mary oliver

Who Says it Has to Be this Way?

g and flowers e

Maybe it was the poem I read last night by Mary Oliver, What I Can Do that inspired me to follow my impulse today, which then led to another impulse to write this journal post.

I’ve been working on a writing project on and off since November 2013. Making more progress with it lately which has me feeling so alive and eager to greet each day.

This morning after finishing my ritual of standing in front of my mandala, reviewing my desires for the year and conditions I wish to live by, I then picked one of my SoulCollage cards from my deck, an angel card and then an animal card. I posed my question to the cards and found answers in them that lit me up inside.

This does not always happen and I have to search deeper for the meaning, but when it feels so right on and so clear, well, that to me, is magical… and inspiring.

I did my yoga practice and as I was moving through each pose I heard my inner voice suggest that after I was done I should go right to my writing desk and work on my writing project. It felt so freeing to think this. But then the other part of me, who is so conditioned to follow “rules” of which I’ve for the most part imposed on myself, showed up.

And the loop began, “You can’t write first. You have to first get ready for the day, put your make up on, curl your hair, eat your breakfast,” and on and on the list went of what I normally do – my normal routine.

Thank goodness my free will side was stronger today and it was having nothing of what my conditioned self was trying to tell me.

I fought back. “What do you mean I have to do those things first?  Who says? I want to write first. Who cares if my hair isn’t curled or I don’t have make up on. Really, does that matter?  I want to follow this impulse and see where it goes.”

I was challenging that part of myself that has to always have things in a neat orderly fashion and it felt incredibly liberating to know I was going to follow through on what was calling me to do.

And I did it. I rolled up my yoga mat and immediately plunked my butt in my chair. My fingers flew across the keyboard, much like they are right now, eager to share my voice with the page.

There are so many “rules” and how society says we should live our lives that our inner voice gets lost in all the noise. I don’t want to live like that. I want a life that is meaningful to me. One that matters most to me.

What I can do is follow the path that is right for me. What I can do is live from the heart and center of who I am. What I can do is be an example of what it means to follow our impulses and see where it can lead us.

While there may not be fireworks going off in the sky announcing that yes, Barbara Techel, just went against the “rules,” and followed what felt right to her, I must say that there a is a welcome and warm fire burning inside of me that feels delicious.

That flow of life, that when you are in it, you never want it to leave. But I won’t worry about that now. Because what I can do is ride this wave. Enjoy it. Savor it. Recall it when I need for next time my conditioned self tries to win a battle.

What I can do is life by my own inner light of desires.

Though it is expected to be well below average in temps this week and another blast of cold air on it’s way Wednesday and Thursday, what I can do is think Spring — and so the photo of Gidget above I share from last summer after a successful day shopping at our local Farmer’s Market.

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