I remember the moment I felt him. I was by the mirror in the front of the gym with my weights and pad ready to get in a sweat session sans my new trainer who was out for surgery. He, Mr. Man, was over by “the contraption”, or at least that’s what I called it. I never understood how to maneuver the various clips and arms to make any meaningful exercises. He was mid renegade row. So, coincidentally, was I. We faced each other and our eyes met. Damn, I thought. I’ve been sighted. But more than that, I felt the nudge. Him? I asked. My intuition said yes.
I started going to Knot Springs to finally get my butt in gear. I started running about 4 years prior and while I made strides, pun intended, I always seemed to get hurt. Turns out I had weak glutes and don’t activated them properly. Hence the issues. My trainers focused on my glutes. Yes, there is nothing better than two attractive (read: smokin’) trainers in their twenties staring at my 40 something ass, intently, ensuring I engage proper mechanics. I wasn’t there to meet anyone. I wore a sweatband as I’d be sopping after an hour of whatever my trainer’s dreamed up. One was particularly good at getting right to where it hurt…so good.
Needless to say, the few other times Mr. Man popped up, I averted my eyes. I didn’t want him to engage. Why? Well, sit tight and I’ll fill you in.
Rumi said that “your task isn’t to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
In short, whatever that man stirred in me was something I wasn’t ready for. I said I wanted love back then, except I kept my sights pointed at another man in the gym. Someone who wasn’t available to me which only activated my unavailable-but-I’m-going-to-try-anyway-meter. I’m sure a few of you have ’em too. You go for not available because you’re not really ready yourself. In some cases, not available even activates your attachment type and your locked in a dance that isn’t a true connection but a mess of wrong signals.
As Rumi stated, I still had barriers to love within myself. And I did. Only I didn’t realize how much I was using them to keep me at arms length from romance and passion, the very things I’ve said I’ve been seeking for years now.
I kept seeing Mr. Man at the gym and while I felt the nudge, I shushed it. I pushed it down and kept on moving. It didn’t have anything to do with him. It was all me. I had enclosed my heart in an iron cocoon and while I’d made efforts and cracked that baby open with the men before, this last nudge, well it was a final push I needed… only it wouldn’t come for months.
Back to the gym, one day my two trainers and he were in the gym with me. Yay me! Actually, I’m not complaining as they’re each amazing men. One has become a friend and the other I’ll always remember fondly as he helped me get comfortable in the gym. And Mr. Man? I finally said hello. Actually, I’m not sure I said that but I noticed his tattoo. It was an Enso. I’d seen it before during deep dive into all things spiritual. I couldn’t remember the name or the exact placement but still, it piqued my curiosity enough that I looked at him and asked, “is that tattoo for Wabi Sabi?”
Mr. Man looked at his tattoo and then over at me, “kind of.” My trainer friend said, “that means no,” chuckling. If I didn’t adore my friend I would’ve smacked him.
“Actually,” said Mr. Man, “it’s a symbol for Zen Buddhism and relates to imperfect nature of the universe which is a Wabi Sabi philosophy.” I smiled at my trainer friend, not smugly but so he knew that while I’m an airhead in the gym, I do know things.
“I like that.” I responded then finished my warm-up. I knew it was going to be a tough workout session and needed to get my head back in the game I didn’t see Mr. Man for a few more days.
It was a Saturday and snowing in Portland, Oregon. I made the trek into the gym since it was predicted to melt by the time I’d be going home. I bought my favorite nut milk latte before my training session and took a few pics of the beautiful snow-flakes falling from the pewter sky. I started my warm-up and saw Mr. Man. He was on the machines close to me but it wouldn’t be until after my session that I actually delved into a convo. Somehow there was a discussion about religion and my trainer friend mentioned that it’s important to just be a good person. I brought up the Council of Nicea and how it relates to the Bible. Mr. Man whipped his head my way. Oooooh, I thought. He knew of this! A divinely muscled man who has a spiritual tattoo in the gym knows about the Council of Nicea. Swoon. I started to tell him about my spiritual path. He told me his name, Matthew. I talked for over an hour and he crouched near me, intently listening and asking thoughtful questions. He mentioned needing to take a shower but that he’d be back. I said that I should get home to my daughter anyway. I felt vulnerable sharing so much so quickly with this man who I just met. I didn’t exchange information because I’d be seeing him again soon. I was at the gym three times a week.
That following Monday, COVID stay-at-home orders went out in my state. No gym. No going anywhere except for emergencies. I was crushed. I kicked myself internally for not getting more info so we could be in touch. We could have ALL THE CONVOS while stuck at home via Zoom or FaceTime.
I know you want a nice happy ending. I don’t know if I’ll ever see him again. But between the months of meeting him to now, I’ve done the inner work. I’ve worked to remove the barriers within me. And the above mood board is my way of letting the universe know with a breathless yes, “him, whomever he may be, I’m ready.”
I recently purchased a crystal sphere, I have many crystals but I felt the nudge and listened. I’ve learned the lesson to follow the nudge, so I snapped it up. When I purchased the orb it was oriented different on the stand and when I opened from the packaging, I squealed with delight as here was the Enso coming back to me. This one was closed meaning completion. I don’t know about you, but that definitely feels magical.