#4 The Weather of Our Emotions

[WRITTEN IN FRENCH BY ISABELLE CARATTI AND TRANSLATED BY ME. ALL PAUL AND PABLO STORIES ARE AVAILABLE FOR LISTENING ON SPOTIFY WHERE THEY ARE NARRATED BY LEXIE BEBBINGTON.]


We don’t see any point in trying to control the weather.  Why then are we tasking ourselves with the impossible job of controlling our emotions?
Along with Paul and Pablo, let’s explore our inner weather,  and what lies beyond the clouds and storms of our emotions. 

Pablo’s bored. There’s no end in sight for this pandemic, and he’s running out of ideas to keep himself busy and entertained.
“All this because of a silly virus,” he grumbles. “It’s so tiny we can’t see it. But it’s a big pain! I want to play with my friends! And what about mom? I want her to come home!”
Pablo’s mom was in South America on business when the lockdown was imposed, and there’s no news yet as to when she will be able to fly home. All borders are closed for now and Pablo misses her. A lot.

“Let’s go out in the garden, Pablo,” suggests Paul, “those patio chairs could sure use a good cleaning.”
Pablo puts his shoes on and is out in a flash. Having forgotten about his friends already, he grabs the hose and gets to work. Paul follows him slowly. He too misses Pablo’s mom, and thinking about how long it could be before she’s back has really started to get him down.  

Father and son start cleaning the chairs, each following their train of thoughts: Pablo, excited and full of oomph, and Paul, tense and feeling rather empty.  
Pablo, who, a few seconds before, was scrubbing vigorously, feels his good mood deflate and slip away with a splash. The second chair refuses to look as clean as the first. Why won’t it clean properly? What’s wrong with this brush?! He throws it on the ground and blurts out, fighting back tears:
“I don’t want to clean anymore! I hate it! It’s boring!” 

Startled by his son’s outburst, Paul blinks himself back to the present moment. He walks over to his son and gives him a big hug. It’s been a long day for them both. Paul takes a deep breath and looks up at the sky.
“The sun’s been out all day, right, Pablo?” asks Paul.
Reluctantly, Pablo nods. “Yep, it’s been kind of warm too.”
“And now, there’re a few clouds blocking the sun and it’s a bit darker and cooler, than it was earlier?” continues Paul. “Why do you think that is?”

Pablo doesn’t understand the question. “What do you mean, Dad?” he asks.
“Do you think clouds show up because there’s something wrong with the sky?” answers Paul. “Or that the sun was not strong enough to stop the clouds from showing up?”
Pablo giggles, “No, Dad, the sky’s got nothing to do with it. It’s just clouds! They come and go. They hide the sun for a while, that’s it. It doesn’t mean there’s anything bad going on.”

His excitement is returning. “Do you mean it’s ok to get upset and sad? It’s not my fault, it’s not bad?”
At that very minute, clouds clear and the sun returns. Pablo squints and bursts out laughing. He gets it.
“Feelings come and go, Dad, like clouds in the sky. There’s nothing wrong with me or with anyone! It’s ok to have clouds.  They can’t hurt the sky, or the sun, or me!”

 
Our emotions are the weather showing up in the sky of our experience. Whatever the storm, the sun keeps shining, as bright as ever. However dark the clouds, they shall pass and do not have the power to damage the sky. There’s no need to control our emotions because, like the weather, they do this perfectly well on their own.

Coaching Hours

A short break for the Camino (even though this is very much part of its meanderings) to let you know that I am now coaching and accumulating hours for graduation in April 2019.

If you or someone you know may benefit from a friendly chat with me, please let me know at powerflow28@gmail.com.

Unfortunately (for now) I am not allowed to coach members of A Little Peace of Mind.

All sessions are priced at $20.

Thank you, my friends!!

https://www.flow-erpower.com/

 

Writing again…?

This is a short entry I wrote as a response to a five why assignment for the Literati Writers’ online group led by Dave Ursillo. It feels like a cool way of re-entering the world of written creativity now that my two masterpieces have left the nest (yes, yes, my children). 

