Friday, April 11, 2014

Windy weather

There's a cyclone at the top end of the State, in far north Queensland, that is crossing the coast as I type this. It's a category 4, with winds up to 230km per hour. Scary stuff - I've been through a few cyclones that were not as strong as this one and the power unleashed is awe inspiring and really frightening. The noise of a cyclone is just as frightening as the power of the wind. So my thoughts are with the people in the path of this cyclone tonight and I pray nobody is injured.

This cyclone is called Ita, and it's an unpredictable one. There are a few possible directions it will go in, even after it has fully crossed the coast. One of those possibilities has it tracking down the coast and heading for where I am. So we may be in for some wind and some heavy rain here in a few days. Or maybe not. So I'm not worrying about it on a personal level as there's no point right now.

The winds of change, it's a very potent expression. This cyclone is bringing very literal winds of change to the people in its path. I am being blown by the figurative winds of change - the force of winds of change of both kinds can upend a life. For those people up north, they are worried about themselves, their families, their property and houses. For me, well in a few days I won't have a house to worry about any more. It's a freedom that I'm not sure I'm that thrilled about.

I won't be homeless, but the home I'm going to is not my own and that's a strange feeling. This little house I've lived in these past years is a humble little cottage. It's nothing flash, nothing fancy, although it is in an excellent location right at The Gooseponds. There are memories here that are not so good but that's not what I see when I look at this house. This house was my home, my sanctuary. Within these walls I felt content and safe. The future is beckoning - well actually the future has me by the scruff of the neck and its dragging me to my destiny like a mother cat hauling a recalcitrant kitten to where it should be. And I know my future will be a good one, I'm determined that it will be so and I have a great feeling about it.

However, as has been my recurring theme lately, I'm still sad to be leaving this life, at least portions of it and one of those portions is this house. It's only a roof and floor and walls, it's not alive; at the most basic it's merely shelter. But for me it was my anchor, my home and I am very sad to leave it. I know that soon I will have a new home that I can call my own, and I will settle into a new life and adjust and be very happy. But for now, as I pack up each room, it's a sad time.

Silly really, I'd readily accepted that I must leave behind, give away or sell all of my stuff (although there is a small pile of things that I found had strong sentimental value and I just couldn't part with them). I was anticipating the feeling of lightness that comes with a lack of encumbrances by way of possessions. I was envisaging myself as a kind of human kite, light and floating and free of the burden of unnecessary possessions. And that has been easy enough most of the time.

I anticipated and am prepared for the sadness of giving away my pets, parting with larger items that I really do like but simply can't justify keeping. I was prepared for the drudgery that is packing up a house. I wasn't really prepared to be so sad to say goodbye to this house. I guess it's just another stage of this rebirth of mine, and birth is painful so there's no reason to expect a rebirth to not be painful as well. As is my recurring theme, the pain of rebirth, of change, of letting go of the old to make way for the new is a cathartic kind of pain. Deep, sharp, intense - but necessary to cut out what is no longer and make way for what will be.

And just like this cyclone up the coast, the figurative winds of change are unpredictable. The very nature of change, of a new start means that it is impossible to anticipate everything that will come. You can't prepare for what you don't know. You can have an informed idea about a new direction, and you can do the best you can with what you know and do what you can to prepare. You can imagine every contingency and try to have a plan for it. But you can't possibly imagine or prepare for everything.

That's the exciting, and terrifying thing about change. The unpredictability of it. And here is this control freak about to leap into a future where there is no way to control every aspect. If you've been reading all my blogs you will know that I am not good with change. I resist, and I try to control everything and everyone around me. The hardest thing I ever did was to let go of that control and let things happen. I'm still not good at it and I still have the desire to KNOW everything about this new life even though that is impossible.

So tonight I decided that I should apply the policy I have with unpredictable cyclones to the looming change in my life. Don't worry about it. I'm preparing, I'm trying to plan for everything I can think of. But I am going to stop worrying about what might happen - such a silly thing to do when I have no clue and can't possibly predict with any accuracy whatsoever. I'm also going to remember that there are a lot of good things going to happen and just as there may be problems I did not anticipate, so too there will be wonderful things I also did not anticipate.

Change is good, change wakes us up, shakes us up, makes us remember we are alive. So I've also changed my meditation (and yes I still totally suck at meditation) mantra from Ommmmm Mmmmmmo to breathe in positives breathe out negatives. It works, and believe me I was completely amazed but it actually works for me. I feel lightness coming in with every inhale, and darkness leaving with every exhale. I'm not sure if that means I'm finding my spiritual centre, or simply going a little crazy. But it works. This morning I found myself a tad emotional to say goodbye to a friend I ran into unexpectedly. So as I left the shopping centre where I had run into her, I ran my mantra through my head and by the time I reached the car I was calm again. So I have a coping mechanism. And it's going to be ok, more than ok, it's going to be a bright new future :)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Change - again

Well just in case I thought I might be able to change the plan the higher being has for me I got another push last week. A little reminder I guess that I am following the right path and there is no way I'm being allowed to go off it this time. I hadn't actually considered going off my path, I've had enough pushes to realise I'm going in the direction I'm supposed to be going in.

But it is always hard to say goodbye, to recognise and accept the end of something. Even though the ending signals the beginning of something new and different, it is human nature to cling to the old and familiar. And while I haven't been clinging, I have been sad to say goodbye and I've been a bit lax about packing up my life into boxes.

But now I have a time-frame imposed on me, and I have to start with the packing of my old life. And there's very little of it that I can take with me. In a way that's a good thing, it will make me be sure that the things I take are precious. But I am saying goodbye to a lot of things - and yes I've said it's just stuff and most of it is. Clothes and furniture, just stuff. Pictures, just stuff. But animals, paintings done by children at school, books - they are part of the fabric of this old life and it hurts like a bandaid off skin to let them go.

However they must go, and so must I. And the new beginning will bring with it over time new memories and mementos, and I know in my bones and my soul that this new beginning is exactly what I should be doing and that it will be a great adventure. Right now, sadness, but in days to come it will be excitement as a new life begins.

So what's the theme for this blog? In truth, I just wanted to get the words of sadness out of my head, to make room for the wide eyed wonder of anticipation. I'm feeling a blend of sadness and anticipation. One minute I'm planning the next stage, the next I'm crying as I think of what I will leave behind. I know it's natural and normal, and I know this stage will pass.

So I guess my theme, if there really is one and not just a self-indulgent spasm of words, is don't give up. If you have a dream, follow it even though it might at times bring sadness. To follow a dream usually means change, and change means endings, and endings mostly bring with them some sadness. Saying goodbye to an old life brings sadness but this does not mean your change, your dream, is wrong.

You can't start a new life, follow a dream, change something about your life even, without letting go of the old. Letting go of a life or even only part of a life is a lot more complicated than just walking out a literal or metaphorical door. There are so many things involved, the many tangled threads that together make the cloth of your life. To cut some or all of those threads makes other threads come unravelled. To leave a life, or to remove part of a life is like a surgical process of the soul. There is a wound, there is bleeding, there is hurt and then there is healing.

However the hurt must be allowed to be felt, the sadness also. It will pass and I believe it is a necessary part of letting go, of putting the past truly behind you so that you can embrace the future. You can't have one foot in your old life and one foot in the new. So don't give up if you feel sad to leave things behind, think of what is ahead and if that is worth it you will get through the sadness and the future you will thank the present you for staying strong :)