Friday, as we prepared to make the journey to Oakland for the training, a couple of things happened that help me connect with some of my edges.
When Jori arrived home from work, she let me know that we had reservations at the Motel 6 that was near the training site. I felt crestfallen, my immediate gut reaction; soon after I "felt that" I could suffer through living in a Motel 6 for 4 nights. (Boy the journey from heart to head can be rapid!) I then felt concerned and worried, needing more information about the neighborhood the Motel 6 was in and also needing more information about options, including knowing whether or not the reservation was cancelable. Meanwhile my jackals were howling-I was telling myself I "should" be willing to stay at Motel 6, I "should" be concerned with "saving CNVC money". I sensed that Jori understood my needs for safety, ease, clarity, cooperation, and protecting resources. I also sensed a deep caring for my well-being and a willingness to find another option. I feel grateful for both the empathy and the openness I received from Jori. After a series of internet inquiries and phone calls, we found another option that we were both willing to live with. What I take away from this experience is a new level of understanding about the importance of my feelings in communicating to me the state of my needs and the promise that the creativity that springs from connecting to those needs contains the possibility of finding a strategy to meet the needs.
A little while later, on the way to the airport, I had another opportunity to work with the process. Again I am grateful for Jori's presence and empathy. We headed out to the airport with a bit of a "cushion" in terms of time. These cushions work for me to have a sense of ease and clarity. I prepared for the trip by printing a map off of maps.google.com (a resource that has been very valuable as we learn to navigate in this complex territory of multiple freeways). However, since this was my second trip to Burbank in the same day, I had a sense of confidence and told myself that I had the route memorized and didn't want to use the map. As we drove, I got involved in listening to Jori share about her day at work and we arrived at a junction of two freeways...I remembered the highway number with clarity, but I felt suddenly confused about direction-east or west? I chose one-the "wrong" one-wrong meaning that it was not a direction toward the airport we wanted to get to! I felt annoyed (with myself for not remembering and choosing incorrectly) but recovered somewhat when I saw that we could turn around within a couple of miles. The cushion had deflated a little, but it was still there.
Then, after we successfully got back on the freeway in the correct direction, something just didn't look right. My brain became addled, I felt flummoxed and made another wrong turn. As the cushion seemed to evaporate, I felt angry around needs of competence and clarity. I freaked out a little, ranting in displeasure at this "turn" of events. Somehow, Jori seemed to remain calm and present, helping to navigate us back on the right path while helping to engender a sense of safety and clarity. We eventually made it to the airport, having "lost" another 10 minutes or so. And we did make it to the flight with time to spare, so my cushion was bigger than I knew. The underlying resources that I required in those moments of near panic were a sense of self-acceptance and equanimity, an understanding that in spite of the present outcome that I didn't like, that the outcome contained within it the possibility of having needs satisfied. How I long to remember that in the moments when I "catastrophize."