This morning I decided to join the Literati Writers. Why? Because in the last two days I have become an empty nester and I’ve been feeling the need for taking even the tiniest step towards my life as a new “long distance mom”. Why is that step important? Because it helps me shift the pity party into a pool of possibility. I may be a writer, I may not. Time will tell. But today, as I type these words, I’m reconnecting with a part of myself that’s been kept quiet as life immersed me in the art of motherhood instead. But today my shoulder hurts and if I’m to believe Dave, it means my creative self is asking for immediate attention. Why do I choose to actually pay attention? Because if I don’t I will end up like my mom who, after raising 6 children, lost all sense of direction once we moved out. She died many years later, a prisoner of dark thoughts and emptiness. In her name, I want to discover the joys of my second spring, with my heart leading the way and nothing to prove. Why am I following the joy? Because I’m not my mom but the love I feel for her demands I heal this pattern of fear and depression. To honor all the love she gave me. To honor myself. And to honor my daughter’s right to a bright life journey.

A TALE OF TBI

Many of you still have questions about what happened four years ago and what I’ve gone through since the accident. I hope today’s post will answer them all. It is journal entry style and rather long; please bear with me while I bare it all…

May 15, 2006

It’s a crisp and sunny morning when I walk the steps up and into the office of my ‘vitamin’ doctor (holistic practitioner I see for anxiety and fatigue). I close the door and take my jacket off. Just then, I am pushed forward and fall. I think I’ve tripped on the carpet and look down. The next thing I know I’m on all fours with a TV set rolling off my shoulder and crashing on my left. People rush to help me. I’m shaking violently and crying. The doctor rushes in and tells me they’re calling an ambulance: I got hit on the head and they’re not taking any chances. I’m boarded up and sent to the nearby hospital. I wait 3 hours for tests and CT-scans that, thank God, all come back negative. The neurological exam is normal also: I can go home. There’s only one little problem: I’m suffering from severe vertigo. I can’t move my head without the room spinning on me. Drugged up and shaken I’m driven home by my husband who got the ‘dreaded’ phone call at work: “there’s been an accident.”. (I’ll learn later that the safety brackets holding the TV on its wall hadn’t been secured. Just my luck.) I get into bed and begin my recovery. It will be a couple of weeks, no more. After all, the neurologist says it’s only a mild concussion.

May 15, 2007

Five months of vertigo, plus severe migraines, nausea, and balance issues lead me to a vestibular therapist and a craniosacral expert at the end of the year. I use relaxation tapes to keep nighttime panic attacks at bay. I plod along and make progress fueled by inspirational books and prayers. I’ll get through this. The vestibular therapy helps: I soon can drive again and I do not get migraines anymore. Sheer will and determination see me going back to my old life. I decide not to pay attention to the way my brain reacts to loud noises; I choose to ignore the dizziness that returns on a frequent basis. I celebrate my first anniversary by planning a summer trek to Europe: Brussels to see my family, London for fun (I used to live there), Scotland for its lochs and Switzerland for its pure air and beauty. It’s not easy but I make it. I hike briefly assisted by my husband and daughter. I fill my lungs with the promise of better days and make the silent promise to return to the Alps when I’m healed and able to hike on my own. I feel confident that my positive attitude and my faith in the goodness of life will carry me through. And the neurologist maintains that I’m doing great.

May 15, 2008

I’m fed up with the whole thing: where’s the good news? I’ve reached a plateau where dizziness and on and off panic share the space with the rest of me. My niece, who is fighting colon cancer, is losing her battle. I’m losing my lawsuit against the good vitamin dr.: he’s not responsible because he did not install the TV. It’s too hard, too darned hard! In an attempt to lift up my spirit, I start Jin Shin Do sessions (body/mind acupressure) and take up writing. My panic attacks lessen and I’m able to join a Tai Chi class. From one form to another, my balance improves again. My friends are so enthusiastic about my first poems that I start a writers’ group to keep the momentum going. Life is flowing back into my veins. Yes! This is the end of the tunnel. I can feel it. Brand new energy prompts me to begin a Pilates routine. Indeed, no need to see the neurologist anymore.

