dimanche 11 janvier 2015

Changing Perspectives

Have you noticed how major shifts in your life seem to happen both slowly and suddenly, gathering momentum for several years until one or several major changes occur – and then you look back and everything makes sense? The way it all unfolded itself, when most of the time you were just busy living, or coping, or even despairing?

After you take it all in, there might even be a pause when you think of all the good things yet to come, springing from this very transition you are experiencing right now, with hope and awe. All will be revealed in due time, as they say. But already you are grasping differently the uncertainties and bumps in the road, enjoying the changing perspectives along the way.

In fact, you realize that the scenery is alive all around you, not just in front of you – or within the frames created by surrounding bushes and trees. You get a sense of what can be hiding behind these (which have a presence and meaning in and of themselves), and you become aware that you can actually get out of the path to go and explore. (Is that a brook you can hear murmuring down there?)

You can also just lay down on the ground for a while and look up at the sky, and marvel at the changing light, the passing clouds, the birds’ songs and calls that so far had escaped your attention, but carry all kinds of messages about the upcoming weather, surrounding wildlife, and other humans distractedly walking by.

In other words, the more space you give these shifts to take place, the more likely they are to happen. Interesting, isn’t it?

They can be shifts of consciousness, or factual changes – like a move or a new job – or an alternation of both, which is something I have often noticed.

My own shift of consciousness began many years ago, as related before, but 2014 has been the year in which I was - at last - able to live for real: working in a place where I truly belong, enjoying my days in many ways, and being mostly in the present moment (I can't even write this without smiling).

My first dive into the Beautiful Unknown took place in September 2013, a few days before my birthday.

For several years, I had felt increasingly trapped in my dull, tedious job, despairing because I could not find any other decent, part-time one to support my creative endeavours (along with occasional translations). 

So in late August, when I came back from my annual trip to France to visit my family and Pierre, I realized I had to escape out of this dead end before becoming dead to myself, or I would ruin my chances to find something right for me.

I wrote my resignation letter during the return flight to Montréal - and I sent it as soon as I came home.

Feeling hugely liberated, I searched for a new job with hope and trust, and with the support of my wonderful parents. After several weeks, I found the exact job I was dreaming of (no computer involved, in a family-owned, friendly yoga centre), and settled in happily. 

Me at the yoga centre  :o)

However, my very part-time, irregular shift barely paid my rent, and even with a few translations, I had to get in debt, month after month, to pay for my (very minimal) living. But I was so intent on thriving in this new environment that I never thought of leaving. I'll just get more translations, I thought. Maybe could find a cleaning job in the mornings?

Or I could start drawing more seriously.

To celebrate 2014 as the dawn of my new life, I painted in white the floor of my bedroom/studio, as a New Year's Eve gift to myself : for three days, while Lola was complaining about the icy draft coming from the open window and my not playing with her at all, I toiled at my task with the deep, giggling satisfaction of accessing a long-life dream : a white floor studio of my own.

In summer, it looks like this.

Then I took up my creative projects again… and I started this blog :o)

Which in turn fostered a new, gratifying process in my life (thanks to everybody’s wonderful reception), and brought up new awakenings.

Looking back at 2014, considering all these months when I was sustained mainly by faith and by my new working environment (along with the unwavering support of my family and friends), the one word that comes to me is : gratitude.

I feel so grateful and in awe, for everything that happened to me this year, for every person who believed in me, who gave me their love and trust, everyone who smiled back at me with a happy smile for the simple pleasure of seeing me, just as I was truly happy to see them.

I could at last be my sunny, merry self all the time, I could dive in the very vibration of life, into the simple, deep joy of living, I could become an intimate part of the world. 

I could loose myself in it, I could drift away from the very words to describe it, or from the very need to draw My creative projects were barely afloat. Still, somehow everything made sense, as if I heard a small voice saying: wait and see.

Last but not least, I could share it all with you. Whenever it felt right, whenever I managed to. And you were listening, grasping everything I was trying to say. (Thank you :o) 

In September 2014, a few days before my birthday, my colleague at the yoga centre realized she needed more time for school from now on, and I was granted her shift in addition to mine. This meant I would now be able to pay for my rent AND groceries, electricity and so on.

Shortly after that, a big, unexpected translation turned up, which - miraculously - would enable me to pay back all my accumulated debts of the year, shortly before the end of 2014.

Both of which made me sigh with such relief and gratitude :o)

That autumn, once every translation was finished and I got used to my new work schedule at the yoga centre, I sort of naturally went back to just being in the present moment, which is partly why I did not write much here or elsewhere - yet I could feel something was coming up, in its own sweet time.

Eventually, through November and December, I let this flow of life wash me tenderly on the shore, I let the waves push me gently on a slightly higher part of the beach. There was a lovely breeze up there, in which I could feel the presence of… how can I explain this?

