It’s 2:30pm and outside my window the sun is already shyly hiding behind a mask of grey and drizzle, making this November day even colder and darker than the days before. My circadian rhythm is chirruping in my ear, telling me it’s time to slow down but in my day to day life it seems to only be getting quicker. Work is growing with big events creating a swirling fug of self-doubt, worry and tension in both my stomach and back.
You are always there when I need you, sat with a smile ready to pull and melt my worries into a pool on the floor. At the start of this year when I was my own dark words whispered in the middle of the night, I would take you to the bathroom and breathe deep, full breaths to try and coax my racing heart off the well-worn track.
In and out.
Forward and back.
Arms crossed and hung loose over my head, a gentle pull on my back, the warming stretch in my legs and the rolling tide from my shoulders down the back of my head. I was so anxious in those days that I worried about staying in the bathroom too long, so I never took the amount of time I needed. Now I know better – no amount of time is too long when you need to heal.
Growth and healing aren’t linear and many times we will misstep and feel the air rush past our ears as we consider, only for a moment, that our self-deprecating thoughts were right; what if we can’t do this? what if we can’t be happy, or successful, because we have failed? It’s only through experience have I seen that failure isn’t bad, but a learning opportunity designed to help me grow and nurture my passion. You, my friend, have had a guiding hand in this lesson. Seated, wide-legged or standing, you’ve shown me that one view/action can come in many forms and can generate different experiences. Some days I will be able to wrap my hands around my feet, others I can just graze my ankles – neither more valid than the next. No failure. No ‘bad’ job.
You have shown me so much about myself that I didn’t know; I still fight when I am trying to let go. I am a master of self-protection, built up over the years with brick after shy and guilt leaden brick, so even when I try to relax there is still a part of me that has its ears pricked, ready to pick up and run at a moment’s notice. Moving into you has helped me check myself when I tense up. I catch myself every time, it’s like the runner’s wall, and I have to focus hard to push through the fight instinct. You taught me gentleness, compassion and perseverance through your suggestion to look deeper, to stay with it and breathe out where possible.
I shared your tenderness with my darling dad and I saw my mirror image of fight and he tensed and struggled. I invited him to keep his knees bent but up he stood, red-faced from blood and embarrassment. You made my world accessible yet impressive, something I secretly revelled in my bid to impress.
You held me tall and let me catch a breath in the whirlwind that I used to be and for that, my love, I will always be grateful.
I love you, always.