At long last, I’m finally getting back to my blog and to finishing up the series of posts on my visit to Kirby Cove, which occurred in March. Shortly after my visit, I went through a rough period in my life – both personally and professionally – which required taking a break from blogging in order to concentrate on other issues. But Kirby Cove was never far from my mind, and now that the dust has settled a bit I can go back to recalling the lessons I learned there.
This is part four of the Series… if you haven’t read the others, I would encourage you to do so.
After spending time with the elephant (see my previous post on “Seeking the Elephant”), Ginny – being the wise crone that she is – could tell that I was indeed searching for some answers to the many questions which kept racing through my brain. She gestured to me to join her under the shade of the trees. I accepted the invitation and sat down next to her on a cushion of dry pine needles, inhaling the resinous scent and grounding myself to the earth beneath me.
Thus began a heart-to-heart conversation in which Ginny and I explored a number of different topics…discussing issues such as determining a sense of personal purpose and ways of living, and then choosing those options which fit in with that sense of purpose and that chosen lifestyle.
I’ve always been a person who believed in having a clear sense of expectations… expectations with people, expectations with situations, expectations with myself. I like knowing where things stand… I like having a sense of where I’m at now and where things are going from here.
But as I sat under that tree, I felt like my whole sense of expectations was clear as mud. I didn’t what to expect… from others, or from myself.
And that frustrated the hex out of me.
Slowly and gently Ginny began to lead me into an exploration of this issue…
You’ve made a big personal change, at great emotional and financial expense. What were you expecting that led you to do that, and how explicitly were those expectations defined on either side of the table?
Ouch. Tough questions, and not easy ones to answer. Yet I knew that exploring the answers to these questions was going to be an integral part of addressing the issues.
What was it that made me say “YES” to moving to California? What in myself was I responding to that allowed me to take such a risk?
Was it unhappiness at where I previously was? The possibility of developing new friendships in a new environment? The chance at a daring adventure?
We’re all pretty vulnerable to being cared about… to being appreciated for our talents and abilities – and what we’re hoping for coming out of that may not be clear to ourselves or to others, so knowing your own needs is a very important part of making good choices. Offers may come our way, and if we don’t have a clear sense of personal destiny, or purpose, or goal we could surrender to something that isn’t really on our path.
So where is my path? Where am I supposed to be going… and how am I supposed to get there?
We also discussed some of my issues surrounding anger…
The anger which I feel surrounding my move to the Bay Area and the frustration of not seeing things happen the way I anticipated.
The anger of feeling a loss of personal power.
The anger of feeling manipulated, or disrespected, or inappreciated, or ignored, or whatever.
And when that sense of anger starts to overwhelm me, how can I deal with it? What’s bringing up that anger… what’s being triggered? If I can sit back and take a good hard look at what gets a rise out of me, then I can start taking control over my own life and I won’t feel so much like a victim, in the grips of other people’s behaviors.
As we got up to continue on our trek down to the cove itself, I couldn’t help noticing several brightly colored orange mushrooms which had sprouted up from the earth floor…
From what I could tell, it appeared that this mushroom was of the genus Amanita, a toxic fungus found all over North America, including the Pacific coast. Beautiful… but dangerous.
But even poisonous mushrooms can have valuable lessons to teach, as Ginny pointed out:
Much like the toxins in this mushroom, your anger is the toxin that can be deadly to you and your own sense of happiness and well-being. Anger can be powerful, yes… it can be a motivating factor for making changes in your life. But I sense that your anger and frustration is preventing you from finding your own path.