All That’s Left is the Apple Pie

What a shake-down it’s been lately; sorrow swept in, and with it much chaos. It thoroughly blew up the inside of my house. Shit that I’d been hanging onto with the barest of fingertips snatched from my grip. Things that I had tried to keep in existence, thrashed from the fireplace. It’s a shame that it took such depth of grief to clean up. The loss of a person so important, and who left in such a way that I’m not sure how long it will take to understand.

Her chapter in my life sits in a red book on a bookshelf *over there*. From time to time I am sure I will revisit as I sit in my comfy rocking chair with the bay window behind and the safest and prettiest of views behind that.

I feel a settling. Am liking the change; embracing the deeper knowing; a new level of self-understanding.

Aware, too, of the layer of hurt that remains as if not all the junk was swept away. Some resemblance of certain things remain. And I am a terrible cleaner or picker-upper; they will likely stay.

I feel the cool, clean, new interior. It feels workable, I can do something here without the old restraint.

Sometimes you go down in order to go up. Or is it the other way around? You blow up to dive down, maybe? Either way, what’s left is most welcome. For me, I see apple pie on a farmhouse kitchen table.

I will chow down every bite and savor every sweet morsel.

And all around I will hear classical music.

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.

 

Not Forcing

The Summer of Me took a turn down a different road; the things I had hoped to achieve physically, thwarted by health issues. Perhaps the barriers were raised because the roots of planning grew from negative soil. Soil in a field rife with self-judgment, and skewed views of the way things needed to be in order to be pleased with myself –  if I could just be the weight I want to be; if I could be shape and size I want to be, things will be much better; I will feel better about Me.

Self, the all-knowing Mother, so calm around the bouncing, impatient child Ego, says in translucent tones, “No honey, this is not what you should be doing right now.”

Impetuous child. She pouts, thinks she knows better and does it anyway.

It has been “settle down time” for a while. In it, gentle daily lessons and reminders of self-acceptance. Doing as I please in moderation, even though it is often accompanied by a certain unease; breathing into being with the transitory nature of now.

Soon, when I am confident of my health, I will return to the road I had started upon. I should take Self with me; she will be an invaluable guide and a steadying force in the company of a headlong kid.

Mother and Child; Self and Ego.

BritInterrupted

A car needs all its parts to work together to create successful propulsion. Our major parts, if we consider ourselves as a car, would be the physical, the mental, the emotional, and the spiritual. All of these aspects require a cohesion for us to function optimally.

My car has broken down, and sits on the side of an unknown road with two flat tires, and smoke billowing from the engine.

I tried to keep things going, push myself to reach my goals, to work toward an obligation later in the year, to keep up, keep going, achieve the goals, get out, get moving. It started out great; I was gung-ho, throwing myself into this activity and that, but I’m not a new model and will admit to not having had a tune-up in quite some time. Before long, my efforts began to sputter. Essentially I leapt into a road trip without checking my shit out first.

The physical, I have often thought, is a manifestation of the troubles on the inside, and if the current situation is any indication, I must be in quite a disarray.

I asked myself, actually asked myself with the view to getting a response, what I could do to heal? The word ‘investigate’ came to mind, meaning to sit in quiet dignity and go to source. I haven’t been there in a long time; perhaps that is the root of healing. I sat in the darkened office at work, with the rumbles of trucks and reversing beeps outside, and meditated. I asked again, in that state of mind, what I could do to heal. Over and over. “What can I do to heal?”  I threw the question out to the Universe and let it go, having faith that I would be given an answer at some point.

I could say that this part of me wasn’t working properly, or the other part wasn’t in sync, and I couldn’t say when, how or even which one lost its footing. All I know is that it took a while and now here I am, the result of purposeful oblivion.

To return to my favorite horse analogy (because that’s totally how I see myself)…this filly needs to stop racing and head out to a nice field to graze for a while (within caloric limits, of course)…and be at peace with the decision. Yes, I’m feeling like it’s time to slow right down.

On what may be

Before my kids exit the car for camp every morning, I try to impart some wisdom. I understand that it’s mostly a futile thing but I hope that once in a while, and maybe for a long while, some of what I say will stick.

