when all else fails, lie on the floor

When all else fails, lie on the floor.

Sometimes, when I’m trying to write, things just stop working.

My brain-harpies screech and scratch the inside of my head, picking apart each halting attempt. Every word feels fraudulent, forced, banal.

I think: this is it. There’s nothing left to say.

I think: if only I were more articulate, or relevant, or authentic, or whatever the criteria for worthiness is these days.

I feel like crying, but the tears are stuck somewhere deep inside. I’d scream, but this is a residential neighborhood, and besides, my husband is sleeping.

Some mornings are made for going back to bed.

After a fitful night, we make a quiet breakfast and I drive my husband to work. I come home and go back to bed, huddling under an electric blanket and a cat. I put some music on and drown myself in slumber and uneasy dreams.

I half-wake a few times, think about clawing my way back to full consciousness, and slip back into twilight before the thought is finished. Too much work.

Finally, I lurch out of bed and blearily nuke last night’s frittata. I stumble into the shower. I take myself on a walk around the block, trying to fumble my way back to normalcy.

I reach out, even though I really don’t feel like it.

I call my friend Alice, who’s also a coach, and the words spill out. I tell her my fears and my insecurities. I tell her that I wish I was better, even though I don’t know what better means right now.

She listens and makes sympathetic noises in all the right places, until I say, “I just think, if only I’d been working harder all along…” and she cuts me off. “No. You’re not going to go there. You’re not going to do that. It’s in the past and you can’t change it.”

“I feel like I’m spinning,” I say, and she tells me, gently, to lie on the floor. Hundreds of miles away, she’s doing the same thing. We breathe into our backs and shoulders and feet, all the places our bodies are touching the ground.

I sink further and further into my body, only now realizing how far away I’d been. I listen to her voice in my ear and imagine my body becoming heavier and heavier. The thoughts are quieting, settling like the glitter at the bottom of a snow globe. Alice tells me that the whole world is resting under my heart. The whole world is resting under my heart.

My thoughts settle and the truth emerges.

As I listen to Alice, I realize how much I was pushing. I wanted so much for you, dearest reader, to like me.

I wanted you to feel understood and encouraged, and in trying to guess what you needed to hear, I left myself behind.

Now, I am slowly returning, feeling my heartbeat thrum in my legs and head and chest and hands. I experience the floor holding me and relax into the feeling of being supported.

My heart opens.

When I’m in this quiet place, you no longer appear threatening or confusing or capricious. I’m not worried about meeting your expectations.

Instead, I feel my heart expand with affection for you, flawed and vulnerable like me. I wish you peace and spaciousness and enough room for all your complicated, beautiful, messy feelings.

I find myself wanting to connect, not because one of us needs the other, but because (as Ram Dass says) we’re all walking each other home and I appreciate your company.

And so.

I don’t know how you found your way to this little corner of the internet or what you’re hoping to find here. Today, this is what I have to offer:

The moment of infinite stillness between inhale and exhale.

The knowledge that here, in this moment, all needs are being met.

The reminder that the floor is always a constant and willing source of support.

The certainty – however briefly it lasts – that you and I are enough, just as we are.


I wish you all the enoughness and comfort today! If this is your first time here, I’d like to direct your attention to my career transition program, Finding Your Fit, for those who are longing to find their right place in the world. Love to you for reading!

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