“Our lives are journeys that nobody can take for us, and nobody can spare us from, we have to do it on our own.” Marcel Proust
You can feel the change coming. The air is so heavy it feels devoid of oxygen and you struggle to breathe. And then the rains come. The temperature drops. You can taste the moisture and it feels deliciously cool through your nose as you drawin a slow, long breath. It is as if your lungs have been purified with a renewed vitality. And so it is with our lives.
Life is a complex, myriad of moments in your day, your week, your month that can often leave your head spinning, your body out of balance. You race harder, faster, trying to manifest all the things you think will make you feel fulfilled and happy and do all the things you feel you really need to do. But, so often, all it does is leave you feeling empty and exhausted. The problem and also the answer lies within the fact that our lives are unpredictable; we are constantly evolving into the newest version of ourselves.
Two months ago I spoke of the Buddhist concept of impermanence. At the time it had become my saving grace as I had reached the status of total overwhelm from being all things to all people all the time. The notion that it wouldn’t always be this hard helped me through the rough days. And now, here I am safely out the other side (but no doubt this too will change!) I have learnt that life is transient. From an external perspective, my life may look the same. Same house, same job, same family, same friends. But I’m not the same. The cup that had become an empty vacuum is filling back up. I am filling it back up and I am becoming more and more the person I was destined to become.
Nurture is a word we associate with doing to someone else, most often our children. It is defined as “to care for and protect something or someone while they are growing.” Yet honestly, if we don’t care for and protect ourselves who’s going to? We are growing; mentally, spiritually, emotionally every day and we need to nurture that growth. We need to be our own soft place to fall. I love the saying ‘I’ve got your back.’ I even bought my husband a mug with it emblazoned on the front when he was going through a tough time. But the thing I’ve come to realise lately is that we really need to have our own back. That’s not to say you can’t ask others for help and support but the fact is this:
NO ONE knows YOU better than YOU do. NO ONE has the ability to tweak the intricacies of your life in the way that you can because YOU are the one with the clarity and insight into what it is you really want (even though a lot of the time we don’t believe that we actually know either!) But if we get really quiet, and really listen, we will begin to get a glimpse. And I have found that through mindfulness and mediation, one voice speaks louder than the rest.
And what is it I have decided that I actually want in this moment in my life? Obviously, there’s no singular answer to that question but the voice that is shouting the loudest is telling me that I want to write. It actually goes much deeper than that. I NEED TO WRITE. I have always loved words and books and writing but somewhere along the road that is life, I forgot how much it defined me. It was something that allowed me to express what I was feeling within my deepest layers, both the light and the dark. It gave me a way to express my creativity (whilst I dabbled with the folk art brush, let’s just say it was never my true calling:-)) and without sounding conceited, it was something I was good at. It gave me a sense of self, something which I had sort of lost.
Writing is a way to fill my cup up, to nurture myself. And my hope is that through my words, I can help other people too; to get them to stop and listen to what it is that they want in their busy, ever-changing lives.
We need to treasure life, every magical and not so magical moment, because ultimately ‘all of those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain.’