I’ve been sitting in that pregnant moment of in between. That moment right at the end of ascent, before the first step in a new journey begins. That moment of pause in the continuum. That bottom of the exhale, top of the inhale, the full, juicy, powerful pause that only becomes brimming when we reach a moment of completion. This is where I am, right now with my hands clicking away as if to ensure that the moment doesn’t disappear before I have captured it.
For the past two years, I have been excavating deep aspects of myself in the Somatic Psychology program at The California Institute of Integral Studies. From the onset, I was in a constant dialogue about the mental health industrial complex as I felt a conflict brewing within myself. I had entered the program from a very specific place; that of being in the world of environmental activism which is, among many things, a culture of burn out and trauma. From the moment I stepped foot in class, I sensed that I was not going to follow the track laid out before me – which looked like course work, practicum, internship and hour accumulation (3,000 of them), Board of Behavioral Sciences Licensure exam, Private Practice in an office with said license on my wall… yeah something about that didn’t settle so well. It took me the past two years to figure out why…
In that same moment of foot to floor contact, I also knew that I was in the right place to start getting into the dirtiest parts of myself. The parts of my past that I have buried so deeply, neglected and starved so intently , and fought with and against with such ferocity were brought into my arms to be cradled and loved. These rejected selves would become my most intimate companions and consistent company. I, the largest sense I have of “I”, would continue to grow in an effort to hold all of me with a sense of spaciousness and abundance instead of constriction and scarcity. It was a beginning of a process of stretching out. Of building into myself a wider safety net and a sense of capacity far beyond what I could have actually imagined in that first moment of contact.
And here I now stand, a mountain that no longer towers as uncharted territory, but a place of connection to something larger, a place where I can be permitted to explore the wilds just as they are. There is too much to synthesize yet, too much to pack and unpack and repack for this moment – this pregnant moment of completion. But as I sit in this place, there are but a few things that wish to speak out of me.
The hardest thing to learn how to do in life is show up. Presence is not something easily achieved in times such as ours, in places such as this. Being able to show up is truly a gift of this process and mastering that ability is a lifetime journey. But we must learn it, and continue to practice it with one another – no matter how often we fuck it up.
All you have to do in your life is show up. Once you know how, you realize that that is simply all you have to do and the work that is to be done will be done. By bringing all of you online and into the present moment, we are able to sit back into the experience of the present moment and in that resting, we can act in both wholeness and holiness. The world needs people who are willing to show up…and that is all we must do.
We must remember that to be held, we must allow ourselves to be held. For around us, through us, and in us is this eternal connection to all other life that longs for our experience to be joined with all other experience. We are held. WE are held. We ARE held. We are HELD. YOU are held…by the Earth that is coming up to meet your seat in this moment. By the gravity that holds you in place. By the world that comes in and out on your breath. By those that you welcome into your world with your willingness to be with them.
When we can do these things – show up and be held – we learn how to hold others and show up for ourselves. In that, we give ourselves permission to be, as we are, with no agenda other than tending to the present moment. And that is an act of resistance. A compassionate act that will indeed change the world because, in an instant, we become guided by that which is much larger than us. We become guided by that infinite web of life toward more life, life that is both of our creation and that flourishes from us as fertile soil.
In learning this incredibly simple and complex thing, I have come to the conclusion that I am not to be a psychotherapist…or rather, I have started to truly listen to the wisdom that is moving through my being and understand that I am intended for something else. After two years of training as a counseling psychologist, I will be completing my masters in psychological studies in August before beginning to work on my PhD in the fall. This next step, this movement toward healing, is something that has been calling me for a while. I am now, right now, dedicated to this unfolding. Dedicated to offering to the world the only thing I have – myself.
I’m excited to continue sharing the things that show up to me…to you.