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Adventures in Being Triggered Post #9 of 9: The thrilling and brilliant conclusion!



Two and half weeks ago, at the end of Post #8 of this series, I was holding close the emotional trigger that was begging me to please, please capitalize off the delicate Kelly-green shoots of “doing” grass that were making themselves known after a couple of weeks of nondoing.


I was feeling stirrings of wanting to take some action in the work I so earnestly want to make manifest:


a)    taking the first of the million tiny needlepoint steps that will make the 60-something audio files and word doc on my laptop into an audiobook, ebook, and print novel ready for purchase on a new writer’s website, on Audible, and on Amazon.


b)    reaching out to people and groups on behalf of IM so it becomes known and self-sustaining;


c)    getting the website ready for, and getting several groups to play, Heat, the spicy, Intimate, and very healing shadow play group game I co-created with my dear friend, Liz.  



The trigger also was pointing frantically at the practical stuff that needed to get done—namely, bills that needed to be paid, including the January mortgage.  


My tutoring business, my arranged money marriage partner that has been my faithful and primary source of income for over a decade, has grown saggy in recent months—actually, years. It’s grown saggy in recent years like two old nursing teats, and it’s never been as wildly profitable as it surely could have been because I’ve always given my very best energy, the creamiest of the cream, to my writing—and now, to IM. And Heat, too.


In other words:


THERE WAS, the trigger was shouting, LOTS TO DO, YOU (MULTI-PASSIONATE) DUMB NONDOING BITCH. Triggers—our unseen (unconscious) inner children—will stoop, with zero hesitation, to being mean—and abusive, sure—in their determination, their desperation, to ensure we survive.

This is what it is to beat oneself up, is an underdeveloped and myopic and truly destructive love-in-waiting that, just underneath its at times horrific behavior, prays we will see it and make it into real love.




At the very end of Post #8, I was praying to the Goddess, as I often call the divine, since and of course Source also looks like me, and that’s a whole ‘nother post for another day—but I was praying to her to help me remain in loving nondoing, despite the mounting evidence that perhaps the trigger was right and I was going to ruin my whole fucking life and end up on the street, and despite the fact that this asshole little trigger, for which I was genuinely trying to feel real fucking tenderness, had just kicked the shit out of me with those hard baby shoes—the old-school white ones that can break a tooth or knock the wind out of you.

Like the good-enough parent that I am, though—and that is what we’re doing when we are being with our fears, with our triggers, is we are indeed parenting them and, in the process, our own selves—but like the just-okay-enough parent that I am, I grit my teeth, and I took that baby shoe blow, and in time, the trigger did indeed relax, relate, and release.


And in that release...I was able to see the too-awful, too-horrible-and-ugly-for-word fear that lay beneath even all the money and work content .


What if I was wrong?


In doing this experiment, this adventure, of nondoing in the face of triggers, I was testing out my theory that the body does not require force—does not require pain--to do what is good for her.


In going on this adventure, I was positing that the body does better and is happier, and that one can get more done and be more productive, the more one is wiling choose non-doing over triggered doing—doing out of fear of not-having, not-getting, not-achieving, not-being loved. You know, how we get almost everything done.


What if I was wrong?


What if my experiment in nondoing ended with me in a smeary puddle of undefined half-goals, where? On the street, of course.



What if my experiment ended with the conclusion that we do need to push, that we do indeed require some degree of force, some degree of violence, some bit of bodily violation, to do the things we really want to do? That we have to go against our bodies to get shit done? That creating a happy life requires pain?


That nondoing works in the cutesy realm of the spiritual, but not when it comes to the reality of how the pursuing-your-dreams sausage gets made and how audio files get uploaded to Audible—and certainly not the real world of paying bills and keeping food on the table and clothes on our backs and all the other "life is pain" survivalist imagery we summon to justify hurting ourselves when we engage in triggered doing?


Because like I said here: pushing does work. I just think nonpushing works better.  


And if I was wrong: that would be heartbreaking.


It would break my heart to have to conclude that bodily violation is the best way thus far to get life done. That life has to hurt, to some degree, to get done.




But this is how it is.


We get triggered. We hold, we “be with” the trigger. And the real thing gets to be seen.


We think we don’t want to see it. We think that if we see it, it will come true. We think we can’t handle the truth.


But if we will remain still, just for a moment, with that horrifying fear: grace enters, because now, in your stillness, it can. And it will.


My moment of grace was my real child texting me from her school after-care program:




Arden tracks my phone location and keeps me on a tight leash and matter-of-factly cares not about my philosophical snags.


Sometimes, grace is having to go pick up your favorite little stalker.





It was on the sun-dappled drive to go get her that I remembered what I’d said to an IM meditator the day before during a session:


“This work is a risk,” I’d said. “It’s a huge risk, I know, to go in and be soft in the face of  these fears we’ve been trained all our lives to smother. But it’s the most beautiful risk you can take. And these inner children, these inner babies, are praying you’ll say yes.”


The meditator took in my words. And she nodded. And she went in and took the risk, as she always does, as all IM’ers do every time.


And so would I, I decided.


