4:32 am friday morning.

i can hear the roosters calling out already in this early dawn morning.  i’ve been up for hours tossing and turning in my bed.  it’s one of those nights.  where my mind is full of chatter and my room is uncomfortably warm, almost stale with no breeze or air flow passing through it.  where i am either too hot under my bed covers or too cold when i toss the covers to the side of me.  my pillows don’t feel right, nothing feels… comforting.

i finally sat up about a half hour ago and tried to meditate by sitting upright and tall.  breathing as deeply as i was able and forcing a smile on my face to help relax my body into a calm comforted place.  the smile was forced and lasted only seconds. so did my posture as i quickly slumped back down into myself.  and my deep breathing, quickly became short open-mouthed breaths all in my choked up chest.  i started to feel a bit of panic.  similar feeling to the few panic attacks i’d had before during certain momentous occasions in my life.  so i decided to just get up and walk around.

i got myself a glass of water and turned my bedroom light on, which helped.  reached for my laptop thinking i could watch an episode of will and grace, or the cosby show to distract me from this feeling.  what is this feeling?   both are healers, comedy and writing, but i think the answer to that question is why i am here writing, instead of watching something funny.

so what is this feeling?

well, i’m sure you can relate.  it is a feeling of being overwhelmed with the decisions i am facing in my personal and professional life, and the possible directions my life can take at this moment, regarding these decisions and who these decisions will affect, knowing i will in the end decide to do what is best for me, yet not knowing exactly what is best for me at this moment, or which way to go.  i am no a fan of the ‘not knowing which way to go’ period of any planning.  i like to just cut to the chase and get on with things.  but life, sometimes, forces us to pause and sit in our discomfort, our unsettling. for me, this feeling shows up as a warning in my body through shortness of breath.  this is how i know something is troubling me beyond the beyond.  i suppose that is what this 4:32am anxiousness is all about: acknowledging the anxiety and offering it comfort.

this is how it usually goes.  i hit a point in my life about once every two years or so, where some major decision making is knocking urgently at my door.  usually it has to do with these things: moving, my art, my education, my career and my relationship. each one deeply affects and affected by the other.  these decisions i face, and am facing, with too much time on my hands, begin swirling around inside my head, confusing themselves in relation to one another. this is where the anxiety begins to take hold and i begin to feel ultimately that i am failing.  that i am missing out on the things i am desiring deep down if i don’t have a plan soon.  and what is scary about feeling anxious for me is that, it makes me feel as though my life depends on the very next choice i make.  and that i must hurry up and decide.  that time is the enemy.  that i am useless unless i know exactly what i am doing and where i am going.  that this in between time of figuring it out, is something i should have outgrown by now, in my 30’s.

what makes making a decision difficult?  well for me, it is difficult to make a decision when..

~ when my sense of purpose feels fragmented or scattered in the different areas of my life that are part of the whole yet don’t seem to be fitting together in the moment

~ when i feel i am waiting on someone or something to complete a section or chapter, so that i can move forward

~ when i am financially unable to make the move that my spirit desires

~ when i have too much free time on my hands and time seems infinite

~ when my own voice doesn’t seem to know which side is up

so knowing this, i am aware that these things are mental blocks that will eventually unfold through time and effort.  i am aware that this too shall pass.  that there is something deeper happening here and i am facing great opportunities, growth and change.  but in the meantime, this place i visit every few years, this place of not knowing, not having the answers to my own questions for myself and my future, is no fun.  it also doesn’t help that living on the north shore is often an inconvenience for artists / urban gypsies.  inconvenience breeds anxiety.  yoga helps.

yoga helps with it all.

and so do Tracee Ellis Ross and Erykah Badu!  two women who standing in their power and brilliance, are able to identify and make prayer, make art of this valley, this place of uncertainty and decision making.  honoring where we are, exactly where we are, without feeling the need to rush into anything, these women bring comfort to those of us who are in this place.  through their acknowledgement and regard for this time when life can feel overwhelming, and our internal response leaves us anxious, i feel reconnected to something larger than myself.

May the space between where I am and where I want to be, inspire me ~  Tracee Ellis Ross

So when I stumble off the path, I know my heart will guide me back ~ Badu

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in. ~ Leonard Cohen