“It was never my grave, it was my garden.”
This time alone has been the most time I’ve spent without human interaction probably ever. Although it’s not my longest time without being able to leave my home (we will see if this lasts longer than 6 weeks). With all this new-found time, I’ve tried so hard to keep busy. I’ve deep cleaned my apartment 20 times over, washed everything I ever owned, and try relentlessly to complete unfinished scripts of the past. As a tried and true Capricorn (3w2 if you’re into enneagrams or ENTJ if you’re into Meyers-Briggs), I will not stop until I have reached my highest potential. I have goals and I must accomplish and achieve every one of them before I can sleep. Then all of the sudden you are stuck inside for days on end and your goals seem so contained, yet your mind and body feel as if they were hit by a train, unwilling to even accomplish the smallest of tasks.
Today marks exactly a week into social distancing and quarantine, but it has also allowed me some extra time to focus in on yoga and meditation. For me, it means a moment to reconnect with myself and the Earth, feel my own body, and find peace. The meditation I am about to describe came from a virtual moon circle via Zoom. Moon circles take place during the new moon, where women gather together to reclaim connection, spirituality, and love with a supportive community. Since this is a sacred space, I am not going to share anything about any of the other women, the moon circle itself, or anybody’s personal stories, other than my own. This is strictly just my meditation journey within the moon circle.
While mediating, we were told a story about a seed being dropped into the Earth and slowly growing its roots and letting the sunlight hit it. As my mind wandered about a grassy field, I could not let myself go deep into the ground. The thought of dirt covering me in felt suffocating and therefore my flower would never have the chance to grow. I resisted every step of the way as the seed was gently placed into the Earth to the tiny patches of darkness covering my sight as dirt was sprinkled on top. For the first time you are shut off from all the distractions in the world and stuck with the scariest of reality, your own self.
Suddenly mid-way through the meditation, I let my mind go. I was not thinking of the endless task list I created for myself or the weight of everything going on in the world around me. I was simply being still. In the stillness, the dirt began to cover my whole body. I could feel the water and the sunlight started to take shape around my non-moving being. Like a butterfly overcoming many transformations, my flower began to grow, pushing through the dirt, letting in the sunlight and poking through to let its petals flourish seamlessly into the garden.
I thought back on why I couldn’t just let my flower grow. Why was I so scared to be buried into the ground? How could I trust everything going on around me, yet be so out of control of everything? There were just too many unknowns.
It made me think back to 4 years ago when I was on a 6-week bed rest and unable to move other than occasional trips to the bathroom (for more details you can checkout out my blog post Bonnie’s Bed Post). I was back to that feeling of helplessness, loss of control, and total anxiety of the unknown. That is how I feel today, cabin fever mixed with the weight of the world. It is the calmest and most anxious I’ve ever been in a long time.
I would have to face the darkest parts of me alone in this apartment and eventually succumb to the boredom. I would have to live with my own shadow and allow the dirt to bury me in, even if I so badly wanted to pretend that there were no seeds to grow in the first place. As a society we are told that you’re nothing if you’re not productive. The embodiment of this mantra has stayed within me no matter how many times nature tries to slow me down. For the first time, I feel that it’s okay not be productive for a split second. I had to tell myself “Relax. Slow down. Allow yourself.” Even as I type this afternoon, I have to repeat the same words over and over again.
After we did our meditation, we came together to talk about our experiences and share our stories. Again, out of respect I will not be sharing anyone’s stories or personal information other than my own. Finally, it came time for me to share and I did a summed-up version of what I had written above.
After my entire stream of conscious ramble, another girl in the circle put everything into one simple phrase for me. She said “it seems it was never your grave, it was your garden.” I sat there nodding, unable to even say anything in response. It just sat with me heavy, yet empowering. As a writer I have a love of words and metaphors, but nothing that powerful had hit me in a long time.
We ended our zoom session and I just started writing and typing every feeling I felt in the past week, the words flowing out as powerful as the rain that creates waterfalls. I was so scared to be alone. I was so scared of change. I was so scared of being trapped. I forgot to look around and realize maybe this was all just a seed. A seed for a pretty flower within a vast garden. “It was never my grave, it was my garden.”
On a lighter note, since it has been a while since blogging, I wanted to give some happy life updates about the weeks prior. Of course, #52thingstodoinbham will be put on hold till it is deemed safe to go outside to certain destinations in the Birmingham area. Below are some things I got to do before social distancing and quarantine.
Until next time, please enjoy this photo of the amazing restrictions at Niki’s West restaurant, specifically the no rollers on head…