Years and years ago, when I was finishing my bachelor’s degree at Eckerd College, I was deep in a required class called Psychology of Consciousness. Commonly known to students as “Kooks, Nuts, and Weirdos”!
I suppose it should have been something of a warning that I began to find a sense of myself there.
Our professor was a guy who had a Ph.D. in Ericksonian hypnosis. I had lots of interesting experiences in that class!
One of the most mind-boggling was his assertion that our bodily experience of the thing we call excitement and the thing we call anxiety are the same. It’s all a matter of interpretation.
He was right. Fluttery stomach. Increased pulse rate. Shallow, rapid breaths. Christmas morning or a snake on the driveway, our bodies are doing the same thing.
Mine has been doing those things pretty often lately.
It seems I’m having a moment.
New opportunities and new teachers continue to appear like miraculous spears of asparagus in my garden. My calendar is overflowing with scribbled notes on the future. In several different colors!
Lots of learning to do. A trip coming up. Dog school to get the new kid ready for me to be gone. (He wasn’t around for “Kooks, Nuts, and Weirdos”!)
Am I anxious?
Or just predictably resistant to either/or questions?
Probably all of the above.
More is going to be expected of me. And, I suspect, of you.
The world needs us in a way that it has not, perhaps, before.
It needs our highest hopes. Our committment to the best for the most. To the best and most we can be. And give.
Or, as Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes would say, we have been born, “for such a time as this.”
I’m pretty sure it’s going to take a lot of us to make a difference.
So, where do we start?
I suspect it’s with listening.
Listening for that whisper of direction. That urging to be love in the world.
It will probably look different for you than it does for me. That’s ok.
I found language for my direction, not so long ago, in a conversation with a dear and brilliant friend named Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy. You may know her as the author, SARK.
We had to wander a bit outside my ususal circle to find it.
Two words: Fiercely Compassionate.
And a role that means the world to me: Grandmother.
A job. A paradigm. A narrative.
There’s room for lots of us. And work.
Oh, and that anxious or excited business?
It’s all just feelings. We get to choose what to do with them!
Today, Bill and I made a new deal about mornings. A little less work for him. And more quiet time for me to be, according to my guides.
It’s a place to start.
The time is now.
With fierce compassion, Sue
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