Monday, October 27, 2008

Settling In


From Webster's: The act of flowing; a continuous moving on or passing by, as of a flowing stream; constant succession; change.

The question always with flux is whether you move with the stream or against it.

I have many big changes coming down the pike. Priorities have changed. Sometimes the universe takes you by the shoulders and shakes you for all you're worth.

And you know? It's not always a bad thing.

Yes, like most Americans, I will be delighted when November 4th has come and gone. But while this date loomed the largest thing on my horizon a few weeks ago, at the moment it's just another blip (albeit an extremely important blip).

The changes were making me sick. Sick with worry, sick with anxiety, sick with pain. Like many women of my age and circumstances, I'm a victim of at least two, unspecified rheumatological disorders. And often the flare-ups that accompany them have to do with worry, anxiety and caregiving.

As of the last couple of weeks, however, I gave up fighting. Fighting my health, my tasks, my anxiety.

I opened my heart to the universe and just tried to see where life would lead me.

And suddenly, my health is back.

Suddenly, I can get back to projects long abandoned.

And none of the circumstances of change and worry have dissipated for me. But I guess my attitude has.

And swimming downstream, rather than trying to figure out how to swim upstream, has made all the difference.

Have you ever had a time in your life of great epiphany? Where God or cosmic forces (or whatever force you believe in that's bigger than you are) has entered your heart? Shown you just the right way to go?

Please share, if you have a mind to.


painted maypole said...

oh yes, indeed, 7 years ago, and still, sometimes, I am trying to swim upstream against it.

sorry to be vague, but it's not something I want to put out on the internet. ;)

Jen said...

Well, as you saw, PM, I didn't put all my stuff out there, either.;) It's wonderful to have that feeling of opening, though. I'm actually even breathing differently.

Anonymous said...

It seems like I need a cosmic epiphany every couple of years or so, to be honest. But I have discovered that I no longer go down as far on the spiral before I let one in. That's progress, right?

I'm glad you're feeling better.

Núria said...

I know what you mean, but cannot talk about a personal experience. Even if I had to explain in Spanish it would be hard.

Trying to change things is exhausting but trying to see the other side of things might be less stresful. We all learn from negative experiences... that's what I mean.

Anyway, spending some time with your beloved in a lonely spot always helps ;D

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

I'm breathing easier for you after reading this Jen. How lovely :)

One of my epiphanies came in February 2004, a couple weeks before I was to fly back to the US after having been here six months. I had moved a chair to a place in the room it had never been and from there I literally had a new perspective. Within minutes I knew that my trip "home" would only be a visit and that when I came back, it would be for a good long while.

The feeling of clarity was amazing and oh so light.

thailandchani said...

Oh, yes... I've definitely had epiphanies. Those are the times Spirit speaks to us most clearly, usually after we've missed all the previous attempts at communication. :)

Somehow, we always get the messages we're supposed to get.

The greatest epiphany I ever had was the realization that I couldn't live the way I'd been living... and be okay. At all.


anno said...

So glad to hear that you're finding some peace... and physical relief along the way.

As for epiphanies... sure! The first time I realized I didn't have to be the person I thought I had to become, that at least one or two of the soul-destroying habits I was holding onto had nothing to do with me at all. Whatever they were, they just stopped. Wish I could do the same with my chocolate-chip and salty-snack munching habits...

Anonymous said...

It wasn't anything cosmic or spiritual, but I did have a wakeup call in December of 2004. Jeff and I went to my dad's house in FL. His house is in a very small town where the sidewalks roll up at 5pm, average age of people is about 65 and so on. We found one bar to go to, so we went almost every night. I saw lots of happy people who seemed perfectly content with their jobs in what I then incorrectly thought were unimportant things--day labor, hands-on type work. Everyone seemed to know each other and as best we could tell, life was get up, go to work, eat, go to bar...and that was okay.
For the first time since age 12 or so, I started thinking that I didn't have to be a lawyer or in such an "important" (it really isn't any more important than anything else, really!) field. I saw that I could do something else and have a great life.
And guess what? I am doing something else and have a great life!

Mikaela said...

I'm so proud of you mom! And I really hope you will find ways to maintain this new perspective during those really tumultous times. It's amazing what power the brain has over the body.

Jen said...

Jersey, that's HUGE progress. This is sort of my first time just letting the universe in, and I think I have to learn how to do this on a more regular basis than once every 49 years or so.

Nuria, you seem to live your life by these rules in any case - so much lightness and heart seem to come from you!

