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growth

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On walking and stumbling

In my last blog I wrote that this is happy although it’s not a constant walk in the park. My coach gave me a picture that I like even better. She suggested that I am at a stage in my life right now where new spaces have opened up, I have entered a new room, and I don’t really know yet how everything works around here. It’s a very good picture because I am going through what feels like extreme mood shifts at the moment, which is the not knowing my way around here part. Sometimes I strike gold, and everything just works, sometimes … not so much.

After I wrote that last blog post, I felt so full of life and energy, that everything seemed to be humming. I recognized this feeling, it doesn’t feel like I am merely being euphoric, it feels like I am in the center of my being, like I am the most me I can be. Yet at this point, I am still not used to being so fully me. There’s still this part that doubts it, and that is basically just waiting for something to show up that it can interpret as proof that this isn’t real. Of course, when you’re waiting for something like that, it’ll show up. And then it’s easy to fall back into other old habits, like criticizing yourself, analyzing everything you’ve done „wrong“, how you could have prevented this, yadah yadah yadah …

This morning, when I was sitting with this question of when things had shifted yesterday, what caused it, what I should have done, and how I could get back to the top again today, it suddenly occurred to me that what I was doing was kind of like putting a kid in a corner for doing something wrong, and telling it that it has to make things right in order to be allowed out of that corner. Now I don’t have any kids but somehow I don’t believe that this parenting style actually works. So if I believe that, why on earth would I think this could work on me or anyone?!

Then I remembered what I do believe in: that the answer to getting out from under something is to get the right perspective on it. I returned to Irka’s analogy of me having entered a new room. And I remembered how I had answered her that I felt like I was taking my first steps on this planet, even though I know that technically I’m 34.

And there it was, the answer: when you learn how to walk as a kid, you don’t do it by analyzing what you do wrong when you fall. You learn how to walk by walking, and stubbornly insisting on doing so no matter how many times you fall. In fact, I feel like we should be celebrating our stumbling and falling to the ground a lot more. It means we’re walking, instead of sitting in a corner, too afraid to even try because we might not get it right the first time.

Here’s to walking and stumbling, to allowing ourselves to enjoy the highs of when we get it right, and to cheering ourselves on when we fall.

Life | Work in progress

The original purpose of this blog was to document and share my journey as a soul-searcher. I think the main reason I haven’t done that lately (apart from the fact that our internet situation is still kind of a non-situation and I haven’t felt like staying at the office just so that I can spend more time by the computer) is that some things are still too new and fragile to share yet. I need to manifest and live them before I can share them. Does that make sense?

But spiritual growth for me is nothing separate from physical growth, and I see our garden as a big part of what I want to accomplish in this life. So lately I have been thinking that I want to document that part more, even if it’s just to be able to see how things evolve from one year to the next.

Last year, our first, felt like a struggle. I was working full-time, and often felt too exhausted to want to o anything at all after work. We picked the heaviest, most clayey spot on our entire land to grow vegetables on, and nothing much grew besides potatoes. This year we’re only growing potatoes on it – and we dug out another bed (much better soil) where we grow other veggies.

We built a greenhouse last year, and the tomatoes and squash grew into a jungle. The cucumbers died, we watered them with cold water. I made tomato chutney and jam, and lots of squash cheesecake. At the end of the season I got hold of another (a „real“ greenhouse) through the Swedish equivalent to craigslist. The previous owners sold it for next to nothing because a storm had destroyed a lot of the glass. So this year we have two green-houses.

The tomatoes I pre-grew all died because I didn’t think to harden them before planting them into the green-house. Luckily, a much more experienced gardening-enthusiast down the street sold their excess tomato plants. That way I even got hold of a couple of exotic specimens they had brought home from a vacation. No suqash this year, I simply forgot to pre-grow it. Cucumbers, though, and melons!

We have been talking about chickens, too. Haven’t gotten further than getting books from the library, though. That’s one of the things that I like about gardening (besides lovely „free“, organic food): there will always be another chance, another spring, another summer, more time to grow.

The great indoors

Basilicious

While I have been dreaming of the real deal, these little guys here on our window sill and dining table have plotted a plan to take over the kitchen. Looks like they’re succeeding, too.

