Clearing Space

Spring moves into Summer.

I’ve loved few things more in the last few years than learning to check my pulse with the turning of the seasons.  It’s an easy stirring compared to the clawing, churning, and squeezing that my brain can get up to.  I went into Spring with the clear understanding that it wanted to be simple.  However, staring at my home altar this week, I wasn’t sure if I’d “accomplished” that.  My historical default is making things complicated, and with everything in flux and in question right now, how could I have done that?

But upon reflection, I have.  It came without much effort, in the practice of clearing space.  I’ve always been one to tidy and to travel light in the world of physical possessions, but this Spring showed me that there were quite a few empty shells cluttering my heart and mind.  The ones I know about…

  • I cleaned out my classroom for the last time and cashed out my teacher monies.  “Chelsea, that’s SO irresponsible!!!”  Maybe, but I needed all the feet out of that world as I continue my exploration.  I needed to walk back on campus and feel my whole body tense, I needed to hear former colleagues in the depth of May, state testing funk, I needed to play Kaleo’s, Save Yourself, sitting in the car with my friend Liz, bags and boxes packed in the back seat.  For all my moments of longing this year: for a predictable world, for something I’m an expert at, for challenge, for kids fawning over you–there is a solid disconnect that I can’t wish away.

 

  • I also called a truce between myself and masculine energy, after many years of fear.  Through writing, I finally spoke of my full disappointment, betrayal, and sadness–the things that were supposed to be sturdy and protect me, did not.  But the men were wounded, and they did the best they could.  And the masculine in myself has protected me with fierce vigor in every moment that it could.  I stopped playing around with medium length hair and went full faux-hawk, I bought charcoal gray sheets, I created and held boundaries like never before, I lead in my dances, I even stopped birth control pills.  Whether this makes any sense or not, I started both calling in and becoming the man that I wanted, not the man I was supposed to want.

 

  • I ended it with an on again, off again lover of almost ten years.  I showed up to our last meeting as the present day me, and found that our connection was no longer there.  I said a whole afternoon of heart rending goodbyes to him, without ever saying the actual words.  I didn’t know if it would “work,” but I did the best I knew how to do.  He texted a few days ago to ask if I wanted to catch up and have dinner soon, not if I wanted to have him naked in my bed.  He heard me.  My bumbling attempt to be true, to honor both myself and our interwoven history, was received.

 

  • At the end of my last movement workshop in March, my friend and check-in partner James looked at me and said, “You have no trouble knowing how to let people in to your life.”  He wasn’t trying to negate my truth in the moment, but rather give me a different possibility.  I started to weep.  The tears took my old, defunct narrative–Chelsea as awkward, Chelsea as outsider–miles closer to the ocean.  The space left behind by this narrative is immense, and my eyes get big as many other nearly dead narratives start to surface around the edges of my consciousness.  A Chelsea who does not have to earn love?  A Chelsea who can leave before she is exhausted?

I wish I could give you some step by step guidance for how to make all this happen, but I can’t really, not in a way that would be as personal to you as it is to me.  But it started with the intention to simplify, and as I stand in this spacious field and turn my attention to Summer, my next altar theme appears: doors.  How can I be available and aware as opportunities present themselves, not shutting out off awareness or availability for lack of tools?

I could tell you all about the new man in my life the last few weeks, the one who will probably help me practice a lot of this, but that is for another post 🙂

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