Maggie McReynolds

Remember Me? I Finally Did.

You know how it is. You totally intend to write, or call, or at the very least return that balloon whisk you borrowed. But you have a really good reason you can’t do it right just then. Something sad happened. Something bad happened. You are understandably distracted.

Time passes, and you work through your stuff, but while you do, there’s a little nagging voice in the back of your head saying, “I haven’t written. I haven’t called. I don’t even KNOW where that damn balloon whisk is.” The more time that passes without you getting in touch, the harder it seems, because it feels less justifiable in the softening wake of the crisis.

And that is pretty much where I’ve been for the last few weeks (months?).

I write about this not to explain or excuse, because I don’t think either are warranted—except perhaps in my belief that my clients trust me to tell them the truth, and when I’m withholding, I’m not earning that trust.

But the main reason I’m writing about this is because I think we all do this, we humans. We fall down, then we fall out of touch with others. In truth, we fall out of touch with ourselves. And if I can get a teachable moment out of this, I’ll do it, pinky swear.

I spent the first three months of this year planning and creating a summer solstice retreat/workshop in Sedona. “Soulstice,” I called it. “Unleashing the Light Within.” It really would have been spectacular. Because the setting was perfect and the season divine, my partner a wise and playful collaborator, and the workshop full of incredible potential to be something truly solid and meaningful.

But we were pushing it on a tight timetable, and I knew it, even though I chose to pretend it didn’t matter. Even though I chose to plow past fairly well-lit caution signs in the form of a hotel venue completely blowing up at the last minute, a second one secured and then unsecured, and other super fun stuff like that.

I forgot myself, you know? Until finally one day I awoke to a choice: either accept that we didn’t have the bandwidth to put together the event we really wanted and cancel it, or stagger ahead like two well-intentioned but hobbled contestants bound together in a three-legged race.

It really could have worked. It probably would have worked. Because we are both actually pretty good at what we do, and we had a lot of passion for the project. But we were also jangly and exhausted, and the tension was taking a toll, individually and together. We were at once inspired and stressed out.

So, quietly and without announcement, I cancelled Soulstice. I called the venues, I called the special tours and the owners of the sweet spots, and I told them, with real sorrow, that I was choosing to press pause, and postpone. Maybe until next year. Maybe until…something I don’t even know yet.

I stopped talking, I stopped writing, I stopped calling, I stopped posting. I knew I was grieving, and that my grief deserved space. But I was embarrassed, too. Embarrassed to talk about what I was then seeing as my failure to create the experience for myself and others that I wanted to have. Embarrassed to just la-di-da carry on with no mention of Soulstice and Sedona as if the whole idea had never existed.

I got over it.

And I did it by getting back in touch with what I love about what I do. I think it is also a huge part of what I love about me.

I dug deep into the group coaching I do with my Ready to Ripen program—amazingly powerful, emotionally deep, hilarious, wild, and life-changing work—and I was otherwise, for me at least, quiet. Gradually, I began to feel more comfortable in my bones again.

In the meantime, I haven’t been lying on a fainting couch with a case of the vapors. I’ve been quiet, but I’ve been DOING. I’ve realized this Ready to Ripen program is joyful, bone-deep soul work for me. I want to do more of it, and so I’m creating ways to offer it to small groups, larger groups at a lower price, and maybe an entry-level webinar subscription package.

But I’ll talk about that next time. Because there will be a next time, and soon. I just needed to remember to get back up on that horse that threw me, forgive and love her deeply, and then gently, slowly, start making my way forward again.

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