Never did I ever for one minute think we would roll into a new year and everything would magically be better. In fact, I have been saying for months that I fully expected and was prepared for a “dark winter.” I just didn’t know exactly what that meant and I didn’t expect it to affect me. A couple of weeks ago it started to rain. I love a rainy day. I sat on my bed with all of my books, my journals and the Netflix remote. I was in heaven and I was sure that I would be the type of person who could live in bliss in Seattle. But, by day 3 of the rain, I was over it. And it hasn’t really stopped raining yet. Not for any length of time. I’m still over it, but it’s still raining. I’ve been feeling sad for a few weeks now. In waves. Not a steady sadness. I think it’s grief. My grief. Collective grief. Covid grief finally catching up to my. My super power is building community. Covid has made that very challenging for me. And I miss it. Circles. Group events. Bringing people together. On February 1st, my community lost one of our Goddesses. The thing to know about this is that when we sit in circle together, there is an immediate bond. There’s an intimacy that happens in Circle unlike any other I have experienced. Women grow close in these circles. When I first started leading circles, I noticed how this happened. How when the circles were over and I was cleaning up, all the women would gather in small groups exchanging contact information and making plans for later. It made me feel left out. Lonely. I felt a bit like an outsider. Because I wasn’t a part of this. But I also understood that I didn’t have to be a part of that. I understood that wasn’t my role. I was the space holder. I AM the space holder. I am a connector. I bring people together. Another gift. Every woman who sits in circle with me isn’t my best friend. But, every woman who sits in circle with me is special to me. There’s a love there that I haven’t found anywhere else. It’s the loving and supportive community that I always needed but didn’t exist in my world until I created it. And it is beautiful. When we lost our goddess, it hurt. Funerals in Covid Time are weird. Just like everything else in Covid Time. Her funeral was small. The Pastor had this big, booming presence and was FULL of love. I could feel it radiating from him. There was no way not to be at ease in his presence. Honestly, he felt like Santa Claus. He turned her funeral into a celebration. A joyful celebration of her life. All of her friends who were there were from circle. Every single one of them. It filled my heart to see how she had found her community among us. I sat and noticed the other women who were there. I noticed that all of these women had connected through yoga or circles. Such a beautiful thing to see on such a sad day.
My inner circle is small. I don’t think people realize that. Or maybe they do. I don’t know. I am guarded and private in a sneaky way. I am slow to trust and it’s hard for me to let people in. If you know me, you know. My heart broke a little last month when my favorite friend told me she was moving to California. She has been on the fence about this move for as long as I have known her. This is a good move for her. She’ll be near family. Her soul will be settled here. But it happened so fast. This woman is unstoppable and fierce and capable of anything. Including packing her entire house up, selling it and moving clear across the country in 6 weeks time. She is goals in so many ways. She’s always teaching me without even knowing it. She told me she was busy packing, but until I saw her house a week later, I wasn’t sure I believed it. She leaves in 9 . She’s a “safe space” for me. I don’t have to share her with everyone I know. She’s a friend and not a follower. She doesn’t do social media. She doesn’t care how cool I am on the internet. She knows ALL of my shit and loves me anyway. I am so comfortable being me with her. I will miss that. I will miss her being near.
Sadness is my least favorite emotion. I’m certain it’s the hardest one for everyone. When it hits, I tend to feel dread and think it’s going to be with me forever. But it isn’t. It passes. You might think I would have learned this by now, but when I am in it, I forget. Every single time. You may remember that I “broke up with my phone.” We didn’t actually break up at all. I need my phone in my life. I am working on using it in a mindful way. It’s a process. I have noticed that when I feel sad, which has been a lot these past few weeks, it’s the easiest thing in the world to pick my phone up and distract myself. I was actually fascinated to realize that I was doing this. And it makes me think that I have been doing this for a LONG time. So now I am just paying attention to the why when I pick up my phone. Sometimes I need a distraction. After eleven months of living in a pandemic, we ALL need a little distraction from time to time. I have been using an app called Moment. It keeps track of my screen time and it counts how many times I pick up my phone. My favorite feature is the “gentle reminder” it gives me when I have have had my phone in my hand for 15 minutes. It’s a good reminder for me that there are other ways I want to spend my time. Right now, I find the reminders helpful. I am back to basics. “Chop wood and carry water.” Do the things, feel the feelings and live life. I never forget to be grateful. I have more happy moments than sad moments. “Welcome and entertain them all.” But this rain can fuck right on off.