Things are shifting around here and I sense change in the air, and for many people around me. Historically I’ve had a lousy way of transitioning through life’s different stages. I’ve always wanted things to stay just as they are, and when I’m finally pushed (the only way I go!) I fight, still grasping the old. Eventually I let go out of sheer exhaustion, and eventually things work out beautifully. This pattern is crying out for my attention. I know it takes far longer for whatever’s new to blossom and reveal its wonder if we resist the natural order of things, if we hold onto the idea that our current circumstances are comfortable, familiar… as good as it gets? We waste time and precious energy if we can’t dance with uncertainty and simply trust.
How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come? – Rumi
But how to trust, I asked myself this past week. I mean, I’m so much more trusting on the whole nowadays but in the face of great change that looks set to challenge and test, I needed something a little more tangible in order to firmly head towards that ’embracing, accepting’ place.
So here’s what I did. I thought back to some major changes in my life:
– Losing my job. Back in 2004, I was the food editor for a London magazine. I loved the content, loathed the context (I think I’ve loathed the context of every single job I’ve ever had. I don’t do well working in soulless offices built around politics and mediocrity). The Universe was eager to show me a more suitable path, and wouldn’t you know it, the magazine shut shop. One Friday morning, we were all led into a meeting to be told that it was all going under and to go home. I was the first to storm out of that meeting, furious at the ‘hand I’d been dealt’. Furious at the owners, at everything. I spoke endlessly of the injustice while simultaneously panicking about how I was going to make any money. Despite my attitude, I managed to create a freelance career in next to no time. I was making twice as much working from home, taking Graeme out to review restaurants, directing photography shoots, travelling around Europe to write inspiring food stories, interviewing amazing people and doing it all on my terms.
– Expecting our first baby. Yes I wanted to be pregnant, yet as my bump grew so did my fear. Exponentially. I had all sorts of convenient excuses as to why we weren’t yet ready – we were still renovating the house we lived in at the time. Truth is I was terrified to enter this hugely life-changing gate of change. I remember at 41+ weeks I would have happily stayed pregnant another month if they’d let me. My pregnant friends couldn’t wait to see an end to their pregnancies, to see their babies. Not me; I wanted to delay the inevitable. Fast forward six years. That beautiful baby was indeed life-changing. Big time. And in many ways motherhood hit me quite hard so perhaps my being terrified was an inner knowing at the time. But that baby led me to magic. He’s still leading me to magic.
– Moving our lives from the UK to Australia. We had to move here – I had to move here – but my emotions around it were messy. I refused to accept this new country as my new home. It took two whole years before I began to lean in and nuzzle into life here. I pretty much kicked and screamed from start to finish. Just like my first pregnancy, I made the choice to go ahead but I was fighting the change it entailed. Now, as I can hear the sound of the ocean in the distance, I can’t imagine living anywhere else. It’s far beyond anything I could have imagined.
I didn’t know how I was going to get through or do any of that stuff. I didn’t know how and I wasn’t yet aware that life unfolds for us. I had nothing to go by save for the voice of fear and doom.
I still find myself stumbling over the ‘how’. Except I’m a little more accepting at this point – I have a lot more to go on (and so do you). Those voices are distant now, they’re losing power. I don’t need to know how. I know to just let it happen. Experience tells me that. I still need to work at this, but awareness and deep-down trust are keeping my heart open this time round.
I know there’s always magic a little further along. Just I wait.