The Self Replenishment Diaries – Jan 3

Tuesday, 3rd January

I dream I am on a public bus that takes a corner too wide because it’s going too fast. Then it misses the turn off into the suburban street it’s route is meant to include. At the end of the street is a wide sweeping right hand bend. The bus misses it totally, shooting across a grassed area, through a fence and we are hurtling over a cliff. This is just a dream, I say to myself. Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!

This is the first time I ever remember being conscious inside a catastrophic dream that it’s  just a dream. (More often than not I dream I’m on an plane that’s crashing! Or there was the serious of tornado dreams. And let’s not forget all the apocalyptic dreams that ranged from all the oxygen being sucked from the atmosphere to an atomic bomb.)

*

My FitBit’s data doesn’t marry with my sleep experience. I suspect the truth lies somewhere between. I’ve been waiting for my sleep to properly reset since I had an iron infusion on the 23rd December. The bruise on my arm is still there. I’ve been weaving the story I will feel myself again when the bruise finally fades. I’ll finally have a proper night’s sleep when you can’t tell I had to have a needle stuck in a vein to top me up with ferritin.

*

You know how kids whine: are we there yet?

The calendar year feels a little like that. Today, Tuesday, finally brings life back to normal.

So I let go of the dream and go to the pool. I love the feeling of the water over my naked body. I’m committed to doing this for 365 days.

I wonder what it will be like to do this in the middle of winter when it will be more like cold water immersion than a pleasant swim before the heat of the day arrives.

Immersion in cold water is one of the things on the list for regulating the nervous system (there’s part of my brain that says wtf though about this — and the cold-pain matrix has kept me from really exploring it properly).

Yoga makes me feel unco, old, sweaty and amplifies my feeling that I am not well anchored in reality. The opposite to what I had hoped it would do for me. It doesn’t inspire me to want to do it tomorrow.

*

Despite how I feel about yoga, my morning stillness practice is forming itself up.

I also pull an oracle card from my new deck (thanks Cath!) and see what the photo of the day is in Patti’s Smith’s A Book of Days.

Small, simple, touchstone rituals.

*

I don’t feel emptied out. I feel cracked. Fractured. As though me, as a container, can’t hold energy. It’s a deeper understanding, from within the shit storm, what the emergency triage part of self replenishment is managing and healing.

You can’t fill a container that’s lost its structural integrity. It’s a minimum requirement for functionality.

In 2021 I couldn’t even begin the process of filling up until my cup was whole and well formed again.

While I don’t want to insert brokenness into the narrative of self replenishment, an un-regulated nervous system has lost (or is rapidly losing) its integrity to hold energy. It is why everything else becomes impossible.

And fuck — that’s what I’m feeling. I’m losing my connection possibility.

Combined with an ongoing sense of deflation.

Space shrinking, inside me and around me.

*

The drive to the cafe gifts me serendipity. A moment of synchronicity. Magick at its best. A moment I shouldn’t have even been able clock across four lanes of traffic moving 60km.

I fill all the way up in the space of a few seconds. It doesn’t last though, this expanded space. But it lingers. It reminds me that possibility never disappears.

*

Magick isn’t the only powerful refilling agent. So is hope.

*

I don’t stay long in the cafe. The nausea bests me and I go home and try to sleep. I hold out for acupuncture in the morning. And of course … I hold out for another dose of magick as I drift on the edge of sleep.

I hold out for there being an end to where my nervous system has landed this side of solstice.

 

The Self Replenishment Dairies – Jan 1 & 2

Sunday, January 1st

I overtaxed my physical body dancing in my friend’s Rave Cave (once every two years he turns his garage in the space for a rave — complete with lights, smoke machine, industrial air con and very loud EDM!) so today is a day to sleep, and sleep, and you know, sleep some more. But I do get to see the first light of the first day of the calendar year — which  can now enjoy from my bed!

I marvel that I don’t hurt as much as I should. Revel in the fact that because I no longer drink I don’t have to contend with a hangover and the after effects of too much dancing. And for brief moments I sense my nervous system almost re-settling (solstice threw it out and its been unable to find a way to properly regulate again).

Well that’s a lie. When I was dancing everything was still inside. As my body continued on in perpetual motion.

For me, God is a DJ.

The dance floor is an altar.

My body is the divine offering.

And this is how I survived my late teens and most of my 20’s. Dancing was my therapy. I’ve known this for many years, but this was the first time I’ve been well enough to really experience it again.