May 15, 2009

A string of kidney stones sends me back to the hospital. The lithotripsy that follows leaves me weak and weary. I have it done the day before Thanksgiving. Just as well. It reminds me to be grateful for all that I have: a loving family and enough money to pay the medical bills and stay home to heal. In February my husband and I take the children to Disneyworld. Eager to see another side of Florida and real monsters I book an airboat ride on a nearby lake. Boggy Creek Airboat Rides, I’ll never forget you. I’m expecting a quiet water ride and am taken instead on a floating roller coaster. Thirty minutes of fast speed and sharp turns and my brain pays a high price. Upon our return home, I’m flat on my back again, prisoner of a fog that refuses to lift and that impairs my every attempt to get up. I just can’t believe it. This is not a tunnel, it’s a bottomless pit where my good thoughts crash head first (pun intended). My angels have let me down. I scream, I cry, I curse. The panic attacks return with a vengeance. I’m a disabled wreck. Time to make another appointment with the neurologist.

May 15, 2010

Two weeks to go till the 4th anniversary of the accident. My niece passed away last June. The grief of losing her has weighed heavily on my recovery. My disappointed hopes have not fully recovered. This is a long road: my worn out body does not tolerate any of the recommended treatments and my exhausted spirit is asking for comfort. I live day by day. A therapist is teaching me to release the traumas and to sail through the panic attacks (Somatic Experiencing) while craniosacral sessions help alleviate the fatigue, motion sickness, noise sensitivity, and dizziness. I’ve joined a support group and have come to understand that healing from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) takes years; that everyone is different; and that I have to be strong and never give up. Getting well requires more than sheer will and prayers: it demands a complete surrender to the brain’s tempo and the ability to accept it while remaining steady in the desire to heal.  My life is full of challenges yet it’s very joyful too. I’m not fighting this anymore. It will take as long as it takes. In the meantime, I’m alive; I’m a wife (to a very patient husband), a mother, a friend, a sister. I can breathe and love.  Not the same, no, but still capable of believing that life has good surprises in store for me (like my blog, Twitter, and my Internet friendships); still willing to fulfill that promise to go back to Switzerland one day soon. Regardless of the neurologist’s opinion.

 

Maryse G. Copans © 2010

 

 

 

A Fresh Look

And here we are again…

The last two months have been difficult. Much brain fog and sleep. I’ve kept my sanity by playing a word game on Twitter: Artwiculate. There I’ve found a warm community of word lovers. My muse has been able to sing whenever she had an ounce of energy. I’m forever grateful for it.

I will post here when I can. I will respond to your comments and visit your blogs whenever possible. This is not a race to glory. It’s a place where I share my soul’s wanderings.

It’s good to be back. I hope you’re all well and pursuing your dreams.

Here’s an Artwiculate tweet I wrote today (the word of the day is ‘effluvium’):

Shreds of a future I dreamed of / Effluvium of a past once held dear / this moment is all I have.

Stay in love with life!

Maryse

A Pause

Dear Friends,

Due to unexpected new head trouble linked to an old brain injury I’m forced to take a break from writing/posting on this blog. I do hope it will be brief.

In the meantime please feel free to roam the site: there’s much to read and ponder.

Thank you for all your kindness and support.

Stay in love with life,

Maryse

Words

I wrote this in the fall of 2007 when I first discovered that I could play with words in English, my second language. I’ve been following the dream. Please do not let go of your own.

Words are obscuring my vision;

they’re screaming for attention.

Words of advice, of comfort, of love;

tales of sadness, of pain, of doubt.

 

Who am I to claim the power 

to create, to charm, to conjure,

feelings of wonder, of grace, of bliss;

tears of chagrin, of loss or distress?

 

 Words are flowing from nowhere. 

They obviously don’t want to care

that I’m new to the language of the heart.

On paper, it’s a brand new start.

 

 “Trust”, they implore,” listen to your dreams.

They are true even when it seems

that the road is too long and hazardous.

It’s an illusion. This is your purpose.

 

 So grab the pen and inspiration will flow.

It can strike any time. You just don’t know.

Be ready and let the writing be written,

Accept the gift; the rest of your life’s begun.”

 

 Copyright © Maryse G Copans – January 2010