You asked for this chaos. So did I.

You asked for this chaos. So did I.

I wrote a vulnerable post yesterday in which I finally surrendered to 2016. While writing it felt like a private confession, it was met with resonance and gratitude. So let me again validate that this year has universally been one of storms and upheaval and endings and a lot of pain. You are seen and understood in your exhaustion.

But you also asked for it.

You did, my love, you asked for it. And so did I.

We asked for it the moment we dared to want more. We asked for it our admission that we want a braver love, a bigger bank account, a wildly healthy body, a turned on + lit up life. We asked for it when we began to wake up and shake off the sleep, realizing... "I'm more than this. Life is more that this." We asked for the chaos in that moment. 

We forget that to give us more than we currently have, life must make us more than we currently are. And that the first act of every creative change is the destruction of the existing order. Make no mistake: when we ask for better lives, we are calling the whirlwind.
— Martha Beck, author

We are calling the whirlwind. Lest you think, "But I didn't actually ask for this. My life was fine..." understand that you are worth more than fine and your soul knows that. Whether you've shouted your desire from the rooftops or your soul has quietly envisioned a different way of being, you've dared to want more.

To absorb the brighter, bolder, higher vibration of the desires we have in one way or another declared, our cells must prepare to hold that energy. You feel like you're breaking down because you are. You feel like you're not yourself because you're not. You feel like you have no sense of what's coming because you don't. How could you? You've never been this person before, this brighter, bolder, higher vibration version of yourself. 

It has been a year of extremes. All of the chaos does not discount the beauty and bounty of 2016. It's just that we're tired of the whiplash inherent in navigating those extremes. We're tired of holding faithful space for this transformational long game. We're tired of trying or fighting or loving or fucking or seeking or numbing or pushing or pulling or running or whatever we think we're doing that will ease the tension. We're just so tired. 

So stop.

Just stop.

You're allowed.

Relax into the belief that Storms Before the Calm come to destroy us, as quickly and thoroughly as possible. And that this is grace unfolding. I know that the greater the gift we’ve requested, the wilder and more violent the storm will be, and the deeper the grace.
— Martha Beck (again)

The deeper our desires, the deeper the storm, the deeper the grace. If you are to come out the other side of this chaos and fully accept the delivery all that you've asked for, you must stop. You must allow the one thing you are afraid to allow...

The depth.

The depth of how furious you are. The depth of how profoundly he hurt you. The depth of your longing. The depth of your lack of control. The depth of the grief when she died. The depth of your fear that you'll never be enough. The depth of financial turmoil. The depth of not knowing how to keep going. The depth of feeling that you might actually have what you want...and then what? The depth of the chaos. The depth of it all.

Stop spinning. Stop. Allow the depth. Or you won't make it through.

Discarded altar flowers adorn the streets of Bali. © 2016 Gail Jessen, A Series of Adventures

Discarded altar flowers adorn the streets of Bali. © 2016 Gail Jessen, A Series of Adventures

On this day last year, as is also true right now, I was in Sanur, Bali. Last year was my first experience of Bali. The intensely feminine healing power of this island was rocking my world. I'd never experienced anything like it. I'd also never experienced any temperature quite like Bali's equatorial heat + humidity combo, meaning I basically lived for six weeks in the pool at my villa.

In my hours upon hours in this pool, I became fascinated with one of the gardeners. His favorite thing to do throughout the day was pick up the endless stream of flowers that fell from the trees and add them to altars scattered around the property. Watching him peacefully do his repetitive work was mesmerizing.

I came to realize that the Balinese don't fret about the flowers falling. No one mourns the loss of the flowers now gone from the trees. No one is trying to control when and where and how the flowers fall or don't fall. The grounds keeper isn't 'keeping' Nature at all, he's just wandering around with his scratchy broom following Her lead. They don't lose sleep over this process of decay, they simply know that It Is.

They gather up the pieces, they bless them, they love them, they place them upon the altar, they let them rot away. All the while, they carry on. Always adding more flowers, more love, more offerings dedicated to some power beyond themselves.  

As 2016 whips our souls into shape, preparing us to receive what we desire, can you see how you have to stop, love? Can you see how you have to let it go? Like really really let it go all the way away. Let. It. Finally. Go. You're done with it and it's done with you. 

How many fallen flowers - beliefs, relationships, habits, foods, business plans + jobs, thoughts, people, possessions - have served their purpose? How many are you trying to hold on to, to control, to put back on the tree, and to tuck back into the place you thought they should go? How many are you not blessing, not loving, not placing on the altar? 

Enough already. You know it's time.

You're supported. Rumi got it right when he told us that what we seek is seeking us. 

Make room for it.


Right now it is like this.

Right now it is like this.

Okay 2016, you win.

Okay 2016, you win.