06:23-ish. I still have not exercised. I go through periods of this… my life is lived in waves. Today, the first of April, I am the poisson d’avril. (Edit: by way of explaining this odd statement — I’m a pisces, the fish sign — and “poisson d’avril” is the French phrase for April Fool’s Day — and promoting writings about psychedelic drugs, as I shall do in this post, may seem odd, for a sobriety blog. ;))
I woke around 02:00 for some reason (very strange, doesn’t usually happen) and got up at 03:00. I meant to write in my journal, but fearful of what I had to say (as one gets, when faced with the blank page), I have been reading OPOC (what I call Other People’s Online Content) instead.
Last night, just before bed, I added to that morning’s post. As I did, I looked back with shame on all I had published that morning. Why the capitals. Why the rainbows-and-unicorns speech, laced with multiple exclamation marks. Who is this person, so different from the one five minutes ago, or the one 24 hours later? But feeling of shame about my work is normal for me now. Why is it? Because my being is flexible; and I am not yet accepting of that fact.
My goal is pure self-acceptance.
I saw some beautiful writing this morning. Some of it here, for anyone interested. (I hope you will not mind, @Audaciously Allie.) It was about an ayahuasca journey. Perhaps it is a bit strange-seeming to some, to link to it here on a sobriety blog, but I had just read a sobriety blogger’s post (@MrsMac’s wonderful sober 40th sober 40th birthday climb) and the WordPress reader feed placed the ayahuasca journey on my “suggested for you” list, just underneath. I am highly suggestible. (Hence, at the ripe old age of 46, I find myself writing a sobriety blog… like so many others in my age group. Lol.)
Ayahuasca — and sobriety blogs — seem to be the trend of people in midlife. I have a fellow forty-something friend who talks about wanting to do ayahuasca nearly every time I see her (if it’s not ayahuasca, it’s magic/psilocybin mushrooms), and my husband also idly suggested we do that kind of journey, back when he was turning 40 and entering a phase of self-questioning. But though I myself was about to enter the dreaded midlife “crisis” (he calls it “dilemma”), about one year after him, I still had no interest in travelling halfway around the world for the specific reason of ingesting drugs, at this stage of our life with kids. (I did say he was welcome to go on his own, if he wanted. And at the time, neither he nor I had any idea that there are in fact ayahuasca “soul-diving” retreats all over Europe, including ayahuasca churches in the Netherlands.)
I have tried entheogens in my youth, a handful of times. They did open spiritual doors for me. I had researched them a lot before doing them, as much as was possible back then (before the Internet). I haven’t researched ayahuasca yet. I guess because I don’t stop hearing about it talked about by people who are engaged in heavy consumption activities, for one, which has a reverse effect on my interest levels.
But the main reason I haven’t considered it now is because I assumed it was a physically intense drug such as peyote or amanita muscaria (the Alice-in-Wonderland mushroom), which make the body very sick as part of the process. I read most of Carlos Castaneda’s Teachings of Don Juan books when I was in my twenties, alongside studies of Canadian NorthWest Coast First Nations in university courses I was taking back then, and I understand (and was fascinated by) the value of entheogens in shamanic practice or exploration. But now I am in a different stage of life, filled with responsibility not just for myself, but others.
Through this beautifully-told tale of Allie’s, however, I was able to live vicariously what another storytelling mother had lived in reality. I have not read the entire series yet. The two posts I have read, Part 6 and then Part 4, are brilliantly truthful and introspective. In Part 6, the Aya snake (symbol of knowledge, and mother earth) says that motherhood is the protagonist’s highest calling, and challenges her disinterest and ambition fiercely, demanding how she could ask for more than that.
Reading about that vision, I got shivers of recognition. This was the same kind of vision I had been having. Mine had not come to me in the form of a green-and-gold snake, but through morning meditative journalling the past years. It was a truth that I keep trying to evade.
I know the most important work I can do is mothering. I have chosen to have children. It is my responsibility to do the best I can to give them a loving, compassionate, courageous and aware start in life. (Hence this attempted journey in total sobriety — they will soon reach an age where they are exposed to smoking and/or drinking/drugging peers — I try to set an example of repeatedly saying “no” to all of that — even in the face of pressure from my own peers.) The same, I feel, applies to fathering.
