Self Love is an Inside Job

There’s something about riding in planes that puts a person in a state of reflective limbo. Somehow cast in between what has past and what is yet to come, undeniably committed to the present moment as we’re trapped in an icebox in the sky.

Busy reading my way through this flight about a woman who leaves life as she knows it behind to courageously begin again anew, I can’t help but consider the latest lessons learned and the strong calls of what’s to come in my own unfolding story. After almost two months on the mainland, I’m an unflattering number of pounds heavier, and somehow (unbeknownst to me how exactly) am now actually officially calling myself an adult.

Somewhere inside I want to cringe, all the unfavorable realities of being an adult slap upside my head and yet it’s somehow become a matter of fact, not only in actual age but some new shift in maturity. Like the freezing cold plane infiltrating the thinness of my purple socks, the truth of it just is, and with it I am undeniably anchored in the present… With mind reviewing what exactly this means moving forward.

Like a child I would love to assume ‘adult’ means someone who has it all figured out. In truth I hardly think that’s the case. I think for the most part us ‘adults’ are really just great actors, dressing the part and acting ‘as if’, but somewhere inside nothing has really changed from the time we were teens, or in our twenties perhaps. And I suppose that may stay mostly true until something soberingly smarts us into responsibility. For some that’s marriage or children, which even then, many are still playing house and acting as if. Or maybe death of someone close bites in with the unsavory truth of mortality and invites contemplation of meaning. For me ‘adulthood’ came with a strange intoxicating cocktail of death, mental illness, and a propelled sense of purpose.

My most recent travels were filled with so many things… Inspiration, affirmation, acknowledgement, reconnection, surrender, insight, heartbreak, responsibility, overwhelm, surprise. Navigating the territory of our emotional lives on the tide of a busy life, in an increasingly ‘busy’ world is challenging. So much so, that often we don’t give our self the luxury of even focusing there (and I fully recognize that some may not regard such pastimes as luxury). In fact we are supported by other ‘busy’ bodies also avoiding their own substantial feelings by perpetually moving forward, and ever more quickly. And it’s so easy to get caught up and avoid feeling, truly deeply feeling the realities that rock us day in and day out, personally and globally. With a variety of distractions that shine in their catching appeal we have moved far away from believing time spent with ourselves and our emotional responses and realities is a luxury worth taking. But in turning away from ourselves toward the momentum of life bustling around us, we miss the profound opportunity, the vibrating possibility of becoming more present, more fully awake to who we are and what calls us forward in our lives. And ultimately ofliving informed by and aligned with our own greatest resource: our own heart and intuitive feeling center.

As I sit in this plane, surrounded by strangers all eager and delighted to escape their daily grind for a vacation in the tropics, I keep thinking that it’s time to take a stand for me. To finally get on my own team. To love myself blindly and mindfully and every which way in between. To honor the callings in my heart and be the kind of ‘adult’ I respect.

In that knowing are some unflattering realities I have to face… I eat when I can’t (or don’t want to) cope with the vastness of my emotions (so looking forward how do I make more time to feel what I’m feeling?). I spend my money and time taking care of other people’s needs well beyond the point of fulfilling my own (can I boldly risk putting myself first fearlessly, without worry that people I’ve love will reject me for taking care of me and ultimately not doing what’s ‘expected’ of me?). I am not getting any younger and despite the fact that I am incredibly dynamic and intelligent (a major accomplishment that I can now actually acknowledge my self and even say that aloud) I have yet to fulfill my longings with any real sense of mastery (as I grow forward is it possible to more frequently acknowledge my accomplishments and simultaneously hone my craft and passions with a dedicated discipline for excellence and mastery?).

There are countless distractions, even on a plane, in a tight space with limited options for movement, I can do any long number of things to distract me from what was, what is, or what is yet to come. Movies, magazines, meandering the isle, eavesdropping on other conversations, and don’t even get me started on what’s possible with Apple’s line of gadgetry. Meanwhile on the ground, the list of distractions never ends, and I seem to be some kind of master of listing them, queuing them up for ready use whenever shit gets too ‘real’ or too ‘adult’ and I don’t want to deal. “Yeah, just do that.,, its ok. its just one… cookie, hour, extra dollar”, etc. etc. etc. all the while knowing something WAY more real, more valuable is tugging at me from the depths of my spirit.

And I don’t want to be distracted anymore. I want to be dedicated. And what could be more meaningful than being dedicated to my own magnificent and uniquely expressed life.

And so I sit, somewhere between here and there in the now of this one wild and precious life and I wonder how will the next phase unfold? How will I maintain my commitments to grow into myself and into the fullness of the adult I hope to become? How do I honor my own right of passage to responsible maturity without the markers of marriage, children or a tenured & financially lucrative J-O-B? What is it that cultivates esteem, inspiration & motivation in my unfolding tale of self-love?

Maybe this limbo space holds more questions than answers. However those questions are doorways, once opened inevitably flooding the system with the life breath of awareness. Awareness- the precursor to any great transformative change.

And maybe the change that’s needed isn’t so grand as shape shifting from caterpillar to butterfly but rather it’s learning to dance an adult dance of self love choreographed to the rhythm of my own drumming heart. Quite possibly in our busy and distracted day and age driving us to seek more beauty, youth and money, that dance might just be the most transformative change of all.

As we prepare to touch down, on home ground, I can’t help but feel, in some small way, I’m being given the opportunity to step into fresh ground. Re-charting the course of my craft… Determining anew who I will be, how I will be and who I will surround myself with to support where I want to go. I get to determine what seeds I nurture and what nourishing fruits will grow next in this story I am telling with each breath and each step I take. Being an adult might be more empowering than I have given it credit for.

This being alive sure is a grand adventure. And this life is all mine.