Pleasure in the Pathless Woods
PLEASURE IN THE PATHLESS WOODS
finding my way
"There is pleasure in the pathless woods." ~Lord Byron
I'm trying to not only believe this quote, but also embody it! I question it, too. Especially lately. But one thing is true, I am determined to simply notice it as opposed to find it. You see, I've been working on shifting my masculine ways of being and working. Having to find something carries with it a steadfast, intense energy that makes me envision myself marching to the beat of a soldier with my sights narrowly focused on the outcome. This narrow focus gets in the way of my experiencing pleasure... and what is life without pleasure? Boring! With my new approach, I get to simply notice myself and my environment, including home, friends, family, work, and nature. Are you able to sense the lightness just by reading that sentence about my new approach? I hope so.
In speaking of my "new" approach, the simple fact that I consider it to be new creates an awareness that this is foreign territory - pathless woods. Additionally, my entrepreneurial (and personal) life currently carries with it so much uncertainty that I must realize, I'm not on somebody else's path; this is a path that I get to create one day at a time. To expand on the metaphor, I may have to climb a tree, create tools out of rocks, and make friends with animals in the woods along the way. It's all brand new to me. It takes a lot of trust and belief in myself and to be honest with you - some days I can stand proud in my trust and belief and other days, I don't know what the hell I'm doing!
Imagine woods as a metaphor for life. Lord Byron's quote reminds me to experience the pleasure along the way. Recently and throughout life, I have taken some of life's pleasures for granted. As I become more aware of and vulnerable to my new experiences, I slow down and am reminded to simply notice.
THE DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL
I'm coming out of what I considered to be a dark place. My business mentor gave me much relief when she identified it as a Neutral Zone, a period of time between an ending and a new beginning. She referenced this "zone" from the William Bridges Change Model regarding transition and explained how we experience negative emotions because it is unfamiliar to be in transition or to be neutral. Our society is taught to go from one thing to the next - Job A to Job B, House 1 to House 2 - and in the fast-paced American way, we often forget to observe the change and take time for ourselves. My dark place may have been triggered by what is happening in our country and on the planet today, which I am both aware of and sensitive to. I feel a weight, sadness, uncertainty - let's just loosely call it an "energy" - about what is happening and I absorb it and if I'm not conscious, I identify it as mine, my own problem. I am optimistic about the chaos and trust that it's meant to be, but this energy has not helped what I've been experiencing. I'm pretty sure I had most if not all negative emotions one can possible have and it zapped me entirely of my energy! Yet, all I could do was accept it. To accept the discomfort... to give it space in all the welcoming cells of my being… that was one of the hardest and darkest experiences of my life. Surrendering all the other to-dos, wants, needs and roles was scary, confusing, sad and liberating. All I could do was be gentle with myself - that is what I believe I was being called to do (in the oh so unfamiliar feminine way of being). My old ways of being (masculine) had a path, detailed to the end, inconsiderate of my well being and balance of mind, body & soul. Alas, I see my journey now is more pathless than defined. It is what I've chosen for myself for one reason or another. I feel more in the moment, more present and hopefully will start experiencing pleasure in a whole new way.
Over the last two months, I have deliberately (in June) and unexpectedly (in August) slowed down. Aside from three focus areas, I mostly de-prioritized everything else. Those three focus areas are:
1) Personal Development - I speak to an entrepreneurial coach every other week about developing my Self and spiritual work. This is essential to my behaviors and patterns in my business (and in my life) and it became evident there were some major behaviors and patterns that I have to say "Good-bye" to. As I mentioned earlier, stepping into more of a feminine way of being and working is at the forefront of our work together, and it has required breaking down old structures also known as belief systems. For example, I want to be more in flow with my work which means I do what feels right. But my belief has been to schedule my work and be diligent about completing it, regardless of how I feel. (Bye-bye beliefs that don't consider my feelings! You don't serve me!) I'm learning there's wisdom in identifying and navigating our emotions. Feeling my emotions and diving deep into what I have a tendency to repress or avoid through action takes conscious focus, awareness, compassion, and even forgiveness. I've been crying so much, it's a wonder I have tears left.
2) Social Life - I no longer want pleasure to take a backseat so I've made sure to make time for friends - this includes my cats and dating! ;-) Someone recently told me God gives us friends as forgiveness for our family. Haha! Although I love my family, I only really get the emotional support I need from a small handful of them so I value having friends who are conscious of feelings and emotions like me and want to talk about them. It's been so nice to see how my friendships are evolving during this time of growth for me and I'm so proud of myself for creating time to be social and find pleasure... which brings me to my next point - Dating! Going out on dates with men is something I feel compelled to do, even if it's not always pleasurable. (P.S. Last night I had a dream that I was with a new man - someone I've never seen before - and it just felt right. I woke up reminded to let my love story come and to know that it will be right when it's meant to happen! Ahhhh. Tear.) As for my cats, they are spoiled! Nurturing and cuddling them brings me so much joy! Because of Mischka's cancer, I have been making them real food cat food! They probably eat better than me. I also give Mischka homeopathic remedies weekly to slow the growth of his tumor. I'm not ready to lose him and the thought of his passing has made me cry even more.
3) My NEW Website!!! - Can you feel my excitement? What an honor to have met and be able to work with the beautiful and talented Victoria Donovan on this site which now serves me and you in more ways than one! Hello Online Booking! I'm also excited to blog more now that my site is pretty! :-)
The uncertainties of being an entrepreneur make the ride seem pathless. Of course I have a plan and goals and a sense of purpose for my life but at the end of the day, that's all just a guide. What matters to me is what's right here, right now. It's important to me to be able to show up for you - my clients, readers, friends and fans - in a way that brings value to your day. As a loyal client, bringing value to your life would be an honor, would mean I'm living on purpose and in my purpose to serve. This website will help me to achieve that simply by making my work more efficient. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, browse my site and support my business! Thank you for your understanding and patience with me along the pathless woods.
Wishing you great pleasure today in your woods of life, with or without paths!
Peace, love, bubbles & hugs!