All New

smallsweptunderrugThe spirit is incredibly strong.  When the body has squeezed out its last ounce of effort, the spirit can pick it up and do its bidding. Someone asked, “How’ve you been?” and I replied that I had moved house.  Two words that do not convey the enormity of the event.  At all, really.  How about “I packed, lifted, dragged, hoisted, transported, hauled, carried and plopped every material thing that matters to me, from my daughter’s plastic ring that she received in a party favor bag to the 60″ HD television and every inanimate or living object in between, large and small.”  Would that cover it?

We spread the work over three days to avoid the stressful, nerve-jangled one day of it all but it was still exhausting because it seemed that the material stuff oozed out of unseen spaces.  When I thought I’d accomplished one part, I found more overlooked crap to go into another box that I didn’t  have.

The back aches and twinges upon stretching and says “If I gotta help you lift one more thing and you don’t do it from the knees, I’m just gonna quit and you’ll be stuck like this for days.”  So I tried to be mindful of that.

Cats don’t move well.  At least the skinny, nervous kind.  On top of the fatigue and the whole pulling energy from all corners of the body, I became embroiled in a hissing bloodshed escape attempt.  But again, the spirit overcame and four days into the new place, my cats are adjusting.  They still have the low-girdled, jerky-faced look of a prisoner on the run but they’re coming around and it seems my skinny kitty and I have forgiven each other for the pain we inflicted.

And so life begins again.  In a new home.  A new road to take.  New places to frequent…mostly the liquor store.

I like the organizing, the finding new places for furniture, the new pathways around a house.  I like the new.  As much as I loathe moving (and this one was particularly fraught with worry) I do rather relish the Mary Poppins aspect of everything in its place and a place for everything.  It’s refreshing for my soul.  And with that, certain cares have had the carpet lifted from them and their dustbunny existence has been blown from me.  It’s quite freeing.

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Mental Salmon

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I do not think that in the seven months I’ve been meditating (give or take the last two months) that my mind has been quite so rackety with thoughts during the quiet time.  Even as a newbie last year, on the tail end of some very emotional stuff, I did not have half as many visions and scenarios that I’ve had recently.  And it’s almost impossible not to become absorbed by each one.  I realize only when I’m in deep that I’m engaged; I have to bring my awareness back but before long another one steals in and sneaks up my skirt.

Granted there’s a lot going on in the life of this Spiritual Biscuit.  We finally found a rental home and will be moving next Monday but coming up with funds for all and sundry is a gargantuan effort, helped mostly by some very good friends and by family.  Moving was not our choice; it was forced upon us and if the landlord had waited just a few more months, we wouldn’t be struggling as we are.  So, we’re emptying our bank account to move in, to move our pets in (because pet deposit is ridonkulous), to turn on water, to switch on electricity, to turn on cable and internet (which I might survive a while without but with two young children, my sanity depends upon it), to have trash picked up.  And don’t even get me started on a moving company.

This will also be the first summer that my kids have not stayed at home with me, so we’ve been researching day camps too.  *cha-ching-a-ling-ding-ding*.  And beyond that, the lovely task of breaking the news that they’ll be moving to another new school in the Fall.  My daughter is just like me when I was a kid – adaptable, easygoing, friendly and upon floating the subject, she’s all “I’m a duck, where’s the water?”  My son is like my husband, reserved, resistant to change and as evidenced by last year’s switch, capable of becoming so highly emotional that he will make himself sick.  So…yay for that upcoming conversation.

Lots of external clatter makes for much internal chatter.  But somewhere through the chaos and unkempt mind, is a small still space.  I was there for a few seconds today and it cracked a teeny, tiny smile before I got sucked back into the fray once again.  I will also admit that my meditation practice, as mentioned above, has been quite sporadic.  With time and consistency and once we are moved and somewhat settled, I’m sure my mind will calm some.  It’s not as if the scenarios I have are ones that need sorting out.  They are generic, every day themes that I can’t recall after the fact so I’m not worried that I have inner demons to chase down right this very moment.

I’m treading water.  Doing ok for now.  Keeping busy.  And remembering that being mindful is as easy as focusing on scraping the salmon off the bottom of the pan.

