In My Turtle Shell.

“Solitude is a hard-won ally, faithful and patient.” – Henry Rollins

Shell time.

What a commodity. It’s refreshing and recuperating. Rejuvenating and reenergizing. It’s what keeps me sane.

Shell time is a difficult thing to attain, especially if you have a family, especially if your kids are young. But I’ve found recently that ultimately you gotta save your energy for them. Family comes first. You gotta make it work.

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Current mood.

I value my solitude, especially living in the midst of human suffering every day. In the morning, solitude prepares me for the day ahead. In the evening, it gives me a chance to purge whatever I picked up from “out there.” The silence is calming. Hearing the birds chirp and the squirrels rustle in the tree branches is healing.

Sometimes if you’re deep enough in your meditation, you’ll hear the thundering loud crash of a leaf gently falling onto the roof of your home. This direct connection with nature keeps me acutely aware of the reality and existence that is much larger than the limiting human ego can fathom.

A lot of people can’t handle solitude. I thrive in it. It’s just the way I’m wired.

My work is what keeps me together, but sometimes I can’t handle being in the middle of society. I want to leave the city and suburbs. People can be too much for me. It’s a strange feeling being unable to deal with society, yet feeling a strong sense of duty towards humanity at the same time.

I’ve outgrown the need and desire to be in this big city and surrounding metro-area. The concentrated muck of the vast array of both negative and positive emotional/spiritual energies are so palpable that it affects me physically. Sometimes if the entire area were concentrated on one thing, such as the Cubs World Series or the Election Day aftermath in 2016, the vibrations of the collective consciousness are chaotic and crippling, giving me migraines and entire-body aches.

I’ve contemplated moving elsewhere, but someone told me that Chicago needs as many of us healers as it can get. There’s a lot of spiritual and emotional healing to be done here in the big city.

There are times when I don’t know whether I volunteered for this job, or if I was “volun-told” by the universe. It doesn’t matter. I’m here.

I feel like I’m on duty 24/7. Even when I’m asleep, I’m either learning or cultivating or healing others through dream-time. Once you raise your hand to do my line of work, you live a renunciate’s life. You can’t escape to a peaceful faraway beach or exotic landscape to hide and cower from life. You’ll be in the trenches of the real world.

It’s not just a job. This isn’t something that you clock in and clock out of. A way of life. It never ends. You’re on call 24/7 till there’s harmony in the world, and thereafter. That’s why in several circles, we’re called “Light Warriors.”

This is difficult work, but I love it. I don’t want it any other way.

But sometimes I need a break.

Sometimes I feel like the world sucks and I want to hide till someone tells me that it’s clear to come outside. And I think that’s an okay thing to feel. As long as I get enough shell time, I’ll emerge feeling re-energized, reinvigorated, and rejuvenated, and ready once again to help the world.

 

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