November 18, 2009

* On the Road to Mexico?

San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico 

Am I on the road to Mexico?  I haven't seen Bob and Bing anywhere, and I would much rather be going with someone.  That's the whole thing. I'm not really a "Flying Solo" type.  In many instances, I really would rather be with someone.  I feel like I have lost my tribe. Clarrisa Pinkola-Estes, a Jungian analyst, tells us in her book of myths and folk lore 'Woman who run with Wolves' - some of us are symbolically misplaced zygotes.  Women dropped off by accident in a place they never quite fit in to.  I can relate to misplaced zygotes. I am seeking my tribe.  I've determined one of my life lessons is 'to be alone without being lonely' ..... so I am working with that.  When it's all said and done, it means you fall in love with yourself, who you are, your soul, your authentic self ... just the way you are .. where is, as is.

This has been an interesting time in my life as I move forward in the flying solo department.  For years, I have not been able to go anywhere alone.  It was too far out of my comfort zone.  It gave me a serious pit in my stomach.  It gave me panic attacks.  It gave me migraine headaches where the only answer was a blackened room and my bed.   I simply stayed home.  It was so much easier.  That way I didn't have to search for answers.  I was once more in denial.

A few of years ago, I made some serious life decisions.  I consciously decided to change.  I consciously decided to look for the very best in myself, to quiet my critic, to be gentle with myself, to love my inner child, to be a nurturing loving parent to myself, to be my own best friend and to begin LIVING and enjoying LIFE.  It also meant learning to speak my truth, and to set healthy boundaries by saying the 'no' word.

Like all changes in life, it has been a process.  I've enjoyed the journey even though it has not been particularly easy.  It's been seriously hard work.  I have observed myself moving forward and growing.  Now when I look back, I can see how far I have traveled.

My first big experiment was a free expression painting workshop on Hornby Island. I traveled there alone, stayed alone and went to class alone. I didn't die. The outcome was successful. More about that later.  Since then, I have been able to do many things alone.  I consistently pushed myself a tiny bit further out of my comfort zone.  Baby steps.  I'm getting my confidence back, enjoying my own company, feeling strong and free.  It's very freeing.  I'm feeling comfortable in my own skin, and I'm claiming my space in the world.

I've done a lot of pondering.  What do I really want in my life.  What would make me happy.  What will give me contentment.  What is soul food for me. What are my core values.  What are my core limiting beliefs.  Where am I getting in my own way. I took the 'rules on the fridge' down and threw most of them out.  'Rules on the fridge', are the rules which have been in place for me since childhood.  Rules which originated in my family of origin.  Always be happy, take care of everyone else ... things like that. Most of them did not suit me now, some of them were very unhealthy.  I decluttered, I edited, I made an entirely new list.  I am starting to form a vision and am slowly heading in that direction.

Mexico is part of that vision.  It will give me an opportunity to experiment on many levels.  Will I be able to keep myself balanced in a foreign country.  For any of you who have experienced severe depression, you may understand.  I have very gradually weened myself off most of my medication - so now it's totally up to me.  Will I go down the rabbit hole (my term for depression)?  Will my teeter-totter hit the ground with a bump and bounce me off in a moment when I am not paying attention?  Will my slinky get out of balance and careen wildly down the stairs?  I never say never.  It's possible.  It's one day at a time.  I will deal with it moment by moment.

I want to explore Mexico again.  For many years I wintered there with the love of my life.   We fell more in love with each other on those holidays and we fell in love with the country and its' people. I can't wait to go back.  I am curious about living there.  I will investigate real estate options in different areas.  Spanish?  I want to learn.  Will I love it after three months?  Who knows.  I'll never know if I don't go and find out.

So that's about it for today.  It's time depression was talked about openly.   It's time our society faced it head on.  It's time to get rid of the guilt and shame which is always attached.  It's time we were able to deal with our feelings openly and honestly.  What does todays society think about this?  Our society is scared to death of feelings, especially depressive ones.  People will run a mile if you feel down for more than a few days.  It's not like they can see it ... feel it ... measure it.  They have no idea if you are going to be OK.  Our society doesn't have a clue and they don't want to have a clue.  It's still a taboo subject.  Society today is in denial that it's even 'real'.   Things like, "You'll be back to your old self in no time" may be said by well meaning friends.  I remember writing in my journal once, "I will never be the back to my old self.  The truth is, I am changed forever, for better and for worse.".  The old adage, "Pull up your socks and get on with your life" may come up, although perhaps not in those exact words.  It's simply not that easy.  It's hard work. We need help and support.   We need to understand the causes, we need to be aware, and we need to be willing to work at changing the way we act.  Most of all, we must begin facing the truth about ourselves.   Let's discuss it, let's try to explain it, let's take the fear out of it.  We are capable of making positive changes.

I was wondering when this sort of rhetoric was going to begin showing itself.  I am beginning to speak 'my truth'.  Well, it's out there now.  I've taken the 'lid off the paint can', as a friend of mine would say.  There's no stopping me now.  Brace yourself.

Tomorrow, I have been invited to have coffee with a woman who has wintered in San Miguel for the past 25 years.  I will dub her 'Mexico May'.  The serendipitous way in which we became connected is a story in itself.  I'm excited.  I'll keep you posted.

Ah yes, another thing on my Gondola List ..... living in a foreign country again.  What's on your Gondola List???????

                 "The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet".
                                                                                                           - James Oppenheim

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