archives, wisdom

I Feel the Comfort of Fear and the Zing of Power.


For years, I had been doing all of the right things.

I had met an amazing therapist (yes, there are people out there who just fit), joined courses, reveled in the self, entered into the flow, and played with visualization boards and manifestation (coincidence that the man word is in there?).

Then every so often, like a slowly waking child, I would have a glimpse of a different kind of being. When I say that, I am not talking aliens or spirits or the Buddhist catch-all, I mean that I believed I could be something else. I could be located somewhere else.

I had a personal trainer for six months a couple of years ago. We worked very hard together, and he was a nice person. We had abstract conversations about starting new habits or changing existing ones. He said I wasn’t the person that I used to be, and most of me believed him.

Truth is though that when I couldn’t afford the training any longer, I didn’t feel different any more. I felt stuck and doubly disappointed that I was as unmotivated and tired with life as I was before.

Perhaps unmotivated is a bad word to use in this context as, you see, I am one of those people who lives and works on full throttle. I am a failed perfectionist who can’t stop trying, even when she sees how ridiculous her behavior is. But with those little peeks from behind droopy eyelids, I have seen another reality, one that feels far more aligned with who I always felt I was.

I feel as if I am coming out from beneath a mist of drudgery and self-sacrifice and moving towards a more colorful place.

What makes us put ourselves on hold? Why do we spend most of our energy directed towards the machinations of life? Why do we create situations where there’s not much more room to do or be than just to exist?

I should know better. I spent seven years living off-plan in Thailand.

I was out of the matrix, out of the game. I would compare notes with friends, in mutual amazement, about how people back home were locked in for the long haul, nothing with which to compare their lot. I would say to people, “Oh no, I could never live in London again.”

I spent a long time looking at others thinking, “Ah, but it’s different for them,” and “They are lucky enough not to have to worry about money” or “But she doesn’t have kids… if I had no responsibilities, then I could live that way too.”

To make matters worse, I would actively pile on more. It would be work, home, study, be more, do more, achieve more, need more, where did I go? It was as if the more I did, the more I would feel tethered to the ground.

My eyes are shining brightly now, and though there are pieces of the puzzle still missing, I can taste new possibilities. I had to go through a long dark sleep to wake up and smell the coffee, but I am back in the place where you hear the voices and feel the inklings.

Somehow all the small preparatory steps have dropped me off at the right station, and I can taste a new beginning.

I can see a place where I can sit in the sun and digest my food. I can lie and watch the rise and fall of my girls’ chests.

I can tell people how it really is, and feel the comfort of fear and the zing of power that comes from asking for what you need.

I can feel the satisfaction of even just knowing what I want and need.

Life is not to be lived on one side of a coin. When we put our right and left palms together, we close a circuit. We become more complete, we can breathe in the dark, and allow the light and everything in between.

There is no decision that can be made that isn’t flavored by each ribbon that runs through us. We can make our choices in what we feel is purity, and blank out our conflicts and desires, but this is not the reality.

Everything that flows through me touches every part. I am a complex being (ask my husband). I can dress my choices and actions up as pure and unsullied, but when I allow them to touch the full spectrum of me, they feel stronger, truer and free-flowing.

I don’t want to squint any more when I can see them alive and purposeful… since I fell awake.


NaomiLongNaomi Long is perfectly imperfect in every way. She has an insatiable thirst for knowledge, and throws herself into motherhood, running a company and being a student… she will always be a student. When she is living from her ‘bracket of acceptability’, she is like a whirlwind of sense-making functionality. When she misses a step, she is like Dorothy in the tornado… she is trying to spend more time in the tornado. Naomi writes pieces and poems about human experience, she likes to photograph, and sing about beauty. She loves to travel, and lived in Thailand for seven years. For the past eight years, she has been running an alternative school in London.


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