It’s always when my brain is maxed out—overflowing with too many thoughts, too many feelings, too many ideas—and robbing me of my ability to concentrate on anything for more than 10 minutes or get more than an hour or two of sleep at night for weeks on end, that I feel the most disconnected.
It’s during these times that I lose track of myself and easily forget the very things that keep me grooving along on the path I’m dancing on these days.
It’s during these times of sleep deprivation and stretches of a racing mind that I so easily miss the not-so-subtle cues that big changes are happening inside me and end up completely oblivious that my psyche has shifted into an entirely new dimension of “Jo”ness.
The last three weeks have brought me little to no restful sleep, a complete writer’s block (the worst I’ve ever gone through, actually), a sense of stagnancy in my ability to create captivating photographs…a photographer’s block, if you will…and a feeling of general, but potent disconnection with all things vital to the things that make me, well, me!
I’ve been stuck in a state of perpetual frustration that I’m literally teeming with new ideas – for my business, life, creative outlets, etc.—and I’ve not been able to DO anything with any of it. As soon as I sit down and try to get it out, my mind has blanked and I’ve been left staring into space, grasping to remember what was just seconds before so damn vivid and graspable. In a word, Arrrrrrgh!
And then, this morning, BOOM! I returned to myself with such a brilliant, focused, soul-clenching burst of electricity that I literally bolted up out of the pretzel position I’d been gently resting in and I screamed out, “SWEET NECTAR!”
Let me backtrack a bit so you can understand the importance…nay, the SOUL CLENCHING CHANGE this moment became for me.
Two and a half years ago, the moment that I felt Cora slip away in my arms, something died inside of me at the moment she died. My connection. My connection with the universe, with the belief that all beings are interconnected, with the belief that the things we manifest come to us, with the idea or the possibility that our loved ones are always with us, even after we lose them. Call it God, Spirit, or whatever the hell else people call it. Up until that moment, I believed it all and in the span of the six or so minutes it took for them to unplug my daughter from life support and for her tiny, beautiful life to slip away from us, I lost my connection and my faith. It died with her and I honestly thought I would never, ever be able to reclaim it.
Even though I’ve had many, many experiences since then that should have alerted me that my connection was returning, I didn’t see them. Until today. The signs have been, literally, everywhere lately.
For the last six months, I’ve started “white lighting” myself and my car whenever I drive anywhere. I’ve been asking Cora and my mom to protect me with the white light of their spirits and to keep me safe from harm or hurt during my journeys. I’ve also been asking them to make my car a repellent to all wildlife and any animals who may venture into the vicinity while I’m cruising.
Last week, I was driving home from practice and I was fairly tired because I stayed a bit later than usual before heading back on the hour and a half drive that I do four times (or more) a week to get to and from derby practice in Armstrong. At one point, I was completely oblivious to the drive and was lost in thought about something and, clear as day, the words, “Look. NOW.” popped into my head. I blinked and came back to myself only to see two deer standing at the edge of the road about 20 feet in front of my car, staring right at me. I braked, intending to creep by them, but I didn’t get anywhere near them before they both turned and bolted back into the forest. I kept driving and immediately slipped back into my trance-like thoughts as I drove home.
Last night, on the way home, I was driving along before I even reached the highway and a giant white somethingorother ran out onto the road just as I passed it. I slammed on the brakes and looked back to see what it was, but there was nothing there. However, when I turned my attention back to the road, I flicked my high beams on to see if there were any other animals there and I realized that I had come very close to missing a hairpin corner because I had, once again, been in a total daze (consistent lack of sleep causes the brain to get rest wherever it can). If the big white whatever hadn’t startled me and pulled me out of my daze, I am more than willing to bet I would have driven right off that corner and piled up my car.
It wasn’t until this morning, when I was looking everywhere for my appointment book and couldn’t find it that I was hit right between the eyes with a huge AHA! moment! I was so frustrated that I couldn’t find it that I stood in my office and said out loud, “Cora, can you PLEASE lead me to my book? I really need it and I’m super frustrated that I can’t find it.”
The second I finished asking her to help, a picture of the book popped into my mind, neatly tucked into my derby training folder that was in a bin on the floor in front of me. It was exactly where my mind had told me it was.
The funny thing about all of this is that it wasn’t until an hour later, when I was lying, quite uncomfortably, in a pretzel-like stretch, trying to loosen up my back and chilling in a bit of a meditative state that the word “CONNECTED” popped into my head. And, just like that, everything clicked into place.
I’ve connected with my faith in the universe again. I didn’t see it before now because I was concentrating so hard on NOT believing in it again and it took something crazy, like complete disconnection to allow the realization to force its way through to my stubborn ass mind and really get my attention.
This is the part when I unpretzled and jumped up to shout, “SWEET NECTAR!”
And, with that realization, a flood of “connected moments” began to sweep me away. Not just the deer and the big white, vanishing savior or the help finding my book, but a whole truckload of other little things that have been happening more and more frequently lately. Little things that my brain was registering, but refusing to acknowledge because it wasn’t ready to let that connection back in yet – a dream about a friend’s son visiting me to give his mom a message; a dream about Cora as a little girl and then a grown woman with other adults standing around with her, sending me their love; the fleeting sound of my mom’s laugh as I woke up from a nap a few weeks ago; things I’ve asked for finding their way to me at the precise time I’ve requested. So much I’ve refused to acknowledge.
The mind is a powerful instrument and it always finds a way to get our attention when it wants to be heard. My intense feelings of disconnection were obviously my own psyche’s way of making damn sure I would pay attention this time when it tried to get through.
Well, I’m damn well paying attention and my mind is clear again. I feel calm and focused and totally ecstatic that I’ve somehow worked through the haze of grief enough to see through to the other side again. All of the ideas and creativity that have been flooding through me that I’ve been unable to put into motion are now laid out before me, with a clear path and intention to each one. I’m abuzz with the energy and get up and go that I need to get shit done ya’ll.
And the best part is that I feel more connected now, after losing the connection for so long, than I ever felt before I lost it. This is powerful and heady stuff and I feel full of purpose and motivation again. I can’t wait to see where the beautiful, unstoppable soul of my daughter will lead me to next and what other lessons she has in store for me and everyone else whose lives she has touched.
Stay tuned, peeps! We are just getting warmed up, but for now, I’m going to lay my head down on my pillow tonight and hope that this instant stop to my racing mind will allow me the first solid night’s sleep I’ve had in what seems like a very, very long time.
Goodnight, my friends. I wish you all enough…