“Thoughts are like flowers and weeds.” I said yesterday, “The good, helpful thoughts are the flowers; the negative thoughts are the weeds. Your mind is like a garden, so be careful which plants you water, because what you water the most is what will grow. Would you prefer a mind full of beautiful flowers, or a mind full of weeds?” *crickets…..followed by mama’s gone crazy shared look*

“Sometimes not getting what you want is a good thing because it can lead you to much better things you never knew were there.” This one made my son eyeroll because he’d not been allowed to buy something on his electronic device half an hour earlier.

I’ve learned more about myself in the last two years than in all my years. Currently, I’m sitting with uncertainty, fear, worry, and frustration over things that I cannot control. In years gone by, I’d have been a bound slave to the dire link between thought and emotion. I know better now to locate the peaceful light inside, even if it feels like I’m parting a hedgerow that only serves to become thicker and snappier with each handful apart. I can see the light, I can feel the light, I can tap into it, and for a fleeting moment, peace settles in, right there in the middle of the writhing forest. Soon enough, and inevitably, the thoughts swoop in like crows with their chatter and tightness and the white birdlight flies away.  The process ebbs and flows as I work throughout the days to breathe, center, tap in….breathe, center, tap in…

Art Fantasy Fantastic Illusion Magic Painting Surrealism -6My lesson for the next few days will probably be about letting go of trying to control things. Keeping at least some part of me in touch with the light on the other side of the hedgerow while the rest of me is fretting about something that has an either/or outcome. And pulling from the experience, some words of wisdom for my kids who, one day, will appreciate the little seeds I’ve been planting. I hope.

 

Manifest my drum set

I’m sure you’ve heard of the Law of Abundance.

I like to walk at a nearby horse farm that has a long trail through woods, and across fields, and which, at points, neighbors with back gardens. I have walked by the houses and lusted after pools, cabanas, patios and decks. Nothing extravagant, but certainly nice. I have felt jealousy, and bitterness and lack in my heart, and not just at these possessions but toward other peoples’ successes. It’s how we judge ourselves and each other, even the most spiritual of us who are not monks in a monastery would have to admit to a slight inkling of the ego’s darker nature.

It was one evening that I walked by the same back gardens and caught myself having the same thoughts. “When will we…?” “Why can’t we…?” “Will we ever…”? “Ugh, These people are so lucky…” It was then that the Law of Abundance principle popped into mind; a practice which I understand but have trouble instituting consistently.

I guess it’s a double-edged sword on a personal level; having been in a position of absolute financial wreckage with a family to support, the overtones of which still waver around. It’s challenging to maintain the belief that what you want can be yours simply by believing, envisioning and feeling that they truly already are. But, I also have a natural bent toward believing that these sorts of things actually work. In fact, I have a very good friend who practices this manifestation belief daily, and she is quite successful.

So, I joined a group on Facebook to help buoy my abundant side; took part in a ‘manifest $200’ for the day and promptly got a $600 bill from the dentist, which is sort of funny now but definitely was not at the time.the-creator1

I’m not one to be deterred or downtrodden very often so I set about consciously practicing daily gratitude for all the things I have. This is where it begins; truly appreciating that what we have is all we need. We don’t have a lot of money but we are able through one avenue or another, to provide a summer of fun for ourselves and the kids. It may not be a Caribbean vacation or at trip to Disney but it’s more than we could have done in years gone by. We live in a great, little neighborhood with an abundance of friends for our kids, and with watchful eyes, and texting parents, they are able to stay out until bedtime. We are blessed in many ways, and we are rich with love. More and more these days, I think and believe that I have everything I need.

With all that taken care of on a daily basis, I would now like to manifest a book written by me on the bestseller list, and a drum set for my husband. Actually, I think I want the drum set more than the book because watching him practice a beloved rusty skill would be all I’d need.

A book would be cool, though, so I’d better get back to practicing, writing, imagining, believing, trusting, hoping, creating, and loving.  Consistently.  Decisively.

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.