Last week I started playing with something new – a two part-er. Last week was part 1 and here we have part 2!
Touching the shadowed and weeping walls of the caves, immediately I sense grief, loss, change. I slow down to step over and graze my body lightly against sharp crystals forming on the floors and walls. Shining my flashlight around, I start to take in the abundance that's birthed from depth, darkness, and time – lots and lots of time.
I find a small spot to squat, turning my flashlight off but keeping the quilt wrapped around my shoulders, giving myself a moment to breathe.
Waiting right here, my eyes look around at everything and nothing – darkness. I sense my ears take the helm, suggesting to my eyes that they soften. Ears now listen to the drip drops all around.
Feeling held by the darkness, my breathing softens. Slows.
Maybe, maybe I could give myself permission to, in fact, be even slower with my connections. Give myself permission to slow instead of rush. Not really in terms of slowing down linear time, rather a slowing in a way that's like rocking into the expansiveness... the expansiveness that arises when presence and wonder are invited in.
Could I give myself permission to be present with the connections of mine that have been floating in the void? The ones that have grown vital to my well-being? The ones that have arrived with surprise and joy? The ones that quietly tuck in near me each day? The ones that have faded in waking hours but are regularly resurrected in my dreams?
Maybe I could give myself permission to fail and fail again with how I engage with the humans surrounding me. Or just drop the seeking of (the illusion of) perfection.
Maybe I could extend this same permission to others, too.
I could extend permission to give belated gifts, to respond to text messages months or maybe even years later. I could offer permission to grieve our losses and changes and weep whenever it's desired or needed, just like the walls of these womb-caves.
Permission to publish podcast episodes months and months after I said I'd get them out into the world. Permission to re-start, to re-engage, to re-commit to whatever and to whomever at a pace that follows one's own internal rhythms.
Permission to end what is ready to end. Permission to feel joy in the midst of sadness and feel sadness in the midst of joy.
In my hands I now hold all of these permissions – permission slips scrawled with crystals in the darkness. I flick the flashlight on to read what's been written.
This word is written on quite a few of the slips.
Forgiveness to myself... to others... for ghosting, disappointing, hiding, ignoring, avoiding, delaying...
... for not being what I wanted to be or how I wanted to be it.
"Do it anyways."
Each slip brings some relief and release to the stressed and taut connective tendrils in my intricate webs of belonging, relationships, community, and safety nets.
I keep the light on, gathering all the damp permission slips onto the quilt, slowly standing so as to not hit my head. I turn around and trudge out of the caves.
Back on the surface, I walk and walk, taking breaks when they're needed. After awhile, I start to see other humans. I greet those I cross paths with, asking and inviting each to riffle through the slips and take what they need.
You and I – we meet at a crossroads, after some time has passed.
Want to riffle through and take what you need?
What's written on the permission slip you choose?
You don't need to tell me, or anyone really; whatever is written on it, maybe it can loosen and soften at least one of the taut tendrils of connection within your life, your home, or your communities.
⌛ You've reached the end of our two part journey. If you enjoyed reading this in two parts, reply to this emailed post. If you didn't enjoy reading this in two parts... reply to this emailed post. Simply put, if you wish, tell me either way. 😉
NEW! A Once-A-Month Addition... read on if you're in the mood for some invitations
Once a month, if there's something to share, I plan to include this "co-creation classifieds" section. It will include invitations to experiences that I'm either directly a part of or are offered by someone with whom I enjoy co-creating out in the grand world.
This newsletter exists to meaningfully connect with you. It does not primarily exist to market things to you. Still, I want to play with a boundaried and nurturing-for-all way of inviting you to gatherings and such that I and folks with whom I frequently co-create are offering.
This month's classifieds have a red thread of nature-based learning, new, unfolding experiential adventures, and all offered on Zoom:
- Curious about Washington state's new permanent licensing opportunity for fully outdoor early learning programs? Washington is the first state in the nation to offer this type of licensing! If you're into outdoor learning with children, join WaNPA's free Q&A panel on Monday October 25, 2021 6:30 - 8:00pm PDT (see in your timezone).
- Co-creator Colton Running and I have been working in community with one another and others to offer reciprocity and nurture a sense of accountability for projects we're in the midst of. We're calling what we do together "unPD," as in un-professional development. We're riffing on unlearning and unschooling; experimenting with alternative approaches to learning as adults. Join in on the experiment and maybe bring a project you're in the midst of, hosted by the Natural Start Alliance and free to attend, on Tuesday October 26, 2021 3 - 4pm PDT (see in your timezone).
- Nicole Corbo, a frequent co-creator, is hosting a preview of her new PDLS offering (she's calling it "puddles," how sweet of a name is that! Or "Professional Development Learning Series" if you want the whole name). Each season PDLS will offer sessions on teacher wellness, high quality outdoor learning, and a special skill. Nicole has invited me to co-create a session later on but first, coming in November she is facilitating three sessions ranging from seasonally attuned self-care to foraging for tea (and more), starting PDLS off with a big SPLASH! (I couldn't help myself!) Nicole's three sessions are intentionally sliding scale and take place Mondays November 1, 8, and 15, 2021 6:00 to 7:15pm PDT (see in your timezone, 11/1).
Okay, that's all the marketing for now. At some point next month, if and when I have other invitations for you, you'll see the Co-Creator Classifieds again at that point.
Til next time,