I am in France. I'm not just traveling in France, I'm in the process of moving here. I am in the South, in a small town called Uzes, in the Languedoc-Rousillon provence. The closest larger towns are Nimes and Avignon. I had never been here before until coming here now to find a place to live. True to how Life happens for me, I was called to this place. Called, as in a bolt of lightning striking and an awareness of, not just the South of France, but Uzes in particular. Okay. When Life calls, I show up. So, here I am.
I rarely, if ever, know why I'm called to a place, person or thing. I just accept that I am. Sometimes, I realize later what the call was about, sometimes I don't. But, if I show up and let Life unfold as it will, then I'm giving what Life has in store for me a chance, a context in which to happen. So, here I am.
On this trip, the things that needed to happen--or, I should say, the things I thought needed to happen, because what really needed to happen is much larger in scale--are that I open a French bank account, which I've done; and, that I find a place to live and sign a rental contract for the length of my long-stay visa, which is a year. I don't have the long-stay visa yet. I have to apply for it through the French Consulate when I go back to the U.S. But, I have to have the French bank account and the rental contract in order to apply for the visa. So, here I am.
When I lock onto a call that Life has given me, I'm used to things coming together pretty quickly. It is typical of me to swoop in and magnetize things to me in a short amount of time. But, I'm not usually in contexts this different and unfamiliar to me. And, my usual pattern of swooping in and whipping it all together isn't working. This time, it's requiring some adjustments.
Initially, I was going through a rental agency referred to me through a friend. But, the person I met there didn't seem particularly interested in showing me places and didn't get back to me as he said he would. Frustrated with our interaction, I branched out and visited other agencies, looking for other people and possibilities. I ended up finding an apartment through one of these agencies and spent three days working with the people involved in order to rent the apartment, only to be told that they were not going to rent to me because I did not have my long-stay visa. I explained to them that I needed the rental contract in order to get the long-stay visa, but they didn't care. They had also decided that I didn't really have an open bank account, even after talking to my banker, who assured them that I did; and, they said it was "illegal" for them to rent to me without a long-stay visa, which it isn't, but none of that matters now.
The unconditional "no" I'd received from these people stopped me in my tracks. What? Did I hear you correctly? No? You've got to be kidding. But, it was indeed a "no." And, they weren't kidding. And, there was no movement around their "no." Done. Door closed. Move on.
I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. At first I couldn't breathe at all. And then, I started to breathe very deeply. As I started to breathe again, I realized how out of my body I'd been. I'd been hovering around my body instead of inhabiting it. I'd been here, but not really been "here." But, the "no" has grounded me into myself, and into this place, in a way that I needed to be and hadn't been. And, so, here I am.
At first, all my fears about being here surfaced. Am I really supposed to be here? Did I "get it" correctly in answering the call to this place? Did I self-sabotage in some way? No. No to all of my insecure questions. And, no need to blow up one small speed bump of a "no" into a "no" of major proportion. Breathe. Keep going.
I have this inner sense of calm now, this deep feeling that everything is going to be okay. I have no idea how long it will last, but I'm so grateful for it while it's here. I need to remember how being grounded into my body feels. I need to remember that when I really come into my body, things calm down and get quiet. I need to remember that when I come into my body I feel safe and have a sense of well-being. I need to remember to breathe and tune in to where I am and listen. Life is always communicating with us, but we don't always listen. I need to listen. So, here I am.
I realize that my own desperation in regard to perceived time and money limitations were running the show. My own lifetime pattern of doing things quickly, of pushing through, of stubborn determinism were running rampant yet again. No. Stop. Breathe. Re-group. Tune in. Listen.
I think I needed to spin myself out with the apartment that didn't
happen. I needed it in order to get a grip and slow down. If it had happened, I
think I would have spun out even more. The people I was dealing with
weren't easy, but I kept going, determined to make it work. They were
unreasonable, but I tried to appease their demands. These are
tendencies that I so needed to see in myself.
I have trouble saying "no," and I don't like hearing it either. But,
"no" is part of Life. "No" is okay. Sometimes, "no" is good, and saves
us from ourselves. Or, it moves us in ways we wouldn't have gone, and
helps us discover things we wouldn't have discovered. It shows us alternatives we
wouldn't have seen, and helps us get where we needed to go in the first
I'm now more open to this place, to its Spirit and its voice, than I was before. This place, Uzes, called me, and I need to really feel into it and be fully with it...with her, for she is feminine. How could I just come in, without ever really connecting to this place, and hope to have found a place to live that really fit? Why did I, and do I, rush through things instead of savoring them? Why do I limit my experience of Life in any way? I was feeling like I was drowning in panic and overwhelm before; but, since the "no," all of that has slipped away.
I don't know how long it will take me to find an
apartment. I don't know how quickly or easily all the paperwork around
it will get done. I don't know when I'll fly back to the U.S., or when
I'll move out of my apartment there, or how long the long-stay visa
process will take and what other speed bumps might reveal themselves
along the way. But, somehow, right now, I'm okay with all of it. I've opened to this journey and am ready to take it in and live it instead of skimming the surface of it.
let go of my "lack and limitation" perspective. I've settled into a
deeper place of knowing that, smooth or not, it's all going to work out
and be okay. I realize that all is well. What a relief! So, here I AM.