The house is sleeping, the dogs and the men, I get skin to fur contact with the most wolfish one who is purrgrowling, taking up half of the sofa- this calms me down. I pull at his cowl and babytalk him (puppytalk?) in a hushed voice about all the fun we’re going to have when the sun comes up and we head to the woods, which he clearly understands. In the quiet dark there is a literal ticking clock, the constant heater hum of January in a cold climate, and my heart beating way too fast. I’ve been having difficulty directing my attention in the last weeks, too many moving parts, a lot of external fuckery on the businesses, still navigating the cash flow issues from a big customer declaring bankruptcy, the FTX thing, now platforms holding revenue- no fun. I handled some end of year staffing changes ungraciously, and hurt some feelings, which I’m learning from. But really, since Thanksgiving I’ve been in a heart freeze, a self-protective numbness that I recognize from prior intimate relationship ruptures, a pattern I thought I was over. Maybe you relate? In the numb, I just did the habits… worked more hours with Rosebud, finished my term papers (in quantum biology memory and consciousness- a very cool subject), had a beautiful work week at Sundari- reset some of the rooms for incoming guests, went to the mat, taught a lot of yoga, served in the journey space, had some magical encounters and met some new friends. I ordered my home, gave things away, bought a car, did some couples therapy, did the year end giving, tried to create some holiday sparkle. But I wasn’t feeling myself. Part of me left town. Vacated the body. My ritualized selfcare gave way to fast showers, evil carbs and yes, back on the coffee, with 5 hour sleeps and an increasingly puffy face and belly. So yes, I kept going… because that’s what Christines do. I avoided my partner, avoided my anger, avoided my grief. I went up to aloofness and superior calm. I went to fantasies of the life I would create and invite in next. I went to the assumption I would have to do it on my own, again. I took a lot of time in the divine greenness and the rushing creeks- the way goddess handles the storms and the harmonious days are the best role model for equanimity in chaos. Inhale and exhale tree energy. And in the last days there have been some great moments with my boys, inspiring and truly fun. For real healing though, it’s the time after meditation and before the first calls of the day, when I can I turn into the heart space, the inner work to come whole from fractured patterns. Here I meet my younger self, and we have a chat. I start hearing a sweeter voice of self-compassion… “Aww honey, that really stung, that was really confusing, I can see how isolating your heart was a really smart choice to not feel hurt. But you are doing great! You kept communicating this time. You stayed kind in the challenges. You recognized that you’re not a helpless girl living in reaction to others’ choices. You kept being grateful. You stayed as open as you could. No blaming or shaming, wow. I appreciate you for loving deeply and for being resilient, for being faithful.” As this little self coaching convo is felt, I soften progressively… the breath slows, my eyes and jaw soften. My shoulders come down. From here, from soft and slow, I have more capacity to relate. From hard and quick I can’t relate. Next week I’m taking a solid block of rest. My partner and I are cautiously optimistic. The Wolfdog is pawing at the back door ready to go outside. The sky is getting lighter.

Happy Thursday, happy whole messy beautiful day.

You’re doing great.

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