This move to Burundi. This wily move.
It's an understatement to say that my limits are being pushed at, my ideas of who I am are crumbling, I'm crying more and noticing all the ways that I am just plain uncomfortable. Actually, there is no comfortable place right now.
My life takes my breath away in it's present moment magnificence and it's unknown future.
I don't say this to elicit sympathy - in fact, I'm having more days filled with deep knowing and joy at the moment than I would have expected. But don't misunderstand: I am having days that just leave me flat on the floor, too.
I am riding the waves.
In my world, the surf is way up - past my comfort zone to be sure. The surf conditions are ever changing in life - sometimes the waves are small and happy and safe. Sometimes they are big and awe-inspiring and (yes) scary. Sometimes the waves are organized and neat, sometimes they are chaotic and disorganized.
This is life.
No matter how much I (or you) might want things to be happy, pain-free and filled with light all the time, nature (and therefore life) doesn't operate like that. Hurricanes blow through, earthquakes change the shape of a place, and fires rip through forests.
Learning to surf, I've had many opportunities to be schooled by the waves. To paddle and paddle and paddle and feel like I'm getting nowhere fast. To get tumbled. Held under. Cut on the reef. Knocked over. Unable to catch a wave to save my life.
I've also had an equal number of opportunities to be gently rocked by the waves waiting in the line-up. To paddle out and feel like I'm slicing through the water with incredible ease. To stand up. To ride the wave all the way, triumphant.
One is not better than the other. They are part and parcel of the experience of surfing. Of living.
This IS being alive.
To feel anything, to feel everything, to lean into life and be kissed by it and cut by it. To cry, to laugh and to fiercely commit yourself to this wild and precious life (oh thank you Mary Oliver for that apt and beautiful phrase). This is being alive.
One of my favorite phrases is, "All in".
I am all in for life. I am all in for the full experience of being human. I am all in for choice and empowerment. I am all in for delight and joy and love. I am all in for the heartbreaking beauty. I am all in for the tears, for the grief and for the anger when I see or experience injustice. I am all in for riding the discomfort all the way through to the freedom on the other side. My heart is big enough to look life straight in the eye and say yes.
Being all in is so powerful.
I know it's hard. I know the desire to have the hard parts go away as quickly as possible. I know how crappy it feels to be held down and pounded by the surf. I know what it feels like to just. want. to. escape. I've indulged in some escapism in my time. In fact, I still have moments where I vacate the premises. But I am stronger than that and so are you. Here's what I know for sure: you are a woman who can surf the peaks and valleys in the ocean of life.
And when you are all in for the ride, you are so freaking powerful.
You are magnetic in your aliveness.
No matter what is happening in your life, no matter what kind of surf you find yourself in, I invite you to lean in. To revel in it. To scream and cry if you need to and then dance around the bonfire in joy the next moment.