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I was at the beach last week, for thanksgiving.

I needed an escape, a sojourn for solitude.

I found it.

It was a beachfront hotel, with a room (and private balcony) facing the beach.As soon as I walked in, I dropped my bags and walked straight to the balcony, opening the door.The breeze immediately washed over me, the sound of the surf filled the room, and my ears, my heart, really, my very being.The seagulls squawking incessantly only added to nature’s narrative.

That door stayed open the entire time I was there.Even at night.My every moment was imbued with the sound of the pounding surf. Awake, asleep, there was always the surf. I only left the hotel property once, and that was because I ran out of Coke and beer. (don’t laugh).And even then, I ran to the corner store with the car windows and sunroof open, and had the surf with me the whole time. The sound of the surf was the physical reverberation of my spiritual side. Have you ever participated in guided meditation, with a drum in the background, helping you to focus on something other than your active mind? That is what this was like.The constant thrumming of the surf was ever present, ever ready to keep my mind focused on something other than active worries. Quieting and steady, the unending pattern of thump, whoosh, and then recession, thump, whoosh, recession, was a balm.

You might wonder why I had the door open the whole time.I’ve spent a lot of time pondering it on my return, as it wasn’t a conscious decision.I didn’t plan on going down there and leaving the door open for 4 days. On one level, it just felt right.the weather, outside of some rain on Saturday, was phenomenal and warm, so it hurt nothing to leave the door open.I went down with a cold and am attributing the balmy sea air with taking care of said cold before I returned back to Atlanta and the flurries (where of course, amongst cubicle hell and the office of sickos, I will pick up the first cousin my dearly departed cold within a few days).

On an unconscious level, I think it was about a physical manifestation of opening other doors, mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, and allowing things to both come in and leave. I’ve discussed, ad-nauseum, the issues with my life for the last couple of years.I’ll spare you the rehashing and suffice it to say, it’s been a rough coupla years.But, as my own spiritual studies have increased both in knowledge and in frequency, and my knowledge of self is ever expanding, I know that things will get better.But, the clutter of my reality weighs on me at times, and as much as I’d love to live up in the ether, my wordly tethers remind me of issues to be dealt with, both other people’s and my own.I’d really like to just take my own issues out, like you do the garbage.Bag it up and just sit in on the curb. That’s part of what this weekend was for me.Having that door open for change, reminding myself that the door is there for me to walk through (and dropping the trash off on the curb on my way out said door).

Have you ever reached a point where you just want to go through your life, much like you might go throw a junk drawer, and pick and choose what you want to keep, what you want to get rid of, and just clean house? I find that I’m in constantly in that state of reassessment.Ever changing, ever growing, and constantly taking out the trash. I’m a little afraid to see what my emotional/mental/spiritual carbon footprint must look like. Eep.

Anyway, back to the balcony door… once there, after keeping it open, it felt like sacrilege to close it.Like I’d be cutting myself off from something, although I’m not quite sure what. My ethereal connection to the Mother. My connection to myself.I was loathe to close it, even when I slept.I was lulled to sleep by the sound of the surf, and the smell of the sea breeze.When I woke in the middle of the night, that door, that connection was still open, and the sound rocked me back to sleep.For the first time in a long time, the sound of silence (even though the sea isn’t silence, the constancy of the surf became as much a part of me as breathing) wasn’t disconcerting.I didn’t need music or the tv or the blackberry chirping.I could just be.Keeping that door open allowed me to maintain that connection to the me that could be.

Peaceful, centered, full in the silence.

