This morning I’m sitting in my bed as the sun streams in through the windows. The field outside rests in green lusciousness. My plants inside soak up the rays like weary, thirsty travelers. Rupert, my corgi, takes up the right corner of my bed, snoring from time to time as tufts of fur perch precariously from his tail, threatening to shed onto my bedcover. And I’m finally sitting down to write my – late – blog post for the week (more of a journal entry at this point).
This is the first time I’ve submitted a post late since I started my journey to heal my relationship with writing. It was my intention to submit a post on time as usual. I had even begun collecting ideas on Monday of this week. But, it’s been a tumultuous and unexpected week to say the least.
At home, I’ve been in charge over the last two weeks for a household of six, myself included. Two teenage boys and two elderly folks (my brothers and grandparents). Not to mention several sheep, chicken, ducks, dogs, fish, and a garden. All of which is usually managed by my parents, who have been out of town on vacation for the first time since before their home caught fire. This was a more-than-deserved vacation for them so I felt happy to offer my assistance while they were away. I am more than relieved, to say the least, that they are now home as of this morning.
I’m feeling extreme conflict over responsibility right now. I can’t seem to shake this feeling that all I want is less and less responsibility. I want more time and space to dedicate to my soul work and time in nature. I find myself fantasizing about ways to get this. Meanwhile, these fantasies are in such great conflict with our culture’s usual way of life that I’m questioning my sanity.
There are streams of internal negative voices telling me just how irresponsible I am for trying to reduce my load rather than take up more. As though it’s a sign of adulthood to be completely consumed by work, home, kids, family, friends, tasks, endless things, nonstop to the point of having no time and space for oneself, nature, life, and mystery. And yet all I crave is the latter. Freedom.
I want to work to live at this point until I’m able to determine what my soul gift is and how I can make that my life’s work. But until that point arrives I feel deeply called to ensure that work isn’t my central focus, that making money isn’t my central focus, that consuming isn’t my central focus. My central focus is my soul work, healing my connection with nature, uncovering the image at the center of my being, and contributing my gifts to the world. The question I’m asking is: how do I do more of that?
Up until this point I have been on the standard track. I’ve gone to school and prepared myself for a reliable career path. I’ve taken up that career and have achieved respectable success professionally and financially. At this point, the only thing I’m missing is a home, an official husband, and a kid or two. And while there’s nothing inherently wrong with any of this, I know that to move forward as though this were the path is a slap in the face to the core of my being.
In my center, I know there’s more to my life than this. Even though I do want children and a lovely home and a loving partner (which I already have), I want these things to blossom and flourish from a soul-centric place. A place that recognizes the more-than-human world, centers itself within the realm of nature, and recognizes the impact of such choices on the ecological whole. I want it to be a contribution to the earth community, not an unconscious completion of tasks pre-assigned by society.
I am on this journey to figure out how to do life with as much conscious, soulful awareness as possible. I don’t have the answers. But I’m dedicated to uncovering them no matter how slowly, no matter how existential, no matter the course. I’m committed. And one thing I do know is that being connected to nature is at the center of this task. Taking heed of her wisdom and following her lead feels like the most important thing I could be doing right now. So that’s what I’ll do. Today I’m off to hike and camp. Until next time!