These times do come.
Yesterday there was the flagging of spirits. That is a phrase that I often think of at these times, one of those things you use so often you know you are using it correctly but forget the precise definition. It’s just one of those things you know inside. I looked it up.
Declining, weakening, languid, drooping.
(I especially like languid and drooping and that’s just what I was. Languid. Drooping.)
If I were able to show you exactly what I felt like yesterday I would show you one of my primroses (I have six in little pots opposite where I’m sitting here at the computer.) who will droop languidly if I am 5 minutes late to water her filling me with anguish and guilt as I rush to gather them all up and water them, but who will look fine again shortly thereafter.
This morning I am in that very quiet, slow motion phase where I am trying, hard, to remember just exactly why I am sitting here in this “morning after” state, and what I’m supposed to do now. There has been another shift. This one was more of a jolt.
Two things converged yesterday. One was a rearrangement of some of the underpinnings of my life, on the practical side, that I’ve known were coming for some time, and in fact started to happen in November, but fully moved into position yesterday, and the other came from my bi polar bits who were waving a white flag. This is not especially easy for me to write about but in a vein of absolute accountability, which I owe myself, and which I long ago committed to write about for those out there who have no voice, who need to hear from others about this whole ride we bi polar people are on but are afraid to speak up, that someone needed to and I guess it would be me. (And of course there are many other wonderful brave souls out there in the world who do and I thank each and every one of you. The stigma must be taken outside, like they used to do with carpets in the springtime, and beat with a beater brush, and hung out to air…)
I have been working really, really hard. By definition I have been working hard for anybody, but for someone with dangling bi polar bits I have been working a little too hard.
I am simply so ecstatic over the way my work is going, I am in love with the private mentoring and the lovely souls I am working with. This is greater joy than I could ever describe. When Joseph Campbell said we should follow our bliss, well, this is me following mine, and it is right on, it is what I am supposed to do, and I feel fortunate, blessed, to have finally gotten this part of my business underway. It will be the cornerstone of everything that I do.
Too I am really excited about starting to do the daily podcasts, Monday through Friday. Starting next week I will do Mini Mindfulness Morning Podcasts From Dragonfly Cottage, 5-10 minutes each, by subscription, which will include access to the private archives of the podcast for a year + a monthly Mindfulness newsletter. This is a little jewel in my heart because I have been doing podcasts since last April 5 with as many as 20,000 people listening, and, committed to helping people live more mindfully to soothe, heal, and center themselves in their lives to meet the challenges a day or a life may bring, I will do these podcasts, right here, in my studio, with pugs and parrots and gardens around and wild birds just feet away at the feeders, as well as thoughts floating up from the bottom of my latte cup. Yes, this will be a very gentle and sweet addition to my work.
I have been planning, for the last couple of months, to open my Wabi Sabi School of Mindfulness, and this too is underway but I’ve had the sense to move slowly because I don’t do a thing if I can’t have it just so, so to speak, and, because I felt it important to get the private mentoring up and going first, the school is taking a little longer. This is all good and I am still very excited and happy with the school, believe it will be a wonderful thing, and it is underway. The thing about the school is that I am allowing myself the space and time to birth it gently and bring it into being as it becomes whole inside of me and is ready to be birthed, much in the way my human babies were when you knew a “due date” but in the end that could go a few weeks in either direction. Coming for sure, but when it’s ready and not before.
This much was all well and good and I was moving along, kind of like on a rocking horse, gently rocking along in a peaceful happy place but then…
Then I decided to move forward with a piece of my work that I have done in the past, loved dearly, and know to be a powerful transformative experience, what I had mentioned at the bottom of the Mindfulness Mentoring Page (and have since removed and taken down the ads as well), “The Packages.”
First of all, for a person who is rather good with words, it was the most poorly named piece of anything I have ever put up and I am shocked at myself. “Packages” gives one the impression that they are buying a batch of something at a discount and rightfully so as that is what, in the marketplace, it usually means. I hadn’t meant that but as I didn’t elaborate (Just getting the mentoring sessions up and it being fairly new I hadn’t expected anyone would contact me about them right away and I planned to get a new page up to explain how they worked and what they were after getting the single sessions up.) which led to confusion and then over the weekend 3 people contacted me about “packages,” 2 of them for 6 month packages! Whoo!
