Im an auntie! Well, technically i have been since i was fourteen, but my baby sister, best friend, the human that never ceases to surprise my skeptical guarded heart made her own little human (with her set-the-bar-remarkable hubs) and i couldn't sob tears of awe any harder without rupturing my entire being. This babe is magnetic, pulling me in to what is simple and kind and unshaped by any other human; she is so fresh and so clean clean, her gentle most clearest of truths self. She is pure. She is Quinn. Quinn Marie.
And this weekend i met her for the first time.
So i will check that off the list.
Just like I'm going to check writing this post off the list.
So now i can attend to the next things to replace these accomplished list bits.
And so it goes….
Fuck. Is the "list" ever really done?
It is ironic that i wrote that bit of business in fancy italicized font at the top of this post along with the promise of a full post (this one here) over a month ago intending on impressing upon you how easy it is to get lost in what is right in front of you at the expense of what is inside of you. Writing out the thoughts i had around that--hell, writing itself--existed within me as information i needed to feel out and process and share, yet i allowed all that has been coming at me day after day to get in the way. What happened was that in wanting simply to talk about the balance between inward focus and external necessity, i lived it instead.
I have been living a list.
This job, that catering, this crush, move to this house, wash these socks*, buy a god damn bike helmet already, pickle carrots…seriously. Really?! Is pickling carrots more important than my practice? Meditation? Writing? Finally going to see my sisters babe? Well, once i have all my seasonal preserving done, then i can talk about the anxiety that has been clutching at my throat for longer than those damn carrot seeds have been planted.
Again, ironically, we pickled those carrots, my ma, sister, Quinn, and I this weekend. Two birds with one stone. Two stoned birds. Distractions….
It isn't all distractions, though, that present moment surface stuff that keeps us from attending to what exists on a deeper level. Some of it is very real. Meeting my niece cannot be compared to washing the socks that--*for those of you who know me far too well know--i don't even own, yet moving into a new home and working (albeit excessively) to pay off three months in France are very real "to dos" that kept me from meeting her.
One more irony: now that i have met her I realize that none of it was comparable at all. Nothing is of more value, necessity, integrity, than meeting that little vitamin. Nothing. Yet, in the way that things go, the Universe only offers you what you need in the moments that you need it, and does not take it away until you have learned all you can from it. If i was allowing myself to put things before meeting Quinn, then i wasn't ready to receive what she had to offer me. And when i was ready…oh whoah. Such wisdom in that little babe, embodying the reminder to be only the most unadulterated, honest version of self, without distraction, excuse, or fear.
Much the same, i was not ready to write this post until i had experienced the message that i sought to write: our potency exists in our ability to react fearlessly to what time puts immediately before us in harmony with what exists already in naked, honest desire within us... and to be consumed by neither.
There will always be things to do that seem--seem--of timely importance. There will always be an abundance of distractions, opportunities, gifts, moments of heightened levels of awareness that allow us to be more consciously involved with immediate interactions and synchronicities; things that make us feel connected to our present, momentous selves, or, alternatively, things that simply numb us from our constancies. Living presently can be both the opportunity to create oneself spontaneously, to flourish in newness, adaptability, raw emotional reactivity, to be curious--and it can also take us away from what we truly value, the direction we seek to journey, our intended hearts and our understanding minds. The trickiest part of living in balance with the ever evolving list and the pre decided truth of self is to know what is merely a distraction and simply cross it off without attendance in order to make space and time for what is more personally meaningful.
To live as your most potent self is to be constantly re-navigating from your internal source, trusting in your intrinsic genius and taking time away from practicalities for what is more a part of your impassioned intention. Presence, then, is not only your ability to take what is coming at you day after day but to act from a place of clear mind and heart. We choose what we receive. We choose what is next. What holds the most credence to you may look selfish or foolish to others--but nothing is of more value than something else until you make it that way.
And before anything you must value yourself.
I was anxious because i was attaching value to whatever came at me, making excuses of getting this done and then this done after that was done before any real work could be done. I was busying myself in ideas and jobs and time stealers as a means of excusing my inability to sit still with myself and acknowledge that i had (have) much greater work to do. The only result of this was feeling the numbing of neglect to my self. I had lost the balance between a beautiful surrender to spontaneity and an unwavering knowing and trust in what i needed and who i am to be. I am a hyper passionate being, lately though, i have felt tepid at best, timid in my ability to not take what is merely coming my way, but grab at it from the core of my trust in self--at what i know to be of personal value. I have diluted my own potency with busyness, and finally understand what peace can come from giving a little on the side of receiving so that your offering might be greater--to take less of what is handed at me so the i might give what is dynamically me.
As you look at your own list, look at what it means to attend to one thing over the next. Are you avoiding what is begging for your immediate attention, whether that is digging deeper to the heart of your youness or embracing the possibility of something cast your way? Are you so consumed by surface level checkmarks that your internal compass is spinning at a loss of direction? Sit still with yourself. Acknowledge that once you were as brand new as sweet Quinn, truly a gift who would have the world as it came, piece by piece, handed to you as you needed and your innate response would shape all those you connected with, all that continued to shape you into who you are now. Continue to make an offering, without excuses or distractions, but an honest wisdom and trust in what is immediately in need of your attention: whether that be an external source of experience or an opportunity to reconnect with your unique self. Living wholly, transparent and authentic is not something waiting at the end of a list, but an integral part of each landmark you check off by living.
And finally, be free.