The first step was feeling totally helpless and needing to have someone come rescue me, but then being able to just witness that I was “at the end of my resources,” without trying to figure out what I could do about it. I’ve been here many times before. At one point in my life I called it “shipwreck.” Now I realize it is also AA’s first step: Admitted that my life was unmanageable. Calling it “the end of my resources” makes a big change somehow, a way of accepting it differently.
Then I stood up for myself, saying “No” to people’s suggestions for what I could do. When people told me that was “courageous” I had to recognize that my old pattern of making myself wrong for saying no to an assignment was dysfunctional.
Next I went to the interviews at Kendal. They are a requirement for getting in. At least that’s what I thought, that they were going to see if I was “good enough” for Kendal. Instead it was more like a welcoming. They were trying to make sure I would be happy at Kendal. I showed one of them the brochure for my Audio-visual Presentation: Sacred Sites of Ancient Keltia, and she said “They’ll want you to do it here!” The last woman I talked to asked what was my life’s work. I talked about Neskaya, then started to explain about Circle Dance. When I said it was rooted in International Folk Dance, she said “You’ll have a whole group of eager people waiting for you.” I felt wanted, a new experience for me.
For a while I continued to feel sad about the things I was leaving. But I also thought about the work I did in the Francis Weller workshop, in particular feeling and expressing my grief for “the career that didn’t happen.” Now suddenly I’m seeing that some of that career will be able to happen when I’m at Kendal.
Sorting and downsizing, burning the original notebooks from the 60’s and 70’s, made me question why I keep writing. I came to a place of seeing that it is satisfying in itself. The blog in particular. I’m putting my ideas and experiences out there and people can read them or not, that doesn’t seem to matter, putting them out there is what counts.
The next thing was looking at the New Story Hub and seeing an article by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee. A friend had sent me a link to one of his talks on YouTube, and I liked what he had to say a lot. He’s a psychic and a Sufi. So I read this piece which is titled “Darkening: A Four-Point Plan.” His four actions are:
1) Witness. Looking at what is going on, without wanting to change what you see. I’ve been witnessing the pain in the world but also feeling my helplessness to change it, so I’ve been in a lot of pain. But if I let go of my need to do something about it, then I can witness purely, and I don’t get disabled by depression.
3) Pray. I’ve been doing the loving-kindness prayer for all beings, since it seemed to make the most sense. I’m not asking some higher being that I don’t trust to do what I want. I’m just saying what I want. I can also sincerely ask for help for the earth from whoever/whatever can do it. I’m comforted, as I recite the words of the prayer without any felt sense, but with the belief that repetition of the proper forms can be counted as prayer. And also feeling supported by knowing that people all around the world are saying that prayer.
4) Act. Vaughan-Lee reminds us of Mother Teresa’s words: “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” I also thought of something I learned in DMA, a course in creating what you want, about the value of a “symbolic gesture.” You do some small act to indicate that you are willing to do what it takes to have what you want. So signing a petition, sending a small sum of money to support a cause, are “good enough.”
The most important thing for me was that reading this convinced me that I’m already doing what he’s talking about. It validated me on a very deep level, and gave me a tremendous boost in self-confidence, and a sense of the total dissolving of the belief that I had to “prove that I deserve to live.” Since then I’ve been able to feel my love for things, to have a felt sense of loving and being loved, to feel excitement about the future. It’s so amazing!
I suspect that part of this is knowing I am moving to Kendal.