I've been in Oregon now for two weeks. It's looked like this:
It's also looked like this:
I've been to hot springs, on stunning hikes. I've seen herons and jays and hummingbirds out my kitchen window. I've eaten incredibly fresh vegetables, connected with a few new people, and drunk some of the best coffee I've ever encountered.
If you've been following along, you know that we're not settled on living in Corvallis, OR, the small city where we've landed. Whether we stay or not, though, it's clear we're on the right track.
But this #movetochange hasn't felt like a picturesque journey through Eastern Oregon. Truthfully, it's felt like a version of hell.
I have been plagued by anxiety, fear, confusion, overwhelming sadness.
It shows up in my breath, in my sleep, in the way I perceive things. I notice it in my marriage and in my parenting.
Here I am, responding to the wild call within through a cross-country move and instead of finding liberation, I find myself ultimately domesticated by painful feelings.
Old feelings. Old sensations. Old beliefs bubbling to the fore.
Has this ever happened to you?
You set out on a really, really, really important journey, only to find that you are running into all sorts of psychic traps? That instead of feeling "good," you are awash in fear and anxiety and grief?
This move for me has been about change. And about differentiation.
It's been about owning who I am and acting on what I know about myself.
It's been about responding to years of deep listening to myself, years of tending to the inner wild.
It's been about making my outside reality match the blooming inner reality.
It's been about putting a stake in the ground for what I want.
It's been about self-trust and trust in Love and a willingness to not try to control my life.
It's been about releasing myself from stuckness and stagnation so that I might taste more of the beauty of life.
It's been about freedom.
And it's hurt like hell.
~ ~ ~
Last night, I was sharing this in a sea of tears with my husband.
How I keep running into this belief that I shouldn't want more for myself.
That I can't get what I want.
That it's dangerous to leave home.
That I'm doing something terribly wrong.
I told him how all of these old, familiar beliefs are no longer like shadows in the corner, but like giants obstructing my path. And while the adult part of me knows they aren't real, aren't true, the child me can't see past the giants.
Hence the anxiety and fear and sadness.
My husband reminded me that I have immense inner resources with which to navigate this.
But I also told him that I don't have enough of the right inner resources. I don't have all the medicine I need.
I'm right, too.
I don't have the space or the new belief system or the courage or the understanding or the grounding to navigate where I've found myself.
I don't have everything I need. Yet.
~ ~ ~
My favorite quote about marriage comes from David Schnarch's book, Passionate Marriage. He writes: "Marriage makes you ready for marriage."
And that's what I so deeply value and appreciate about this situation.
These old psychic traps of mine are very real and they are no longer a shadow that slips away depending on how the light falls. They are staring me down in broad daylight, revealing themselves to me fully.
And in the same way that marriage makes you ready for marriage, this move has made (and will make) me ready for this move.
It's in the facing of old hurts, old beliefs, old injuries and limitations that I become ready to face them.
I got ready to #movetochange as best as I could before I ever initiated any practical external shift, like repainting the living room in order to sell the house or securing rental housing. But it takes the actual moving to make one ready for moving.
This is how growth works. How change works.
We don't become able to walk 10 miles at a time or squat comfortably until we start walking and start squatting.
We don't become able to put our stake in the ground until we put our stake in the ground.
Said another way, we're always rising to the occasion.
And sometimes it hurts like hell.
~ ~ ~
That's the work.
Not the hurting like hell - change doesn't always create that experience! - but the practice of finding your edge and hanging out there, knowing that being present to the edge is what shifts the edge, is what makes you able to experience more and more of the richness of life.
It's what I'm passionate about.
It's what I'm intent on opening myself up to, having experienced how much freedom always lies on the other side, how much joy and connection and expansion.
It's also what I have to give.
Exploring my own edges - moving to change - is what enables me to teach you to explore your own edges, what encourages you to keep on your own wild journey. It's the fuel for my work. It's the transformative element in what I offer.
~ ~ ~
Restore Your Wild is my love song for exploring your edges. It's my invitation for you to #movetochange. It's my tutorial.
It's five months of goodness that enables you to create your own wild life.
I can promise you that restoring your wild will be worth it. I've experienced it time and again and have seen my students flourish by doing the work.
And I acknowledge up front that old hurts often come up when we try to move forward. That life will always be offering us invitations to heal more fully and to release limiting beliefs. To set off on a journey to intentionally restore your wild is to enter into a dance with your fear and your grief. And your joy and bliss, too.
~ ~ ~
I'm headed on outing this weekend, to celebrate my 37th birthday and to explore another part of Oregon. My wild self has invited me to persist in this #movetochange, even in the face of painful feelings. Or maybe more aptly, she has invited me to persist so that I CAN experience the painful feelings, because she finds them beautiful and healing.
And because, like all wild women, she knows what it's like to move through them, to finally see the moon beyond the giants, and because she knows what it's like to howl on the other side!