In November it feels like the earth is taking a great inbreath, getting ready to exhale struggle.
I know this is a context and I know I can choose a different one.
My 'summer project' of siding my house has extended into fall and is not done yet, but the most challenging part of that project is done.
I learned some things about myself and some lessons for life that I can take forward.
1) Strength is acquired through practice and persistence.
At the beginning of the project I needed help lifting the sides of the scaffold. By the end, I was hoisting them one handed.
2) Fear is something I create.
I was careful up there, aware that it was dangerous, but not afraid. Anytime fear entered my consciousness, I would stop and stay still, paying attention to the world around me and to my body - I got out of my head where fear lives. I came to understand that I could trust my body. I could trust my feet just as much on the 5th level of scaffold as I could when I was standing on the ground.
3) Life is lived one moment at a time.
Shingles were a perfect metaphor. This was (is) a massive project but the only way to do it was one shingle at a time. The act of shingling forced me to stay in the present moment. There were a few times that I tried to hold the whole thing at once and that effort created breakdown.
4) Love is.
Choosing to side my home was an act of love. It was me saying "I deserve to live in a safe, protected environment and I will do the work to create that for myself." I also asked for help. That was challenging for me. I'm very grateful for the practical help I received - in the form of equipment loans, advice, and on the ground (and on the scaffold!) assistance.
I chose to make the project public on FB and the emotional support I received there was incredible. Never underestimate the power of encouraging words. Getting present to the love that IS brings me to tears.
So, back to November.... Lillian Garcia told me a story about being with her grandchild, climbing a flight of stairs. She was labouring, falling far behind and her grandchild turned and asked her what was taking so long. She responded that stairs were difficult for her...In the words of Lillian Garcia's grandchild
"Difficult can be easy"