“Life moves. Life does not stop. Life changes on a whim and throws you curve balls. Your goal is not to stop Life from happening, but to remain calm and centred as the seeming chaos happens around you. As you calm your mind and cultivate trust you turn from a victim of circumstance into a powerful creator of your life.”
~ Jackson Kiddard
Life throws us curve balls all the time — some are big, some are small. Some we can shake off instantly; others press themselves against us uncomfortably, demanding our time; others completely blindside us, dragging every last modicum of our energy and attention from us, and yet still scream for more. The last few months have been very much in the latter category for me, hence why I’ve been quiet here on the blog.
Often, when life throws us curve balls, we stop doing the things that nourish our body and soul. The ego tricks us into thinking that we can manage without this nourishment, that our strength is independent of it, and at some point in the process we stumble as we try to minimise the impact of the curve ball on our lives. We may even fall. And when we do, we may even question whether it’s worth getting back up again. It’s often at this point that we turn to the things that nourish us — only to find we left them by the roadside some time ago. Returning to them and picking them up seems to be the best thing for us, but suddenly it’s so hard. We reach an impasse, and something needs to break. Often, what breaks is ourselves — under the emotion, the perceived responsibility, perhaps even the need to prove ourselves, or for any one of other reasons.
Over the years, I’ve built up a pretty solid daily spiritual practice, and — as well as the more “traditional” elements such as meditation and Divine connection — I also explore my creativity, such as knitting and journalling, as part of this. And when I’ve been hit by curve balls in the past, and they’ve wobbled me, I’ve dropped everything to try and catch them, to control the outcome of the current unfolding experience. And then I’ve burnt out — sometimes manifesting as plain exhaustion, and sometimes the full dark night of the soul, the very bottom of the oubliette.
However, in more recent years, I’ve been handling curve balls differently. When they’ve hit, I’ve made the time to root myself in the things that nourish me. While to the outside world it may look like I’m ignoring everything and knitting instead, I’m actually grounding myself in love and comfort, as well as mentally and emotionally processing what’s happened. I’ve turned to the Goddess so many times, placing my pain in Her hands. I’ve sunk deeper into hara. I’ve spent more time in Nature. I’ve nestled more fully into self-care, into my daily spiritual practice and used the tools and techniques available to me. In allowing myself the time and space in which to simply be, I’ve gathered my strength, cradled my heart, let myself feel. And, when it’s come to deal with the fallout, I’ve embodied my truth more fully and been more present and capable than I’ve ever known myself to be.
In the still places between breaths, and often between tears, I then realise: while my life may now have been irrevocably changed, I am grateful for the journey, and for those who have touched my life, for each time this happens I am broken open further, and my heart swells and changes and feels — and still I remain.
Brown, B. (2015). Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. London: Penguin.
Chödrön, P. (1997). When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times. Boston: Shambala Publications.
Hoffman, A. (2014). Survival Lessons. Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books.
Moore, K. D. (2010). Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature. Trumpeter: Boston.
Nepo, Mark (2014). The Endless Practice: Becoming Who You Were Born to Be. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Oliver, M. (2007). Thirst. Tarset: Bloodaxe.
Saulitis, E. (2014). Into Great Silence: A Memoir of Discovery and Loss among Vanishing Orcas. Beacon: Boston.