In Ayurvedic terms, my Vata (wind element) and Pitta (fire element) are constantly in battle and adjusting, rearranging, and resetting.
This week I threw a monkey wrench into my system of daily writing, painting, and home-oriented tasks. On Wednesday I spent the day (the.entire.day) at Cowgirl's school assisting in the preschool classroom as a teacher's aide. In a fit of "I need more options" to generate income flow, I applied as a teacher's aide in my public school system and have presented myself as a substitute. I've been dodging calls but finally was able to accept one assignment.
I actually enjoyed having the break to my routine. The entire day was spent being focusing and present for the kids, but not in a stressful way. In a "I can drop everything else and just do this" kind of way that felt like a good balance to all the time I've spent in my head.
I just played (we went on a car trip to McDonalds - that is real imaginary play for me; I introduced them to soda - here it is known as pop - they thought me hilarious and odd), read stories, pushed kids on swings and attempted to decipher the language of 3 and 4 year old little people. The kids were very sweet. We had a praying mantis hanging out on the window screen all morning and when it was time for recess I told them "Let's see if we can walk down the hall like a praying mantis." They did the very best slow motion walking meditation possible for creatures designed with only off and high switches.
I left feeling good, sorry that I didn't have another gig scheduled. Once home, I hit a wall. I was utterly, completely, fully exhausted. I mean, draped-over-the-couch exhausted. My brain incapable of doing anything but hard-wired action: cook dinner (if tossing frozen fries in the oven and a bag of green beans in the microwave constitutes cooking), walk the dog, brush teeth, read to Cowgirl and veg out with some Netflix.
Where am I going with this? Well, I had hoped to slip back into some form of my previous routine today but ... I am on a 24-hour clear liquids only fast for a medical test and I feel like not only has the stuffing been taken out of me, but I am ready to devour it! (Okay, so now you understand the genesis of this ramble ... my brain turning in upon itself out of lack of fuel ... I know, I am such a wimp!)
I've been pacing ... living from 8 ounce glass of clear beverage to bowl of broth to bathroom (and the fun hasn't even begun!) and feeling - gasp! - so sorry for myself. Life feels overwhelming and unmanageable with a full bladder. Unable to concentrate, questioning myself and probable-futility of my efforts. I would cry but doing so would result in an accident.
Fear not my friends! In the middle of all this fruitless teeth gnashing (how many times have I almost and inadvertently stuffed something in my gob?) bubbles of wonder, sun beams of hope showered down upon me. If you've ever doubted the value of your words, your attentions I am here to tell you: YOU MATTER. Each gesture of kindness, of love and acknowledge matters. Hugely. A short email from a friend saying she was excited to be joining in on my mandala play offering was the life-saver tossed out to me and now my head is above water. I am floating ... in many ways ... and trusting I am moving towards shore.
As I explained to another of my regular life-savers, at times it can feel like I am preparing an elaborate meal: I am filling each dish with love and care, preparing my home to be welcoming and restful, an oasis from overwhelm and overdoing. The fear - always that gremlin of fear! - is that no one will show up. There is huge vulnerability in holding out my hands and saying "here, I made this ...this is my heart ... what I love ... I hope it will feed you well." There is vulnerability and uncertainty as I shift from defining myself as a contribution in the form of a monthly direct deposit (not that I could ever really explain what my salaried job was) to something more intangible: a welcoming space, a source of permission and possibility, a keeper of the small moments that weave together into a life celebrated rather than survived.
Each of us matters. No act is too small. Take this moment to turn to the person next to you and tell them why they matter to you. Tell them what you love about them - what you admire, how they inspire you. And be prepared to receive from them similar sentiments. You.matter. We all matter. This moment matters.