The discontinuity of that statement is shocking to me as I sit here typing this. In my other life, the one before the divorce, in fact, my entire life before the divorce, I was never… soft. The oldest daughter of man’s man, with two younger brothers, I didn’t do soft.Yes, I did beauty pageants. Yes, I was a cheerleader.I did those things to fulfill a need for what I supposed to do, what I was expected to be.I stop short of saying I had a lust for violence, but that’s part of what drew me to wrestling.The power and beauty incarnate in a wrestling match, was like a ballet to me. The artistry of movement, the strength and skill inherent to be able to move and conquer and vanquish, just awed me. I loved boxing, and martial arts, and mixed-martial arts. I came to college, joined a sorority and worked out with the wrestling team. Cheering when one of my kids (meaning, one of the wrestlers I knew, what I used to call my children by-proxy) broke someone’s nose, well, I saw no problem with that.The ferocious intensity that I applauded in my own brood, was disjointed from the meek way in which I lived my life at home, as I couldn’t be intense. I wasn’t allowed to be other than what was expected from me, by either my parent’s or my (then) husband.I was the mom in psychedelic tights, a ‘shit happens in all religions’ t-shirt, and combat boots. When I drank, it was tequila, straight. I loved fiercely and intensely and my beliefs were never meek or up for discussion. My outward presentation was hard-core, but inwardly, I knew I was a coward, because of how cowed I felt at home. I can’t go back and completely analyze where I was then, but I think it had something to do with protecting myself. By projecting strength, maybe I would feel a strength I didn’t really have.

Over the past year, maybe longer, I’ve had issue with letting go of the ‘strength’, or at least the outward display of it. But the longer I’m on my own, the more I learn about myself, the more it doesn’t fit anymore.I don’t watch UFC as much as I used too, and I find I’m nurturing the creative side with my Herd, more than the athletic. And I’m having SUCH a problem it. With letting go.It feels right, but it also feels like I’m watching me from some other place. I’ve had more than one meaningful person in my life, those that I’ve let past the outer core, tell me that I’m full of shit, that I’m much more mushy on the inside than I ever let on, and that I don’t always have to be as strong as I try to make everyone think that I am. And I know that they are right. I know, in my core, that it’s time to let go of that and grow in a new direction.But how do you let go of an identity that’s been a part of you for so long? I don’t know how to be any other way, and even if continuing to be this way is dishonest, it’s comfortable and I’m scared to death to be any other way.

But that door, that balcony door, felt like a real doorway to me, not just out to the balcony, but maybe to the me that I need to be going forward.I have a new friend, let’s call her Z, whom I met through Red (my tarot reading, metaphysical friend). Z is psychic, although, I don’t think she would call herself that.She can hear her spirit guides.Guardian angels, spirit guides, both more or less are the same thing.So, anyway, when we all got together a couple weeks ago, she was there and we were talking about things and she was telling me about my spirit guides, and how right now, I have two. One, the one that’s been with me the longest, is male, and that he’s been with me most of my life, but that it’s time for him to move on to someone else.The newer one, is female, and she says is representative of the feminine side of me that needs to come forth.The side that I’ve been most out of touch with.

So, pondering that, I’m brought back to the balcony door. I kept it open, the whole weekend. Did I feel the need to keep it open so that I could better connect to the me on the other side? (not ‘that’ other side, but the possibility of a more feminine me)? Was I hoping that clarity would fly in and alight on the balcony railing? I don’t know. But I do know that the more I allow myself to be open to that possibility, of growing as a woman, the more right it feels.The more I kept the physical door open, the emotional door was open as well. When I was sitting in the tide pool puddles, letting the waves wash away my worries, the door was open.When I was sleeping, dreaming astral dreams of far-away lands, the door was open. When I was just sitting, reading, or crocheting or meditating, the door was open. Every so often, I felt a pull to walk through the doorway, and look out.And more often than not, I found a cloud formation, the sun glinting off the water, a happy child playing, something that delighted my soul.

When I left, yesterday morning, I loaded the car, with the door opened.I came back to the room, before checking out, and walked through the door.I stood on the balcony, straining to take every nuance into my memory to take back home with me.When I subsequently felt rooted to the balcony, I knew it was time to go.I walked back into the room, and I closed the door. When I crossed the threshold back into the room, I left my emotional/mental/spiritual garbage at the curb on the other side. And honest to goodness, I cried.I stood there, in that room, and I bawled like a baby.It was almost a physical loss. It was that palpable.I don’t know if it was tears because I had found a sense of peace that I hadn’t found in years (and thus, didn’t want to leave it), or it was fear of not being able to execute the change in me that I know I should. I don’t know what it was.But I stood there and grieved; closing the door was a loss.

In that loss, though, is an opportunity. All I have to do is reopen that door, here, in this reality, and walk through it.

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