Iktsuarpok is the Inuit word which describes “the feeling of anticipation that leads you to go outside and check if anyone is coming, and probably also indicates an element of impatience.”
For the Inuit, who lived remotely, this was a rare and special feeling, as visitors didn’t come by very often. Not so, in my case. Surrounded by multiple devices through which to connect with others, I find myself “going outside and checking” many, many times a day. The feeling is anything but rare, and all too often controls me.
It prompts me to look at my phone several times when making my 15-minute drive to work. It urges me to check my email first thing in the morning, and soon thereafter, as I drink my coffee. It tempts me to check my Facebook, over and over again, after I’ve posted an event. It’s like an itch I scratch, before even feeling the itch. Or a twitch that has become so routine that I don’t notice it anymore. I check – randomly, repetitively and many times without purpose.
This feeling not-so-quietly whispers…”something should be happening right now!”
And the sweet, delicious anticipation that a surprise may be just around the corner has quietly become an expectation. An expectation that someone should call, text, write, like, retweet, comment, message, “heart”. An expectation that is uncomfortable and unreasonable. One that says something is wrong if there is no contact.
One that lies.
Spiritually speaking, I know that something is always happening and there is magic and beauty all around us. But I am not referring to this. I am referring to those moments that touch my ambition and my wishes. Those moments where my deepest wants somehow manifest in the day-to-day happenings – a voicemail left by a potential new client, an email inviting me to give a lecture at a company, a quick conversation with the store clerk, who just broke up with her boyfriend and is struggling with the pain.
Yes, I want something to happen.
I want to see, feel, touch, connect. I want to make things happen. I want things to happen to me. I want to touch and be touched. I want to impact. I want to be awed. I want to share. I want to receive. I want movement. I want stillness.
And when I put away all of my devices and stop letting Iktsuarpok dictate my actions, something does happen. I am left with a yearning that powerfully surges up from inside me. And it is big and real and personal.
And when I let it emerge, I experience the fear and pain of my huge wanting. I let my potential expand, and I am deeply satisfied.