Being in a human body sometimes feels like roaming a crowded shopping mall on December 23rd.
People are shouting things, I’m being bumped into, all the emotion and energy is overwhelming, there’s a lot to do and I can’t manage to do any of it, and I just want to go home and crawl into bed.
Unlike the shopping mall, which you can leave any time, experiencing this from within the confines of your body means you can’t escape it. Not without some serious pharmaceutical assistance.
I don’t know what escaping the human body looks like - floating ephemerally through the Northern Lights maybe? - but I want it. Sleep sort of works, but I get yanked awake between 3 and 4:30 a.m. by Jerk Brain who wants to get a nice early start yelling at me.
I was feeling wildly uncomfortable this morning, like the expansion that’s trying to happen in my body and life is at complete odds with all the things my brain is screaming about - write the book, earn the money, throw food in the crockpot, go for a run. So my nervous system started panicking. Jerk Brain is really good at turning Meek Nervous System against me.
When I remember to check in before I get too far into the spin cycle, I can sometimes pull myself out.
Luckily, I got there before panic became meltdown this morning and heard:
“Your only job today is to breathe and keep finding home in your body.”
Well, that sounds doable. I mean, my breath is coming more sporadically these days. I’ve finally realized that I feel like I can’t catch my breath when I’m not fully in my body. This weekend I was asked, “Where do you go?” I didn’t have an answer - this person specializes in Let’s Stump Amber Questions - but I can only assume it’s to float disembodied through the heavenly ether. That said, I really like breathing and it’s apparently good for circulating oxygen and so I should probably do more of it more regularly.
So, okay. Today, I breathe. Consider it done.
Even being able to contemplate that “keep finding home in your body” thing is an improvement from yesterday when a friend asked, “If you weren’t being hard on yourself or looking backwards or forwards, is there a space you can sink into inside yourself that you can trust?”
And I thought, That’s a wonderful idea, I will try it. And then I tried it and everything in my body said NOPE UH UH THERE IS NO SAFE SPACE EVERYTHING IN HERE IS GOING TO TRY TO BITE YOU NOW. To which I thought, perhaps now is a good time for another meltdown. Because this is very uncomfortable and shows no sign of stopping and I do not enjoy.
I’m just in a process right now.
I don’t know what it is, I don’t know when it’s going to end, I don’t know what will happen when it’s over.
I just know that it can be wildly uncomfortable, it can incite my brain to riot, it can send my nervous system into unfamiliar rapid fire response, and make me feel like I’m going to jump out of my skin.
Mostly, it feels tender and raw. Like I’ve emerged from the chrysalis but my wings aren’t waterproof yet. If something unexpected or triggering happens, my responses are vintage Amber. Namely, panic and crying.
All my deepest wounds are floating to the surface. My biggest fears are a free-form barrage of terrible. (No one will ever love you enough to take on this level of crazy on an even semi-regular basis, which is really too bad because you’ll never be able to afford kids on your own, etc.) (Typical Jerk Brain stuff.)
If it happens at the end of the day, I feel safe crying and then watching a movie to help Jerk Brain return to Heh Heh Lake Bell Is Funny! Brain.
If it happens when I feel like I should be working because it’s day time, that time when most people are earning money and being good citizens, the panic accelerates because Jerk Brain suddenly has a lot of mean things to say to me, things that seem to be backed by reality. (Most of these things are about money and being productive and you’re already so far behind you can’t afford to be self-indulgent by having feelings or being human. Says Jerk Brain.)
I have no answers for any of this, besides the fact that I’m in a process. A lot of people are in a process right now. We’re shifting and integrating something new. What that means, I can’t say. How it will end, I have no idea. All I know is that I need to do my best to not get frustrated with the time it’s taking or the panic that ensues when I think about money and being a responsible human and all the things I think need to happen.
All I can do is move through each day the best I can, avoid taking on what isn’t mine, nurture myself through this wildly uncomfortable process of feeling and embodiment, and trust that my life has a path and I’m on it and doing a good job (no matter what Jerk Brain says).
All I can do is breathe, and feel, and sink in, and appreciate whatever floats in front of my eyes: blue sky, a dog carrying a pack, a toddler in a sparkle skirt and rainbow boots, my own fingers on the keyboard, the teal converse on my feet, the trees growing nimbly through the concrete.
I don’t have my own answers, let alone anyone else’s. My channel knows a lot more, but I’m giving it a rest while my body catches up. But I can write my experience, in case it’s useful to anyone else who feels like even the simplest elements of life - like breathing and being in a human body - are challenging right now.
I would also like to remind us all that great joy can be found in sending T Rex and giraffe emojis to your friends and loved ones. It helps more than you might expect.