I just finished working with a wonderful story coach named Pat. We spent a month together shaping and defining my upcoming book. Pat was a pro about finding the arc of the story—the only hitch was that what I called the end, she said was the middle.
Ugh. Anyone who has tackled a long-term project knows that the last thing you want to hear is that you’re halfway there!
I didn’t want to write about my dad dying—too painful, or about the long overdue breakup with a boyfriend—too embarrassing.
Anneke was a lovely Dutch woman who came to me one day for an angel card reading and energy healing. She was in Chicago as an art teacher, and in addition to teaching at the college level, she had just had a show for her own art installation. She arrived a little late and out of breath for our appointment because she had ridden her bike.
I asked her what her goal was and where she would like to see improvement. She said she wanted to find balance.
“There are days when I don’t make time for my art. I don’t go to the gym because I have papers to grade. I don’t travel…” And the list went on.
If you’re like me, you probably spent some time this month laid up in the house with the flu. But I wonder if you, like me, struggle with those housebound days becoming an open house for every fear and doubt you’ve ever had.
Rear Knocked at the door
Illness seems to hit me hardest in my emotional body. As I lay on the couch with my household falling down around me (my children eating popcorn for lunch and polishing off chewable vitamin C tablets like they were candy, the dog peeing on the floor) I don’t have the strength to keep my thoughts positive.
My poor old dog is in organ failure. How will I know when it’s her time to go? I hate that she’s dying. What if I’m dying? We’re all dying. Life is so sad. My children are growing up so fast. They hardly need me anymore. There’s nothing but barren branches out my window.
Several years ago I lived next to a woman who was rather eccentric. She lived alone, and had an elaborate web of chains and padlocks rigged from her porch posts to her front door. One day, as I was getting into my car with my daughter, the woman approached us and, unprompted, launched into a story.
“Someone broke into my house,” she said.
My daughter leaned forward, listening intently, and I cringed. She was only 3 years old at the time and I didn’t want her to have nightmares.