I am having one of those long moments. Those moments in time when the inner world is shifting and felt in changes of work, relationships, priorities, and health. The times when it seems things are falling apart, and it is rough.
I would rather personal growth and development were more streamlined and like a Japanese fast train. Organised, smooth, easy, efficient, and a fairly direct line to the end station, but it isn’t. If it was, there might be a lot more casualties along the way, but that is for another story.
Instead, the process seems like travelling in an old steam tram. Clunky, hot, slow, dirty, dusty, uncomfortable, and at times steamy when the wind blows the wrong way, blasting through the open windows.
While both speeds have advantages, both have their pain points.
Fast and speedy, while smooth, flies past the scenery and skips the journey process. Also, the quantum shift creates a catch-up or fall-out experience that can be even more bewildering when we find ourselves in a new space and dimension of thought, feelings, beliefs, etc., without the adjustment phase. Simply, we may not know what to do with our new selves until the quantum lag catches our breath again.
The risk of falling back into former ideas, habits, and ways is tempting, but they have gone, and the gap between then and now can be so vast it can feel like looking into the abyss and asking WTF happened to my past? Good, possibly in some ways, but unnerving having the past removed and a chasm created in the process.
Slow and steady may seem like a boring trip along the narrow, windy, convoluted paths into the future, while the past feels like dragging our behinds. We feel this all the more as we move through the hills and mountains of our development. It might be messy, hot, and uncomfortable, but we do seem to experience much more along the way and have opportunities to hop on and off to explore the various stages up the mountain.
The story of The Little Red Caboose comes to mind. The last car seems insignificant, yet without it, the train doesn’t, can’t get up the mountain. The caboose could be seen as the last thing before incarnation, our life mission, which, when ignored by living to the world’s norms, we feel disowned and disconnected. Yet, without our life purpose holding us steady and, at times ‘pushing us along’, we may not get to the top of our actualisation process.
I have done a lot of deep inner work over the last year!
I have travelled a significant part of my Self-Actualisation mountain, and at times, it has been a speedier process than usual. This has caused its own problems. But at times, I have needed My Little Red Caboose to keep pushing me up the mountain inclines as they got steeper and harder to navigate.
The scenery and environments I have moved through over the past year have been literally and figuratively incredible to observe. The irony isn’t lost on the fact that for most of the year, I was living in one of Australia’s tallest mountain ranges while doing this inner work. It is only a few months ago, that I came down from the mountains back to the coastal area with its slower, restful pace, and space to integrate earlier lessons and changes needed.
I needed to choose what excess baggage to offload. When I needed to rest and take on more of the basics to keep the engine running, I learnt to get over the steepest inclines, asking for help when needed from behind – The Universe kicking my butt.
I saw and experienced new and old friends who fed coal into the fire and cheered me on from the sidelines, chiming with me when I would say to myself, “I think I can, I think I can” on repeat!
There were times when the wheels seemed to slip, the way got tiring, and the weight got too heavy to get around that tight bend, up the next incline, and to hold the pace as things fell away, back down the mountain again. It has been tough, but as the inclines are still getting steeper, things are getting somewhat easier.
I also experienced some amazing times resting at the stations and playing as much as possible during those rest stops. Meeting new people, places, foods, ideas, and challenges, made me laugh, sing, dance, and shine. Opened my mind to other ways of thinking, feeling, and dreaming. Opening my heart again to the possibility, that maybe love could be for me too.
Learning to read navigation signs that sometimes seemed like a foreign language, but with practice and experience, I am becoming more competent in a different range of speak. (yes, that is an error on purpose).
Letting go of unnecessary things, filling the voids with lighter ways of seeing things, and allowing myself to be shown new ideas that make life and love easier.
Learning the art of detachment or clinging on so tightly to the rails, the wheels feel more like brakes than tools to aid movement. Trust, faith, and following are essential skills to move forward. Ones that have not been easy for me in the past for I needed to keep control because so many times, I did skid or fall or come off the rails, and so gripping hard helped to stay on course, but also hurt the track, the wheels and the structures designed to keep easy flow.
Yes, at the moment, I am going up another incline, and it feels hard, and I mean hard. I need to dig deep into the track while hoping the track is still there as another bend approaches. It feels like The Little Red Caboose is laughing from behind, having a ball of a time seeing this little human keep going up this Mountain of Life saying, “I think I can!” when in truth, it feels more Like WTF is going on, and am I strong enough to pull through this one without slipping off the rails this time?
The comforting part of this is quite simple. I am not the first or last to experience the challenges of Life’s Mountains, and while it might be hard, challenging, messy, dirty and smokey, I do get to see and witness the journey. I didn’t need someone to bulldoze through the mountains ahead of me, which might have enabled speed, but also a lot of rubble along the way.
Which is better? I’m not so sure.
Which is right for me, for now? The one I am on, and maybe there will be a time when I can safely step onto that quantum speed train of transformation without hurting myself or others along the way. Open the track for others to follow and be inspired by Little Red Caboose’s Journey that, at some stage, may turn into the Silver Bullet of light, inspiring others to follow their journey in whichever way works best for them.