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Jessica Duquette Headshot

Lost: The Deepest Part of my Being

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I know it's in there somewhere...

Coming back from a recent business trip has given me some perspective. I came back, of course, to an avalanche of unfinished business and dirty laundry, that was to be expected, but what I didn't know was coming was a feeling of emptiness that I can't seem to pin down.
Where does it originate? Has it always been here, but I was too busy zooming around to notice? Did I do something specific to knock myself off balance, or is it just 'existential angst' that is part of the human condition?

I notice my urge to control it, to want to make it go away, to want to stuff it with busy-ness, food, spending money, but nothing is working. Maybe that's what's different...nothing is working.
So. This morning I woke up with a small voice inside me telling me to connect with the deepest part of my being, that there is a message waiting for me of utmost importance, but I realize now, with sorrow, that I don't know how to access the deepest part of my being. At least I don't think so.

I know that voice down there is the one that knows what I need, what direction I am headed, it's the loving, caring, wise part of me that gets drowned out by the voice that wants things like sugar and debt and laziness. Am I being hard on myself? Possibly, but I think instead that this is the road to connecting to myself on a deeper level. The part of the road that is not that comfortable.

I learned a lot this past weekend about health and about the things I need to do and not do in order to make my life flow more smoothly on the physical, emotional, spiritual and mental plane. I am thinking this feeling of disconnect is because I am getting ready for a change. A deep change.

Why is change, even when you know it's important and positive, scary? What could be scary about showing up in my body and feeling connected?

FEELING. One of the speakers at the conference I was at was named Jennifer Louden. She is an author, speaker and a life coach and her energy was both upbeat and deep. Not an easy combination, let me tell you! She talked about the radical importance of being in your feeling body and how most of us avoid that like the plague. (At least that's how I interpreted what she said). That's what I do. Most of the time, I am living like a head without a body, just careening through my life with no regard to my physicalness. The funny thing about being disconnected from your body is that you also are disconnected to your spirit. That is where my angst comes from. It's not the teenage drama kind of angst, but it's not romantic or important, either. It feels curable and even preventable if I do the work.

As you know, life doesn't really just go away because you don't pay attention to it. In fact, it usually just screams louder to get your attention. And louder. And louder. Here is a short list of screams I am not listening to right now:
• For the last few weeks, my lower back has been hurting all the time. A lot.
• My acid/alkaline balance is way off because of my diet. I know that.
• My body needs to get outside, to move, to dance, to laugh. What stops me?
• More fresh, organic, raw food! I let them rot in the fridge. Why?
• Rest. Sleep. Balance. Those are not just buzzwords to sell magazines!
• Time to commune with my inner self, to really listen, to really ask some tough questions and then to be prepared for the answers.

I know from my experience in counseling clients that when I am rippin' and runnin', it's because there is something that I know I don't want to know.

What is it? I have a client right now (a few, in fact) that is a powerful, capable woman, rendered helpless by the "things" in her life, and she has SO MUCH. She spends her days in drama, and anxiety and blame and out-of-control emotions because she is running from what she really, deeply knows: that her marriage is failing.

I have a heart full of compassion, because raising children solo is so difficult, but what could be more soul-killing than being in a marriage that doesn't feed you? All the running and spending and doing in the world can't drown out that voice. Eventually, it's going to take over and you will have to make a change. Why not do so with intention, rather than waiting for life to slam you into the wall before you cry "uncle"? How much better would it be to walk through the difficult parts of life with grace, rather than asleep on your feet?

Years ago, I read a passage in M. Scott Peck's classic The Road Less Travelled. I can only paraphrase the life-changing (for me) idea that caused me to put the book down and turn to my then-husband and tell him I wanted a divorce. It was that clear. I was done.

What Peck said was that if you put the pain of change on one side of a scale and on the other, the pain of the situation you are in right now, they probably weigh about the same. The pain of change, however, goes away.

This does not only apply to marriage, but to any kind of life change, wise words of encouragement to remember when it's time to face the uncomfortable truth inside.

I am certain that there are feelings about myself, places that forgiveness has not entered, that are derailing me. My intention is to tell on myself until I am too worn out to do anything but listen. And make the move when I am ready.