I suppose what I am trying to do is to is trying to get a bit more me-ish-ness happening in my life.
I'm not up for changing anything. I'm done with working on myself. I'd say I know my self pretty well and I kinda like my self too.
The only thing that's been missing lately has been a sense of fun. Of exuberance. Of decadence. Savouring the senses. Getting dressed up for the fun of it. Trying something new.
One of the things I've really been enjoying recently is Lisa Lister's Sassy work. Her book is a dangerously pink entreaty to sisters everywhere to step up and enjoy their lives. I have to confess, the tone irritated me a little, but the substance was certainly there. And the heart of her premise spoke straight to mine.
Since the abrupt end of therapy a few weeks ago, I've noticed some curious things about myself. The first was just how relieved I felt, which was unexpected given how hurtful and shocking the confrontation had been. This made me wonder whether I had subconsciously been withdrawing from the process for a while but not been quite ready to admit it and let go... something which may explain my therapist's frustration with me (though certainly doesn't justify her behaviour).
For a week afterwards, I also felt freer, taller, more grown up than I ever have in my life. I am pleased to see that this feeling has stayed with me, even though life since then has been less intense and exhilarating. I know I have spent as much time and energy on this experience as it deserves and I am not inclined to dwell on it. That said, I am fully awake to the feelings that continue to move through me. My mind may have processed it and my heart may be at peace but my body knows there's still a little more to process and that it will take time.
In the meantime, I have been pondering this newfound sense of freedom and independence. It's led me to wonder about the fears that hold me back. I'm especially interested in the way I invite figures of authority into my life and the fears I have of disrupting the status quo.
I've been wondering what happened to my backbone.
So this past week or so has been an experiment in reclaiming a bit of whup-ass. I've no intention of becoming more combative or defensive or brusque. I have been that girl, but she is no longer me. And, from what I know, there's not a lot of peace to be found there. What I'm more interested in is gentle moments of courage. Like that brilliant quote from Mary Anne Radmacher: "Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow."
Or persisting with a conversation that teeters dangerously on the brink of my comfort zone, knowing that I am safe and that any clunkiness will be outweighed by progress.
Or setting a quiet boundary around someone else's mean-spirited behaviour, knowing that I would never treat someone who helped me in the same way... and making a point of showing extra gratitude to my people.
And then there's the tiny delicious parts. Rediscovering fun chunky accessories I haven't worn for ages. Lighting a beautiful scented candle every day. Savouring the messiness of a juicy mango. Deciding to walk a different way to work. Capturing a few more moments using my iPhone camera. Treats from a new delicatessen/bakery/providore. Consulting a new oracle. Investing in a hand-embroidered vintage apron. Making Christmas lists. Reading murder mysteries. Throwing my hat in the ring for a pie-in-the-sky, mondo beyondo type opportunity.
The danger in all of this (especially for someone like me) is being too ambitious, given my rather limited energy. There have been more than a few nights this week where I have had every intention of doing something specific to nourish my soul... then flaked out on the couch, too knackered to move (let alone think!).
So there's also been a fair bit of giving myself permission to let the dirty dishes stay where they are for another day (or two). Ditto unwritten blog posts. Ditto returned emails. Ditto paperwork and To Do lists. And knocking over as many chores as possible on a Saturday so I can do nothing more than flake out on a Sunday.
As Iris Murdoch: “One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats.” They don't need to cost anything, but they need to be chosen, planned for and savoured with sass.
These days, that's where you'll find me.