It's as if I am aware of a forest not yet visible, but fully alive, each individual tree waiting to be discovered, to be brought into my actual life.

Its shadows can be seen on the wall sometimes (here at the yoga centre).

Some of these trees may be drawings, or paintings, some others could be friendships, exchanges and encounters, and the nature of others will be revealed as I find them.

How can I combine living fully in the present with making plans and following them?

This is the question I had been pondering (for years, in fact).

But the invisible forest now whispered the solution to me, and I would like to share it with you.


To be continued in the next post - next Sunday, hopefully :o)

8 commentaires:

  1. Not sure if I've commented before... I stumbled upon your blog sometime last year, via another blog I'm sure. And I've been lurking about with interest ever since. I was in Montreal in autumn 2013 and fell a little in love with the corners that I got to know. I thought I might pipe up and say that I thoroughly enjoy seeing bits of the city through your eyes, and I'm excited to see what news you have to share!

    1. Hi there, thank you for de-lurking and for your positive comment :o) - getting news from my readers is a big plus for me. I'm glad you are enjoying your visits here and the glimpses of Montréal (I guess the city's particular good vibe is reflected in my words as much as my pictures, now that I think of it).

      I wonder if you receive some kind of notification in your mailbox when I put up a new post here, or are you aware of it in some way? I'm asking this because I've had problems with my subscriptions, both as a blogger and as a reader, and I am not sure what works.

      Thanks again et à bientôt !

  2. Dear, dearest Emmanuelle! This post resonates deeply for me. Where to start? The first part about life gradually shifting & changing focus unnoticed in the moment, then in retrospect the jigsaw apparent as it falls into place. A friend once told me that everything in my life was part of my jigsaw & would make its purpose known in due course. Some things have already fallen into place & others are still unknowns, but like you I feel this 'forest', as yet undiscovered & untouched but filled with promise, love & all good things, including my dreams. You express this so eloquently. You're so inspiring, following your dreams, painting your studio floor white! I've always wanted a white studio floor! Your space looks serene, the perfect place for creativity to flow. I'm so looking forward to your next post because I have always struggled with the question you pose....a balance between mindfulness in the present & planning for the future. Big love to you & Lolaxxx

    P.S I never receive an email or notification that you have responded to a comment, I just check back.

    1. Thank you dear Chontelle for taking the time to say all this :o) and I hope my own discoveries regarding this big question can be helpful for you too!

      By the way, have you read Karen Blixen's Shadows on the Grass? One of her stories in this book (I think) relates the tale of a farmer that goes out to see a flock of birds flying by - and falls into several holes along the way, yet she keeps going. I'm not revealing the end of the story, but you would enjoy it ;o) and the whole book is fascinating!

      Regarding the notification about my responses, have you tried ticking the "Notify me" option that is located on the right bottom corner within the grey frame of the Comments window? It needs to be done before posting your comment I think… As a reader I always found this useful (and efficient).

    2. Hi Emmanuelle and Chontelle,

      I thought I'd reply here instead of under my own comment as they seemed related.

      Life seems to always make so much sense when you look back doesn't it? I too have had several instances where coincidence just doesn't even begin to describe what happened. You both seem to describe this far more eloquently than I seem able to just now :) Everything just falls into place sometimes with much, and sometimes with little effort. But the bigger picture reveals itself more and more with each passing year.

      In terms of notifications I just use the Blogger Dashboard which shows me all the new updates from the blogs that I follow. Lately, I check in here anywhere from several times per week to several times per day. I do get follow up emails regarding new comments to the post, and replies to my comments if I use the Notify button though.

    3. Thank you... summertime dreams ;o) for this information and your added insight. I think you are actually quite eloquent about the not-so-coincidences and the bigger picture :o)

  3. I just re-read this post and it hit me so hard, in the gentlest of ways of course. How you're able to adapt to the push and pull of life and necessity and of your own internal currents. I have such a bad habit of doubting and going against my own internal currents and not knowing when to trust it that reading this truly felt like soft blow on the brow. Wake up! The words say. Pay attention! Thanks for giving me much to mull over. You have such a way with words <3

    1. Oh you know, Milla, I am surprised myself by this frame of mind, though I can definitely see, in retrospect, the various shifts that made it possible. The good news is that, apparently, the more you develop your intuition outwards, the more it works inwards. This is clumsily said but you get the idea (I hope). Being in the right place also helped a lot... I got more and more comfortable with my growing state of bliss until I was swimming dreamily into it. So this voice saying "everything is all right" actually became rather convincing :o)

      I do feel grateful, as well, for your kind comments. As for words, they have a wild life of their own and for every post, I must spend many hours with them until they consent to come and dance a little choreography of their own. Which I am patiently doing now for the next post !

      Much love xo