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I Contain Multitudes - I'm not Alone in this Change

Prompted by the hawk citing, in that meadow, in the holler in West Virginia, back in October, I knew it was time for a change, my own sea change. Simplicity and freedom was the message I brought home from the mountains with me. After a year of living Covid-trapped, I felt a sense of urgency and bubbling excitement.

But what did the vision mean, practically? Where was I going and what was I supposed to be doing with my life?

Months went by. Whenever I tried to clarify things, so I could start to take action toward my new future, I got halted by a confusing argument of opposing opinions swirling in my head.

Confusion is a most stealthy form of #Resistance. (See previous post –

Inspired by a friend who’d taken on 50 days of daily morning meditation, I followed suit, trying to find more regularity in my practice. I needed to quiet the mind in order to get to some answers. Fighting Resistance, I got down on the cushion each morning, most mornings, and tried to sit still.

Gradually, over the days and weeks, the opposing voices started to become distinct.

I was reminded of Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way) whom I saw speak, years ago, at a writers’ conference in NY. “Contacting the jostling crowd of inner selves, giving them a chance to speak and to act,” she says, “can greatly enrich our lives.” Conversely, the #secretselves we keep hidden will give us trouble. (

I had three of them going at it in my head; and they had names. Taking another page from Cameron’s playbook, I captured their stories in my #MorningPages

Diana the Diva has illusions of grandeur. With her big ideas, she wants to make a splash. She’s the one pushing this escape plan because she cannot stand the status quo. She likes to move, change, grow – and tell everyone about it. She’s suffocating in this this house, this town. She is ready to soar like the hawk. Forget the simplicity part, she wants freedom. She doesn’t care about the transition; she’s ready to take the leap now! On the journey, she’s wants to hit ALL the fabulous national parks that Ken Burns highlights in his documentary: Glacier, Yellowstone, Tetons, Bryce, Zion, The Grand Canyon (maybe rim-to-rim-to-rim like her adventurous friend Dixie). She means to climb and hike, cycle and swim, check all of them off her list. It’s time, she warns; we are not getting any younger.

Diana had a point; I wanted to visit the parks, to fall in love with America again. But listening to her big ideas, the thought of the Wide Open West, feelings of hot white panic rose inside my chest cavity.

Wendy the Worrier (not Warrior) has a million reasons why change, this change, any change, is not a good idea. She crosses her arms over her chest and shakes her head: she is not having some mad go-west adventure on her watch. She’s the responsible one, the organizer. She knows what it takes, and the burden always falls on her shoulders to deal with the details – the house, the finances, our health. She needs safety, security, a plan. She not taking any chances. She’s the protector. She protects us from any and all inevitable heartbreaks, letdowns, and disasters.

Wendy had a point too, but was annoying as hell. She got buried in the details and killed the joy of life. If I wasn't careful, she could completely thwart my change endeavor.

Molly the Muse wears a string of mala beads and madras balloon pants and just wants peace and quiet and a desk where she can write – a serene place where she can roll out her yoga mat and move and meditate when she gets a block. She doesn’t need much; if it's a pretty place, great – close to a hiking trail for some walks in nature, great. But she doesn’t need to travel far. She believes the change is inside her, and she’s ready to write it out!

Wow, I grimaced, I marveled. The voices were so distinct, so clear, three faces of Me. Either I had multiple personality disorder or, as Walt Whitman poetically put it, I contain multitudes.

The good news was: I no longer felt alone in this life decision. In fact, I might have to play mediator. Stepping back to weigh the arguments, I could see all the selves on this journey, each packing her gifts. And they’d all be there whether I liked it or not.

Acknowledging that was the first step to a clearing on the change path.

What selves are jousting within you? What truths do they have to tell? Who will win? Is there any negotiating?

In my next post I will share which voice has spoken most loudly and what I am doing about it.

Stay tuned!



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