Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Clear View

A very good friend (and landlord) told me that in life coaching there are four stages to create change: Awareness, Ownership, Plan and Build. I think my last entry covered the first two fairly well, and outlined the third. There is clearly a lot of work still to do.

The saying that “Insanity is banging your head against the same wall and expecting a different result” has resonated profoundly with me in the past year. I submit, therefore, that there must be a fifth element, one of Understanding, interwoven into the process, for without it, we are doomed to be gazing at the world through cloudy and distorted windows, banging our head on and on.

I am Beginning to understand the traits and habits that have brought me to this ugly point. Now more aware of the underlying sources of struggle, I can see how deeply ingrained they are and how hard I must work to remain vigilant that they do not sabotage my efforts to live a more authentic life. In tiny increments, I have begun to distrust my usual response to a situation, and no matter how uncomfortable, make a different choice, respond in a way that feels foreign, even inappropriate.

In this time, I have actually needed to go against my intuition. If my moral, conscious and emotional response to any situation was “A”, I have started looking at “B” or “C”, and experimented. The different choices are creating different results.

The process is terrifying, like holding myself underwater long after my lungs have commanded legs to kick for the surface. My brain still overrides instinct and I remain on the ocean floor, eyes wide, gazing upwards as my life as I have known it passes beyond me out of reach.

Now the floors in my apartment have been finished, I can truly take possession of this new space, new life. We brought in our old couch and set up the marble coffee table and TV like two kids in a clubhouse. The shoeless rule has been enacted now it is so much less a construction site.

Glass (often floor to ceiling), expansive views, and light have been distinctive characteristics in most of my homes. This one is truly a cave, buried on the side of a hill on the edge of woods, dark. The six small windows were half painted shut, rotten, with cracked and permanently dirty glass. The view from my Cave was distorted, blocked by splotched dividers and cheap storm windows. I focused inward, worked hard to realign the center structure, level the floors, and reconfigure the spaces.

Now, the recycled oak floors, sanded and finished to a golden hue, add light and charm.

Yesterday, I replaced all six windows with new energy-rated smooth-sliding double-hungs. Incredibly, the clear glass invites my eye to behold the wonders of the world outside, and with small, swift kicks, I head for the surface.

Please share with your friends


Pauline said...

if you can let in enough light, both physical and metaphysical, you'll be able to see exactly where you're going

perfect music!

debra said...

I found change insanely difficult - the moment I became aware of the patterns that needed changing they just got worse. But just when you think it's all too much, if you hold your nerve (or your breath) transformation takes place.

Jaime said...

I love this post. The changes you are making in the outside world are such beautiful metaphors for the changes you are creating in your inner world. Once again, your writing is incredible..the way you describe it as being held underwater...hang in there...hold your breath. In no time, your struggles will slowly subside, and you will be floating peacefully on the surface.
It's all so worth it.

rebecca said...

I have found that without Understanding, one can never move on. How else would we learn the lesson to correct it?

Another good post. I am adding your link to my site. You have won a fan.

julochka said...

wonderful posting on the transformation of space and self...thanks for stopping by my blog, i'll be back to read more of yours. i can see that some of my friends are already here! :-)