Monday, February 6, 2012

Day 368.

A Freakout Day in the Life of Mahfam:

Inner Voice: I think I am having a bit of a freakout.
Voice of Love: Oh, sweetheart. What are you freaking out about?

IV: Too many things. I don't know. It's all so overwhelming.
VoL: Tell me about one of the things.
IV: Just one? There are so many. Life is so hard. It's great, but so hard. I don't know when it won't feel like this anymore. And then there will be other things to worry about.
VoL: That is true. There will always be challenges, no matter what. Would you like to tell me about why life is great right now?
IV: Sigh. Okay. I can do that. I have a lot of good things going on. I have wonderful people in my life, new and old, who truly care about me and who make me feel seen and understood. We have great fun together and dance together and eat together and talk about all kinds of things. I have most of my basic needs met. I have a home in which I feel safe and food to eat and cash in my pocket and some pretty crappy health care. I have a blog and a 'zine that I am working on and a new band that I'll be singing in and community groups and a spiritual home that I care so much about that I volunteer my time to the work. My paid work is almost entirely unfulfilling, but it pays my bills, and for that I am grateful. I have a somatics practice that is helping me create and constantly re-shape and re-create a container for my healing and growth. Nearly every day, I feel my heart open in a way it never has before. My transformation is palpable.
VoL: This all sounds wonderful. Would you like to tell me why you feel overwhelmed?
IV: I feel a burning desire to know what is next. It doesn't feel up to me. It feels like someone out there knows, and is keeping it a secret. (This is a hard thing for an atheist to admit.) Lately, every time I try to set an intention and then take action to follow through and make it happen, it falls apart. I tried to create a primary partnership that I thought would be perfect for me, set me up to have the kind of life and family I want, and one day it was just over. I try to apply for jobs that I think I would enjoy and be wonderful at, and can barely stand the exhaustion of putting energy into crafting cover letters, interviewing, having a close call, and not getting a job, over and over and over again. I wonder if I will have this job forever. I feel like a huge failure. My culture and my family expect more from me. I am "supposed to be" well-off and providing lovely blingy things for my mother. Beyond that, with this level of income, I can't imagine how I will ever be able to sustainably raise a child, something I long to do. Not to mention that I am certain my purpose on this planet involves more active involvement in a movement that is about justice and healing for people and the planet that sustains us. I am trying to have patience and let what comes, come. But I know that I must also work to create the life I want. And with so many near-misses and set-backs, it's hard to know where to direct my energy - what is actually productive and what is time on a hamster wheel.
VoL: It certainly sounds like you are holding a lot of uncertainty, and navigating desires and needs that are perfectly human. May I invite you to take a moment to recognize yourself for the work you have done already, and appreciate yourself? May I invite you to have a little compassion for yourself in this trying time? Give yourself a hug?
IV: Thank you. Thank you. It's so much.
VoL: Don't forget to breathe. You can be uncertain of almost everything, but if you take a moment to notice your breath, you will remember that you are blessed with the enormous gift of being alive.
IV: Thank you.  


  1. Thank you for drawing on your difficulties to make powerful art to share for free, here. I feel so many of these things! Maybe especially not knowing what's next, feeling like a failure (esp in the eyes of my parents), total uncertainty about livelihood, and not really knowing who "my people" are, or even what that might mean. And also feeling grateful for a lot of great things in life.

    Hugs to both of these voices, and to you.

    1. Thanks for reading, and commenting, Katie love. What is most tragic for me is that it's all set up so most of us do "fail" according to what we are told we are supposed to do and be. And just how hard it is to unlearn all of the conditioning that makes us feel that way, and what a challenge it is to learn/create new ways of assigning worth to who we are and what we do.

      Hugs right back at you. Love you.

  2. just reminding you that i am hungry for fierce strong queer women of color doing somatics work from a place of justice and power here in the Cities and as I've said before, there is always a place for you here. I know it's complicated but history doesn't stop you from having access to this future. and it sounds like oakland is home again in a good way - i am just being greedy.

    1. Susan love, what a great thought. I've never really crossed the TC off my list, though the "community" there is not quite what I thought it was, in retrospect. I am sure that this whole journey is about finding home, and I am sure that I am putting one foot in front of the other every day. Whether the path keeps me here or puts me there or anywhere else, I am glad to know you are my friend and ally on the way, as I am yours.