On the frivolous side of things, the new thing for today was to order, from the new Indian hole-in-the-wall in our hood, a dish called alo gobi, without having a clue what it was. On a slightly deeper level, I woke up this morning with a profound sense that I needed to make today a sacred day and stop trying so damn hard to get my manuscript done by my self-inflicted deadline.
My first clue that I was driving myself too hard should have been the way I wake up lately feeling like someone has poured concrete into my veins. The second clue was that after my last acupuncture treatment, instead of feeling energized I felt a kind of grief, persistently present behind my daily actions, with no reason I could ascertain. But today, day 63 in my year of doing something new each day, I decided to put the manuscript aside, create a sacred space and time in my writing studio, and use the Reiki I’ve been practicing, to try and get in touch with what might be going on.
I’ve always been a person who is intensely disciplined, committed to deadlines, and perfectionist in nature. Taking a whole morning off work to fix the problem of having abandoned myself is pretty foreign to me, but I knew I had to do it. It’s amazing how, when you stop abandoning yourself and come back to the container of your own being, in the present moment, you suddenly feel a big relief. Not having to accomplish anything, you simply become human.
Alo gobi is a delicious curried cauliflower dish. Rearrange its letters and you have bio goal, or goal of life, or Destination Vitality, which is what I hope this year of newness is all about. Maybe I will let today's sacred time and space be the start of a four-day work week. Weekends are family days around here: croissants and pots of coffee and the morning paper, and hanging around in pyjamas then trundling to the market together to buy leeks and empanadas. They aren't days for any kind of homecoming to the self, and maybe a person needs a sacred day for connecting with the pain, regret, insight and awareness of Presence.
I love this reply from poet Elizabeth Pickett: It's actually a discipline to do this. And after the pain and regret and insight of presence ... often comes the joy and astonishing aliveness of presence. But nothing's easy, is it? I've almost had to give up writing entirely to get there. But the project is coming along ... ♥