Freedom, the Ugly Truth, and my Inner Snark

(Breathtaking view opposite the blood moon eclipse. Oct. 2014)

I don’t want to make soap this morning. Just not lined-up with it, I can tell.

This is today’s “ugly truth.”  An ugly truth, I’ve decided, is present moment breakthrough that sparks an internal war between my Cerebral, Practical Self and my Wise Nature. My Cerebral, Practical Self – let’s call her CPS (aka: Inner Snark) – just barks barks barks “This is your busiest season CP soap doesn’t cure overnight you just got in huge shipment of supplies what are you going to do with 18 lbs of lye if you don’t make soap NOW???”

My Wise Nature reasonably points out that anytime I’ve forced myself to do something creative that felt more like a “should” than a “woo hoo!” the endeavor has either been fraught with difficulty or had flat-out bombed. My Wise Nature gently reminds CPS that I’ve been looking for a work model since the mid-80’s that doesn’t include fatiguing career burn-out. CPS jumps back in with “You just line-your-sweet-ass-back-up NOW, Missy! Or do something PRODUCTIVE! SHOP for chrissakes!”

{Weary tone} Yeah, that voice.

But here’s the thing: Kowtowing to the relentless harping of my CPS has kept me “busy” without significant movement forward. That is, I don’t really feel I’ve advanced my business, life, or happiness in proportion to the work I’ve put in.

I’d been pondering this distressing fact when, back in August, my good pal Rich Gorey proposed a “100 Goals in 100 Days” challenge, which, for whatever reason, totally resonated with me. My Day 3 goal was to allow at least 10 minutes daily for quiet, meditative, self-reflection. My “Doing Nature,” driven by the incessant voice of CPS, was wearing me out. I can’t DO enough to satisfy Doing Nature, thus the decision to designate time for Wise Nature.

Here’s what happened:

resented allowing time for Wise Nature. From the lens of habitual “doing,” this became another task. Puh-leeze, I don’t need any more daily tasks! ( Note: the irony is not lost on me.)

But then I came across this quote from Abraham (paraphrased here):

“Trying to start your day without taking time to align yourself is the same as trying to get from Phoenix to San Diego without taking the time to find your car keys. You can get there, but it takes a LOT more time and effort.”

As a recovering “do-aholic,” this Very Wise Insight was initially easier to understand than to embody. My CPS would coach me by saying encouraging things like “Sit down and meditate dammit, so we can move on to getting REAL work done!” In my peripheral vision, Wise Nature smiled knowingly, then went back to bookmarking inspirational YouTube Videos.

Forced meditation did not feel like enlightenment, it felt like torture. I needed help. When I finally admitted this, Wise Nature delightedly squealed and stepped out of the peripheries. In the silence of exhaustion, I started hearing her whispers. Wise Nature left clues in the places I went to when I needed a lift: insightful friends, family experiences, Facebook groups, favorite blogger posts, nature in action, books written by witty, truthful, souls who usually led messy lives but now exuded a shimmering clarity – these things and more spoke to me.

When I ceased operating in continual manic mode, my stillness allowed the perfection surrounding me to be revealed. I realized how much I treasured my husband for rousing our family at 4:30 AM to see the blood moon eclipse this morning, afterwhich he got up again at 5:45 AM to get to work (that’s love – I slept in). Viewing the eclipse had felt enormous and primal, like we were connected to countless civilizations before that had experienced the same phenomenon, but then my breath truly caught at the beauty of a distant autumn tree, lit up by a streetlight, haloed by waves of wispy, deep orange clouds streaked across the star-filled night sky.

This morning, after gently sitting my CPS in a corner to breathe, I got quiet and asked Wise Nature “What should I REALLY do today?” She answered: “Check your garden.” (Really?) But I did and sheepishly noticed that in my time-starved mindset, our three small raised beds were gasping for care. After pruning dead leaves, weeding, and harvesting end-of-season
veggies, I discovered an abundance of enchanting, tiny gourds strung like fairy lights around the garden bed fencing. A little gift that would have been lost if not for listening to an internal impulse. An exercise  that took all of 20 minutes, yet left me oddly rejuvenated.

Next, Wise Nature suggested a cup of coffee (Wise Nature knows me) and that I write a blog post. Writing has been on my “work list” for ages, but now it felt right to do, so here I am: set up at the kitchen table with a view of a spectacular autumn day, complete with gamboling squirrels eating wild strawberries from our ground cover, and birds alternately cavorting in the bushes and splashing in the bird bath. I’ve been so involved with writing that I spaced out both breakfast and yoga class. As I take yoga to gain clarity and serenity, this was obviously today’s alternate practice. Don’t fight truth.

Then I started to make breakfast, because I don’t fight hunger, either. My dear friend Marisa, a successful artist/entrepreneur choose this moment to call. We breakfasted “together,” discussing intriguing business and life insights. My inspiration from the call gave me both the clarity and energy to finish this post. I would have missed our chat had I rigidly kept to my CPS’s schedule.

As for the soap: it will get made, because I love creating soap. However, today was not a soap making day.

I acknowledged my ugly truth this morning, worked through my internal conflict and recognized that I was lined up with other inspirations. That’s pretty big. It felt weird and unfamiliar but freeing. This decision sent my CPS into a tailspin, but that’s OK – she’s still breathing in the corner. And I’ve brought her a nice cup of tea.

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