I couldn’t sleep the other night. Despite the respite of cooler nights after weeks of heat and humidity I lay in bed trying to fall into the rest that eluded me. Eventually, in a last ditch attempt to ‘reset’ my brain, I got up and went outside where I witnessed the glow of the full moon (in Leo). I’ve always had a connection to the moon, I have her phases tattooed on my arm, but I had lost track of where we were in the lunar calendar. Those few moments the other night reminded me that we are always in a phase, that things are always shifting within us and around us, and that the best way to move through something that feels awkward or uncomfortable – or even down right nasty – is to do our best to sit in it, and trust in the inevitable shift.
My night time realisation came at just the right time for me, as I move from a phase of what I like to call ‘stuckness’ into one of abundance and fruition. It has been a stunning summer in Aotearoa, one in which we have been at the beach, away camping, swimming, eating copious amounts of gelato and spending our evenings playing cards or Bananagrams, taking walks around whichever neighbourhood we were in. We drove right up to the very tiptop of our country, went sand dune boarding and had all sorts of adventures. It was a total Instagrammable summer that I didn’t instagram. And amongst all of that, just hovering around below the surface was a feeling of what I came to call ‘stuckness’.
I can think of many reasons for this ‘stuckness’ – entering year 3 of a global pandemic that no one (me included) can seem to stop talking about. A certain exhaustion that comes with the constant changing of how we are living, the cancelling of plans, the realisation that WE ARE STILL IN THIS THING, and the thing that I do every summer – joyfully let go of all of my routines in anticipation of a ‘real summer break’ only to be reminded after a few weeks that those are the exact things that I rely on to keep me attached to myself.
As we now find ourselves suddenly slammed back into ‘real life’ (something I tried to ease into but with the return to school, full time work and the juggling of numerous extra curricular activities it does feel like a slamming) I am starting to feel the stuckness ease. The simple truth is that I do better when I have some routine, some goals and some structure to my days. Being in the stuckness has not been fun, but it has been necessary. It has made me appreciate my every day life. It has helped to open my eyes to new ways of doing things. It has inspired me to look for and reach for what I do want. Being in that liminal space between one year and the next has served as momentum for a reset – to take stock of what is and figure out what to keep and what is no longer serving me. It has meant sitting in discomfort, in the imperfect and being ok with just being.
I often talk with clients about the importance of living in a home for a while before making any changes. It allows us to understand how we live within the space, how we use it and wish to use it, what is working and what is not, and to discover the unexpected things that we love about it that were perhaps at first not what we thought they would be. The real understanding that comes with the familiarity of where we are and how we are. And so it is with living in ourselves. The deep reckonings, the acknowledging of things that need to change – this is the beginning of the opening up of possibility. Whether it is within our homes or in our lives it takes patience and tenacity – we are often so eager to start the damn process of change that we want to skip the living in the discomfort, which is the exact place we need to be for the clarity of ideas to show themselves. Only once we have allowed ourselves to stay in this place can we enter the design phase – the planning, the dreaming, the return to forward movement that feels more comfortable and exciting.