make sense but I speak them anyway. I want to smile and laugh and play my way through this creative gauntlet.
I'm trading in the question, "how?" In exchange, I'm leap frogging from clue to clue, synchronistic event to synchronistic event. I'm breaking the chains of normal and practical and perfection. I'm cutting down and shaking off the dead wood of the past. I'm bringing in parts of myself that I haven't allowed myself to work with before. They refuse to be kept at bay.
For this, I need stability, an anchor. To get hitched with the wild creative, I need to plant my feet in terra firma. What does this mean?
1. I want to coach one more person. I want one brave soul that's ready to plant herself in terra firma and get hitched with her creativity.
2. Just as the President of The United States declares the flags at half mast for a set period of time, I, Kate Eskew, CEO of my life, now declare and place my flags at half mast until the early morning hours of Sunday, December 20, 2015. Further, on Saturday, December 19, 2015 at 10am Pacific, I'll be doing a telecall on the Winter Solstice. I dedicate this call to Grief. If this speaks to you, here are the details:
If you are feeling the pull of grief at this moment, I invite you to declare and place your flags to half mast with me for the coming days. It can be 10 days, like me. It can be fewer or it can be more. Write back to me and let me know that you are. Let me know how you process your grief. I'd love to know.
Here's the thing. You can do this and still have a good time over the holidays. This is my path to perk myself up for the festivities and to revitalize myself for the coming year. The dragging weight that I feel at the moment is a far cry from how I want to feel in the coming weeks. And it's even further from how I want to enter 2016.
Writing this letter is already putting some strength back in my legs. Writing to you gives me purpose. For that, I thank you.
Welcome. This is where I share what's on my mind and in my heart. You'll see that there's an offer to work with me in every letter. I'm shifting that as I go. Whether the offers excite you or turn you off I hope you find a juicy nugget or two in here that infuses you with more of you. Be kind to yourself because you rock. - Kate
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