It may also be that the word is more nuanced than “get good with...” or “get over...” in my poison dart brain, getting jiggy with something means you groove with it, you invite it into the dance. It’s like the opposite of rejection and judgement. You say, okay, okay, you can dance too.
It’s kind of heart-softee AND it brings to mind young Will Smith doing some fun things with his pelvis and massive white sneakers.
I just like even THINKING about it.
Wanna know why?
Yes, it has something to do with me just loving metaphors. And it has something to do with how much I like the word bloom and all it's evocations.
It’s also because when I am in the state of feeling open at the bloom, that means I am awake and in my life, in my now, in my IN, and I’m feeling, tasting, noticing, sensing, feasting. And when I am in the opposite state, a phenomenon I have come to experience as Closed Fist Woman or Man, you know the state? No matter what someone asks you, you have a protective excuse. It flies out of your mouth so fast you don’t even know you’re all clenched up. My breath worker friend would say “check your butthole” (well, no, she doesn’t say that, I say that, but I keep telling her it would be funnier if she did and I am just going to keep fake-crediting this to her until she picks up the gauntlet, Becca I'm talking to you)
See that? The butthole joke? That’s me being open to this moment, with all of me. And what shows up in that full and unscared openness is the part of me that knows, that KNOWS that laughing is super important to how I stay open and real and feeling and showing up. Butthole joking is ironically a pretty great way to get people to relax their buttholes a tiny bit.
I had about a month of feeling open and soft before I hit a wall and spun out so hard I couldn't catch my breath. During the month was so green and alive and a new level of vitality was emerging in me through this sustained openness. IT's not like I was problem free, I was just jiggy with them. None of them felt worth me becoming a closed fist over.
My receptors for joy and engagement were growing as I found more and more ways to fall open at the bud and so I was feeling so much more, and tasting more deeply. The feeling, quite frankly, is akin to what happens when you take acid or mushrooms, the whole freaking world opens up and reveals its true heart to you in a very personal and connected way that we often lose touch with.
Note: this is a particularly special win for me. I have long resisted having a life that includes using drugs because I said it would make me too lazy to FORGE A PATH THROUGH MORDOR, or freaking bushwhack my way through the humdrum and forgotten forests and actually figure out ways to live a trancendantly alive life. And only this year have I felt like I am steadily happier, more alive, and more awake to real bliss than I can get on drugs. It’s literally the best happiest thing I have ever encountered. And I fought like a starving dog through the sad hardness to even be able to glimpse this.
(I will write and share and invite y’all more into this new obsession! Particularly in the New Year’s Eve retreat in Peurto Rico, and in my new monthly Fall Open at the Bud sessions!)
And then I hit the wall. Something happened with my house and a kid's health that frightened me so much I closed down, and then I started freaking out that I was in closed fist mode and I hated feeling so uncomfortable, which just put gasoline on the original fire.
Luckily, the community where I live has a joy dare each week and this week it's ask for help even when it feels vulnerable or hard. So I dared to call a wise friend and dared to hard snot cry at him, and after a few minutes of just BEING with the discomfort, the sense of freak out left, and I realized I was open again, even in my pain and in my greif and wild disappointment, I could feel again, I could Be with it all. I wasn't avoiding discomfort, so the pain was so much less, I now felt more like, yeah, that's very uncomfortable, what might help? I was suddenly on my own team again, open to possibility, open to help from life.
What I learned that day is that the FASTEST WAY for me to go into Closed Fist Mode (where I am fake, defensive, hard, prove it girl) is for me to fight what a discomfort might be inviting me to experience.
I didn’t realize how much energy I still devote to AVOIDING discomfort, which, just brings more of it to me, and also, the avoidance itself is super painful and creates incredible anxiety, because anytime life is trying to have a real conversation with us and we’re not listening, shit starts to get a little weird and the longer you let it go the weirder it gets.
I’ve been experimenting recently with ways to soften my avoidance tendencies around what my mind tells me is going to be uncomfortable (for example, my crazy brain tells me that writing a weekly blog is uncomfortable, yet, here I am, blissed out and butthole joking the night away).
Here are some tips for how to not immediately go into closed Fist mode whenever your mind perceives something as uncomfortable:
- it's easier to consider you have two discomforts, one where you don't do the thing and feel guilty and shitty about you or the one where you show up and maybe feel inadequate or wrong, but which feels like it's moving in a better feeling direction?
- remember my friend Tiffany, who, upon engaging her first ice bath, said in all seriousness, “thank god I love pain”. Remember you love pain, or, remember that your ability to enjoy is not limited to rose smelling or fresh bread eating. We came into this life experience for the full ride.
- remind yourself that roller coasters and giving birth and raising children and growing gardens and having creative discipline all have some measure of discomfort and are all some of the bestist experiences ever, and invite in a friendlier relationship with the “uncomfortable”
- after you’ve found a way to positively engage instead of avoiding a “discomfort” and you made your way through to the other side, give yourself a little reward, or celebrate with a friend and you’ll rewire that part of your mind
- find five things you are genuinely looking forward to, about the uncomfortable thing, and you’ll give your mind something else to do besides tell scary stories about fake monsters in the closet
May we all learn to fall
open at the bud to
a life that loves us
natalie (budlet in training)