Hello Friends Near and Far!

Portrait of Martha S. Bache-Wiig

I have been wanting to get a blog up and running for a long time – I am finally here this morning, thinking about how life has its own timing and rhythms – one of the Laws of Life, as identified in Antonio Mercurio’s Existential Personalistic Anthropology. This has been an important – and difficult! – one for me to learn, and I know it is a tough one for a lot of other people, too. That’s why I think about it a lot, and often have the urge to share my story and what I have discovered along the way with others.

It still often happens for me that I know I want to do something, or “should” do it, but I can sense the timing is not correct for it. I might try to “just do it”, and push through – it usually ends up that I don’t get very far with it, whether it is beginning a blog, starting new projects, or anything else. Or, if I do manage to get it done, I can sense that the amount of effort it has taken me to do so is way out of proportion to the result, and that casts a shadow on the project itself.

I used to believe that if a “no” came up from within me that I was just subconsciouslIt doesn't really endy resisting – I was convinced that every “no” I wanted to say was essentially just me being negative and ornery. I had a deep conviction – without really knowing that it was there – that I had to always say “yes”, and that in general life had to go fast, and be full, full, full from morning to night.

Despite being full of all kinds of knowledge about how to care for myself and my overall wellbeing, deep down I still had trouble listening to my Self and my body and the truths they were telling me, because they were different from how I saw other people functioning.

They had been whispering to me for years, suggesting that if I did not have the correct energy for something, it could very well be that it just was not the right moment at that time …. but that the time would come. That it was ok to slow down – that I wasn’t going to miss the game, or lose out at a chance to cross the finish line …..

The interesting thing was that as I became stronger and healthier in many aspects of my life, I had to take another huge step towards living according to my authentic Self and its rhythms, and stop imitating the people around me that I loved and admired, but who had very different rhythms than my own.

As many of you know (and have experienced yourselves), it took getting physically very sick and burned out for me to begin to really LISTEN to my body and my life. I had to slow way down, and get in tune with what was healthy for me in every way. This meant making a lot of changes, including some very scary ones …. at that time, I was working at The Women’s Center in Waukesha, and I loved my work and colleagues, as well as the steady paycheck. However, the rhythm of that job was not at all correct for my body, or for my soul, and I had to make the hugely difficult decision to leave, so I could take care of myself. I decided to open my own studio to offer my services, which would allow me to have some time to heal, while I continued on my personal and professional journey of life.

However, where I had been either partially or fully self-employed for most of my life, so I was used to the kinds of stressors that self-employment brings (especially the uncertainty regarding income, and the need to invest huge amounts of time in basic building of the business itself, besides actual work with clients), that had been in Italy. Returning to self-employment in the States, when I had only been living here again for three years, felt absolutely daunting to me.

I had to learn everything all over again – or rather for the first time, because the laws and the realities of self-employment in the States are quite a bit different than in Italy. Most importantly, I had to learn to really listen to my body and put its needs first, because I could no longer stifle its voice with my will-power, and “just barrel through”. It took a lot of tweaking and balancing so I could recover my health and therefore have the correct energy to really be able to serve my clients in the best way possible, while integrating the other facets of my life as well.

September 2014 marked 5 years since I founded the CenterFat Lake in Iron County WI for the Development of the Person, and I am thrilled to be able to say that by following the wisdom of my body, and by listening to the whispers of my Higher Self that tell me when to press forward and when, instead, to rest, not only have I recovered much of my health, but I have learned to live in a much more deeply harmonious way. Today I can follow the rhythms of life, rather than always trying to push and manipulate them to have them follow “me” and the often insatiable (and unhealthy) desires of my ego.

As I have learned to let go and allow life to show me where, how and when to move, I am seeing a new, much deeper level of love of myself and of Life unfold. This is expressing itself in every area – my work with others, my family life, my creative expression, my continuing personal and spiritual growth.

I wanted to share this today, to offer a bit of encouragement to any who might be feeling frustrated, worried or frightened because things are not going the way that they had planned, and maybe not feeling very well on many different levels. Perhaps you are struggling with physical illness, relationship struggles, financial problems or addictions, anxieties and fears that cause you much pain and suffering.

If this is your case, or, if you are perhaps feeling pretty good about yourself and your life, but are wanting to step into a new level of awareness and participation, I want to nudge you to remember a couple of things:

  • Remember that your body really does know what is best for you, and if you are feeling burned out you need to rest. It is becoming common knowledge that one of the biggest Leonardo Da Vinci Drawing art-320x480 wallpapersproblems we have today, and especially here in the USA, is that we are running around on mental energy, which for many is a sure ticket to burnout, and to all kinds of problems and suffering on the physical, emotional, and even spiritual levels. If you are not well rested, the body cannot function properly, and an unhappy body affects our mental and emotional states as well – and vice versa. Many of our problems with weight, anxiety and depression are connected to our difficulties in getting enough “down time”, to say nothing of sleep, so just keep in mind that rest – and play, which is an important form of mental relaxation! – really needs to become a part of our often highly structured lives;
  • We need each other, and we are not here to heal and grow alone. This might sound trite, but it really is true. If you are struggling, open up your heart and your mind to receiving comfort and guidance from another person or persons. This might seem obvious to some, but in reality isolationism and self-reliance is still highly valued in our individualistic society, and it can be hard to give ourselves permission to “need” someone else. In reality, all that does is push our need down to a deeper, unconscious level, where it then plays out in our lives in not-so-healthy ways, often keeping us stuck in those patterns we so desperately would like to change. Instead, if we just begin opening to the idea that we don’t HAVE to go it alone, all kinds of wonderful things can happen!

My hope is that everyone who might happen to read me today can take at least some time for themselves, and stop and breathe deeply for a moment, and just ask yourself – what is it that I most need? What is it that I most want?

As the answers come up – and they will, if you listen closely – write them down, so you can really feel what the requests are that are deep within you. Many of us are even afraid to listen to our deep inner voices, as we fear we won’t be able to respond to our needs. We feel we have no options.

But if you allow yourself to listen, and hear your deepest truths, you just might discover that some answers are there as well – and that the small steps that you can implement in your life as it is today are just as valid as those “big changes” that we sometimes think we have to make to become more aligned with our authentic selves.

One tiny step at a time, you can learn to truly take care of yourself, and love yourself with the kindness and care that perhaps you never received as a child and so you don’t know how to give to either yourself or others, or that you reserve for your loved ones, and find it so hard to give to yourself.

This is stepping into a completely new rhythm – one that takes into account all aspects of our lives, and helps us begin to really SEE where we are at today, where we want to go tomorrow, and how – and with what kind of support – we can best get there. glory_stripThis is how we become Artists of our Lives – putting our loving care of ourselves in first place, so we can be active in the world and interact with others in a more balanced way. As we practice being Artists of our own lives, we can then begin to contribute to the life of the universe in completely new ways: ones that bring joy and meaning not only to ourselves, but furthers the deepest goals and projects of the Universe we are a part of.