Tuesday, January 10, 2017

the strength of my roots

Where is it that I heard if you managed to uproot a tree then put it upside down with the branches in the ground, the tree would continue to grow? Huh.

Upside down is what I'm feeling right now. The wind is testing the strength of my roots.

Is there strength in knowing my vast capacity for vulnerability?

I have given up setting goals for the year but each day I resist the urge to do so. I think somewhere somehow someone has the answer to helping me get out what I am feeling and experiencing these days. But then I find my quiet space. This is sometimes followed up with guilt for not doing the things I think I should be doing.

It is a constant battle with myself and my expectations.

Strange how I just realized I don't know a darn thing about self-care. The simple kind of self-care that makes space for feelings and emotions that are usually covered up with to-do lists and meetings, meal-planning and cleaning is what has alluded me all this time.

Behind all these distractions there is nothing but myself. I am scared where these thoughts will lead me because I have to admit that the foundation I thought I had with my husband, my daughter, my home, my life are all impermanent. They are all subject to change and even subject to end.

They will end. Eventually.

But even before that end I am none of those things but only myself.

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Saturday, January 7, 2017

being still

Being still and doing nothing are two different things.
Jackie Chan, Karate Kid

Arctic blasts of cold air have been surging through Minnesota for about a week now. Relief is coming but only for a little while. Zero degrees feels like a friggin heat wave. All weather is all relative is a common saying in this parts. A simple shift of expectations can makes a season's worth of difference. 

Simple shifts are what I'm on the lookout for these days. A five minute struggle though meditation becomes six minutes the next day and seven the day after that.

Meditation is perhaps the best way to fully understand the deep meaning I found in the kids movie we watched last night. I scrambled to write down that simple sentence before it became trampled by that ever-present monkey mind of mine.  

This is my biggest little simple shift for this week. Knowing that being still is very different from doing nothing. Stillness simultaneously captures the moment while opening my heart's container for more. A little today, a bit more tomorrow and yet a little more the day after that. A simple shift of my expectations is making a soul's worth of difference.

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Thursday, January 5, 2017

joy right now?

I just unpacked the box that my father used to ship to me my mother's cremated remains. I had a deep, long wailing while doing it. I cried a guttural sound that came from deep within my heart.

It felt so very good. And for some reason I can't remember weeping and wailing like this since her death. I know I have. But the feeling was so new and so cathartic, it felt like the first time. Maybe the difference was that this time I listened to what my heart sounded like on the outside of my body.

My heart was also wailing in its yearning for some joy.

I know that we should all be wailing a bit more this year. Elections, Princess Leia, arctic blasts of cold, etc, etc. But for me that's all swirling around outside my own personal bubble of grief.

It feels manageable to have my own personal bubble of grief. I can effectively ignore all the other atrocities in this world. I am sheltering myself within my own grief.

I thought I would write today about personal development, the various steps I'm trying to take to be active in my own rescue. But after the wailing I realize I am not at the point of needing rescue right now. I don't need new habits or new goals or new anything except that which comes with each new day.

I do need some joy. I need an abundance of my emotions. I need to wander around my heart.

Mortality is the real shit, my friends. Some say the antidote to that is joy. The wailing I experienced earlier made me realize that it came out of the joy I am experiencing and that it is true I am experiencing joy. How can I not when I have a six-year-old who just began karate and reading. And knowing I get to watch her grow in ways that my mother never cherished in me and now, will never get to cherish in her granddaughter.

I don't know exactly what I mean to say or write. But the words seem right. And there is need for them to be said.

This is the truth I felt in my weeping and wailing: the grief may never go away.

The joy won't go away either. Unless I let it and that I know I won't do.

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Monday, January 2, 2017

Ok. Here I am.

All the snowy paths lead to warmth

I'm breathing a sigh of relief that 2016 has ended. I'm sure there are a lot of people feeling the same way. It had been a tough year. But still. It was hard for me to wrap my mind around all the troubles throughout this country and the world when I had so much death within my own little world. It's strange to think about living a new way of living that unexpectedly came my way when my mother died.

I spent the last two months just waiting for the year to end.

But now that 2017 is here I'm faced with living this new way of living that I actually have to LIVE. 2017 is so new and fresh and full of possibility.

And I'm trying my damnedest to refresh as well and think of all the new opportunities while at the same time honoring the grief I still feel.

It is tempting to scrap this blog. Blogging has evolved beyond me now but I do still enjoy keeping a scattered record of ordinary life.

Today is the last day of Winter Break. Tomorrow my family resumes all those things we ignored for two weeks. Even though my house is clean (a good way to start!) I'm not sure if I'm ready to be alone here and so, the lists begin.

Things to look forward to at the beginning of 2017:
1. I'm taking a 10-day trip to India. I haven't been there in 20 years. I've heard that it's changed a bit. ;)
2. I'm resuming Spanish classes at Language Central. Time to get off DuoLingo and get back to my textbook.
3. My porch office is nearly usable. I put in furnace vents sometime last year. The porch has big windows that fill all three outer walls. I'm looking forward to working out there when the snow is falling.
4. I'm in-between jobs right now and determined to make a go at starting my own business and creating several sources of income.
5. I'm debating between "abundance" and "wander" for my word of the year.

I'm going to carry this quote around with me for a little while and see where it takes me:

"Get busy with life's purpose, toss aside empty hopes, 
get active in your own rescue
 --if you care for yourself at all--
and do it while you can." 
Marcus Aurelius

I believe it is good advise for us all. Cheers to the new year. Thank for coming around and reading what I've had to share!

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