Who would have thunk?

Wow. Life can sure change quick!

While my gut and heart are on the same page, my brain is still resisting surrender. Tomorrow is my Grad exam, which I have to pass in order to qualify to sit for my licensing exam in January. I couldn’t care less.

This year has been hard. Not on the outside, where all can see, but on the inside. As the year progressed, so did my discontentment. Weird things began happening- like my feet and ankles hurting so bad I could barely make it through my shifts. Extreme neck pain, not wanting to get out of bed in the morning (I usually love waking early), and just basically walking around wondering “whose life is this? Nothing feels…right…”

When I got the news in the beginning of August that the date for the boards had been moved up a month (meaning I HAD to pass this upcoming grad exam, with no chance for a do-over next semester) I felt like I was drowning. I searched high and low for- what I like to call- the fear. The fear motivates you. It quickens your blood, sharpens your focus. It’s a spastic sort of passion that makes you want to take care of business! My fear was totally MIA. Gone. In it’s place was just a sort of emptiness…and guilt, the Bad Voice (you should care, you are supposed to do this, don’t you want to get out there and help people???) And of course, the insecure voice (but all your friends are doing this…you will be the last one to finish…you are going to be left out!). Aaaargh!

I knew I was in trouble. I was having a hard time being around myself. I was having a hard time being myself. My instincts said, ‘Listen, what would you tell one of your patients to do if they felt like this?’, and I promptly answered back, ‘I would tell them to get regular treatments.’

So I did. The acupuncturist I saw specializes in treating the spirit. She helped me realize that I need to live MY life, not the life my fellow classmates were living, nor the life that had been outlined so nicely for me by my school, showing a nice 4-year model sequence. Once it really sunk in that I needed to take a step back, and that it was OK to do so (!), I asked myself ‘How do I want my life to look?’ Aahhhh…suddenly I could breathe. Actually, suddenly I could exhale. I could Let Go.

I am very happy now. I am sitting for that exam tomorrow, just to give it a go. I will sincerely take it again in January, then spend a few months taking National exams, then the licensing exam in August. In the meantime, I am taking a yoga training course (one of my forgotten passions), cooking again, and generally walking around with a permanent grin on my face. My feet don’t hurt, and I do not wake up with a sense of dread. I am not a person who can just force myself through something. I have to feel passion in my heart. I have to know in my guts why I am doing something. I do not want this process to be something I can’t wait to have over- I authentically want to enjoy the journey. If I constantly walk around wanting to finish, then I am never living in my present… my now. I accept nothing less than living in my present moment. If I try to forget that, my body suffers. My loved ones suffer. My patients suffer. It’s no good!

This is a hard thing for my mind to sit with. Well, I figure I have about 25 years of conditioning to retrain! Whenever I hear my mind (the small self) trying to convince me I am not good enough, or am being a baby, or whatever- I just take a deep breath and ask myself ‘Where’s the fire? Whose race am I trying to be in?’ and then I feel myself soften a little. And the True Voice answers, ‘I see there is no fire, no race.’ I am just here, now. Loving my life, loving the journey.

I want to leave you with something my friend Becca posted the other day on her blog http://beccalosangeles.com/;

Written by Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

Autobiography in 5 Chapters

Chapter One

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am hopeless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter Two

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I’m in the same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter Three

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in… it’s a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter Four

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter Five

I walk down another street.

Which chapter are you living?

Lots of love, Karen