Lost

I am struck today at just how lost I am.

Somehow, my husband and I landed on our feet, and this year has been about repairing our marriage and finding a new path.  But it’s not solid ground for me yet.

Perhaps there is a void that I hadn’t noticed.  Perhaps it has been swelling and growing for sometime.  I’m not sure what caused it; maybe it was left there when my husband took on some of the burden of our family life which had been mine to carry for so long.

I have stopped meditating.  I am exercising hard.  I am also drinking more than I should.

And, I have stopped being creative.

I am floundering.  Directionless.  In a mental, physical and spiritual rut.  Feeling lost today and upon reflection of the situation, am quick to tears.

Meditation and creation.

I think these might help.

And a new tattoo.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

The Way Forward

I have spent years in the wilderness.  I found a clearing a few years ago but it did not lead to any sort of opening or escape.  On more than one occasion, I thought that I could bolt through the forest to find my way out but that proved to be futile.

Now is my time, and I have found the path.

I speak metaphorically, of course.  The clearing I speak of was discovered when I began the practice of meditation in 2013.  For some, tuning in to self cannot come from simply sitting and being, but I fell into it with ease.  I understood that chatter was okay; that it was fine to set an intention but at the end of each practice, nothing need be accomplished.

It just is.  I can just.be.

Currently, there are major shifts in this soul’s life, so I returned to practice.  I came home to the sangha and was welcomed as if by family.  It’s been only two weeks since I picked up where I left off but the clarity and stillness cultivated long ago never left.  Just like seedlings in a field; they have been dormant.  The only thing they needed was for me to notice.  To provide awareness.

My path ahead is uncertain.  I know to some degree what I do and do not want.

My practice will help me through.  And forward.

Welcome home.

lost_soul_evolurtion_by_nataly1st-d34sqs9The thing I loved to do became a burden. It was time to push it behind for a while, let it curl up like a tired cat to sleep. In time, it will have been rejuvenated, will have shorn its tiresome aura, its toxicity, and I will be able to love it once more.

Now I can focus on the spirits that matter. I can support, and be there. It’s coming home and it’s most welcome.

I brought out my cushion (which is actually a giant stuffed monkey) and got down into myself for the first time in a very long while.  Almost immediately after the timer bell rang, fat words drifted up to say Hello and the smile on my face stretched from ear to ear.  It was wonderful, and so reassuring to confirm that I am always there even if the ego drags me this way and that.

“This body is not me; I am not caught in this body, I am life without boundaries, I have never been born and I have never died. Over there the wide ocean and the sky with many galaxies. All manifests from the basis of consciousness. Since beginningless time I have always been free. Birth and death are only a door through which we go in and out. Birth and death are only a game of hide-and-seek. So smile to me and take my hand and wave goodbye. Tomorrow we shall meet again or even before. We shall always be meeting again at the true source, always meeting again on the myriad paths of life.”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh, No Death, No Fear

My husband says I am an enigma. He looks at me quizzically. “You’re intelligent,” he says, “and yet, you believe in chakras and stuff.” I love him; he is the practical, realistic one. I am the intuitive one, and a believer of the teachings of many spiritual guides. We balance each other, my husband and me. Eleven years of mawwage tomorrow and how fucking wonderful it is to be right where we are with each other. After the rocky slopes; the slippery slopes, and the glaciers of silence, we are the most connected right now.

Welcome home.

Namaste Dave

Rarely do I have sea-time without having to keep an eye on the kids.  Miraculously, they all decided they were hungry at once and traipsed back up the beach to my poor, tired husband to eat.  I remained in the ocean, blissed out and floating, treading water lightly, or reclining fully to feel the weight of the sun on my face. It was glorious. I wasn’t consciously trying to be in the moment, or attempting to grasp a fleeting feeling of gratitude, things I often try to do when I take a few precious seconds to marvel at the horizon. It was enough to just be caressed by the swells, gently pushed this way and that.namastesaying

Not far from me a gentleman also bobbed around, on a small boogie board. We grinned at each other and he said, “It’s lovely out here, isn’t it?” to which I replied, “It really is.  And it’s easy just…to be.” He smiled wide and I knew that he knew what I meant. He had an immense, colorful tattoo on his back, about which I enquired.  He explained that he had been to Japan a few times and loved to meditate in their gardens, so over time he’d had a similar scene engraved on his body: soothing waterfalls, Japanese maples, ponds, trees…everything he would wish for in a place for meditation.  I remarked that it was like having his inside on the outside, and he liked the comparison. We chatted for some time, not realizing that we had drifted far from our meeting point, and past the red flag near the rocks, so we laughed and paddled back to where we started, and continued chatting. About yoga, and hotels, and family, and work, until we discovered we’d drifted again. We parted ways at that point; I had to swim back to the sightline for my husband and he had to go find his family. I asked his name; he said it was Dave.  I told him mine and as naturally as can be, I said “Namaste”.  He put his hands together and Namaste’d in return.

The next day, I was driving with the windows open in the car because it was cool enough outside.  Strands of my hair whipped this way and that, and I had tosurreal-art people squint a lot to protect my eyes from both wind and hair. It reminded me of the forces of nature; the ocean, at once giving you enough grace to hold yourself afloat but at the same time, moving you far where you thought you were. The wind, giving you the power to hold yourself steady, yet able to push you around at the same time. The forces of fate; meeting people, kindred souls, not so kindred souls, whoever, wherever, whenever, and for undetermined (or is it pre-determined?) lengths of time.

