This is one of those times that could spin my mind into a bad neighborhood. The stars lined up to provide a very full weekend for a woman who likes a lot of freedom and space and silence and time alone. In other words, no hikes and only one semi-lazy morning for Lizzy. However, the fullness is pretty awesome: a fabulous Enneagram workshop with my dear Joe Z., a completely surprising and delightful talk by Yann Martel, and this afternoon a beautiful anime movie event.
I know myself and what my mind usually spins at times like this: it feels heavy and constricting and I get resentful. But you know, that's really no fun at all. So the feeling I've been encouraging about this weekend is that it is like a beautiful light cloak. I have no idea where this image came from, but I can completely picture some kind of almost Victorian, velvet, forest green cloak being tossed over my shoulders. It feels so light on my skin and does a beautiful job of keeping me warm. So when my sweet mind starts to spin the martyr story, I just feel the cloak. Seriously people, woo woo woman in action. But you know, it seems to be doing the job. I'm working on carrying that lightness into how I'm approaching my time at home this weekend, and so much of that is how I'm thinking about it, or not thinking about it. When I notice my sweet left hemisphere getting going I've been trying to let it do what it wants and focus instead on feeling my feet on the ground and my breath being breathed. Back in the body. And listening to the silence that's in every moment, no matter how loud the environment (inner or outer) might be. Light.
In addition to the mental chatter, another unpleasant coping mechanism I've used in the past on weekends like this is to kind of hunker down, tense up, and keep the experience out. I might work an author event, but I wouldn't listen to it. I might even go up to my desk and work on another project and then come back down to work the booksigning line. But while I'm working on lightness, these days I'm also working on receiving. So yesterday I really opened myself to the experiences and took them in, really engaged. And now I'm digesting them.
So as Regis Philbin would say, here's "what I took away from it all": I got a lot of Enneagram insight yesterday and met some great people, including a lovely woman who runs the Heart Center retreat facility on the Tennessee/North Carolina border in the Smoky Mountains. She even has a natural healing and wellness program coming up in April that I'm really excited to learn about. It looks like an amazing place and she struck me as someone I'd love to spend more time with.
I mostly signed up to help with Yann Martel's talk because I knew it would be a big event and didn't know how much help the organizers would have. I read The Life of Pi years ago and was so turned off by the non-animal version of the story I decided that I hated the book. I don't really remember much about it, but I do remember feeling somehow tricked as a reader by the second story twist. Give me that magical realism any day, but don't throw reality at me at the end! So I really hadn't expected much from the talk, but I do love flirting with all the kids and old people while they're waiting to have their books signed. Seriously, somehow I feel most myself and in love with humanity working a booksigning line. Go figure. But I was immediately drawn in by the authentic, intelligent quality of his talk. I loved what he said about how "spiritual thinking augments a life". My heart had been opened being with Joe and the Enneagram crowd and then this talk just poured wonder and possibility right into my soul. Let's just say it was a very good day. Oh, and my sweetie requested take-out pizza for dinner! Icing on the cake.
I hope your weekend is light, delightful, inspiring, or whatever your soul needs right now.