Reflections on Slowing Down

An ex-boyfriend once told me he thought we had wells of emotion in us, and you had to be careful about where, when, and how much you used your sadness and joy incase it ran out.

Turned out his reasoning for this was a good excuse to not be very loving or kind, his sadness well more of a sadness void. I thought this was a ridiculous notion that gave way to excuses, but it did still plant a seed of doubt in me. I feel strongly, if not always deeply. I am fickle. I can burn out quickly. How does one garner emotional resources?

All these human things seemed to have a new hue to them, which was that I had no control over how much I could feel of something and these predetermined volume caps were something inevitable. Would I ever be more patient? Could I ever learn to love consistently?

These were questions, but I also felt that I knew myself differently than this. Maybe he did feel as though he had emotional reserves. I know that I have emotional seasons. I wax and wane, follow the ebbs of my life and its influences.

I am now in Halifax, after a summer of working with a near brutality at my “dreams” – that is, the safety net I thought I was procuring to protect myself from falling too hard from my real aspirations.

I am drained. I do not want to do the work I was doing before. The motivation that was driving me before is all but lost. Not because I am not passionate, but because I am not fearful.

I feel as though my well of resources for herHABITAT has been drained. When people bring it up I feel myself flinch, like hearing the name of someone I still love deeply but who I know does not feel the same. I look at my spreadsheets and feel sick to my stomach. I think about outreach and my mind goes foggy. There is an echo in this place I used to fill that right now sounds lonely.

It’s not that I don’t believe in it anymore. It’s that I don’t know where to go from here. I am an extremist, trying not to let the barometer fall into apathy from reckless pursuit. Trying to find a middle ground, finding where I started from. Going back to the roots of this collective to make sense of how I got to writing high-end business plans from a collective of inspiration and self-development.

So I am writing this. To let you know that sometimes dreams take on different shapes. That sometimes we put in work as a distraction, that sometimes we don’t know where we want to go and getting somewhere seems better than stay where you are. Because if you stop you might not start again. If you stop, you might lose track of it.

I am writing this as a reminder to myself that I do not need to overwhelm or bombard myself or anyone else for the success of it all. That this is a community, not a business. That we are here to foster space and change and play and curiosity. That developing sometimes can look like back tracking, but really it can be falling to the stream that knows where it is going instead of trying to chisel a route we think it should take.

I have realized that my time here is personal. It is about my own growth as an individual. It is about letting go of the seeking, and coming into the understanding; what is here in front of me now, what I have to offer, who I really am, what I really want. It is a time of true acceptance that herHABITAT and Forest are different, and that it can still exist and flourish without all of my attention. That in order to let the collective members be active, I must take a step back and let there be space for that.

If it seems like I am ambivalent, aloof, like my awareness is lacking… You might be right. But it’s likely I am just following this season of myself into a deeply personal time and learning to be okay with letting go of the reigns a little bit (or a lot) and stepping into different manifestations like self-acceptance, new books, and teaching.

Written by Forest Greenwell


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