When I started thinking about writing this piece, I was trying to remember how long it had been since I said I was leaving, going into a cocoon.
Had it been 6 months? One? Eternity?
I had to go onto my own website, type in the URL, to look at the date of the last post.
March, it said, and I was struck by how sometimes months can feel like lifetimes.
Earlier this year a question I was sitting with was: do I even want to coach at all?
What I really needed to do was to try to figure out how I had gotten so separated from myself, while I was so convinced that I was only becoming more myself.
Like Ariel in the Little Mermaid, I gave my voice away for what I thought I wanted. And I had no idea that’s what was happening.
How could I lead anyone into themselves, if I had gotten so far away from me?
But I understand, now.
And what was up on the chopping block was something I had never questioned: my relationship with and trust in life.
The only thing to do, was to let absolutely everything entirely go, and to see what emerged from the ashes.
A month or so ago, I started to miss working with people.
There was a hungering for what had originally brought me into coaching, something that had gotten buried as I got caught up in layers of the coaching world, where everything was more advanced, higher end, higher prices, being bigger, growing growing growing.
The thing that brought me in, that had gotten dressed up and then buried: a desire to help.
I looked at the happy pile of ashes that had been my life, rolled around in them, and then was surprised to see a tiny plant in the corner, a little pink bud.
Was it motherhood, what I had been expecting?
No, not quite, I was not yet feeling ready.
What could this one be, I wondered, and I watched it bloom:
My deep care for people and the world.
A desire to serve. To get involved, to volunteer in my local community. To work with people again. To hold people again.
I started doing some 1:1 sessions, which brought me a lot of joy.
And then, in perfect timing, I held my in-person retreat, that had been planned for almost a year.
Five women and me. Women who had worked with me for years, getting to meet one another and me for the first time.
And here was the magic: holding this retreat in the way I wanted required me to fully trust life again, to reclaim what I knew and what I felt as mine.
And here is where the internet is a strange place: how to explain something that is unexplainable?
I could never put into words the tears, the beauty of in person hugs and touch and laughter, of the way life showed up for us. Of the energy of the land holding every woman, altering her. You can never be the same after an experience like that.
I asked life for magic, and we received it.
It was the most profound, most beautiful thing I have ever held.
And I was left with: how could I not create more things like this?
I wished for only in person, maybe everyone could come in person, if only people could just appear, somehow knowing what existed for them here, on this land.
And yet. The truth, that these women would never have found me without the internet. The internet, that allows me to reach into all corners of the Earth and share what is possible with the other women who feel this in every tendon.
So what to do, with me and the internet.
What I have learned is that my in person life, my real life, is the most valuable to me.
I have been thinking a lot about the instant nature of the internet. Something I have not missed at all is the feeling of living my life and immediately turning every moment into some sort of content. My brain had literally started to function with instantaneousness and sharing as its highest priority. See something pretty, think, take a photo of this to share later. Learn something new, write a post about it. Have a realization, tell everyone. Cook something, paint something, let them know. Don’t live every moment, story it instead.
This isn’t natural and I’m happy to say it is un-learn-able. All it took was not doing it to have it stop. What has been interesting is that it feels to me like my attention span continues to grow the longer I am not on the internet. It didn’t just get bigger at month 1 and then stop there, no, it continues to grow. I can sit longer and longer out in nature in complete silence, letting my brain drift and wonder, never once thinking what am I going to make out of this.
Some weeks ago I went on a walk to a little cove near the ocean and I sat there, phone off, for three hours. Occasionally writing in a journal, mostly just looking, and thinking. By the end, I was wanting to look some things up on my phone. Three hours! Of completely alone, complete silence. I could never have done that before – and maybe it’s not even that I couldn’t have, it’s that I wouldn’t have.
I have been devouring books, and not telling the internet what I’ve learned. It’s strange to be in a life where this feels freeing. Where three hours of silence feels like a big deal. Where reading a 500 page book without resistance feels like an accomplishment. What would our ancestors think? But it does.
I have a healthy cycle again – oh, the joys of being a woman with a healthy cycle – and even this, a story I do not want to tell, yet.
It is this instantaneous nature of things. Some things I want to tell in years, when they are not as tender and close to me. When they are ready.
We have lost this art. Not everywhere, but many places.
Sometimes I long for the time before my first book of poetry, when I was writing poems without a thought of ever sharing them. So many of those poems I wrote just for me, before I knew I would put them out there.
Even this piece, I will no longer write and push out before I am ready. Instead I will sit for many days, considering, coming back, wondering. Is this really meaningful, really something I am wanting to share?
Truth be told, I’m not sure. But I think some context is necessary to understand where I am coming from. Because I am ready to create more, to hold more. I am going to be offering more coaching and especially more in-person work. And I want you to know, that it is coming from this place: an uncertainty with how to do this while protecting my life from social media, from instant sharing, but a strong desire to work with people again.
What I have been experiencing in both my online and in-person work is how important it is for people to have spaces where they can come and feel everything in their bodies, a space where it feels safe for it to come out.
Spaces to grieve and laugh. Spaces to tell their stories, to honor who they are and who they have become. Spaces that our society does not typically create.
A knowing of life and nature and art that is deep and innate.
And forgotten, in our society, largely forgotten.