I’m driving, and I’m about to hit something. A car I think. Sometimes a train running along the tracks. Maybe I’m getting off an off ramp, and I’m reaching for the brakes, and I’m pushing and pushing and pushing against them and,
I can’t make the car stop.
No matter how hard I press, nothing happens. The car keeps moving, barely slowing at all. And I’m looking at myself, as though I’m both outside the car and inside the car all at once. I can feel myself force the pedal down, hard, harder, and then harder, until it feels as though my foot is about to pop out of the floor of the car and onto the pavement like I’m some kind of amorphous Fred Flintstone and I can use my own body to force the car to halt, except I can’t. It doesn’t work. It never works. Ever.
And I can also feel myself, looking at myself. I can simultaneously see me, trying to stop the car and feel, deep in the tissue of my physical body, my effort and its resistance.
But then I wake up. Before the impact, before the crash. Usually right before I think that somehow, someway, I have the power still to make the car stop, I wake up.
Over and over and over again I’ve had this dream. Maybe 20 years now it’s been coming to my subconscious to send a message.
Except for 20 years I didn’t listen. For 20 years I didn’t even consider what it meant, really. To be honest, I thought it was some sort of sign from the universe that the way I’d die someday was in a car crash. I mean, odds are pretty good, right? For 20 years I just chalked it up to the fact that I drive a lot and people crash and that was that.
Until Tuesday this last week. I woke up sweaty and panicked, heart racing and belly churning as I always do when this lesson comes, and the first thing I thought of, the very first thing, was “I’m losing control.”
Not like, of the car, but of my life, or, more specifically, my response to the speed of my life.
This dream came after we made some really big business decisions, and then some really big life decisions, and then also after I had the chance to take a real vacation and some real, actual, honest-to-ganesha time off of work.
I took that break, and felt deep in my bones what I was like to have that pressure valve turned off. To have those rocks emptied out of my pocket for a few days. To release the shame-filled attachment I’ve held to this studio for the last three years, and had a chance to be me without all the shit in the way.
And then we got home on a Monday, and I went right back to work, right back to decision-making, leading, scheduling, organizing, managing and mapping out every moment of my next 24, 48, and 720 hours and I just…
Tapped the FUCK out.
I was so tired I could barely make my words clear. Overwhelmed with an allergic response to my environment, my eczema flared up, my eyes began to itch and weep, and my congestion returned within just 12 hours of returning home.
Deep, powerful, all consuming fatigue pulled me into black hole of infinite nothingness.
So I surrendered. I went to bed early. I put minimum effort into all the things I do, but still I knew that minimum effort to keep a household of five, a job, and business running smoothly, isn’t exactly… minimum effort.
And then that night I had that dream.
OF COURSE I HAD THAT DREAM.
Because, yes, there I was, YET AGAIN, losing control of the speed of my life. There I was once more, having just had my foot firmly and confidently on the brake pedal, sitting in a car I picked out with the ability only to make it go, and no capacity to make it stop.
But you know what?
Because lessons tend to appear when the student is ready… I was just like,
WELL O-FUCKING-KAY THEN.
I took a big breath, noticed what was coming up for me, thought about where I was sending my thoughts and energy and why it might feel like I just went from zero to 60 in .55 seconds and what I might want to do about it.
Delegate decisions. Stop using measuring sticks that don’t align with my goals and values to evaluate my success. Be 100 percent committed to and grateful for the moment and place I’m currently in instead of obsessing over all the other places and moments I could be in instead. Love who I am now and stop romanticizing my past, and my future.
Own what I’m really great at, and acknowledge there are lots of things I’m just not amazing at doing right now, AND I DON’T NEED TO BE.
While I can certainly learn and grow and be all kinds of different things, the very best thing I can do, the most noble choice I can make, the most important thing I can do, is just to
In and out. Expand and contract. Fill up, and empty out.
Just breathe. And then take the next breath. And then the next one after that. And so forth and so on again, and again, and again.
Breathe. For me. For you. For us. Make your breath a wave, and feel it join the ocean.
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