My life took a radical turn after I got up on stage last November and shared my “death story”.
I fell into a deeply quiet, dark and contemplative state and stayed day after day, week after week, month after month until my birthday in March. I had only ever experienced myself in this temporary state while doing mushrooms in sacred ceremony. I never liked it. I never got used to it. There is NO heart. Not even the early days of widowhood felt like this. Is this depression? Am I OK? I awakened to a dull and empty sensation of myself. My inner landscape, normally filled with optimism, good cheer and purpose was devoid of all the qualities that I had come to appreciate and associate with myself. My loving, care and concern for other were nowhere to be found. Instead I sat daily and felt the edges of my existence in a new and foreign way. I could function. I could work but the observer in me was seeing and feeling something dark and shadowy. I had NO idea how long this might last. Was this who I was turning into? If I stayed this way would I lose my relationships due to lack of concern? The idea of allowance is what accompanied me and tethered me to something more valuable than my own personal egoic experience. Complete allowance to let this energy be, as it was. To witness, to observe to see how much space it needed in my life. For months it dwelled as the overriding force of my being. I felt oddly proud for giving myself permission to be as I was. Coming from the depths of codependency this time period revealed major patterns and an opportunity to break free from old identifications of who I thought I was and certainly who people think I am. I stopped seeing friends. I stopped returning calls and texts. I would make plans and then opt out at the last-minute citing, “dark mood rising”. I held one last death and dying dinner party, not knowing it was the last. The energy of death that had held me for more than 18 years, made sense of me and encompassed my life to every degree, simply receded. Completely. I cancelled all the death related events on my schedule and asked colleagues to support the events that I was opting out of. I was clear that I had nothing more to offer in this way because I wasn’t and still am not sure what death is. I do believe that death is closer than we can ever imagine. As close as each breath we take. Our ability to focus conscious awareness at any given moment, to lean into or out of this life/reality is what is at play. Each moment a choice to live or die and to what degree? That is what is has my attention these days.
I saw this period as a call to integrate certain aspects of myself that had been long left unattended. I value wholeness but due to my conditioning and a certain spiritual slant had given preference to the “positive” not realizing authenticity paid the price. These months had me greeting myself, my dark, void and shadowy self; day in and out. It was a consistent practice of unhooking from old identities and deep programing about how and who I should be in the world. I was learning to be as I was and as I am. All of it. The abyss that had terrorized me after Gregg’s death was now a daily adventure of calm and curious exploration. In May a family member texted after seeing some Face Book post and asked if some “darkness had descended”. I thought the post and images were real and honest. (Check out my May posts and see for yourself.) Funny how perception works. This was my response:
As the months have progressed, I have spent more quality time with myself and others. Not expected, accountable or obligated time, but honest time with fewer and fewer friends and most recently time with Nature. In the Sierras last week my meditation yielding a strong confirmation. I have decided in order to honor myself and my path that I am breaking up with FACEBOOK.
This decision doesn’t come lightly. I’ve been thinking about it for the past couple of months. We’ve had a decent relationship. I remember connecting and feeling excited about what was happening with my friends and family. I remember scrolling all the way down my feed to “catch up” to where it had stopped from my previous session. I love seeing pictures and new ideas and I am often inspired by what someone is up to in the world. However, I don’t know what FACEBOOK’s intentions are anymore in relationship to me and my well-being. There is science with technology now that without our consent or awareness affects our central nervous systems. There are patents held by individuals whom I do not know but I allow into my daily life via my computer and phone. It’s not conspiracy, it’s science that has exceeded our willingness or desire to know how we are affected by it. This computer numbs my intuition; it numbs my ability to touch what is inherently my sovereign birth right. I give my power away with nearly every session. We come in connected and this technology pretends to offer more of that. That is not my experience. I feel most connected when there is no tech in sight. Technology says it can help, the organic technology I was born with will always be a greater source of inspiration and connection for me. I am returning to that Source in me. This power and beauty is being reflected back to me while connecting with others, while sitting in the grass or walking on the beach. I find it far more satisfying and long lasting than any recent FACEBOOK scroll.
I have been working through some recent fears of missing out and losing connection. My nephews are on line and I live far away from my entire family. This is a pull that would keep nearly anyone plugged in. It is a risk I am willing to take. I can call, face time, text, write, travel more. It’s time for me to be really honest about what is going on. Technology is seducing us and we are going willingly to a place we have not thought out. My heart is my compass and is guiding this choice. The way in is through and time alone breathing and being outside is where I will put my attention.
I’m grateful for the connections I have made and the chance to meet new people and reconnect with old friends. FACEBOOK has helped me to serve many people related to death and dying. It has also helped me to get lost in the façade of who I am. Who am I if I’m not available to you or not serving the dying? This question comes from ego. Time will tell. The bigger part of me has no care. If I am meant to connect with someone or some idea, I have NO doubt that the Universe will help that to happen. I’m going back to the basics. Trust. Feeling myself. Slowing down. Checking in. Moving from impulse. Honest communication. Vulnerable sharing and hugs. Lots of real time in the flesh hugs.
I’m sending birthday blessings to each of you from now until the end of time. I’m congratulating all of you for your successes of the mind and heart. I’m empathizing with your suffering, loss and confusion. I’m celebrating your babies, marriages and conscious uncouplings! I’m honoring your choices, all of them. Most of all I’m loving each of you for being exactly as you are today right now and always. We will be in this thing together whether we are connecting on FACEBOOK or not. I am going to anchor the loving separate from this technology tool. If you want to stay connected, you can email me. Laurel.Lewis@yahoo.com If I don’t get back with you, please understand it’s not you, it’s me. Finally. The courage to be myself.
I may also share my thoughts and some writing on my website from time to time. LaurelLLewis.com. No commitments. Only inspiration.
I am eternally grateful to my love, Avery, for his unending acceptance and willingness to explore the novelties and sacredness of Life!
I will delete my account at the end of this month. I imagine all will be well!
Forever grateful for the play, Laurel.