I haven’t written much for the blog in the past few months for a few reasons. The easy answer is of course ‘busy’. Busy with life, work, travel, people, taking pictures, classes, etc. And while that is of course a factor – it is not the entire story.
I also have been feeling a little out of touch with sharing on the blog lately. Most of my posts in recent times are about cool places I go, people I visit or just basic updates. Somewhere along the way I ‘stopped’ sharing some of the less than ‘love and light’ details of my life. I suspect because I am so damn sick of hearing about how ‘I just want you to be happy Joannie’ and ‘well it seems like you’re doing okay’. As if one cannot experience happiness and still be SAD at other times. As if one must always be “okay”. The easy answer to this is of course don’t share those parts. The constant sleep issues, the less than savory self images I have of myself, struggles with what I should focus on, family stuff, money, work, friends/boyfriends stuff, the list goes on. I can only ‘focus’ so much on just the positive. My desire for balance demands that my writing include ALL aspects of life, not just the pretty, fun, and good-looking ones. I’m sure some people will react to some of the things I’ll probably write, yet all the good and bad parts of my life will still be there – reactions from others or not.
Another reason is that I have already been pushing myself to share a lot with classmates and few individuals outside of WildernessFusion in the last 6 months; in ways I am absolutely terrified of. In a sense, I am ‘sharing’ most aspects of my life – just not on the blog. As I have adjusted and learned to begin to have faith in my classmates and the few individuals I have started to open up to, I see how when one seeks to understand – one listens. And by not writing what is on my mind, what is in my heart, I do a disservice to those who want to understand. And for those who don’t, you can focus on the ‘good’ and get what you need out of my adventures and pictures. I truly love that so many people (close to me and the simply observers) get so much enjoyment from my sporadic sharing of travels, adventures, photos and occasional muses. This is by no means a ‘you should want to hear about the shadow stuff too’, but an acknowledgement of where I have stopped sharing.
I have mentioned in previous posts about my ‘Healing Classes’ with the group WildernessFusion. I’ve purposely glossed over them due to the nature of the work, the difficulty in sharing something so personal as well as foreign to most people, and to keep my classmate’s stories in confidence. Obviously I won’t be sharing the ‘details’, but I can write more about my experience and how the classes are shaping what I do now. For those interested I would normally say ‘check out the program’s website’, but I won’t, because it freaking sucks. If any WF people read this..should really update that thing!
Anyway, the ‘’Healing’ portion of the school is what I am in. A year-long program for each level (1 -7). The first four years cover the ‘basics’, after that you have to want to do this sort of thing for life (or just be crazy). I just started year 2. Year 1 was intense, but good. So far year 2 is like being boiled alive. The work itself – is personal work in how you approach people, the world, how the world and people affect you, and how to bring awareness to it all. After the awareness is there, then there is the ability to respond and finally, choice. It can sound rather ‘new agey’ but in my humble opinion, it is the sum of what is psychology (including the therapy portions), the human experience and truly living. The types of people who come to the classes and take the skills back to their ‘everyday lives’ is quite diverse. From roaming wanderers who play music (or train animals to include myself) with no college to degree, to teachers, pilots, doctors, engineers and software professionals. All of us have something in common, we deal with people, family, friends and want the ability to choose what we can do about tomorrow. Not just react. Many people have read or at least heard of the books ‘The Dance of Anger (or fear, grief, etc)’ by Dr. Harriet Lerner. When you truly have perspective on life, you see that it’s not ‘just that one’ family member or coworker you have these self-perpetuating cycles with. You have them most of all – with yourself. And the blind spots are BIG. The more that you think you already have a handle on..heh..the more you don’t. WF Healing classes are the intensive’s for people who want to have true choice (or be the change in the world) bad enough that you not only go ‘in’ your skeleton closet – you take your entire freaking class (bunch of strangers usually, who you wouldn’t have thought you could even be friends with in some cases) and the instructors (more freaking strangers) with you! You bring out the skeletons, you uncover ones you never knew about, and your classmates show you how you put them there..its like an undead dance party. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. It is fucking hard work. It is terrifying. It brings up every embarrassing, shameful thing you want to never think about again. It rips open all the places you’ve sealed shut so you can put a dumb smile on your face. It breaks down all the ideas you made, been given or had instilled in your life. It also gives you bare bones truth about who you are and are not – wonderful and crazy. Beautiful and ugly. Selfish and selfless. Some people cannot hear about their bad, others their good. Either way, it’s a truth no one wants to hear. But it’s there. The classes have given me more skills than any book, therapist, job, program and so forth in both personal and professional places of my life. If that isn’t enough of reason, I don’t know what is! If you want to know more about them, feel free write to me or call me up.
As I realized how my patterns of interactions directly affected my relationships with Every. Single. Person. I know. I decided to work on that with a few individuals outside of WF classes. It is particularly more challenging with people who have no base understanding of the classes and self work that is going on. Most days I feel completely at loss of how to express myself to the people around me. I now can see some of the patterns and ‘images’ as we call them in WF that I react to. Something there is little to no choice around – but instead I react, deal with outcome of reaction, repeat. Now my biggest struggle is to simply not react. On any given day, I feel completely alone and misunderstood. I often feel isolated even though there are often people around me – only a handful of people can seem to really ‘see’ (read be in contact with) me and they are spread all over the continent. Most of this probably sounds like whining. Maybe it is. But it’s quite real, not a passing thought while stopped at a red light, but instead very much glaringly in my face. I have been told repeatedly (have also seen with the class ahead of mine) that year 2 in the program is one (or the one) of the hardest years in the program. I think I can speak for most of my classmates on this – we are all in our own hells. Those of us who have relationships – are just trying to not blow them up. Work. School. Everything feels like it’s about to push one over the edge. This is me almost every minute of every day. There are beautiful moments. Great conversations and even once in a while – a self-realization that doesn’t totally destroy you (most do). The rest – is just me fighting with my own shit – because I don’t want to be stuck this way forever. I want choice in the end. If the last two paragraphs make no sense – don’t worry about it.
I live in constant contradiction. While I feel a wild exhilaration to be alive in every moment and want each day more than the last, I also feel pain more acutely, grief more deeply and loneliness in every breath of every moment I am not around people who can give me the type of contact (a term that encompasses both physical touch and non physical company) I need. There is much more I plan to say, but I am already behind on what I need to be doing – and this is quite long.
More on this part of the Journey later ~ J