Ups and downs

Evening all,

It’s Wednesday and we are both home resting today as Rachel has continued to struggle with a chest infection and Michelle is feeling physically exhausted after a huge day at TAFE yesterday (will do a post on that later). It’s a little disappointing not to be at the farm helping out and learning. We both really miss it when we cannot make it for some reason. It’s exciting to find something that you love being involved with as much as we love being involved with growing food. But the practical realities are that Michelle requires rest so that she has enough energy to bring in some money to pay bills, and Rachel has to rest if she is going to recover from her infection. Rest, rest and more rest…

As you would expect, we are both having some ‘up’ days and ‘down’ days as this journey progresses. On the ‘up’ days we feel like we are living our dream, doing exactly what we were put here to do, having enormous fun and learning lots – maybe not all of those simultaneously, but that’s the vibe, if you catch my drift. We tend to feel like this when we are doing it (attending TAFE or at the farm) or sharing it – that is sharing our passion for it with others.

On the ‘down’ days, we may feel that our vision is far away or impossible, or we may feel lost or overwhelmed by practical realities and obstacles, sometimes we feel flat, sick and tired… And on these days we usually get grumpy and take it out on each other!! Sometimes on these days, usually as the result of a silly disagreement, we can actually get more clarity about our dream, and then it feels like it was somehow worth going through the mucky feeling of the ‘down’ day. It’s the yin and the yang of any process.

Today has been a bit of a ‘down’ day for us both. In general, this is because we are struggling to clarify the exact vision for our future and have no idea of the next steps to take. Financially, things are getting a bit tight, there are bills piling up and Michelle is finding it a challenge to keep her focus on running her psychology practice when her energy is calling her so strongly towards growing food. Things are already tight for us living on one income… and we are ready to change our lifestyle dramatically if need be in order to pursue our dream. But how it will all unfold is a mystery right now…

On top of this, Rachel has been struggling with her health on and off for months, and that’s always challenging. It’s been as especially cold and wet year here in Northern NSW and we are living in the rainforest, so its beautiful, but also cold and damp. This seems to have promoted a succession of chest troubles for Rachel – so we are hoping Spring will bring some relief to this pattern.

During our ‘down’ days, we both find ourselves wishing we had more resources to back us up. We imagine how much easier it would all be if we already owned some property, or had some funds sitting in a bank somewhere enabling us both to stop working and put all our energies into this project. Oh yes, its very easy to fly into fantasy land!! Everything is always so much simpler there. But its not at all grounded and rarely has much to do with reality. Plus, it tends to make one overlook the blessings, and we both have many of those too!

Basically, at the end of the day we both believe and trust that whatever circumstances we find ourselves in are the perfect conditions needed for our vision to grow. We have learnt over the years, usually when looking back, things are always perfect exactly as they are…

However, the mind does struggle a bit with such uncertainty…. and in an effort to avoid it altogether the mind constantly tries to come up with solutions. Most of these so called solutions are not useful, sometimes completely illogical… and usually only serve as distraction or pipe dream. Better to stick with reality, even if that equals uncertainty! So right now, we are trying to accept and trust that it’s perfect we have no money, and no land, and a vision that’s quite blurred around the edges!

So, to that end, we are both trying to stay grounded in stillness, and cultivate presence, through attention to our breath, and by staying anchored in the present moment through practices like meditation and yoga. Rachel especially is putting her energy into meditating and tuning in. She is trusting that her physical symptoms are only helping her by providing real impetus to stop, go inside and just sense the way forward. She is practicing listening to her inner guidance and has been really moved by the writings of Eileen Caddy (co-founder of Findhorn) who followed her inner guidance daily and used it to co-create what exists today as one of the most amazing eco-spiritual-communities.

While writing this post we decided to randomly open the pages of Eileen’s book God Spoke to Me, which is a collection of all the guidance she received during her lifetime listening to God, hoping for some inspiration. We opened up at page 127 and found the following quote, entitled Be Still and Listen.

Be Still and Listen. I ask for nothing more. When you become still, you become emptied of all, emptied of the old and ready to be refilled with the new. As long as you are straining and striving you are not free or empty and there is no room for the new to enter. You cannot put new wine into old bottles, you cannot put an old piece of cloth on a new garment, anymore than you can be filled with the new whilst still clinging to the old! Become an empty vessel, waiting to be filled with My love, My light and My wisdom.

Reading this confirms for us both that we are on the right track… and to just keep letting go and opening up to this adventure.

Guidance also came to us today through another of our favourite spiritual teachers, Jack Kornfield, who shared a story (via Audiobook) of a couple dealing with terminal illness who had many worldly resources, but came to understand inner peace as an even more significant resource in their journey.

trees know stillness

4 thoughts on “Ups and downs

  1. Beautiful, thank you… and I’m taking guidance from your writings today – thank you so much for your honesty and courage as you move forwards together. Blessings, Wendy xx

  2. I hope Rachel is feeling better soon. I’d offer some “sage words of wisdom” but to be honest, I don’t really have any – only that it’s important to endure the “downs” in life, else we would never appreciate the highs! I’ve experienced some lows in my life some years ago. While I still have many things I want to accomplish – buying our house one day, having a child with my wife, etc – I am so happy now and never thought that I could have such a good life, and share it with someone, that makes me feel so wonderful. It’s important to clearly define your goals – know exactly what you want to achieve, and when you want to achieve it by, and before you know it, 2 years from now you’ll look back on your experiences now and laugh about how you were worried over nothing!

    Good luck and take care!

    • Thanks for your kind words Charles. We have woken today feeling more centred and calm, knowing that we must do, exactly as you say, and endure the ‘downs’, even appreciate them, and find the wisdom in them. After blogging last night, we went more deeply into Rachel’s body symptoms, and into my fears around stopping my private practice. Through that conversation, we really connected with each other and with the importance of sitting with the vulnerability we both feel some days. We feel clear that we are being asked to completely hand our life over to God/Tao/Higher Power/Universe…this means we need to stop ‘running our lives’ from a ego/head centre and instead to live in the moment, trusting what we need will come if we really open up to it… It’s a challenge for the mind to let go like that…and we have both needed to be very independent in our lives. Learning to trust and open to each other has been an enormous challenge and now, just as that’s getting easier we are being asked to open and completely trust in the Tao/God, step into the unknown, open fearlessly and be deeply present in every moment… We’ll keep you posted! Thanks again for your kind words and warm wishes, they are received with deep gratitude, Michelle & Rachel

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