Living Life from the Inside Out

by Kristin Morrison on August 21, 2012

in Being in the Unknown,Dreams,Letting Go,Listening for Guidance


I’m making some conscious and big changes to my life that aren’t fully in effect just yet but I’m anticipating that they will be within the next few months. I’m sure I’ll write about it when all is said and done but for now I’m keeping things hush-hush. Within these changes, I find myself alternating between being fearful (the kind of fear where I’m up until 3am, questioning myself and mulling over worst case senarios) and other times (such welcome relief!) feeling a sense of sureness that I’m facing in the right direction. The word for me this year is LIBERATION. Liberation from my fears and doubts. Liberation to live my most satisfying life and let go of what stands in the way of that. It’s about trusting my innermost self and telling the truth about what works and what (really) doesn’t work anymore.


At my New Year’s Party I said “I want to blow the roof off my life. I’m ready for my whole life to change.” And then when things, the old things, started breaking down and changing in my life, I felt pissed off, scared and confused. ‘Why is this happening? Why does it feel like suddenly everything is not working?’  I thought. Then I remembered: ‘Duh. This is what you asked for. In order for your whole life to change, lots of things have to change.‘ Oh yeah, I didn’t think about that part.


I had a dream a few weeks ago where my landlord had cut 7 trees. He hadn’t cut the whole tree but just the tops of the trees. I woke up relieved that he hadn’t touched my beloved trees. Today, after a weekend away, I pulled into my driveway and my landlord was in the middle of cutting the tree branches in my yard. A lot of them. Now the trees look quite naked and my house feels exposed, no longer tucked away from the branches. Nightime dream meets daytime reality. So strange.


Speaking of dreams, my dreams are ramping up in intensity, probably because of the imminent changes. Whew. Every night lately is a technicolor, Oscar-winning show. Every morning I can be found scribbling in my bed the remnants from the night before. I’m a part of two dream groups which are helping me speak the language of Dream.


Has my whole life been spent rushing? It feels that way. Rushing here. Rushing there. Rushing so I won’t be late. Rushing so I won’t be late to a massage (okay, now that’s crazy). I was talking to a friend about this a few days ago and he said he often feels that if he hurries now he’ll be able to relax later. But later never comes because he’s always rushing to relax. Sounds crazy right? I do it too. Time to slow waaaayyyyy down.


Saturday night I was at dinner in Monterey and the waiter said to us, “Are you finished enjoying that?”, pointing to my nearly-gone entree. I realize how often waiters say, “Are you done working on that?” It was such welcome relief to hear him say enjoy instead of work. I felt relaxed just hearing that new-to-me waiter term.


I have a friend, Sharon, who is my hero right now. She’s going through similar life-altering changes and yet her attitude is one of mostly calm. She gets freaked out sometimes (today was one of them) but she’s quickly able to establish equilibrium. She’s the willow tree, able to handle the winds of change and yet strong enough to stay rooted. I’m learning from her. Watching. Listening. Learning from Zen Master Willow Sharon.


Tonight I was feeling freaked out. I was not the willow that Sharon is. Sometimes when I’m freaked out I spend mindless time on the Internet to try and soothe my spirit. (It doesn’t always work.) Tonight it sort of worked though. Here’s what I did: I Googled ‘Burn victims get face transplant’ and I saw videos of women who made what I’m going through right now seem like a simple wipe of the kitchen counter. It may sound like a morbid way to spend an evening (okay, we can take the might out of that sentence) but it was very helpful to see and hear these women talk about how they managed to keep their optimism in spite of being completely disfigured.  Sometimes it takes seeing or hearing about someone much worse off than me to inspire me to stop the Inner Freakout.


As a kid I was super empathetic and empathic. It was a lot to handle and I had a lot of sadness witnessing the pain around me. It was almost unbearable, actually. Somewhere along the way I shut part of my heart to not feel it (as a super sensitive kid it was necessary to live with a half closed heart in order to make it to adulthood) but darn it, I have missed being blindsided by empathy. It’s coming back, this empathy and compassion. I find myself feeling the pulsing of tenderness in my more-opened heart and a rush of tears come to my eyes when I see a homeless person who is clearly in need or the woman in her electric wheelchair trying to navigate it across the street.


Life works a lot better when I don’t take things personally. Actually, I think if I could master the art of not taking things personally I would be the happiest person around (and probably so would those of you who know me personally). Every day I have opportunities to practice this. I am at the point in my practice of non-personal-taking where I find myself habitually take something personally. It may zing me (yow) and I react (even just in my mind) and then after I remember, “Oh, yeah, I’m not taking things personally. What would it be like -in this moment- to not take what just happened so personally?” It feels like LIBERATION is what it feels like. Amen!



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