Obstacles to Allies

Do you ever have those times when all your instincts tell you to wait, hold still, stay put, but you insist on pushing forward anyway?

Then perhaps (if you are like me) it takes you a while to recognize that even though your struggle is futile, struggle you must.

Aah, such is life.

I often tend to think that if I mine deep enough for the motion I can conquer the stillness. That if I seek fervently enough, I will find a way around life’s obstructions.
And In so doing I discover that I’m not spending as much time climbing the uphill battle as I am sliding back down on my ass!

Right. Well, at least that was me this winter and I will tell you, it was awful…
until I realized that downhill isn’t always a bad thing.
What a concept!

Two months ago my washing machine broke and it became the working metaphor for my life.

I had been sitting in meditation tuning into this vision of a whirlpool in my second chakra, feeling all my creative energy spinning unproductively in place. I mused on what the image was trying to tell me about my life, my process, my creative projects (two books and multiple classes both in person and online that were overwhelming me but had come to a standstill, refusing to come to fruition).

When I emerged from my meditation I discovered that my washing machine had literally broken that morning!

Fortunately and unfortunately for me, it was under warranty which meant it was free to fix, but also meant waiting two months to have it repaired.


Much to my surprise, however, living with a broken washing machine while running a busy healing practice from home which requires mountains of fresh sheets and towels every week- was not the worst thing on the planet as I had thought it would be.

In fact, it ended up being a blessing in disguise when my recently retired parents offered to take my laundry, returning it to me each week washed, folded and even mended. AMAZING.

My takeaway?

Downhill sliding apparently doesn’t mean you aren’t getting anywhere- it just means your heading in a different direction than you thought. Even faster!

I knew that I was getting a lesson in surrender, in trust, in patience. But still, I had this expectation that my journey up the mountain should involve some sort of ascent. Boy was I wrong!
So now I know…

Sometimes the best views are from the valley, not the peak.
Sometimes up is actually down.
Sometimes forward looks like backward.
Sometimes our obstacles are actually our allies in disguise.

Not that I didn’t know this, but now I know it in a whole new way. I knew that once my washer was working again, I would get my groove back. I would be able to once again reach out, to share the creative adventures I’ve been slow cooking, and dance in the light of day with my community.

So this morning I turned my clocks forward and said goodbye to the darkness of the winter of my gestating creative endeavors.  And hello to the light!

To quote the late great Nina Simone, “It’s a new dawn, a new day, a new life for me”. And hell yes, I’m feeling good.