Trapped underneath a clutter of dirty dishes, literally and metaphorically, I feel like Alice in Dsytopia-Land much of the time in this third lockdown. The ‘to-do lists’ I start to write frighten me because I think, really, can you not remember to do that? Why am I writing do laundry on my never-ending lists when the laundry pile is taller than the house, it’s not like I can’t see it. Or, even worse, is this all there is to remember? And then a chain, or rather a train, of unhelpful self-talk clatters down the tracks…
So, to calm my inner-frantic-must-do-er, I’ve started taking a deep breath while doing my ‘to-do’ lists and taking a moment to think about my body and what I want to feel, not to do – to feel. I call it moving into the heart space. Reiki Practitioner and Life Coach, Tracy Ward taught me this. She would say to me, ‘What does your heart need today?’ I can tell you, my heart cares not about the laundry. My heart likes fresh air and kind words. Here’s a snippet I found myself writing recently:
1. Relaxed inside my body
2. Proud of myself
3. Slow and full of easy smiles
I’m finding I need this as a daily exercise. So, although my zoom links will still get sent, laundry ignored, doctors phoned and all the admin of life that requires that satisfying tick, my internal world is a place I have come to nurture. To listen to. I want to feel a calmness in my body. I want to feel like I’m moving slower around the house, taking my time. I want to enjoy the happy moments. I want to feel less tension. I want to breathe deeper. Try it. It definitely helped me feel calmer. You can have two lists. We all know how good it is to tick things off!
I wrote this poem in my Personal Narrative writing workshop, led by April Stearns, the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Wildfire magazine. The prompt was ‘I am’ and I loved it because it really fit in with the feeling work I have been doing – focusing on all I am, all I feel; not just what I can do. Because between me and you, I’m exhausted and I don’t get that much done.
Writing this poem helped me nudge these shadows of ‘should be’ out of my head and reminded me of all the moments of joy I love. And helped me see – helped me feel that we are those moments of joy. I am. And you are.
I am the beach. I am the cold swim you must have. I am the high path along the coastline. The warm pub at the end. I am cold wine on hot days. I am spicey fried rice. I am juice. I am pineapples freshly cut and shared out. I am the voice up the stairs. The finder of lost things.
I am your arms and your cry. I am the one standing by. I am the one who listens for your breathing at night, the one who unplugs earphones, tucks in and kisses warm cheeks. I am the story read late, the sofa-snuggle, the bed.
I am trees. I am green and sun shadows. I am writing.
I am reading. Believing. Films watched in bed.
I am the garden, the shoots, the dead leaves cast away. I am buds, the belief that new days will always hold blue skies. I am a sleep drinker. Overthinker. With wings, I am thoughts.
I am the un-tangler of tears. I am the cuddle, the warm book and the words you tuck under your pillow. I am my words; grateful for all they unfurl. I am lost in books and often in you.
I am enough.
We all are.
You can find the wonderful world of Wildfire - the only magazine for young women with breast cancer - at @wildfire_bc_magazine or wildfirecommunity.org.
April leads healing retreats and writing workshops.
Tracy Ward, Reiki Practitioner and Life Coach can be found @tracyleeward or www.tracyleeward.com. If you haven't already seen, Tracy has the 2nd round of HER TWO Connected starting on Tuesday 16th February. In the spirit of heart - this is a pure gift of self-love to yourself.
HER TWO Connected will be a time to open your heart and receive all the healing ways, a space to begin or deepen your healing infused with the support of Reiki energy. You will sit together every week with an intimate group of women. This is for all women who had, are going through and living with breast cancer.