Yesterday morning I found myself getting ready for yet another ‘first time’ experience. As I was grounding myself and gathering composure for the day, I wondered… ‘How many more ‘first times’ can a person have?’ For the past year I feel like I’ve had more ‘first times’ than a child who’s stepping out into the world to see what’s on offer. I’d never complain though. It’s a sure sign of a new life – a life I’ve asked for and am now in the process of continuously receiving. And I guess ‘first times’ can be endless if we continue trying new things, in order to find what suits us best in each given moment. As well, if we really choose to see ourselves through new eyes, the world outside starts to take on a different look too. It’s inevitable. Then it simply becomes time to place our new selves newly in that new world – each time, for the ‘first time’.
I’m actually relieved to know that I’ll still be having AT LEAST another 1000 ‘first times’ in my life. It makes it easier to simply relax into each experience, to chill-out and enjoy the ride! How drained would we become if every new step we take – that brings us a little bit beyond our comfort zone – would be taken with fear, anxiety and pressure?! There’s no fun in that at all! And these steps are meant to be loved and savoured… Not feared… I guess the lesson is to savour the steps even if the ground we walk upon is unknown; because the vision ahead – when it remains clear – tells us everything is always okay. This is quite an effective key.
Back to yesterday morning… I’d been asked by my sister’s college mates to come in as a guest speaker and give a talk about the book. They’d seen my interview on tv and wanted to hear more. Great opportunity! Even though it wasn’t my first talk in front of a group or in a college, it WAS a first time to be talking to mature students doing a degree. Yesterday I used the key of ‘savouring and visioning’ and I opened the door to let 16 mature students in to my world. It’s a world I may have put into words, a world that may have my name on the cover, a world that people may not know a great deal about, a world I may have had to live in and a world I’ve luckily moved beyond. I took them into a world that’s experienced by so many others in
this present day.
My story unravelled and it became deeper and more complex. The silence in the room became louder. But my voice never stopped. I didn’t have to overthink my thread and the words seemed to come out of nowhere. I don’t even know what I exactly spoke, but I know it was effective. I started to feel my feet being pulled into the ground, I felt their eyes witnessing my past as my spoken words continued to fill the silent room. I stood… without hardly moving an inch. Just as the students… who sat, without a flinch. I’d captured them; they were open, they were understanding, they were learning. An unexpected awe started filling the room. Outside of my voice, pins would’ve been heard dropping.
I moved through my story towards the end, or should I say, the present-day life I live – which is a vibrant, happy and open one, with heightened awareness to what has brought me to be the person I am today. For me, it felt amazing to stand and ultimately relate the conscious life I’m choosing to live, for the sake of a free spirit. For them – when I look back on it now – it was as if they were struck more by the darkness than by the light I’d come to experience.
Something tells me it was confronting for many and the darkness I spoke of was a reflection for them, which brought them to question their own selves from such a deep space. It was quite tough to realize that I’d taken them to such a place – a place they may not have expected to find, simply through learning of an eating disorder. At the same time, it illustrates the truth of suffering – regardless of how the suffering manifests itself.
Just as light can be the reality of life, so can darkness. The ‘trick’ is to realize that, whether we’re in the light or the dark, we have to take responsibility for any shadows in our lives and consciously change our ways. Only with honesty can a person be real about their current reality. And not until a person is strong enough to be true, will their reality remain the colour they feel it to be.
This was quite a revealing hour, I have to say. Afterwards I wanted to shake everybody about, get them to lighten-up and rejoice for this amazing life we’re living. But it wasn’t really the time or the place. So I simply thanked them and hoped in my heart to have helped in some way.
As well, it was amazing that I had the highest level of acceptance I’ve probably ever had, for the fact that I can’t ever be perfect at whatever I choose to put my hands to. Nor do I want to be perfect. That’s not what I’m striving for. Because with perfection, there’s rigidity, no flow and we’re less fluid. It’s a way of living that suppresses, judges, criticizes and condemns us. It’s a way that crushes the effort we’ve put in and robs the spark of life that could be ignited if we were to be accepting of our imperfections and realize they’re something positive that encourage us to keep learning and expanding further. One step further… by feeling how precious it is to be so imperfect...