• On Letting Go, Moving, Mountains and Creating Conditions for Bravery

  • ConditionsforBravery

    What most people want for those they love is to create conditions for their safety, stability, and happiness. But what happens when this just isn’t possible?

    The last year of my life has been the hardest of my adult life so far.

    I’ve been living in it, and only began to register the intensity of it all when I began to see the story from a different angle, perceive it from the imagined experience of my 2 year old son.

    In one year he saw his father get strangely sick, lay in bed for a month- in so much pain from shingles that most days he didn’t even get to say hello to his son.

    He saw his father recover, go back to work, only to lose his job a month later. He picked up on the stress, the tension, the fragility.

    Two months after that, he saw his mother get strangely sick with a cold that turned into a lingering fever. Unexplainably lasting for months. Finally, an emergency room visit turned into an unplanned week-long hospital stay as her heart rate of 130 beats per minute resting and adrenal system reacted to an infection attacking the thyroid gland.

    Mother’s prognosis was a lifelong imbalance, and recovery was slower than fathers, and this now 2 ½ year old saw his mother on the couch often, resting, recovering, healing, slowly.

    He saw her get stronger, healing herself with meditation, yoga, acupuncture, and healthy diet, reversing the prognosis and eventually returning to complete wellbeing.

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    Then a month later she loses her job as well. He picks up on the anger, frustration, despair, relief.

    Then his grandfather, Pop passes.

    “Where’s Pop?” he asks. Not understanding these words “died” or “gone.”

    “I don’t see Pop in the sky. Or in the clouds.” He says, to our answers alluding to inter-being and interconnection.

    He feels the sadness, anger, fear, anguish, utter emptiness in his father’s heart.

    Then the job offer comes. A great job for dad. With one caveat. A big one.

    Move across the country to a new place. Start over.

    So in one year the life he has known, all the familiar, the school where mom works, where it seems he would go to, graduate from, the home where he was born, washed in the kitchen sink, played his early days, gone, like so much water down the drain.

    What are the impacts on a young, developing mind when many conditions for safety and security are, one by one, taken away?

    Though it’s every loving parents wish, I could no longer create conditions for safety or security for my child. Let’s be real. I couldn’t create them for myself.

    Talk about letting go. I had to let go of the life I had planned in order to be present with what was actually happening. 

    NaturesMedicine

    The Mountain Story

    She’s got backbone, we say. He is spineless.

    We can create conditions for bravery by supporting the backbone of another person to be scared, feel unstable, and act anyway.

    We moved to Orlando, Fl. A new home, new challenges, new school, new friends.

    But mom has work in LA so our now 3 year old gets the further challenge of flying back and forth to LA, staying with grandma and granddad.

    In the back of their home there is a mountain. Wild and brushy. Cactus and creosote the only plants willful and hardy enough to cling to the steep incline.

    “Let’s climb the hill,” My son says. Holding my hand, whimpering in fear, but walking up the mountain, step by step.
    Unstable ground, this dirt, that slides under our feet. No conditions for stability here.

    “I’m so nervous.” He cries, feet slipping.

    “You know what being brave is?” I ask him as he whimpers. “Feeling nervous, feeling fear, and as long as you really can trust yourself, doing it anyway.”

    We get all the way up. Play. Frolic. Scratch dirt and throw rocks. Elated at the achievement.

    As we climb down, “I am never doing that again.” He shakes his head, emphatically. Pauses.

    “And I am really brave.”

    Creating the conditions for bravery within apparently don’t depend on stable ground.

    Upon waking the next day, his first words are: “Let’s climb up the mountain.”

    When we are given unstable ground, which, let’s face it, happens to all of us at different times we can create conditions for bravery to arise from within.

    For a foundation for strength and courage to emerge on its own.

    Without choice, I too emigrated to a new land at age 4. I can’t help but see how, without my design, my family history is repeating itself.

    Perhaps because, as a stranger in a strange land, I learned the tools to adjust, and now I can share those with my own son.

    I know the ache of being profoundly at home and not at home. Of belonging to more than one place, and never entirely fitting in to either, and at the same time belonging wholly to all.

    I know that to create conditions for bravery to arise, we have to let go of thinking that we can control anything for our children, and even for ourselves, at all.

    That we have to show up.

    Bravely. To our stories and our truth.

    Showing up again and again, climbing, sliding, sometimes falling, but getting up again and climbing that mountain of our own true story.

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    If you are inspired to deepen your yoga practice or journey – I’d love to talk.

    I am a healer who has healed myself, and continually engages the process of healing and spiritual growth. I support other healers, yogis, and life-givers in shining their light with specific skills, spiritual support and guidance.

    I work with individuals 1 on 1 in online-learning custom coaching programs to transform your life with the tools of yoga. I also run in-person and online Yoga Trainings. Check out the upcoming one in Orlando, Fl.