this week, i have practiced allowing things to unfold.
but i get really antsy.
i like to have a plan.
and when things are not moving
at the pace of my plan,
time starts to feel threatening.
as if it will disappear and leave me
holding the pieces of a plan
that never amounted to anything
because i couldn’t make it happen
yesterday, though, i did something i had not planned.
i accepted an invitation to lunch in sitges,
an hour train ride away.
there, i found myself sitting in the iberian sun
with four dazzling spanish women.
we were on a beach in this centuries-old romantic white stone town
along the sparkling turquoise costa brava.
“in english, in english,”
the women kept reminding each other
(for my benefit)
but a spanish word or phrase would slip in,
followed by another, then another,
until a torrent was pouring out.
i'd get lost in the syllables,
lulled by the way their tongues rolled.
grateful to be included.
even when i didn’t understand everything.
they understood my project, though. right away.
portraits and words from inspiring women
who have left abusive relationships,
transformed their lives,
and are thriving…it all made sense to them.
this encouraged me.
they started to think out loud, right there on the beach, about whom they might know to connect with me, here in spain.
“yes, domestic abuse is a big a problem in this country. but nobody really talks about it. it might be hard to find women who will talk with you here. are you talking about just physical violence, or all kinds of partner abuse?”
“yes, all kinds, okay. that is good. it never starts as physical, of course. i have a friend like this. she is not herself anymore. she was confident and strong before. now, she guesses again for everything before she feels. she is afraid to speak, to do anything to upset her husband. i don’t like to see it.”
neither do i. it’s why i want to create this book.
“let me think. i will take your card. i am sure i will know some women to connect you.”
oh, thank you!
(note to self: i will need to return to spain. looking around at the gorgeous view, it won’t be the end of the world if i have to travel here a lot more...)
then, more unfolded.
i was treated to an exquisite five-course lunch
made by the delightful husband of one of these women.
she is an elegant and stunning catalan, and is
the dear friend of a dear friend of mine.
“tonia knows everything and everyone in spain,” jen had warned me.
oh my god, was she right.
it really was like being in a movie.
there were even celebrities staying in her house,
to escape from the paparazzi
in another part of spain.
they were lovely people.
i am so glad i'm not famous.
paparazzi sound dreadful.
and that is all i will say about that.
the meal unfolded beautifully. naturally. slow. rich. delicious.
with room for conversation. and surprises.
connection. heart space. laughter.
lunch did not end until after 5:30pm.
these things take time.
life takes time.
our bodies do, too.
two days ago, i had a private yoga class
with a talented movement teacher
here in barcelona
named izabella jonas.
it was as if someone slowed the movie reel
of my life for two hours, so that
every. move. i made. took twice. as long.
it was divine.
her voice was fluid, soothing.
my body responded at first by releasing
some pent up travel-stress tears.
“where in the body is this movement starting?”
she would ask, softly, as she led me into or out of a pose.
there was no wrong answer. only exploration.
she presented the question as a curiosity,
which caused me to slow down,
and let the movements unfurl,
without forcing anything.
“can you allow your spine to lengthen without using your muscles?” she asked.
“it wants to be long. it wants to find alignment.
see if you can just allow this.
not do, but allow.”
my spine lengthened. my pelvis relaxed. i expanded.
i left the session feeling alive, and full of possibility.
she invited me to meet her for a drink at the end of the day,
and we talked for two more hours.
“i think you said you don’t know exactly what it is that causes transformation?” she said.
it’s something i am exploring, i told her. i think i understand some of the elements of it, but i really want to hear from others what their experiences of it have been.
she nodded, “would you like to hear mine?”
oh, yes! please!
“i think that transformation is not something that we do,” she said. “it’s something we allow.”
she reminded me of earlier in the day, when i was going up onto my toes, and she had asked me to let my back muscles soften so my spine could become long, and i got taller.
“that was transformation,” she said.
“yes. you grew. but you didn’t work to become taller, you stopped working. that is when you allowed your spine to lengthen. in the allowing, your spine could naturally find its full length.”
i love this.
maybe transformation is not something that we do.
maybe it’s something we allow.
maybe it happens to us when we let go of the doing.
maybe it is is an unfurling. an unfolding.
and it takes its own time.
this week, i am practicing.
i am practicing allowing things to unfold, in their own time. without forcing, or pushing, or grasping, or stressing.
because i think the truth really might be
that life wants to expand and become
exactly what we are envisioning,
sometimes we just have to allow it to unfold.
sending love from my last night here in barcelona, where the sea is soft and music wafts from the boardwalk through my open windows.
until i return,