You are not at the mercy of (fill in the blank)

I’m slowing down. That’s a stage of life rhythm – not an indictment.
– Tracie Nichols

The most interesting stuff happens when I’m showering. In my head, I mean. This morning, for example, this cloud of mosquito thoughts dodging around the periphery of my brain came together finally and handed me this insight:

No matter what I think has been happening lately … I’ve been acting like a victim. In my life, and in the relationship I have with my business. (I can’t tell you how many time the phrase “at the mercy of….” has shown up in my journaling and during the hundreds of silent conversations I have with myself throughout a day.)

The next several thoughts were: “Fuck.” and “Ohmygoddess not again!” and “I thought I dealt with this!” Pretty much in that order.

So, yes, (sigh) I’m on my hands and knees in the mud. Again. Not face-down. Not yet. But, so, so close.

(And…yep…sometimes, I just want to stay here. Getting back up is hard.)

First the realization. Then the “What the hell happened?”

A few months ago I wrote about how aging asks us to rediscover the rhythm and pace at which we choose to live. (You can check that article out here.) I mentioned needing to find the time to do just that. Discover my new rhythm. Map out my life according to that rhythm. Decisions … choices … etc … etc …

In my head, I did what I needed to do: recognized the ask, noticed my feelings, listened to my body. Except, I never actually made the time to do the work. To get truly still. To tune my senses to my body’s slower, deeper frequency. And then, to listen.

Instead, I’ve been living my days out of phase with myself. Feeling weird, choppy, unsteady, like I’ve forgotten the finer points of walking. I can stay upright, but I’m wobbly. Nothing feels….right. Things aren’t working the way I expect them to. So I started feeling aggrieved, frustrated, and helpless. And, ta-da! Victim self has the steering wheel, folks.

Wrestling the wheel back takes noticing….

Thing is, there are times when we are here to move things for each other, or to build things for each other. And times we are here to notice for each other.

I’m entering the deep noticing phase of my life.

Our capacity – and desire – to notice deepens as we deepen in years. 

At this stage of my life, I’m here to (mostly) notice, and share what I’m noticing. That’s my job. The star I follow. The bell I sound.

But, when victim self or panicked self is driving, I’m still trying to move the way I did in past phases of life and I’m moving too much to notice well. I’m not being me, or contributing what I’m meant to. So, I get cranky and victim-y. And that serves no one.

So (she says, pulling herself out of the mud) my days now begin with body-guided movement followed by journaling interspersed with moments of deep listening.

I’m (finally) ground truthing my terrain. Sensing into the dips and curves and rises of my new, slower, noticing rhythm.

And, you know the first thing I noticed? The woman pecking away at this keyboard is NOT at the mercy of anything.

Staff successfully replanted, thankyouverymuch.

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