I wish I could say that I had fallen in love with some guy named Eddie. The only Eddie I know is Eddie Haskell from Leave it to Beaver, and all I really remember about him is his annoying high pitched and grating voice. A real whiner. No, here I am referring to the eddy, those spots in a river that, on a long paddle, you look for to catch your breath. At least that is what I remember about canoeing. My hope was for a calm eddy around the corner so I could get out of the current and take a breather. Well, this memory of the benevolence of the eddy is being challenged and I am currently having quite a different experience.
For nearly 9 months I have dedicated my life to learning to live in the flow. To live from a much more aware and intentional place in myself. To give my mind a vacation. It has been both challenging and magical. My most valuable compass has become practicing the art of navigating life from the heart, the intuition and that “gut feeling”. Yet in this practice my heart is always accompanied by my mind trying to get control of the process and of the unknowing. My mind believes it can figure anything out and that it will make me feel better in the face of uncertainty.
So, the river of life I live in right now is moving at a speed that my little boat is having some difficulty navigating. My mind just wanted to “eddie out” and consider my options.
My home base for the better part of a year has been a room in my daughters apartment in Asheville North Carolina, where a few of my things and my cats live when I am not here. She and I have busted the illusion that mothers and daughters cannot co-habitate as adults and it has been a great time. But, the lease is up here and Jessie is leaving for the Virgin Islands on her adventure and I am packing my few things, my cats and heading….hmmm….well that’s not clear.
I have many options but no one of them turns that inner light of knowing on or makes me feel inspired and certain. Every choice that comes up on the radar sounds great: More time with Film School in Seattle, going to the coastal town of Point Roberts and writing, Findhorn in Scotland, setting down some roots here in Asheville, creating community with new friends. All these ideas of what is next for me seem great from my mind’s point of view, but my heart is quiet. I have lost my compass.
So, I did the most familiar thing I could do in the face of packing boxes and moving out in five days from now. Yep 5 days. I decided to let my mind take over and make a solution. Big mistake. My lack of patience to wait for the answer kicked in my most primitive response. Just figure it out. You can do it Maya. Just get that pad of paper and get those pro’s and con’s down and it will be clear what you should do next. Big, very big mistake. It was at this moment I began to eddy out of the river of my inspired life and discovered that an eddy if far more complicated than I had remembered.
An eddy is a place in a river where the water is “moving in a different direction or different speed” than the main current. Eddies are made by rocks in the river, outcroppings along the side, behind logs, bridge pilings, and also on the inside of bends or along the side of the river. An “eddy line” is the part of the river that separates an eddy from the main current. Eddy lines can range from gentle changes of current, to violent, whirl-pool-causing obstacles. The speed, volume, and motion of the current will decide what type of eddy line is formed.
The eddy that was created, the moment my mind jumped into the front seat of my life was nothing short of a violent whirlpool of thinking. I began to chew on every detail of why this and not that. My pros and cons list graduated to a full sized dry erase board in my living room where I could move around all the factors in my life like on a chess board. This process of “figuring it all out” became exhausting and took me just deeper down the rabbit hole of indecision. All the while I am being churned around in the washing machine of my own thoughts, the river is just moving past me in it’s predictable and constant flow and always going somewhere. In the end, I made myself sleepless, anxious and stuck. I had forgotten my compass.
Right when I hit my breaking point I stumbled on a post on Facebook. There was a black and white cartoon of a man in the darkness without a flashlight. All you could see were his blinking eyes. That was me! The quote went something like this: “They say when one door closes, another door opens. But these hallways are a bitch!”. I was in the dark corridor between leaving something and beginning something and I did not like it.
So, with a week before I had to fill a car full of cats and belongings, find storage for my few other things and go to AAA to get a new set of maps and trip books, I came to a grinding halt in my process of efforting to discern the right thing to do. I just stopped thinking. I gave up trying. What a relief. My little boat broke loose of all the debris and obstacles that the mind had created and just silently drifted back into the rushing current of uncertainty. I was allowing myself to simply not know. Chop wood, carry water was for me “pack one box at a time” and not know where it was going. Sleep returned and anxiety stopped. I allowed the vast knowing universe back into my process.
And I now spend time every day reminding myself of the joy of the journey, even if I do not know the destination. And that is the key. Letting go of the destination.
When most of us take trips we have a map or a tour guide. Without the map we do what? We drive down the road and if we get lost we ask directions (or at least I do). But like most I had become dependent on knowing where I am going and getting the map out when I felt lost. The map shows you what is ahead, when to turn, the distance and the constructions zones to avoid, all in the service of me getting from point A to point B. I have a point A but no point B. I wanted a map and my mind was going to make one. But in reality that is delusional. How can anyone get a map from point A to nowhere? This process of needing to know and have a destination stripped me of the very things I have been learning: That I do not always know what is next and if I allow that unknowing to just “be” then, without exception, something breaks into my life that is new and magical. My heart and my intuition know that but my mind had forgotten.
I had forced myself out of the flow of my own knowing and put myself purposefully into a place that was “moving in a different direction or different speed” than the main current. Why? Because I was afraid to not know. I was afraid to make the “wrong” decision. I was simply uncomfortable in limbo and unwilling to live with the discomfort. Fears were my “eddie line” separated me from the main current of life.
So, you might be waiting to hear what I have finally discovered that I will do come May 29th. Me too! I still have no idea. I rededicated myself to the path that this entire year is about for me and I am waiting for the direction to emerge. I am waiting and floating on the river with my heart as the rudder. And until that feeling of joy and inspiration floods my very being, I am packing one box at a time, I am getting my oil changed, I am putting out requests, I am meditating on the very vision of why I am on this road in the first place: To discover what makes me happy. So stay tuned for the next chapter.