Back in the saddle
Thank you to all of you who, during the last few months, expressed to the newspaper or me that you missed my column. I had chosen to take a break from writing it for reasons that I’ll share here, and I’m glad to be back writing twice a month.
Last July began an emotional, spiritual and psychological crisis within me. It came on suddenly. The upheaval coincided with an awareness of how attached I had become to my roles. I define “roles” as the ways in which I had chiseled and molded myself into an image that I presented to the world. I questioned the authenticity of these roles of Life Coach and communication specialist, newspaper columnist, board president of an organization, spiritual teacher of sorts, even wife and mother.
Deep anxiety, along with a sense of fear and foreboding, accompanied the upheaval. I couldn’t explain it and didn’t know how to talk about it. I felt confused and “at sea.” I did know that the face I showed to the world had become dependent on roles and images to define who I thought I was. They certainly defined how I wanted others to see me!
Then, in September and October, some outward events resulted in my not only giving up attachment to many of these roles, but to the roles themselves. I had a burning desire to discover who I was beyond the masks I wore. I quit almost everything and spent the next several months being quiet, journaling, reading and meditating. So much energy went into these activities that I had little to give outwardly.
Of course, ego threw reasons at me to try to convince me not to take the time off. “People have expectations of you; you’ll let them down.” “You won’t be making enough money.” “You’re being selfish.” I decided that I didn’t care. I took the time anyway because my inner compulsion trumped the ego’s excuses.
Slowly over time, the energy to serve returned. Although I’m still sorting out what I learned in the quiet space, I do know that I connected to a Self that goes deeper than what I accomplish or the roles I play.
During this time, I re-discovered a love from my childhood and young adult years – dance. It has taken the form of Zumba (yes, you can teach an old gal new tricks!). I’m teaching Zumba, taking on new coaching clients, and resuming my writing.
When I left the “doing” of my roles, I had no idea if I would ever pick these activities up again. I just trusted my inner direction, and, after a few months, the inner stirrings once more began to move me on an outward path.
I ask myself what I learned and want to pass on to you. It’s this: trust your inner voice. If you feel inward compulsion to pursue a direction that you intuitively know puts you in touch with your authenticity, listen to it. Follow it, wherever it leads. It may take you on inner journeys that rival outward excursions to exciting and exotic places on earth.
You don’t need to know ahead of time where it will take you. You can be certain, though, that it will result in a more authentic, more peaceful, more satisfied you. Who you really are is connected to something deeper and richer than you can imagine.
Dr. Marta supports clients to live in their authenticity. To contact her, write her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 928-451-9482.
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