Into the Wilderness

I've started, deleted, re-started, deleted and re-started this post more times than I even remember. I've been avoiding writing, for most of this year now. Probably in part because I've been a bit scared of what might come out, and in part because I've not known how to articulate my thoughts, my emotions, my challenges, my realisations, my epiphanies. I've been starting to understand this a little more in the last week or so, although it doesn't really make it any easier to remain open. Over the past six months I've been closing up - the doors inward have just been gradually closing. With that has come a numbness that I'm not even sure how to explain, but it has left me feeling disconnected from myself. It hasn't been like this all of the time, there have been many moments of being connected and open, but it has been hard work getting there.

My beautiful sister told me the other day that she thought she should channel my perspective of "positive thinking". Even though she was joking (or at least half joking) it got me to thinking about how being "positive" isn't just a flimsy idea that creates immediate happiness, and I think this is something that is misunderstood often {this is a whole other post on it's own, though}. Getting out of the "muck" (which I've written about before) is not a matter of flicking a switch.

What I think is lost so often is the need to acknowledge that we all need different thinngs from life. What is it that your soul needs? Perhaps we forget that sometimes what we need differs from the "norm". I watched an interesting TED talk about a week ago about introverts, and it really struck a chord with me. What I realised is that I've been resisting exactly what I need. My soul has been craving time in the "wilderness"...not literally obviously, but time for quiet, slowness, calmness. A chance to contemplate and process, to let in and let out. A chance to connect and become in tune with my intuition. It's hard to achieve when there always seems to be something to fix our attention on, some place to be, someone to see or talk to, deadlines to meet, decisions to make. It's a challenge because with this comes the fear of disappointing or letting others down. How often do we try to just "do it all" despite how we feel? Somehow we build up this expectation in our mind that this is the only way. And if we aren't doing it, then we must be inadequate. We compare ourselves, and think, "well, everyone else seems to be able to manage"... cue the downward spiral of negative thinking, self-criticism, doubt, etc, etc, etc.

I'm doing my best to turn this expectation around. To accept that needing time of quiet, contemplation, slowness, distance is actually just part of my nature. In the same way, yet on the opposite side of the coin, that I need to feel connected to those around me and those I encounter. Accepting that I need that balance to be able to participate fully and wholeheartedly in the other aspects of my life. To be present and authentic I need to protect fiercely what my soul needs in order to be whole. In order to experience joy and fulfillment.

For now, my medicine is my painting. With the paintbrush in my hand I can feel my breath return, I can feel my heart opening, I can almost begin to hear the whispers of my soul directing me where to go again. I appreciate these moments when they happen, because I know too well that sometimes it's hard to get there. Trust. Trust. Trust. I consciously opened my heart as I painted slowly, working on a painting that felt as though it's gone through as many challenges as I have. Not wanting to let go, but needing to. The message was so strong and so clear: Trust that your soul knows where to go already. Trust the process and the journey, no matter how chaotic, how challenging, how messy. Have faith.

"You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself" - Alan Alda

I hope wherever you are that you are able to take a minute to think about what it is that you need... and know that the world needs you to be you. Trust, have faith. Go into your wilderness, find yourself there.

With peace, love and gratitude,

M xx

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© 2018 by Meredith Mallin. All rights reserved.