Well, two of them I rather quickly redirected and gave resources because they were looking explicitly for business coaches. The other was a very dear soul that I would have loved to work with and she was interested in a 3 month package but when I explained in depth what it would entail, include, what it would all mean she felt that it would be too much work for her at this time. The thing is it would have been too much work for me at this time. That’s when my bi polary bits started waving the white flag. I actually wrote her last night and thanked her because her reaction, very kind, made me realize that the slow building panic I had inside was because it was too much for me too.
It is a very different thing doing “Packages” (the real kind that people normally think of) of the regular mentoring sessions and I will offer those, discounts for multiple sessions booked at once. I was going to do a special for those starting in February and that is still my plan. What I’d had in mind for the ill-named “packages” that first went up were for a very deep process, 90 minute sessions each week with a LOT of work back and forth between us in between. I only take 5 people at a time for these and it is very deep soul work, life-changing, and it has been an amazing process to do with the students I have done this with in the past, but at that time I wasn’t doing all of the other work that I am doing, want to do, love to do, and am committed to doing. The ill-named packages were the proverbial straw that banged up the camel’s back.
You see my bi polar bits were saying, “C’mon Maitri, you’ve been doing really well with self care, you’ve been taking good care of us, but for GODSAKES SLOW DOWN! We can’t do all of this girlfriend. And there will be consequences. And you know there will.” But I tried. And there were. And yesterday my spirits flagged, went droopy, and languid. Also messy, and on top of everything the lights went out. Literally. The ceiling light in the studio went out last night so it was dark in here with just the few lamps around and that is what sunk the ship. I have S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder, from not enough light in the winter, interesting acronym given the circumstances.) and after sitting here in semi-darkness for an hour I just burst into tears. It was the reckoning. I called my best friend, my dear brother sweetheart friend, and we are making plans for new lighting in here, AND I took down all information about the ill-named packages. (I keep saying that because that’s the name I SHOULD have used for the February special and now that I mucked up the name I don’t know what to call the ones I WILL be offering. Oh, well, it will all get sorted out.)
You know those old commercials that said, “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen.” Well, when my bi polary bits talk I listen. I have to. I have no choice. So last night at 9:30 p.m. I turned off the few lights I do have in here and called it a night. The pugs took me to bed and this morning I feel a lot better.
It is a new day. It is the kind of day when I feel like I was (and truly was) pulled back from the brink of disaster. I cherish the things I am doing too much to risk sinking the ship by trying to take on extra weight. Last night the extra weight got thrown overboard.
I think the thing about being bi polar is that it is like having an inner navigation system that most people don’t seem to have. An extra, ultra sensitive signal that if heeded can keep you from running into an iceberg in the middle of the ocean and sinking in icy waters. Last night my bi polar bits helped me avert one more iceberg and I am grateful.
I am grateful, too, because the M.H.D. (Mental Health Diagnoses of which Bi Polar Disorder is only one, I have a handful of others thrown in for good measure.) I live with are not only like a kind of radar that guides me but also are part of a delicate balance of many beautiful things, things that I am grateful for. Living with what I have lived with for several decades means that I am incredibly sensitive, empathetic, highly intuitive, compassionate, and more that make me good at what I do. If I take care of myself I can do really good work, I can help other people, I can take care of myself, and I intend to.
Last night I listened to those small voices within, my darling bi polary bits, and they saved me again, and we went to bed early and we are fine today. The pugs are most relieved. We all are.
Listen to whatever voices you have inside. You need to be mindful to do this. Mindfulness is what brought me to a halt so that I could hear those voices. It is the thing that saves me over and over again. This practice is my North Star, my touchstone, the thing I most rely on to navigate the waters of my life. Sit down, center with your breath, relax your body, slowly, sink into the moment with a sigh, and then listen to the truth that is bubbling up from the bottom, deep inside of you. That voice will never steer you wrong. You will be back on the right course in no time at all.
Hoist the sails boys and girls, it is a brand new day.