Our Subsumed Lives

to subsumeto include or place within something larger or more comprehensive;   encompass as a subordinate or component element

When you were a child, what did you want to be when your grew up?  

seashell-754015_960_720If you are doing something quite different from what you imagined you would be doing, what happened? What swerved you onto a different path that led you away from your childhood dreams?  Or maybe you are still very much there, living the dream, without even realizing it?

There are many subsuming elements that our lives encounter, embrace, deny, or challenge.  Elements that distract us from who-we-are and steer us onto paths into what  feels to be a foreign country where we don’t speak the language and we don’t understand the customs.

When I was a child, I wanted to be and to do so many things.  I used to make lists of all I wanted to become.  At the top of my lists were the following:

  1. move away from my home on the prairie and travel
  2. write and journal
  3. help animals
  4. play music
  5. maintain a sense of play

These were just a few of the childhood ideas that I held inside of me.  I also wanted to paint, be a scientist, earn a college degree, ice skate like a pro, live in a big house, have a faithful dog, drive a fancy car, solve mysteries like Nancy Drew, have a lot of shoes . . .

As a child, every time I read a particularly fascinating book, my mind would consume and embrace the possibilities that the story excited.  My biggest challenge (and blessing, I now realize) was translating into real life what I felt that to be a continuous inner state of ping, bouncing off one idea to the other.

In spite of (or because of) these many deemed distractions, I find myself now — miraculously so — pretty close to trajectory of my childhood’s arrow.  It’s as if a mixture of desire and ambition and passion, meditation and intentions and prayer, grace and blessings and kindnesses from others have all served as the fletching — the arrow’s stabilizing vanes — of my life’s crazily-careening arrow.  Reviewing the past and arriving at now gives me cause to celebrate that I have not completely lost my path.  That the arrow is still soaring.  That I have a few more things I would like to add to my list of what I would like to be when I grow up.  And I can see that my willingness to re-invent my Now and chase after ideas re-routed my misguided path somewhat.

My subsumed life:

  1. I moved away from the prairie and live in the most beautiful of mountain settings in the Pacific Northwest.
  2. I do write and I do journal daily.
  3. I have an Animal Reiki practice and serve as a conduit of Reiki healing to animals.
  4. Vision Board 033I attempt to play music every day.  This translates to about 4-5 days a week.  I switch off instruments a bit too haphazardly — ensuring that I am unlikely to achieve “My 10,000 hours” of talent or expertise in any one singular instrument — but there is joy within the learning and the playing, and I feel peace when I play.
  5. I am ever committed to feeling joy in every single day.  This is something that I would call my daily practice.  Wanting to feel joy and release through play can be swallowed by all sorts of concerns — the thoughts that I allow to take up space in my head and my heart that constitute worry and negative thinking.  And a particularly wonderfully-fun day can raise expectations for future days that don’t always seem to measure up as a result, giving me a moment’s pause of disappointment or boredom or ennui.  As I said, this is a practice and a process — not an accomplishment.

1371The many things that have wrapped themselves around my dreams and subsumed my childhood girl have not held enough power or sway to completely bend the arrow’s .  I am still me.  And here.  And taking some time to look at what feels to be important and at how I can contribute to making a more resilient community in my sphere of life.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when your grew up?  

Release the string.  When the string is released, the arrow flies.


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