The last few months have been fantastic for me economically. I say this to compare to the previous months, which were fairly devastating, and the previous years, which followed patterns of ebb and flow. I had had a booming practice before, but much smaller scale and entirely self directed. Parts went up in smoke when the economic bust caught fire, parts got scattered to the wind when my spinal cord tried to end our relationship. I found the courage to let go of all that I had built up, and trust that life would find me right again.
And it has. I have been working 5-6 days a week, almost without pause, since January. A slight uptick in trickle turned into a stream and now I am experiencing a bit of rapids. I know a dip is coming, but it hasn't come yet. I took a four day weekend in March to visit family. I had just enough time to relax and immerse myself in Muir Woods and Marin and the lifeflow of my brother's family. Stepped full speed back on to this work train.
You have to take work when it is presented to you. My current busy-ness is reflected partly in the rush before summer of people wanting to look and feel good. But it is also the result of word of mouth economics. One tells two friends, who tells two friends, and so on and so on, it's really true. It is not the time to slow down and take reflective pause, it is time to keep running and get over the hill. Show up, ready to go, with a smile on my face, and be thankful that I have managed my end. Be thankful for the opportunities that I have earned and that I have been given, and return in kind by working hard for all of us.
Still, the price is creativity. I have less down time, less pause time, less reflection. My long commutes, now six days a week almost every week, instead of 3 or 4, are often my only break from chatter and chores. I turn off the radio to hear as much "silence" as one can have on a highway, with wind whistling in the windows. Today, I have a full day off, unprogrammed, and wondering if I should get to any of the cleaning that I have left for the weekend. Do I celebrate the sunshine? Do I sleep in? Do I clean the fridge and get food ready for the week? Do I watch movies and do nothing? Do I float in the pool and get some melanin energized?
I have taken respite in reading more, and have devoured quite a few books in the last 6 weeks around my schedule. My biking schedule is slowed a little, but not forgotten, just 3-4 days a week instead of 5-6, as my body can manage the higher intensity. My enthusiasm gets checked by my sacroiliac joint. My tending to cooking is my only outlet for creative expression, since I must cook anyhow. Spiralizing veggies, making curly q salads and vegetable noodles. Exploring paleo vs raw food diets, always reading more, finding more creative ways to get more plants into the mouth and belly.
Last weekend, I attended the Botanical Medicine Conference, and was immersed in a lush two days of integrative western and traditional chinese medicine thinking. Forgoing some of my pharmacology track, I dove in with David Winston and Jason Miller, masters of herbal medicine, shamans and scientists. I started remembering my deeper yin needs, not just for physical sustenance but spiritual health. I wove my yards of rose quartz around me to soften my heart and open it up, I wrapped soft scarves of knitted bamboo leaves and vines onto my skin. I have not visited my goddess garden in some time. I must tend to her.
Knitting projects have been unvisited, as the mental acrobatics to get into their rhythm are not happening. I need more yin- but not too much stillness. I am tempting myself to tack on a master's in herbal medicine, and revive my now sleeping relationship to plants. My herb garden goes unplanted (albeit in pots), but my patience with pineapples is about to come to fruition as one is preparing to send out a flower stalk (it has been almost 2 years since I planted it). The heat arrived early this weekend, and has changed the game, it is too late for delicate flowers. I will have to eat the herbs that others have grown instead, and accept the gift of beets from a patient's garden since I haven't tended my own.
Yesterday, we saw a lovely little documentary, Jiro Dreams of Sushi. One man, one job, 75 years, the best in the world. Find your profession, love it, and become the best there is. There is no day off, no time off, only doing it better and better. He dreams of fileting fish, I dream of schedules and missed appointments and showing up late to class. I really want to dream of plants bending down to me, showing me their hidden parts, and asking me to kithe with them. It happened long ago, it can happen again.
Ah, sigh. I have to remember that I am always on this surf board, steady but adapting, the waves under me always shifting, surging, moving, dropping. Sometimes we get thrown in the surf early, sometimes we ride all the way to shore. If I let go of the tension on my side too early, I will go flying out into the ocean. If I hold on too long, I will fly forward and hit the sand with my face.
Today, I want a lagoon, soft and fragrant, fanned by palms and singing birds. No paperwork, no following up, no research, no faxes, no phone cals, no notes, no codes. I want to rest without thinking of where I need to be next, what day is it?, when do I need to be on the road.
I want to be here, now, instead of tomorrow, and next week and next week. I want more yin, more balance, to this bursting yang of fiscal growth. Perhaps, this summer...