Flow
       I have lived so long believing in an objective independent reality - other people telling me what to do, who to be or what to think. I am now being called to listen to who I am (my interior-individual self) and to understand what my unique contribution to the whole is. This requires a lot of faith, courage, trust, surrender, open mindedness, reflection…and patience - for the answers don’t always come as quickly as I want them to. When I rush, and push against the current, I feel anxiety. Learning to flow with the current and go where life leads means simply participating in the stream of life, not controlling it.  
    I haven’t been writing for a few weeks now. I have been stuck in a state of contraction - feelings of tightness in the chest and stomach, fear, sadness and low energy. During times of contraction my writing sounds false, trite, painful and confused. What I need most during these times is to sit in stillness and be quiet until the contraction passes and yet there is a part of me that resists stillness. It means facing the feelings of fear and sadness and I learned to run from those feelings a long time ago. Relearning to sit with the fear - in the fear - takes time, courage and patience.  Sometimes it is hard not to feel panicked because my thesis has a deadline and the writing must come by a certain date but I am learning to trust and accept the process.
    I think the impact of this move was greater than I realized. I didn’t give credit to just how unsettling uprooting oneself from place can be. I have had to adjust to a new place, job, friends, culture (I work exclusively with First Nations students), and puppy! I think in January it all started to sink in - the rush of being in a new place was wearing thin and the reality of being here and all the changes started to rattle me into a place of unease. I never once, during this time, regretted moving here - it wasn’t that. It was like my foundation crumbled and I lost my footing. I didn’t know what I was doing here and how I wanted to be here. I didn’t want to go back to Vancouver but I began to question everything...
      Why I was writing this thesis?
        Why am I doing the work I am doing?
Mostly I want to slow down, slower still, walk more, meditate more, and pray even more. During the last couple of weeks, even when I was out on my hikes, I felt disconnected from my body - it was my big head going for a walk. I couldn’t hear, see, feel or touch the beauty around me, and yet, I kept walking. I knew I would return to my body and once again feel connected and a part of this beautiful place and all my relations.
    Contraction has a way of slowing me down but not in a desirable way.
Fear robs me of energy,
    turns my blood into sludge,
        impairs my digestion
                stomach bloated
                    shoulders and neck tense
                        headaches.  
I find it interesting how fear can do this - how it alienates me from healthy functioning of my body. It alienates me from myself, from the earth, from others - amazing really. I think it is responsible of me not to write during times of contraction and spread my sense of alienation to others - after all, it is a sense - it is not real. Fear tells me lies about myself.
    
“It is important to honour the process of writing, and that sometimes means we will have periods that seem silent, even fallow, but those periods might be fecund with emerging possibilities” (C. Leggo, personal communications, March 4, 2009).
 
This process cannot be rushed or forced. It will emerge as it is meant to and my job is to have BIG faith in the process, especially in silent, fallow times.    
 
 
“We are part of the system, and ultimately always at its mercy. Instead of control, the sciences of complexity and systems dynamics are telling us - just as quantum physics tells us - we can only participate” (de Quincey, 2002, p. 31).