How Deep Are Your Pockets?
Today - well, a lot of days - I'm meditating on candy wrappers.
Particularly those found in my pockets.
Or my purse. Or my car console. In the laundry. And not just candy wrappers, but receipts, bottle caps, wadded up trash - and once upon a time, stray legos, or matchbox cars, or things that found their way into my personal orbit by way of one child or other who forgot about it or neglected to let go of it until we were out of reach of its proper landing place.
And I would take those things in willingly, almost absent-mindedly, knowing that I would eventually restore everything to its place when it was time.
I no longer find tiny plastic men vying for space with my car keys, but I am finding that the willingness to take into my personal space what others are casting off remains.
Dishes, laundry, homeless stuff from the dining room table, the garage, the office - and not just the tangible, but unfinished chores, last-minute emergencies from unmanaged schedules, drama, emotions.
A lot of this is done out of love, and a self-assurance of my own reserves of inner strength and capacity to absorb, as well as organize. But at some point, it becomes about a need to prove something - to whom, I'm not sure, but I can easily lose sight of what's manageable, what's reasonable, what's just too much to expect of myself.
I can also lose sight of what's unfair to the others who are taking my spacious pockets for granted.
What blessings am I stealing from them in the form of experiencing their own personal responsibility just so I can prove my own?
And how big are my pockets really? Or yours?
Because I know some of you know what I'm talking about. You come into my office for relief from the strain of bursting at the seams. You leave (hopefully) feeling like you can 'fit into your skin again', but it's just a matter of time before you're back in the 'go-to' role.
When asked how you're doing at the beginning of a session, the long list (not unlike my own) gets rolled out about this child, and that partner, and this work situation, and my question to you is often, "So, where is all that going?" Usually, Into the shoulders, the neck, the low back, the kidneys, the GI tract, the nervous system, the connective tissue.... all of our various pockets and closets and storage units.
It's a very good thing to have big, compassionate hearts, and to be relied upon.
And life will indeed keep coming at us with all of its surprises and drama and curve balls. So, the question is: How can we remain in the midst of it all without absorbing everything, without breaking down, without going numb or disconnecting? Is it possible?
I am exploring tools for myself that give me clear practices for discerning what I can take in, or should, and what really is and isn't mine. And what I can clear from my 'mental bandwidth', as Sukie Baxter says. Not just to keep sane and healthy, but also to be effective in what I really want to do in the world.
Bodywork helps, fer sure. But I suspect sometimes we need more than that... practical applications that we can draw on in times of mayhem and real life, when your friendly, neighborhood shiatsu therapist is far from reach.
Curious? I am putting together an 'incubation program' to bring together some of the skills I've learned, and am looking to offer a free pilot program in exchange for feedback. I am forming a small 'beta' group, and if you identify with what I've written, let me know, and I'll send you an 'application'.