"The universe is one being.
Everything and everyone is interconnected through an invisible web of stories.
Whether we are aware of it or not, we are all in a silent conversation.
Do no harm. Practice compassion.
And do not gossip behind anyone's back—not even a seemingly innocent remark!
The words that come out of our mouths do not vanish
but are perpetually store in infinite space, and they will come back to us in due time.
One man's pain will hurt us all.
One man's joy will make everyone smile..."
-The Forty Rules of Love, Elif Shafak
Lately, I have been thinking about calling back my Spirit. Caroline Myss talks about that in her book, Anatomy of the Spirit, as do many eastern traditions that believe when we feel negative towards someone, we are releasing our life energy. In order to be whole again and return to balance, we need to bring back what is ours and in turn, release what others have given unto us.
Awhile ago, my beau and I were at an impasse. We're both headstrong and independent, and it felt as though there were a blockage between us that we couldn't move through. We tried talking about it, fighting, letting things go, but it seemed that our individual patterns when combined were getting the best of us. Despite how much we loved one another, we both acknowledged that one of two things were likely going to happen: 1) we would figure out how to get through these hurdles and solidify our relationship in a very good way, or 2) we would realize that there were issues we simply couldn't overcome and would care for one another enough to go our separate ways.
One night, before my friends' wedding in Palm Springs, I confirmed with him my plans to move to Maui. Up until that point, he thought that it was just an idea floating around. So, we talked about logistics, why I really wanted to move, what I was hoping to get out of it, what would happen between us. And, by implementing the promise we made to one another when we first started dating — that we would always honor the other person's life journey, even if it meant it would take the person away from the relationship — we suddenly realized what was truly important between us.
The trip to Palm Springs could not have been any better! He became kinder, more patient and compassionate, while I became less attached to the idea of perfection and accepted things just as they were. We thought, "Well, we better enjoy this time with one another while we have it!" and all the problems we had held onto prior to that discussion melted away.
When we got back and settled into the daily routine of life, I began to move full-force in pursuit of my dreams. I devoted myself to writing my memoir, I committed myself to teaching yoga, I persevered in building a business that encompasses all the things I love. And, in the process, my relationship with my beau deepened.
The conversation about my moving to Maui came up again, when opportunities began to present themselves that would involve a longer-term commitment for me to stay in San Diego. This city is beautiful. I live in a town that is likely the closest to feeling like Hawaii that anywhere on the Mainland could be. Everything that brings a smile to my heart is within reach — amazing yoga studios and teachers, my family less than a two hour drive away, the ocean which is always perfect for an outdoor practice or meditation or playing in the waves, fantastic friends, and an international airport that encourages even more travel writing. So, my beau and I talked about it again.
We both acknowledged how our relationship had improved by leaps and bounds. I attributed it to the fact that he thought that after a few months, I would be leaving San Diego. He replied, "No, I don't think that's it. I think it's the fact that we had a really honest conversation with one another, and from there, things began to shift." And, the conversation between us continues to grow in a very healthy direction.
People always say, "You and [he] have amazing communication." I always tilt my head and wonder, 'Really?' I feel like the way that we chat about our past, present, future, hopes, insecurities, feelings toward one another are natural, which I suppose is an incredible gift that we are each able to bring to our relationship.
I knew that part of me was running away when I seriously planned to move. I thought it would be easy to drop everything and ship out, start anew, say that all of my focus would be on writing, when in actuality, I had already learned the lesson a long time ago when I moved to Shanghai at the depths of my eating disorder that wherever you go, there you are.
We have had one tiff thus far. It felt badly in the moment, and both of us could sense that we were returning to old patterns. But rather than holding onto negative emotions, I said, "I'm sorry." Because I also played a part in the argument. And immediately, he said, "I'm sorry, too." And then voila, everything — the energy, the sentiment, the heat, the weight — immediately switched. *Poof* it was gone.
I have decided to stay. I'm staying because things here are very good and growing in gorgeous ways. And because I realize that Hawaii will always be there — I don't doubt that I will make a move. But, I will make a move when the time is right, when my heart is set with a true intent and purpose, and when the next place is really where I am meant to be.
So, with everything shifting the way it is now, I realize that I need to call my Spirit back. That in sharing my emotions with friends and confidants when things were not going well means that I created an impression in the world of something that I feel a bit of an obligation to rectify. It's interesting, the art of blogging, because this is a snapshot in time. And, who knows what'll happen tomorrow? I'll grow, I'll think differently, I'll behave differently. But what I've said now is out there.
Sometimes, I look back and wince. "Did I really say that? Did I really think that? Look at how vulnerable I was! And I put that out there for others to see?"
Then, I stop wincing, and realize that I am human. I'm doing my best in any given moment. And, in an effort to be kindler and gentler to myself, I accept me as I am now. Living in my truth as best as I know how.
Do you ever feel the need to call your Spirit back? Do you feel like you need to make amends for things? Or, to learn better for next time? How do you better accept where you are now, where you've been, and where you're going?