I met Dave for maybe ten minutes, and unless there are plans previously established before our lives on Earth, it’s unlikely that I’ll see him again. But I won’t ever forget him. Just as I will never forget the elderly lady at the grocery store two months ago who happily informed me of the differences between jams, jellies and preserves (Truth be told, I already knew, but wanted to connect with her because I was feeling particularly friendly that day). I won’t forget the woman with the white hat at table 15, years ago; who was so angry about waiting for her lunch that she insulted me, and thought her salad was puny. Or the waistcoated gentleman at table 13, who on our opening night scored a free meal because he was under the (mistaken) impression that his risotto had wild rice in it instead of Arborio. I will remember the father many weeks ago, showing his teenage daughter how to pump gas. She thought it was funny; he was trying to impress on her the importance of the task.  We made eye contact and in a split second, I understood his frustration and showed him that I empathized.

We shouldn’t forget the boyfriends, the old friends, the neighbors, or the random people. It would behoove us to remember not just the people who showed care and respect for us, but also the people who treated us terribly, who were rude, or hurtful, or broke our hearts.

Or is it just me? Am I the only one who thinks about this stuff? What capacity we have to hold all these memories! In some way, some small or big way, every one of these people created a spark, a connection. And in some way, it taught us something, showed us something, or maybe just helped to keep us buoyed during a day. I honor all of them.

(Of course, this also applies to people online whom I shall probably never meet in person.)

Namaste, All.

 

Come Lately

Lately I’ve not practiced meditation, lately I’ve not written a anything significant. In fact, it’s more than lately but how do we measure ‘lately’ anyway?  By my standards, my journey being what it is, lately is almost two months. There was a time when I might have felt a pang of guilt, coaxed on by the ego to make me feel bad, to make me feel inadequate, to make me feel as if I have no idea what I’m doing, to make me feel unworthy of being me.

I don’t these days.  I’m strong to my core, for it’s a place I’ve visited and come to know intimately. I know I’m there and that my light shines like a beacon for me to find when I’m ready to return.  So, I don’t feel any guilt.  If anything, I feel right and ‘where I’m meant to be.’

I read: http://findyourmiddleground.com/2014/06/09/accept-the-seasons-of-your-heart/  (I had trouble naming the link so had to post the whole URL) one of my favorite, spiritual, healthy, and loving bloggers, Val Boyko.  “Accept the seasons of your heart.” reinforced what I already knew; I’m in a great place with a few niggles from history which, by god, I think will be nipping over my shoulder forever.  However, I’m ok without meditation.  I’m ok with not writing.  I’m ok.  My energies are focused elsewhere.  Not that I can’t do more than one thing at once, it’s just the way it is right now.

Occasionally I’ll stop and check in, usually when I’m at a traffic light, or washing dishes, or cooking, or folding laundry, and feel the smile that flows from the very insides of me right up to my face.

Right there, I know I’m doing what’s right for me.

 

Well done burnt bridge.

659db0474e0f456a4d368385643d4799

For a long time, I have fought a battle that can never be fully voiced. It can never be laid out on a table for all to see. It is a private war. I have danced around it in my blog, written about hard-won skirmishes, and weary defeats. It’s a sort of thing that I have treated alternately with a delicate hand and a closed fist.

Its presence is exasperating, like an annoying mosquito that won’t quit buzzing around.

No matter what I have done to abolish it (think on it, write about it, fight it, silence it, meditate on it, drink, eat), or didn’t do (let it be, accept it) it has had me chained to a merry-go-round. I, a colorful filly with great stems raised, ready to gallop, but unable to.

Recently, I burned the bridge to the battlefield that I alone had maintained. It was done with confidence, and without intention of returning to the precipice pleading for the link to be restored.

But, the ego is fearful. It knows I am stronger, and it bombards me with thoughts and questions, and the same old worn out lines. The crackled movie on a fading loop starring the old witch opposite Snow White, except my apple gift is dented, and browned.

What is it afraid of? I think on it….and have to laugh a little because I simply don’t know.

I have everything I need inside and out!

It could have been a sad thing to burn that bridge, but by deciding to stop the fight; I am forced to face the truth.

And the truth is acknowledging the dark side of self; specifically emotions such as anger, aversion, and dislike. No more sweet frosting. No more battles. No more black and white, or tussles between good and bad. This is it; the beginning of true healing begins with the belief that negative feelings are as much a part of self as the positive. In this way, the ego has little left to live for, and that’s what it’s afraid of.

Without the dark, there can be no light. And, the more I calmly let in the dark that’s practically barging down my front door, the sooner I will be free of these shackles.

 

 

Resting.

It used to be that I’d pull one of my boss’ chairs askew and sit in the dark inner office to meditate. Or I’d find fifteen minutes when I got home before picking up the kids to sit and be still on the bedroom carpet; my fat kitty’s presence palpable beside me and the view of the woods known beyond closed eyelids.

I haven’t meditated in a long while; the humdrum of daily life clawed me back into waking, getting ready, bus stops, work, shopping, exercising, cooking, homework, dinner, cleaning, housework and now rehearsals. And, somewhere in there a modicum of sleep. It’s shameful to say that I have no time to meditate because there is always time; time is here, time is now. I spend hours alone at work; I could easily practice but I don’t.

Like a mental, gentle flick of the wrist, the idea is often dismissed.  The irony being that I won’t truly discover why I balk unless I investigate.

I miss nature; her sweet warmth and soul-rejuvenating properties. I miss the Sangha. The awful weather combined with my schedule has made it an impossible venture. I miss introspection. Real, deep, swimming-in-your-soul searching.

Perhaps I’m hibernating; resting while I coast on what I know, with my foot off the soul accelerator. Continuing to abide by my truth; offering lovingkindness to all I meet, addressing emotion, and accepting thought. Getting by satisfactorily until I feel ready to go swimming again. And all the while, aware of that tricky voice which speaks up with reprimands about one’s lack of ‘doing.’

1233601_10151583637387587_380354574_n