I wanted to check in today and truly ask,
How are you doing?
So often, we can get into the habit of asking,
Are you doing ok?
But this is assuming the person IS ok, and very often can cut off someone who is actually struggling from stepping forward and honestly and vulnerably saying,
Actually, I’m really having a hard time right now.
Because, I think it is a real reflection of where we are. It’s the half-way point of the year, and in many places in the world, the pandemic is either getting worse, or surging after false hopes.
There is enormous unrest, and we just went through six eclipses in a ROW.
I deeply believe the pandemic is bringing to light what hasn’t been working and feel great hope about the BLM movement, however, there are millions without work, and still a pervasive looming uncertainty.
How do we meet this?
With so much loss, how do we feel hope in the day to day?
How do we make plans for our dreams for the rest of the year?
As the nurse entered the needle into my arm, I started to cry.
I wanted this day to be one of hope, but all I felt was panic.
10 days ago, I had an IVF transfer and had spent every day since then in a roller coaster of euphoria and primal fear. I had done an IVF harvest five years ago back in 2014, and out of the 9 eggs that had been frozen for years, only one made it.
Four had fertilized, and three got stuck, never forming into a viable egg that could be transferred.
What made this so devastating, was I found out the three eggs were lost in the last 10 days. So, I felt this horrible pressure that this egg in my body was IT.
I felt this was my last chance, as I was too old to do an IVF egg harvest again.
My husband and I got some food, and were just waiting for the call from the clinic to let us know if I was actually pregnant or not.
We decided to just get back on the train to NJ, and as soon as we sat down, my phone rang.
I knew right away from the tone of her voice….and all time stopped as the nurse said,
I am so sorry. Your test came back negative.
Something broke in me, and I started to weep. I cried the whole ride back, and then for what seemed like hours after.
This was the release of 5 years of waiting.
This was the release of 5 years of hoping.
I thought I had security.
I thought I had enough eggs to give me at least two chances.
I never dreamed I would lose them all in one go.
And my body had a terrible reaction to the synthetic hormones, and I was now dealing with migraines almost daily.
What had it all been for?
I remember looking out the window at our back yard, and feeling some relief. Just the sight of the birds, and the trees was comforting, so I walked outside and sat down at our outdoor table.
And the next day I sat there again.
And the next.
Every day last summer, I sat outside when it wasn’t raining.
I set up a desk out there and began writing again.
I worked on my website and serviced my clients.
And I began to heal.
Gently, as I watched the chipmunks scatter, the squirrels chase each other, and the birds peck at the feed with glee.
I took it day by day, especially as I was now starting to get answers for my migraines and was going to have to start an intense protocol.
But, those moments in the backyard brought me back home, and a small seed was planted, one I felt I had lost as well,
the seed of hope.
Storyteller, healer, and author Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, shares in her book Women Who Run With the Wolves,
“I worked with a woman who was near the last straw and thinking suicide. A spider making its web on her porch caught her eye. Precisely what it was in that wee beastie’s act that chopped the ice around her soul so she could be free and grow again, we will never know. But I am convinced, both as psychoanalyst and as cantadora, that many times it is the things of nature that are the most healing, especially the very accessible and the very simple ones.
The medicines of nature are powerful and straightforward: a ladybug on the green rind of a watermelon, a robin with a string of yarn, a weed in perfect flower. a shooting star, even a rainbow in a glass shard in the street can be the right medicine. Continuance is a strange thing: it puts out tremendous energy, it can be fed for a month on five minutes of contemplating quiet water.
It is interesting to note that among wolves, no matter how sick, no matter how cornered, no matter how alone, afraid, or weakened, the wolf will continue. She will lope even with a broken leg. She will go near others seeking the protection of the pack. She will strenuously outwait, outwit, outrun, and outlast whatever is bedeviling her. She will put her all into taking breath after breath. She will drag herself, if necessary, till she finds a good place, a healing place, a place for thriving.
The hallmark of the wild nature is that is goes on. It perseveres. This is not something we do. It is something we are, naturally and innately. When we cannot thrive, we go on till we can thrive again.“
I read this last week as I was on my vacation. A vacation that my husband and I were desperate to have. Both of us contracting Covid in the Spring, plus moving, and dealing with my continuous health journey, we were spent.
So, for our vacation we went to the Finger Lakes in New York state.
We went to stare at waterfalls.
To walk on paths.
To take in wide canyons, and indigo buntings singing in the tree.
And much like the simple act of sitting in my backyard, I again felt that opening.
And I thought of you.
I wondered how you were, and wanted to be able to transport you to the park with us.
We are in unprecedented times. This year has been unlike any other in our lifetime, and has tested us with our safety, security, and basic needs.
And we don’t know when this will end, so we are left with the day to day. We are left with what we have NOW.
Your day to day gives you the opportunity for immense self care. It gives the opportunity to really take a moment and ask,
What is most helpful right now?
And our greatest gift lies in the natural world all around us. There is an opportunity to come present to THIS moment, not losing yourself in the fears of the future.
Your point of power is the present moment.
And a moment of staring at the sky can be that gift that reminds you are ALIVE, and to reconnect with your wild nature, which never left, no matter what has transpired this year.
When I sat in the backyard feeling my deep devastation, it was the LIFE in the backyard that pulled me out of my depression.
So, like the wolf, find your good place, your healing place, the place you THRIVE. Make this top priority right now. Anything that is draining you, place a boundary and step back.
Nourish your being, and let each day be new.
Because it is.
Today is a new day, one you have never lived.
And remember your nature. The world around you is a mirror to bring you home.
Wishing you well.