(On the highway from Winnipeg to The Pas, MB)
Every time I move onto the next phase of this intentional healing journey there is an adjustment period which lasts about 3-4 weeks and it never fails that by the end of the 4-6 months that I end up staying in one place I am smack in the middle of, what I feel at the time is the most amazing life I could possibly live, which makes for a challenging decision to leave. I am not surprised by my feelings at this point in the journey but I am however surprised at my ease and comfort with the unknown. Yes, I feel anxious, afraid, overwhelmed and like my momentum has come to a stand still but it is more what I don’t feel that is evidence of my personal growth. I totally trust, 100% that I am in the right place and that I need to be doing exactly what I am doing and I know that because I didn’t even really think about the things that normally we as humans worry about – shelter, food, money. Everything just lined up so perfectly and things were handed to me with such grace that it really has been a seamless transition from one side of the world to the next.
While in Rwanda, I would sometimes let the power of my imagination take over and create many big dreams and goals for myself here in The Pas. In my mind I have so much potential and am met with open hearts and minds with all that I want to do here. But as I practice living in the present moment I realize that I cannot move on to those next steps until I complete my last step. I still feel like there is a gapping wound in my chest and it needs attention. There was potential for me to continue working in Rwanda but it just wasn’t sustainable for me and it would not have helped me continue the work with the kids in Kacyiru the way I can by being in Canada but for now I need to sit in this in between space and let it all settle before I move into the creation phase.
(Rwanda projects: Thrill The World Kigali and Love Hoop Rwanda that came out of this same space)
I still have so much to process and write about but I am not sure I can, will or want to. Writing about it will never, EVER be able to convey the raw emotion, the lessons, the connection and the amazing healing that took place while working with the people of Rwanda. The magnitude of what really happened for me and for them hits me harder and harder each day and I see how I have created a distraction in the form of a boyfriend, a link to expressing all my emotion about Rwanda onto one person that I can have contact with while I am away. I see how unfair this is to everyone involved. It doesn’t allow me to truly feel what I feel for all the people there, the experiences and clouds how I feel for this person. I see the mistakes I have made in the last few weeks and how they keep me somewhat numb to the reality of how much I actually have to feel right now.
My Yogic practices are always with me, easy to use and I know from experience that they work but that doesn’t mean I am perfect in using them. I falter, I waiver, I make mistakes but the difference is I am aware that I am doing all of this – that is a practice in itself, next step to enlightenment is to take a step towards a different choice. I want to do art, paint, dance, write, swim, hoop, and be back on the back porch with things all set up and ready for me to express myself but I have to be patient. What do I do in the mean time? So far, I have been putting it all of this new and unsuspecting person in my life, which is totally unfair and a classic behavior of mine in relationship. So this I am dealing with first and then I can face myself more clearly and take small steps towards beginning to feel my experience more clearly.
My reality is that I am here in this frozen, little northern town that I called home for many years and am being asked to surrender to the fact that I need to slow down, rest, feel, work through all that has been stirred up during this amazing journey. I have to get used to people saying things like “How was your little adventure?” or “Cool, that must have been a blast!” I plan to use one of the techniques that I was told about when I was leaving the Ashram, which is to not really open up about my experience until that person has asked me 3 times about my trip, this indicates that they are genuinely interested in hearing about what really happened and protects me from feeling let down when all the person wants to hear is a simple “Great!”
I feel very protective of my experiences and in some ways I want to keep it all to myself. Right now though, I feel extremely sad, a little bit lost and like someone has taken my heart and broke it into a million pieces. I cannot explain the intense sadness that I feel inside now that I am back in a culture that to me feels incredibly closed off towards one another (in comparison to the culture I was just immersed in) and the added layer of winter isolation feels like I’m being pulled even further from connecting with others. There are so many signs telling me to go inward. Could this be the time to start writing my book? Perhaps, but I will not be able to see clearly my next step if I do not first unravel the past.
As I enjoy the beauty that is all around me right now in the form of love and support from my best friend and her family I am also reminded of my own nieces and the relationships that keep me from having them in my life in the same way, which adds a new layer of intensity to the sadness. I am and have been an honorary aunty to many children in my life and have lots of love to give to everyone but miss my nieces so much.
(Carrie’s Daughters 2013)
(My nieces, Kennedy and Nicole – these are old photos! Happy Birthday Kenny, I love you and you too Coley!)
But I am surrounded by familiar faces, places, things that for this period of time can make me feel very loved and cared for. My life can be very easy here, which is a big change from the last 5 months in Rwanda. So, as I slowly cut the cord that was created between myself and Africa I feel the severing deep within my soul but I also know that it frees me for the people who are next in line to be with me in this next step of my life. I wouldn’t trade any of this for anything. This is why I live, how I live and I love feeling alive, even when it hurts!
Gratitude, Gratitude, Gratitude!