I’m thinking about a few days away from the online world. A step back, to create some silence, some space, to bring my awareness to how much time I spend in ways that aren’t generative. As training for a business partnership I’ll share more about eventually, I’m taking a home course through the North American Society of Adlerian Psychology. I have a to read a book. (This sounds trivial, but truthfully, I don’t remember the last time I had to read a book.) I have to listen to four lectures and write four essays. It has been a while since I was this kind of student, and I know it takes a different kind of discipline.
I am noticing an increase lately in Aviva’s and my… how do you say? Dynamic? Whatever it is, when it isn’t working, it isn’t working. I’m telling this story that Aviva is a “power child” even as I bristle at myself for thinking this, for the impulse to label, to size up. We’re registered for a four-week class with Parenting On Track later this month; we have several friends who have had amazing experiences with this program, which is entirely based on creative a cooperative environment where every family member is appreciated and expected to contribute. I am excited and admittedly a little nervous about it, and I can’t imagine that some of what comes up once we get started won’t show up here.
Greg and I are training for the Covered Bridges Half Marathon on June 7. After fifteen years of running two or three miles a few times a week, it is far beyond anything I’ve ever done, this kind of running, much less training. Yesterday my middle sister (who is also doing the race with her husband) and I ran 8.7 miles down in Amherst, where we spent the weekend for Passover. It was hard. It was one big, long, slow, steady metaphor, a metaphor replete with pee stops and ipods we traded back and forth, laughing at each other’s music selections (she had Euro techno pop, I had Ani and Dar and “sad girl music,” as she put it).
What surprised me most was just how much anxiety came up for me in the middle of the so-far-longest run. I think about how related running and writing and meditation are; how you just keep going down this path, or on this loop, to nowhere, just keep coming back to the breath or the sentence you’re on or one foot in front of the other, all the while noticing resistance, judgment, fear, anger, sadness. And you keep running, or sitting, or writing. Why am I doing this? I heard myself wondering around mile five. And when will it be over? So much of my life: Getting things over with. But as my a wise teacher once said to me, so unflinchingly: “This is your life.“
I’m sitting across a table from my coaching clients, so moved by what happens when they-you-I-we are willing to not know, to trust process, to stay open, to connect the dots, to bring some space and awareness and compassion to ourselves as we find our way, which is never far away.
I need to sit across from myself for a while. I am going to take a short hiatus from the blog. In fact, I am hereby declaring a kind of internet detox period. (Facebook: This means you, too!) After battling bulimia as a teenager and an intermittent crash-and-burn affair with smoking from thirteen to thirty-one, I can see some similarities here, ways in which the internet is at least in part just another addiction.
There is, as always, so much I want to write, to share, to post, to connect, to contemplate online. And – and I need to restore some balance, not only to how I spend time, but also to redirect my 21st century brain circuitry. (I literally hear myself sometimes thinking in one-line updates and blog post titles.)
So, my friends (damn John McCain for corrupting that lovely phrase), I’m off to lie my soul down in the grass. I have a feeling it won’t be easy at first; I will probably resist and judge and fuss and justify why the whole thing is silly. I may even come up with all kinds of interesting loopholes to show back up sooner than later. But if I can walk out of Egypt, I should be able to unplug for a few days. The world is too full to talk about. Come meet me here.
And p.s. If you want to connect with me for the rest of the week, please by all means send me an email. Call me. I will not be far. In fact, I might be closer than ever. Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing / and rightdoing there is a field. / I’ll meet you there. / When the soul lies down in that grass / the world is too full to talk about. ~ Rumi
Image: Nick Serratore