February 28, 2012
Well, I asked for clarity, and I got it.
I’m on day 15 of my No Refined Sugar Challenge.
Five days into the No Sugar Challenge, with the clarity and energy that you get when you cut things from your life, I decided that I wanted to take a break from all commitments and obligations. I realized that I still haven’t entirely gotten to know myself, and because of this lack of self knowledge I still say Yes to things I’m not 100% sure I want to do. When you’re interested in everything and have problems saying No, this is very easy to do. Most of the time I will commit to doing something because it’s interesting and I feel like I should. But when I do something because I feel like I should, rather than because my heart wants to, I procrastinate. And then I beat myself up for procrastinating.
In the past, people have said to me, “Maybe you’re procrastinating because you don’t really want to do X.” I always thought they were wrong, that I DID want to do X, but that I was just lazy, not disciplined enough, too flawed in some way to overcome my fears and limitations and do what I should be doing.
But now I see that they might’ve been right. So I decided to release all commitments, obligations and guilt, and decided to take space to listen to and follow my heart and do what I want without anyone else’s input, including my closest friends and loved ones.
And it’s not that anyone has ever forced me do anything; it’s just that I end up perceiving every kind of “work” situation/relationship in a warped way, and I turn it into a power struggle, in which I rebel passive-aggressively by dragging my feet. I’ve realized that this is rooted in my upbringing by two very authoritarian teacher parents to whom I was not allowed to say no, or have honest conversations in which I expressed my feelings/wants/needs. (Mom, I know you’re reading this. I still love you!). I’ve been doing a lot of Inner Child healing work over the past few months, using the books Healing the Child Within and A Gift to Myself, and am coming to see how unhealthy my childhood was. Not that that’s abnormal – it’s estimated that 80-95% of Americans have dysfunctional childhoods, and I’m guessing that number runs the same for the rest of the world. I strongly believe that the entire paradigm of how we raise and socialize human beings needs to be changed; I’ll be writing more on this topic in the future.
Anyways, when I decided to take a break from everything, I made a list of what I want:
I want to live closer to Nature. I want to read and write. I want to meditate and do yoga. I want to free myself from debt.
Within the week, a friend who is living in Patagonia emailed me with an offer to come visit the horse ranch she’s living on. I asked if they needed anyone else to help out there. She said yes.
So, I’m moving to Patagonia on April 1st.
I’ll be in the middle of nowhere, helping a woman with Multiple Sclerosis write her memoirs. I will be able to save money and pay down my credit card debt. I will be in nature. I will be able to read and write (especially during the coming winter months, which is June-August down here!). The region gets some snow, but not too much, and the temp is in the 50s/40sF during the day and 30sF at night.
I’ll be in the northwest of Patagonia, the Neuquén Province, just south of Mendoza and near the Chilean border. Here’s more information on the woman and the ranch:
I’m excited and nervous which, as a friend pointed out, is essentially the same thing; I read somewhere that fear is just excitement without the breath.
Tomorrow I’m going on a 3-day silent Vipassana meditation retreat. More connection and clarity.
Thank you to all of you who are supporting me on this journey. Part of my practice of releasing my feelings of guilt and obligation is that I need to release guilt about not blogging “enough” (ie more consistently, like everyone says you should in order to maintain and build your blog audience, and not as much as I should considering I’ve repeatedly promised friends and loved ones that I’d put up more pictures). So, please forgive me. And I forgive myself.