If I was wrong, I would be heartbroken.


But I’ve been heartbroken plenty of times.


And if you’re reading this, because it’s only a certain type of person who would read this far, then I know you know that heartbreak will take you out the first 3 or 12 or 29 times.


And you also know there comes a point when you can see the heartbreak coming from some yards away, and you can, with a sigh, size up the number of days or weeks you’re gonna feel like shit. It becomes less a huge tragedy and more something to schedule for and around, something that is as, Nick Hornby says in High Fidelity, “a drag, like a cold or having no money.”


Not to be reductionist. But I decided I could take it.


Plus, if there was no risk, no chance of being wrong: this wouldn’t be an adventure.


Beside me, in the front passenger seat Arden would soon fill, my inner girl looked at me, her flowery overnight bag in her lap. It was all she’d taken back when I started this IM work, back when I’d told her when I’d awakened her out of her sleep one night and told her to get her stuff because we were leaving. I’d told her I didn’t know how, or even if, we’d ever get to where we were going, but we were leaving, and we were never going back.


“And we’ll always be together from here on out,” I’d said. “No matter what. And I’m not perfect, but I’ll do my best to—”


Say less, she’d interrupted.


She’d sat up grinning and had swung her legs over the side of the bed. Let’s ride, she’d declared like a true OG, because all our inner children are true OG’s—and because that’s all our inner children want, is to be together with us from here on out no matter what.


This, she said as we pulled up to Arden’s expensive private school that she loves so much—the school that was, for a year, my school, too, before I was fired in a blaze of glory—another story for another time—This, said my inner girl, us being together in this dented Hyundai, with our late financial aid tuition payment and no clue what’s for dinner tonight...She smiled. This is the real adventure. 


In other words, I realized as my sweet inner girl ambled into the backseat so my utterly beloved daughter could plop into the front: it didn’t matter, ultimately, whether my philosophical theory was right or wrong.


Because even if my nondoing with my early January triggers didn’t work, and even if,  as a result, I ended up tossed out of my home and into a smeary puddle choking on unpaid bills and deferred dreams, where? On the street, of course:


I’d already won. My inner girl and my kiddo and I were riding off into the sunset together.





I didn’t end up tossed out of my home into a puddle, though.


Instead, I spent my days reading.


In broad daylight, in the prime, hardcore doing hours: I brewed tea, I curled up on my couch, and. I. Read. 


I mentioned in Post #8 my renewed appetite for books. I hadn’t used an Audible credit from my monthly membership in months. Suddenly, I was clicking and confirming for essay collections, and I was making multiple trips to the gorgeous and well-stocked independent bookstore nearby I’d never before realized existed.


I gobbled stories like they were going out of style.


I took baths with forgotten bath bombs.


I went, alone and in sweats and Birkenstocks, to a fancy tapas restaurant and went the fuck in on marinated olives and whipped sheep’s cheese and spiced carrots and crispy patatas bravas and two cocktails to boot.


I was so happy, in so much pleasure.  


I was quite triggered, too. And I saw the pain.  


And I was so happy. And I let it feel good.


What’s funny is: the less you do, if you’ll allow for the initial panic: the less there is to do. I was less busy.


And then, on Thursday, January 19, I found myself thinking about the IM website. I looked up and I was taking notes. Making plans.


On Friday, I reached out to some IM’ers and offered session packages. Some said yes.


On Saturday, I created this blog.


On Sunday, I added information to the website.


And someone found me via Google and reached out for an IM consult.

And a group I did a presentation for last year is having me back this month.

And another group wants me to do a session for its members this months.


And I talked with Liz about completing our Heat website, and I talked with some people who may be interested in us demo’ing the game.


And on and on from there.


It was happening.


It had happened.


I was—my body was—in joyous, flush-cheeked doing.






On a practical note:


I paid the electric and water bills.


I paid Arden’s tuition.


And bitch—I paid my mortgage.


And I paid it the most happily I ever have, with the most IM monthly income I’ve made yet—and yes, also with some income from my tutoring business.


For like old nursing teats, my little tutoring business remains useful—and graceful, too, in the way only old nursing teats—those sweet, soft, and wise givers of life—can be. So graceful has my business been in her humble but steady yield of milk, feeding me and my daughter, even allowing my little bestie modest outings to her favoritest place on earth: Target.





I haven’t done all the things I want.


I haven’t yet resumed work on getting my novel published, as much as I want that done. You cannot fathom how much I want all of that done.  

Bills continue to blossom like flowers, or boils, or volcanoes. Take your pick.


And the triggering goes on.


On January 27th, I scribbled feverishly in the notes I’ve been taking in preparation for this “Adventures” update: “My face is about to melt off. I can feel and see all the figuring out I’m doing. My brain is working so hard.”


But of course the triggering goes on.This is as it should be. As it must be.


Because, I am thrilled to report, it is as I suspected it to be—at least, it is thus far:


The medicine is indeed the trigger.


Or maybe: the trigger is indeed the medicine.


I pray to the Goddess that my adventures in being (consciously, joyously) triggered go on and on and on.


May yours as well.



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