Digging Sense

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

I got an email while I was gone from someone who told me that she used to live from the center of herself, striving to learn from her experiences, figuring out who she was and who she was becoming at any given time. And then she stopped. In her case, she’d successfully gotten through a difficult time, then unconsciously ceased to look for the learning in every day life, and stopped reaching for new things that might open up her world.

I can relate. Can you?

I went on vacation without a plan. I went without a plan for my authentic self. I didn’t ask her what she wanted to do on the trip. I just took her on the trip, assuming she wanted to do whatever the group wanted to do. And even when I heard her whisper that she didn’t want to go along for the ride, I took her anyway.

I began a campaign to create a meditation habit before I left for my vacation to Mexico. I meditated for 20 minutes every morning for 21 days before I left. I then meditated for the first two mornings of that trip. Which caused me to wonder if I’d created any kind of habit at all.

My reason for not meditating? This vacation to Mexico was via cruise line, and Hurricane Rick, while no closer than 300 miles from us at any given time during the cruise, made his presence known with bad weather and swells so rough, one of our ports of call was canceled. After two meditations under these conditions, I made a conscious decision to cease on-board meditating for the remainder of the cruise. I had thoughts of meditating on the beaches of our remaining two ports of call, but heavy rain and wind quickly nixed those thoughts. (This is the part where I failed to ask my authentic self what she wanted to do in lieu of meditating.)

Instead, I continued on with my vacation, as if nothing had changed. I got up in the morning, ate breakfast, showered and got ready to be poolside for most of the day. I showered and got ready for evenings of dinner and laughter and wine. All the things a cruise-goer does on mornings, days, evenings of cruises. In fact, I had so much fun, in spite of Rick’s weather, I hardly noticed anything was wrong, at all. Until I returned home.

I felt like something was missing. I felt like I wasn’t myself. Like part of myself was missing. How could that be? I’d just returned home from a fun vacation! And then I thought about the word “vacation.” It’s getting away. But what had I gotten away from? Or better, who had I gotten away from?

I wasn’t trying to escape the hum-drum of pushing paper at work. I wasn’t trying to get away from my hectic daily life. I wasn’t trying to get away from anything. This vacation for me was just about getting to some things. Getting some relaxation. Getting some laughter. Getting some fun, some sun, some vitamin k in my skin. All of that happened, although some of it, just in glimpses. So what was this nagging feeling in my gut that something was wrong? And all at once, it became clear to me: Meditation.

I’d spent all this time prior to my vacation creating a habit to meditate, and I’d been successful! What was I missing? My self! The self I’d been discovering through meditation. My authentic self. It’s not that she was missing, I just hadn’t seen her in a few days. I’m in the adolescence of getting to know my authentic self, and I’d abandoned her for a rocky cruise and some fun. It wasn’t intentional, but that’s what had happened, and maybe she was hurt.

As I write this now, I’ve meditated three times since my return. Each time, each day, I’ve felt more and more connected. Some of that was the dissipating ill effects of still feeling like I was on the ship, and some of it has been the meditation. My head is more clear, and I can focus. I’ve been attempting to write this post since Sunday afternoon. I’ve been on the verge of all of this clarity, but it just didn’t come together until this morning.

As adolescents do, my authentic self needed reassurance that I wasn’t going to abandon her again. She needed a few days to get over the hurt and see that I’m still here and I still love her. She needed me to reach out to her so she could feel comfortable again in reaching out to me. It may seem silly or odd that I refer to my authentic self as an adolescent, or even as someone other than myself, but it make sense to me. I’m learning that this is what matters. This digging, in order to make sense.

Photo credit: Amarette. via Flickr.

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