Ladies And Gentlemen, In This Performance The Part Of The Lion Will Be Played By January
[Cue orchestra. Raise curtain.]
It’s been a while since I’ve posted. A long while.
Mostly it’s been due to the frenzy of a new year. Trying to line up those ducks, catch those greased pigs, herd those cats…
I could go on, but I think you know where I’m coming from.
In a word, the start of the year was FRUSTRATING. I’m seriously hoping I can apply the idiom “in like a lion, out like a lamb” to 2015.
My January Came in Like a Lion
A big, sullen, sulky tomcat that would not be tamed or do what it was told. This feline metaphor showed up on my doorstep at the start of the year and had me cowering in a corner while he proceeded to shred my psychological furniture and poop in my emotional shoes. This bastard lion even went so far as to symbolically spray all over my studio and its contents.
[I should explain at this point that The Maker of Rules – a frequent boarder in Jody’s Cerebral Rooming House (other regular guests include The Judge and The Inquisition) – decreed that if two entities are involved in the lion/lamb continuum, one of them is the lion. The other, then, must be the lamb. If I haven’t made it clear, in this scene of lion vs. lamb, I am NOT the lion.]
It Wasn’t Supposed to Play Out This Way
In my December 2014 scenario, I was the lion and January was the lamb. I was ready to attack the year, poised to pounce on its unsuspecting, fleecy little back and rip out its jugular before it could say, “Baa?”
But January had its own idea of how things were going down. It won the lion audition, which, according to The Maker of Rules, left me as the lamb. I really want to say that I handled the issue with control, presence, and grace, but have you tried telling a cat what to do lately? Metaphorical felines are even more unwieldy to herd.
I tried heaving the lion out and slamming the door in his face à la Fred Flintstone, but like poor Fred, I found him back inside, curled up on my pillow by the time I got to the bedroom. If it wasn’t for the fact that it was so depressing I would have been rolling around on the ground in stitches (not literal stitches from the lion attacking me, figurative ones from laughing so hard at how absurd the situation was). I felt like I should be able to tame the beast, regain control, and get on with my original plan; the plan where I was the fucking lion.
WTF? Why Couldn’t I Deal?
The many wise sages that make up the members of my business circle helped direct me to the solution. In the circle we talk about cycles of movement and stagnation in terms of ebb and flow. It took me several weeks and A LOT of support to comprehend that I was in ebb mode. It was suggested by the wise Leah Goard that I might want to stop fighting it and celebrate the quiet darkness of it.
You see, I had had a zinger of a year in 2014 – a year of almost entire flow. It was both exhilarating and exhausting…and completely unsustainable. Ebb is essential, but it had been so long since I’d experienced it that I had forgotten what it felt like.
I Mistook Ebb For Failure
I saw ebb and viewed it as the top of a spiraling downward slide. It scared me and I FREAKED OUT. January Lion smelled that fear and came after me.
However, January did not rip out my jugular like I had planned to do with it had I been the lion.
Despite feeling like the metaphorical lion-month was ruining my January, and, by association, my whole fucking year, January Lion was just toying with me; a little game of cat and mouse.
January Lion was saying, in his weird-wild way, “Stop trying so hard. Slow down. Nap in the sun. Poop in some shoes. It’s OK to be the lamb – I won’t eat you”.
So I listened to what I was being told by my friends and my fantasy feline.
I Stopped Fighting January Lion
I acknowledged that he’d done a fine number on my furniture, made all my favourite shoes smell temporarily like scat, and had been a pro at keeping me momentarily away from my studio. Then I invited January Lion up on the bed, fed him Cheetos and let him watch whatever he wanted to on Netflix.
After that I christened February the new January and have been making good progress on my annual plan ever since.
The great irony of this image is that I am/we are all both the lion and the lamb. I/we just can’t be them at the same time. Sometimes we get to be the lion. Sometimes we need to be the lamb. Ebb and flow, baby, ebb and flow.
[Epiphany achieved. Close curtain.]
What tools do you have in your Lion-Taming Toolbox when you find yourself as the lamb? I discovered that big cats truly do love Cheetos. Please share your favourite tips in the comments below.