Oftentimes, growth doesn't happen in a linear progression. Sometimes taking a step "backwards" serves the highest purpose.
About three years ago, my son, dogs, ex and I were living in an efficiency apartment on the bottom level of a little cabin on Basalt Mountain, in the Roaring Fork Valley of Colorado. I had just moved the kid and dogs and I out to Colorado seven months prior. And the efficiency was perfect since we had moved with only what we could fit in the GMC Envoy my baby brother had traded us (so that we could have 4WD in the mountains).
There were many things I adored about this tiny place, including the dogs' ability to roam free on the mountain during the day. I've never seen them so happy or fit! And the views - both of Basalt Mountain (below, right) and Mt. Sopris (out our cabin window) instantly instilled peace in my soul.
Then, two stressful events happened almost simultaneously - I lost my job in Aspen, and our landlord (who had built the cabin himself and was living in St. Louis with his wife) experienced some serious health issues and decided to move home, giving us a mere two weeks' notice to find a new place to live.
With such short notice, the only place we could find that was available, affordable, AND allowed dogs was a place about an hour's drive away. It was downvalley and further West, meaning closer to the desert-like climate of the Western Slope and Utah. I have to admit I was crushed. Leaving my beloved cabin with the red rock and greenery to live in a much more conservative, rocky and dusty town?
But in moving "backwards" - in reluctantly moving to a place that was far from my conscious first choice, I actually created more space (physically and energetically) for growth.
Even with my artwork, I notice that sometimes a piece loses all momentum for months at a time. And adding new layers doesn't seem to make much difference. So sometimes I simply decide to cover the entire thing and start anew. Which isn't energetically anew, since each under layer still carries energy... But by painting the slate "clean" in a way, I'm able to call forth new alchemical potential. And reset the purity of my own energetic interaction to allow fresh creation.
Now, three years later, we are finally preparing to move back upvalley - to the cozy town of Carbondale. To this small community at the base of Mt. Sopris, supportive of the arts and healing, with even more children's activities available for my son. A series of near-miraculous events occurred which signaled to me this was more than chance, so I'm leaping.
And yet I'm stepping "backwards" again in order to make this move forward. Because we're moving in with my ex, who moved out of our home in Rifle a year ago.
We're moving back in together, not because I have a fairy tale dream of everything suddenly working out between us, but because it's a mutually beneficial arrangement. He was offered this cozy little place (which we agreed to fix up in exchange for affordable rent), and invited my son and dogs and I back in. We care deeply for each other (and he cares for my son), so it's hardly a worrisome situation.
I know it may seem like I'm moving backwards, but as past experience has proven, sometimes that's the best next step. Sometimes the apparent backwards move means creating more possibility. Just as an arrow must be pulled back in order to create enough potential to launch forward into a brand new space.