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  • Writer's pictureEmily Royce

this IS it

Pause, Surrender, Gratitude. These are all the same thing by different names. In other words, actually living. Not striving or coasting but being in the non-control and staying there.

I was so excited when I got to Mali. It was a major adjustment and at first I wanted to retreat but the meditating was like no other and I vowed to use that energy to the fullest for the month I was there. Then I got scared. But I didn’t recognize it as fear. Instead I inched away from what I knew was working and I sought out more, bigger, faster. In an environment that was begging me to just be, to go inward, to PAUSE, I told myself I was really going for growth, that I was ready and fearless. I had come into this thing called Spiritual Dance, it WAS the reason I was here and I was going to do it every opportunity I got. Equating packing it all in as taking full advantage when I knew how powerful it was in small doses.

So I asked for more without recognizing what I had. My body hit overload on the healing I was cramming into it and I ended up very sick. Not surprisingly everything got stuck in my head and for a few days at least I was forced to not be around anyone or do anything else other than lay down, ask for lots of help, and be fully present surrendering to the energy, giving it permission to flow through me freely and actually be felt.

In the midst of this I moved on to Guinea. Immersed in high energy and loving people. A million invites and curiosities. And I just needed to be laying down. At last I got my wish to be around women, as I am living around a central courtyard and the rest of the homes are filled with women and children. But here I am smack in the middle of dealing with my insecurity around rest. They are up cooking together, I am sleeping. They are constantly preparing something, I am working through guilt in my meditation. I hear the happy children they are tending to, I am locked away. I am using the mantra “This is the most important thing for me to be doing right now” to get me through. When I do emerge, I am greeted with "You sleep a lot." And praise and wonder at my looks and the money I must have to be living so luxiourantly. Like daaaannngg this lady got it made.

And here I am in the best cyber cafe of Conakry, sitting in a cubicle crying because nothing will work for me the way I want it to. But then I take a big gulp and restart my computer, something I have been afraid to do since it would not turn on a few months ago. And with that trust, surrender, pause, now everything is working just fine. Better actually.

What is this fear of pause? I grew up in a hearty family centered around being effective, my birth name means industrious. I am detail oriented, I like checking things off lists, I like running through my day and saying what I have accomplished and I like those things to be concrete. Every healer and powerhouse in my life in recent years says that my father has something to teach me in my healing. I know what this is. It is receiving the love of a man who had high expectations for me when I was young and it was not until we were both older that I could see his vast compassionate unconditional love. It is taking this in as an adult and believing myself to be worthy of it. It is a recognition that there are past hurts, that a child can internalize events in their own way, that these neural pathways can be overridden with new information, namely LOVE.

I don’t buy into any of this capitalist, consumerist, task-oriented world. But I am still keeping myself prisoner to it. Living on striving as validation of doing something, being something, trying. When what I really believe is that we can create our own realities, free from strife. Busyness is a form of aggression. Productivity is an illusion. This life is magic and was meant to be magic. I deserve to feel it. I am in deep spirit gratitude for it. I want to ceremony and skip and giggle and do bold, silly things. I want to flirt with the universe. I want to hand it all over and admit I know nothing and let my cup be filled up. Because the healing is coming, in the way it wants to, as I create the nurturing space to inhabit it. And this admittance of enough-ness, this PROCLAMATION of being in the moment joyfully is revolutionary and necessary and the only way I really desire to do this thing called life.

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