I have chosen several threads to run through my life.
I am a therapist. I am a writer. I am interested in Buddhism. I grow things.
Sometimes I think I must be mad.
I have a private practice – I’m on my own. There’s no sick or holiday pay, and sometimes I don’t have enough clients. The work is hard – it’s always challenging me. I’ve written for more than a decade, and have had more than a decade of rejections and self-doubt. It’s hard work. I’m on my own. I haven’t made a penny from it so far. My interest in Zen encourages me to dissolve my ego. I sit and look at a wall and become aware of my breath. It’s hard work. I’m on my own. I grow things. Slugs eat my seedlings. Deer eat my tulips. It’s hard work. I’m on my own.
Other times, I feel blessed.
Like last night, driving home after two amazing sessions with long term clients. What a privelige to be there with them for a part of their journey. Like this morning, writing this blog, and working on my novel, and getting emails from people who appreciate what I do. Like after my meditation, when my mind begins to settle and I can see everything just a little bit more clearly. Like the days I slice courgettes from their plants with a sharp knife and fry them in butter with my own garlic.
The threads are really golden threads.
This is one of my favourite quotes, which I plucked from Sally Basile’s eclectic garden. Another thank you to the author of the quote – I’ve carried these words around with me for a long time now. Their edges have been worn down by my reading them – they are even more beautiful.
When you’re hanging on by a thread, identify that thread and do all you can to strengthen it. Gardening is my thread, consistently providing therapy through years of ups and downs. If this blink in time seems a bit crazier, well, perhaps it is. Gardening serves as a gentle reminder that the wheel turns and seasons come and go, each filled with its own impossibly tender beauty. So maybe it’s time to go outside and look for tulip noses poking through the damp earth and reaching into the winter mist.
When you’re hanging on by a thread, identify that thread and do all you can to strengthen it. I wish you luck in finding your own threads. I’m supported by so many, I could lift up both my feet up and I still wouldn’t fall over.