***
To think that an itty-bitty little seed i put into the soil would grow into something like this!
Yeah, I know: should have gotten some sticks or something to tie these puppies to so they’d grow nice and straight up. They seem to manage though.
Since we had a really long winter this year, I was late prepping. They’re only blossoming just now but I haven’t given up hoping they might turn into tomatoes before the end of the season …
Read that planting tomatoes and basil together makes for a good combination, they complement each other or something. Well, They’re not technically planted together but this is working out just fine, don’t you think?
I smell pesto!

Show me your true colors

Part of me wants to just continue with an entry about my spring cleaning mission, post a picture about how great everything looks. That wouldn’t even be untrue, since it does look a lot better in comparison. Looks can be deceiving, if anyone knows, then it’s bloggers and readers of blogs, right?

It is easy, and thus tempting to make yourself look good on the web. It’s not even like you’re really lying about who you are: you’re not making up the great things you do, you just kind of leave out the things that you’re not so proud of. In a way it’s even wise because why should you make yourself vulnerable when you don’t even know whom you’re „talking“ to?

I have felt hurt and/or humiliated many times because I just couldn’t keep quiet about something that didn’t technically need to be said. It was only I who felt like I had to let these things out of my head (or was it my heart?). Like telling someone straight out  I liked them when I didn’t know whether they did – the humiliating part being that they didn’t, and that after I had said it it became clear to me that all the signs actually had pointed into that direction the whole time.

Or writing a letter to my dad, telling him how things he did made me feel, which led to the most horrible fight. I had not seen that coming, which today seems naive. I was fourteen then, so it made sense. I could go on with examples but you get the picture, right? For the longest time I thought that I needed to learn not to do that. Not to reveal so much of how I feel, and how/who I am.

I know now that I had drawn the wrong conclusion from these experiences. The lesson here isn’t not to show yourself. It’s not about not making yourself vulnerable. It is about realizing that no matter how much our ego gets hurt, our true selves cannot be destroyed. In fact, the only chance we have of truly being recognized is by showing ourselves, rather than hide behind a façade of how we think others want us to be.

I cannot claim that I have been very good at this myself. Enough though, to know that I am right. I remember one incident in the very beginning of a relationship. He texted me, asking  if and when I wanted to meet up again. I answered „As soon as possible“. A friend who was with me wanted to know what I had answered. When I told her she completely freaked out, and said that you CANNOT write such a thing, that it sounded desperate, that he now must think that I wanted to get married … ??? Needless to say that this line of commenting made me feel stupid, and it made me doubt myself. At the same time I was irritated – because this is exactly the kind of thing I am not interested in: having to follow a bunch of rules, pretending you don’t want something in order to get it. Some part of me felt that if he’s going to read me the way she did, then he wouldn’t be right for me anyway. We have been together (and happy!) for five years now.

I have spent a lot of time in my life trying to figure out how the people around me expect me to be. A lot of decisions I have made about my own life were based on that. Like I wrote in the about section of this blog, I have felt the longing to finally be me, to show myself, and to take the risk both of being rejected for that but also of being liked for who I truly am. Both seem scary in their own way but I know that either way, the only significant impact approval or rejection can have is on my ego. None of it changes who I really am.

So here are some truths from the past few days that I don’t have to share here with you but that I want to because I do think they pertain to the purpose of this blog. After all, what kind of soul-searcher would I be if I saw the potential for growth in success but not in failure (if it’s even useful to think in those terms):

  • After having read so much about Ayurveda and the significance of eating right, I came home from a three hour yoga class on Saturday and stuffed my face with an entire pizza AND half a chocolate bar (the first half I had eaten on the way home from class). Our yoga teacher had told us about Durga that day, the Hindu Godess that, if I understood this correctly, represents the force in our life that gives us a good punch in the face when our ego gets bloated, to remind us that we are not better than the rest but part of it. So I choose to look at this pizza incident as an act of Durga. It was called for because:
  • Writing this blog and getting so much (well, that’s relative, I really don’t have a frame of reference here) positive feedback does make my ego feel flattered. Like, a lot.
  • I obsessively check the stats for this blog like 19,364,920 times a day.
  • I spent more time fighting with my better half over how to re-organize the kitchen than cleaning and reorganizing it.
  • I haven’t tried out a single no poo method on my hair yet although it seems so easy. I just love the smell of the poo I have right now.

May we all feel free to be ourselves a little more each day.