::ON FLAILING::

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Flailing Drawing

Talking with my mentor today about flailing. Actually, we were talking not only about our own, but also about a mutual friend’s flailing. The friend’s really good at it. God bless her, she’s begun so many careers, projects, ideas, but somehow nothing ever sticks. Add all that to the list, and she one of those who looks real good on paper. But her specialty, if she was going to be honest with herself – which, at this point, not so much – is flailing. As I said, and I mean it … God bless her.

We all flail. Some of us flail occasionally, some do it daily, as a normal response to living, period.

Martha Tinsdale

I love the show ‘Good Witch’ on Hallmark Channel. Martha Tinsdale, the town’s Mayor, is a flailer. She’s skittish and going off about something pretty much all the time.

Cassie Nightingale, the owner of the little shop, “Bell, Book, & Candle,” is calm as the lake on a still day. She’s direct, thoughtful, and soft spoken.

She almost never shows her flailing. So she’s the one many turn to when Cassie Nightingalethey feel their own flailing going out of control.

I can identify with both Martha and Cassie. I feel the skittish “Martha” energy kick in when things take a troubling turn. Unlike Martha, my flail is usually internal. “Closet flailing” … like what goes on in deep water. Surface calm to the naked eye. All hell breaking loose below. It doesn’t often last very long, just a few minutes. An hour or so at most. But there’ve been periods in my life when, being under assault, I’ve experienced active “peripheral flailing” on a twenty four hour basis. For weeks at a time. Months, even.

But my exterior is generally calm. When I’m in that scrambling space, very few people know it.

I’m always striving to zero in on the path to calm. To my “Cassie place.”

There are those who seek shoulders, and those who are the shoulders being sought. Shoulder seekers tend to be the flailers, the Marthas of the world. Those who offer shoulders are the ones who present calm, dependable energy … the “Cassies.”

And, you know, life is messy … it tends to flail on its own from time to time. Traffic, crowds, water pressure … it all flails. And that’s okay.

Because there is a point at the center of it all where the quiet reigns. And all the flailing, the flagging about, is a misguided attempt to get “there.”

So my mentor and I, having chatted this subject through, are laughing about our own scatter shots, our flailings … and are glad that we have each other to hold the peace.

We’ll call it, “Holding Peace While Flailing.” Cassie and Martha would be proud.

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