For the past six months I've had some fairly perilous emotions railroading through my brain. Anger, anxiety, frustration, disappointment, indignation, and disgust...just to name a handful.
And that's only scratching the surface.
I'm not sure if they're caused by fluctuating hormones or lack of sleep. By finding myself time and again having to stand up for myself or my business. Or simply because I'm tired of living in a rush, rush, gimme, gimme world that bombards me with messages of what I should buy...how I should look...what I need to make me happy.
Sometimes it makes me want to hole up in my house and live like a hermit. But more often than not these days, my feelings want me to take action -- to do something, anything to alleviate the discomfort of living with uncomfortable emotions. It's at those times that I'm most grateful for a strong impulse control, honed by years of practicing mindfulness. For if I acted on my emotions, if I did what my anger and frustration ignite in my guts, I'd behave in ways that would be extremely unbecoming.
And yet...I've heard that in a woman's late forties, her brain catches on fire, meaning that she needs to burn through patterns of the past to rise again from the ashes reborn and ready to experience the second half of life with a greater perspective...a higher understanding of who she wants to be and where she wants to invest her precious time and energy.
Well, I know it's more than my brain that's up in flames these days.
I've been dreaming a lot this month. People from my past visit me nightly and we have long, honest conversations. Conversations they never would allow in my waking life. Truth be told, I'm the one doing most of the talking -- returning their projected crap they had once dumped onto me. The inappropriate come-ons. The judgmental attitudes they heaped on my head like hot coals. The nasty, sarcastic insults they hurled my way in an attempt to get me out of their lives. I've been hauling a lot of that energy around for years and have come to realize that spring cleaning this year will result in a lighter spirit as well as a tidier home.
In some of the dreams I certainly do embody conduct unbecoming, at least to society's standards. It's not what someone would expect from a yoga instructor and someone who works with children. I'm supposed to always be peaceful. Always kind. Always gentle and loving. But sometimes in my dreams I yell and scream. Sometimes I speak quietly. But always I'm pointed in my clarity about how wounding their behavior was toward me, especially when I was blamed for feeling badly about it.
And always I awake feeling as though the circle has been completed...at least with the person in question. I no longer feel as though I'm playing a role they had wanted me to play. The would-be mistress. The scapegoat. The crazy b*&%h on wheels. Or most people's personal favorite, the weirdo New Age freak.
A long time ago, I was in a heated conversation with someone about how hurt I was by a third party's actions. How I needed to make choices to sever the relationship.
"You should be above all that, Katie!" the woman shouted at me. "You're a yoga teacher and Reiki Master...and this shouldn't bother you!"
"I'm a human being first," I cried.
That was the first time in my life I practiced "un-becoming." Releasing myself from an archetype that I was playing out. Letting go of needing to use it as a tool. A weapon. A shield.
And I've done all of those things, believe me.
Perhaps all of this "brain on fire" energy is allowing me to blaze through the energy of the roles long ago left behind. I can see my emotions as harbingers of healing...not a catalyst to kick ass. In un-becoming all of those things others have projected onto me -- and all the things I had once projected onto myself -- I am free to be who I am.
I am not a yoga teacher.
I am a woman who thrives when she teaches yoga.
I am not a writer.
I am a woman who loves to write.
I am not a mother.
I am mothering to my students and my pets.
I am not a perfectionist.
I am entering into the idea that reality and perfection are synonymous.
And in this form of un-becoming, I'm beginning to know and have compassion for my true self.