If every single parent on earth would do this, perhaps wars would cease to be, and there would be no violence, rape, nor murder. The only suffering would be perhaps be in our own self-discipline.
We would live similarly to zen monks and nuns, as in a utopian society. And it’s true that for the past several years, I have also harboured a secret desire to become a zen monastic. I envy their schedules, their spirituality through small actions, their communal way of living with a common purpose (to bring peace and awareness to all beings). But I have children now; and I love them very much. The only “right path” for me must thus be to immerse myself in motherhood; in being the best mother I can be. Right?
And still, some part of me always yearns for more. And I am incredibly lazy, as well as suddenly (in recent years) creatively ambitious.
I have listened to enlivening, joyful podcasts such as Elizabeth Gilbert’s Magic Lessons, and in part through incredible life-loving mother-goddess types like Liz (who by the way, has remained purposefully childless), as well as many other sources, I have come to believe that we creators are enacting and extending that important job of mothering and fathering. We are attempting in our own way, as creators, to mother/father the world.
Or perhaps, in my case at least, that is selfish ego talking once again. I can only speak for myself, but I know I need to constantly be care-full.
— Tree, what say thee?
— If you create and publish with awareness, courage and love, you are fulfilling your Purpose.
— But… beware the Purpose that turns to obsessive ambition?
— Yes. And also, love your ambition; don’t despise it; nurture it quietly and away from the eyes of the world. For ambition can sometimes turn to Purpose.
— Tree, this doesn’t sound like you. It is too wordy. And I have no shivers. Where are you, Tree?
— Look inside
* * *
07:22-ish. This was not what I intended to write about. I intended to write about my dream yesterday, and to finish my clothesline story, and to write an article entitled, “Dear Sons of Alpha Males: Please Note That Slapping One’s Wife’s A** While She Is Wiping the Table Is Not Romance, No Matter How Much It May Appear To An Innocent Child’s Eyes To Be The Contrary.”
p.s. Here is a picture two of my sons made yesterday, when they were fooling around with the camera on my phone. The tree somehow looks human…
* * *
09:48-ish. I have completed the school run, arranged with my husband that I will have the snow tires changed this week. And I had a shower. A long one… very indulgent. #selfcare
I had such a headache this morning. Funny, since I had no headache at all, the morning after drinking that last entire slim bottle of Pinot Noir. Didn’t seem fair somehow. But suddenly I realized I had not had my coffee — so that must have been the reason.
I suppose I am a coffee addict. I went through a decaf period, but in the end it wasn’t quite the same. At the moment I’d rather drink herbal tea than decaf. And I do drink a lot of it… herbal tea that is. But a nice cuppa seems to help make the world go ’round, does it not?
Coffee addict, blog addict… yes, I still can be called those. But normally blogging and coffee don’t end in throat cancer. And if the kids end up addicted to them, following in my footsteps, well at least they’re not known to cause drunk driving accidents, date rape nor domestic violence (Edit: not that I, nor my husband, was ever the perpetrator of any of those — quite the contrary. I/he was/is just your average wine-o-clock-loving westerner).
One five-and-a-half-day sober tree-lover.
11:34-ish. OMT. Wayyyyy too long falling down the rabbit hole while adding links, including to ayahuasca retreats. On a sobriety blog. WTF. xo
* * *
20:56-ish. I have major issues with social anxiety and self-esteem. It’s nothing new, although it’s much aggravated by this newly strange compulsion I have to publish my writing online. I sometimes feel I need to see a counsellor about it. But there are none in the area. And we don’t have health care.
I actually started blogging just to be able to connect with like-minded people. That’s the biggest benefit to me. Together, I feel we are so much stronger, but only if we see each other as equals.
Once upon a time, I recognized myself as a kind of lone wolf character. Once I understood that, I was able to also realize how very lonely I felt. What I’d once thought of as independence and free-spiritedness was in fact, partly, rooted in a deep fear of rejection. I would reject them, or stand apart from them, before they could reject me.
— Tree, tree, I’ve lost you completely. I just want to cry.
— Then come outside