Michelle - that's what I mean - it was that kind of moment. It's really astonishing, isn't it?

Chani, this may have been a similar epiphany for me. Thanks for sharing that.

Anno - that's fascinating, and I'd love to discuss it with you more if you're open to it. I'm even needing less of the chocolate chip kinds of things. ;-)

Wow, Patti, I know that was major for you. Mine is in a different realm entirely - I've always been pretty happy at my work, whatever it was, which has been a total blessing.

Thanks, Mikaela! I'm actually going to write more about this to you.

Anonymous said...

So glad you are having better health and peace!

Jen said...

Thanks, Dingo!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

jen, glad you are feeling better.

My epiphany happened when I came to Rome for the first time. I was sitting in Santa Maria in Trastevere asking for some kind of sign or something. I knew at that moment I would live here.

Unknown said...

I'm glad you're feeling better! I find that it's the (more frequent) mini-epiphanies that tide you over between major life revelations :D

Anonymous said...

Our society denigrates things that are "too easy" and sometimes values things that are difficult simply because they are difficult. There's something to be said for diligence, but there's a certain kind of hard work - your "swimming upstream" - that is just a sign that you're going the wrong way.

Like JerseyGirl, it took me a long time to figure that out, and even longer to recognize it when I was in the middle of it...but the length of time I spend futilely fighting the current has shortened, and I definitely call that progress!


Jen said...

NYC, I'm certainly glad you got there, as you sound very happy, in general, these days. ;-)

Cindy - that's a good point. This was just such a different experience - like looking through a new lens entirely.

Emily - I'm glad you were able to realize that, too. You certainly sound energized and happy these days!

Momisodes said...

I am so glad to hear Jen. Reading through this, I feel a weight has been lifted from you.

Last May, I had a similar epiphany. After slaving for nearly 2 years, juggling motherhood, marriage, family and a company that sucked every ounce of energy from me, I finally stepped back. I assessed my own life as if I were an outsider. With every stressor that came, I questioned it with, "Is it worth it?"

Sure enough, I allowed the things that didn't really matter fall to the wayside and I never looked back. I quit the company I worked for because they were more detrimental to my life than anything (and they didn't care). In-law drama was no longer worthy of my attention. Rigid schedules developed loose timelines. And in retrospect, I have no regrets with these decisions, because I know they affected my health,well-being, and family more than it should have.

*hugs* to you.

glamah16 said...

Always. My Mom used to always say let go and let God.I have these ephanies always in relation to work, my parents when they were alive but ill, love, etc.And it all falls into place. As much as we think we have it all in control we dont. Onwe thing...Caretakes are always prone to illness and if not careful can really get sick. So with that in mind, take care of yourself. But you already have:-)

Jen said...

Sandy, thanks for sharing your perspective on this. I remember when you made that decision and I was cheering you on. ;-)

Glamah - what a wise woman your mother was. I love that phrase, but given my rather confused spirituality, I don't follow it often enough. And yes, I'm finally taking care of myself. There it is.

Anonymous said...

I'm right in the middle of one of those times. I've been fighting things for a while and finally knew enough was enough when I burst into tears in the high-school parking lot while waiting for my son to emerge for a doctor's appointment. I was exhausted and overwhelmed and just had to say, "enough."

Sometimes, you just gotta let go and go with the flow.

So glad your health is better.

Jen said...

Thanks so much for the support, Amy!


No. But I need it to.

Jen said...

Well, Widney... maybe you just need to slow down enough to smell the flowers and maybe it will come to you? Your life seems very rich AND very, very full!

Anonymous said...

As you know, I did put mine out there for all to see. But, the really neat thing is that now that I have let go of my biggest demon, I keep getting all kinds of little baby epiphanies; I am opening myself up to finding those things that make me happy...funny how we do things because we should or we have to or whatever our reasons and many times that are NOT the things that, in the long term, make us happy or healthy...

So glad you are finding your happy/healthy moments!

Flower Child said...

Not major epiphanies but.. I found myself unemployed after a bout of bad employment. And after about a week of feeling like a total loser I told myself that I wasn't unemployed, I was "on sabbatical" and that made all the difference in the world. Instead of being idle I took this as an opportunity to do and learn new things. Amazing how much better I felt!

Betsy said...

Don't you just love those moments when an insight hits you and changes the course of your life? How wonderful that you were open and receptive to it! I am so glad to hear that you're feeling better!

Sending you a big hug! :-)