So we are moving and it’s January and every part of my being (except straight-up reason) says: “Don’t go!” The ancient parts of me say: “This is hibernating time! Wait ‘til Spring! Eat, rest and take care of your babies. Don’t take them out on the highway in the snow.”
The rational part says: “It’s time to go. Opportunities await, not guarantees, but opportunities, and they are beginning now.”
As our family of four moves from spectacular and grounded Chicago to hip, college-town Ann Arbor, from one very cold climate to another, I’m reminded of how my instincts get loud when I’m stressed and how I work with them or rather, how they work with me.
Instincts: “Fine if you must go, then sleep a little more now as it’s a big journey. You don’t know who your friends will be. You don’t know who the babysitter is. Sure, you can do your work anywhere, but who will be your community? You’ll need energy to find these people/things.”
Reason: “You’d better pack your friggin bags NOW or they won’t be ready in time for the movers who are coming tomorrow!”
The ancient part wins and I take a nap. Later, I get up and throw out old medicines and donate some clothes to St. Vincent’s.
Today I go to King Spa with a few friends. It’s not an expensive place, but a lovely space for self-care and relaxation. I don’t think about packing.
I always appreciate when life gives me a concrete example of what often goes on behind the scenes in my mind & life. My feelings about our move remind me of how I work with fear and opportunity every day with my kids, work & creativity.
In songwriting, I trust my instincts because I have the experience of surrendering to them and I know that they bring me great joy. Still I resist sometimes, but eventually I give in to the gift.
But how does that apply to a move in the middle of winter? In this case, if I surrendered to my instincts, we wouldn’t move. On the other hand, if I didn’t listen at all, I might not be well rested enough to move our family safely.
Fear is a funny thing. How do we know how to interact with it? How do you interact with your instincts if they tell you “no”? Is it a conversation?
What do you do when you must do something, but a large part of you doesn’t want to?
Today my answer is this: I find that the more I listen to my instincts (take a nap, go to the Spa, see friends), the more my instincts soften and return to me my energy for packing, picking the best schools and babysitters.
It seems that following my instincts returns to me my desire to move forward into the unknown.
So today I’m listening to my instincts and I’m thanking them for coming along on this journey into snowstorms and possible frostbite. With them on board, maybe it will be more like a winter wonderland.