I am  clear also that dancing in layers and layers of satin is a special kind of madness. But I cross it off an item I probably didn’t realise was on my bucket list: raving while dressed up as a flamenco dancer.

This is the joy of going to a party that has two different but connected parts.

Monday, January 2nd

This is the day the rubber meets the tarmac I guess — even though my New Year is still 10 odd weeks away, waiting for me on the March equinox.

Today is the day when I consider the things I can begin with the calendar year, because it’s an easy way to measure a start point and end point. I adore the subversiveness of it – starting on the second because it’s a brilliant fuck you to all or nothing thinking that say you’ve only got one shot at anything, and that’s on January 1st.

I want more stillness at the start of my day and at the end — and consider what I can do to build a stillness practice (that elegant bundling I mention in my talk, that neurodiverse people are really good at. I’m just really into habit stacking!)

I realise part of my nervous system’s inability to regulate is the fact the festive season has demolished my usual routines. So I think about the things I want to experience across the rest of the calendar year (things like trying to do couch to five ks, swimming each morning, getting all the way through Adriene’s 30 days which is perfectly themed “Center” this year).

I enact what I can (swimming is lovely; yoga I’m waiting for tomorrow to do because then I can do it in the morning!) A fledgling morning stillness practice is birthed. (Today it’s in service of Emergency Triage, but once my nervous system settles I know it will be part of the new Tending Structure I’m creating).

I shower. Get dressed. Wrangle my hair. Paint my eyes. Leave the house with a slight skip in my step, looking forward to returning to my favourite cafe. The walk up the avenue starts with a house-block stretch of red geraniums growing by the foot path, a canopy of poincianas lines the majority of the walk which is sprinkled with magick born in red-bricked post-war house at the top of the hill. I love the red theme.

Except, true to form, today is the public holiday for yesterday so I drive on to a cafe that is opened.

There’s growing despair when I need to leave early (because my guts are playing up.) The beautiful anchored expansiveness I experienced up until solstice is dying. I feel as though I am shrivelling. The spaciousness is collapsing on me. I barely feel tethered. I’ve had constant headaches. I feel rattled. Slow. Tired. I feel like I felt in all the months and years before graduation in September, and The Expiry Date in October blew everything open in the most incredible ways.

*

Christina reminds me that Mercury and Mars are still retrogade — but there’s a creeping fear I’ve done something to fuck everything up.

*

We have a wonderful text conversation and spark of what’s ahead when we discover Jessica Dore’s Offering for the week speaks about Uncertainty (our theme for this year, having got all the way through The Depth Year). And I light up because values are spoken about in terms of Uncertainty and that’s something I’ve been grappling with for my new offering The Poetry of You. It also links to self replenishment in talking about being full of life.

…(another way to talk about values work) is about locating and broadening your margin for immanent choices that are gratifying, full of life, and possibility. It is about learning how to spend more time in the spaces that you’ve been too afraid to be in, or to little-by-little hone the skills you need to go places you wouldn’t have dared go, before. Put this way it’s an exciting prospect, really. And in some ways it’s actually made possible by uncertainty, because if you were sure about things, you wouldn’t be doing this work to begin with.

— Jessica Dore, Weekly Offering

Yet, the things I know I need to initiate with it, I can’t seem to get my head around. It’s as though the fire has gone out.  The battery has been unplugged — and yet my nervous system rattles on like it is its own perpetual motion machine.

*

Kate, my shaman, has set me the task of finding five hooks that are dragging my momentum (and I know what the five are and two have an obvious fix, the other three, I’m sitting with) Again, there’s a but. I don’t think it enough to regulate my nervous system.

*

My breasts/chest hurt (probably 5 pain rather than the 9 pain of 2021). I’m getting random prickles down my arm. I’m trying hard to keep my anxiety down. To not react as it will just make the pain worse and the pain will make the anxiety worse.

I remind myself this is all just my nervous system not coping. I am not dying.

I am not dying. I am not dying. I am not dying.

Jesus fuck, seriously? How did this happen? Again?

*

I make an appointment to see my esoteric acupuncturist, knowing if anyone can reset my nervous system and whatever energetic borking I’ve done — it is Joolz.

*

I have my fortnightly massage and when I come out everything feels right with the world again. And I breathe a sigh of relief. Maybe, maybe, it will all be okay now. Except I doubt it will last,  because I’m still nauseous.