I am not Catholic but when I’m here in Umbria, places of the Saints (Eramo, the Mountain Chapel of Saint Francis, the Mountain church in a Gubbio, the Duomo of Orvieto, for example) are places I visit often visit and meditate.
I feel the earth has energetic power points, and people are drawn to these places - we build churches, mosques, synagogues, shrines, etc.… I don’t need to know why it is so, but I know feel it.
I am in school these days, learning a language, and it’s a bit like being young again. I am inspired to new ways of thinking and exploring new learning modalities.
One thing that inhibits learning joy and freedom is anxiety. So, I meditate on the nature of living in a human body, where anxiety is our burden.
We judge ourselves and feel shame for the anxiety we experience. In the Christian tradition, I have come to believe that this is what original sin is about.
So…how do we liberate ourselves? Anxiety is an experience in our bodies and minds; it is temporal. The truth is that our spirit exists in an eternal state of freedom and grace - we belong, just as we are. I believe this to be true.
So when I fail at removing anxiety from my mind and body, I try to forgive myself and sit next to that experience until it passes- remembering that the anxiety is a illusion of my mind that has sent an SOS to my body and that this experience is temporary.
Why share this? As learners, one of our biggest obstacles is anxiety (the other is conforming to modalities of learning that do not bring us joy and pleasure - per Aristotle and Leonardo da Vinci, understanding is the joy and privilege of humanity).
As I seek to unlock my creativity and intellect in my work and studies, pausing and resting from a false sense of urgency to produce is essential.
Giving myself permission to pause, reflect, and simply be is a challenge for me, but I am learning just how transformative this practice of permission is.
At 50, I am as excited as I was at 18 to learn and explore, but now I have something valuable I didn’t have then…a little bit of wisdom that asks me to pause, forgive myself, to love myself and my own very personal ways of thinking.
I'll admit that I’ve been experiencing some anxiety lately because there are some big things I want to create and bring into the world. Things that take focus and commitment. Also, I want the things I put into the world to not contribute to anxiety in others but to liberation. This is my commitment as a teacher. I realize I must commit to creating different materials and delivering them differently than the mainstream model.
I am learning to let go and to commit.
“Until one is committed, there is always hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising to one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no one could have dreamed would come her way. Whatever you can do or dream you can begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe