Written from our Iowa farmhouse April 9, 2020 - day 25 of the Great Hunkerdown
The world came crashing down on me earlier this week, and I retreated from it. I have been so prolific and productive since the Great Hunkerdown began for us on March 16. The peak of this period was Day 13 when I recorded my father’s memorial and fell asleep to the sound of my own voice. It was such a powerful moment of alignment. I spent the next week on top of that mountain just flowing out my new business plan: Potions for Humanity. Then, I stopped. And it hit me. All that had happened in February and March with my father’s passing and my mother’s transition to solitude. Then the world turning upside down and the realities of our new normal. I just retreated from the world and went back into myself then emerged into my nuclear family. I am only now emerging into my work and the rest of the world. I think I will do that lightly.
This concept of moving from the inside-out was a practice introduced to me a couple years ago. It’s the idea represented on the airplane of putting on your face mask before helping someone else with theirs. Until we connect with who we are and what we are called to in any moment or period of time, we cannot truly be there for someone else. This is so helpful in decision-making as it calls us to ask what our gut is telling us to do before what our people are telling us before what the world around us is telling us. I used to have it as a Priority One task on my ToDoist and would reschedule it for the next day at the end of each day. The other one was “Get peaceful.” If I don’t start from a place of peace each day, getting to peace is not likely to happen.
So, as I reemerge into the world from the inside out, I will use this flow to find my rhythm. I have explored for quite some time how to balance flexibility with structure as I create my own work-life balance. My mother’s voice says, “Choose work.” My friend down the street says, “Choose play.” My father’s voice says, “Choose communion.” My friend Kathleen told me on Tuesday, “Choose restoration. It’s been a challenging start to your year.” It’s my job to go into my inner sanctum, tap the creative force, and answer the questions of my day from the inside out: What do I need? What do my people need? What is needed in my corner of the world?
The oracle card I pulled for this period of time to find my rhythm and flow is Letting Go. It’s a beautiful piece of art with wind and webs and butterflies. The poem from Mary Oliver I read was about listening to the wind in the trees and the song of the birds and croak of the frogs. I will conjure a potion for this time that helps me ease into my rhythm and flow using the power of nature.
The story that comes to mind is my first solo camping trip. It was early August. My brother Chad equipped me with a truck, mountain bike, and floatie. He dropped me off at a campground that had a lake and no campers (everyone was at the Iowa State Fair). I spent three days following my natural rhythm and flowing in time and space with ease. I bucked around naked in the pouring rain and floated toward a blue heron who took flight over me. The power I wish to conjure from that story is natural enjoyment. The power I wish to add to that story is flowing in communion with others. I’ve learned how to dance with myself. Now I want to learn how to dance with others. Here is my potion made using poetry.
Beat so loudly I can hear you.
Beat so calmly I don’t need to.
Beat on my breath.
Let me join you in the rhythm of our journey.
Let me dance to your beat.
Let me sing a tune.
Let me create.
Tales of wonder.
Tales of shadow.
Tales of sunlight.
Tales of wander.
I am yours.
You are mine.