Lisa…

Bird on a car

Well.  Here I am in a much better frame of mind.  The pendulum began to swing back up after a very low month or so and needed one extra push which led me to my crystal/reiki lady at Penns Place.  I visit every couple of months to lay on her massage table with the appropriate stones linked by string, placed on my main chakras.  We meditate for a few minutes and then she performs reiki on me.  It’s one of the things I love to do…it’s only the third time I’ve had it done but it’s essential; it restores my wellbeing and I feel energized and happy.  Sometimes extraordinary things happen too.  When she places her hands over my Third Eye, the internal vision blossoms a dark blue or indigo, it’s amazing.  At other times as she is working her way down my body, I can feel myself lying straight but also crooked and jutting out on either side at the same time.  It’s sort of like Jodie Foster’s character in Contact when she’s strapped to the chair in the machine.  At times, she is separated from her own self – it feels like that.  Last Saturday when I visited, I had vivid vignettes; fast, colorful and with no discernible meaning.  I wasn’t sleeping yet I couldn’t remember them when I sat up.

Our living situation hasn’t changed.  We are 12 days away from our final day at this house and still have no place to go.  Currently, we are waiting for an answer on a lovely house we found less than a mile from the one we are in.  It has a huge back garden with a treehouse sort of thing and when I drove by it a few days ago, I couldn’t help but take a sharp breath in and think “I want to live here”.  It’s in a cul-de-sac and would also mean no hassles with schooling for the kids.  We are hoping the agent will approve a co-sign.  We wait and we hope.  In the meantime, per our realtor’s instructions, we keep searching just in case and I’m taking the kids to see another house this evening.  Not close by.

Last week on the way to work, the radio was on but I wasn’t really listening, just sort of looking at things and vaguely wondering things.  One random thought was the question of birds and cars.  Specifically, do birds alight on cars when the cars are stopped?  And if so, why have I never seen it happen?  It went unanswered obviously and I thought nothing of it until yesterday when I pulled out of work to the traffic light.  Right in front of me, a bird with wings and legs outstretched attempted to land on the roof of the car in front.  The light changed and the car moved, thwarting his efforts but he appeared to follow it a few feet before veering off in front of me.  I chuckled, slightly amazed that my question had just been answered.

And that brought me to my thoughts about Angels.  I do believe in spirit guides but angels were a gray area until I started this biscuit journey of mine. I ran across an entry on WP about numerology a few months ago and since then, it’s been darting to and from the forefront of my consciousness.  So much so, that I have a page on my Google Chrome app permanently set to Doreen Virtue’s Angel numbers.  I’m not that au fait with it all but I do notice, mostly on license plates, the triple digits.  I saw 333 twice yesterday.  I saw 555 the day before which I never see.  I also see 444 a lot.  It’s a step too far for my husband so I don’t share with him as much.  In fact, this is the first time that I’ve admitted to dabbling a squidge in numerology.

Given the way my path has been lately, I’ll grab those numbers and run with them to help build up my faith because the empty, hollow, faithless feeling I’ve had recently, although is part and parcel of this journey, is not a place I want to be in again anytime soon.

Lisa…

What’s on your plateau?

I am not lost. I am not in a quandary. I am not confused. I have simply…taken a step away. Definitely in a spiritual valley, a lower plateau so to speak, certainly not on any part of the journey that slopes upward to a peak affording magnificent views of the land ahead.

I felt it, a certain snapping last week during a particularly hellish emotional time, which bore the fruit of my last post. Initially I had prepared myself for a big change; an impending house move – another move in a long 43-year timeline of moves. Except this one had snuck up early and at first I was a bit out of sorts about it but came back around to my usual, “y’know…it’s gonna be ok, home is where my family is and that’s what’s important.” I laughed at that, my husband rolled his eyes good-naturedly and we swept any concerns about the wheres and the hows under the now, very lumpy rug.

Money’s Too Tight To Mention so sang Mick Hucknall and it has held true for too many years but we could see a light at the end of the tunnel, my husband and I. He had started to bring home a real, honest-to-goodness paycheck and so was I. He had a plan to pay off some very important overdue bills so that by the end of this month, we could begin to put aside funds for the move….deposit, moving company etc.

The most pressing thing was to keep our kids in their current school; we felt another switch so soon after making new friends and finding a new rhythm would be too hard on them, despite their resilience and adaptability. Thanks to a rather nice Delaware education clause named “Choice”, we found out that we could move out of the school district yet still keep them in the same school, so that gave us some breathing room. With that in mind, and now with a sense of urgency, we expanded our search of homes to surrounding towns but it soon became apparent that we were woefully short of the amount needed to move into anywhere. We were also uncomfortably aware that our past credit history would drag behind us like an anvils tied to our legs. It began to feel hopeless. Then my husband delivered another blow which I was totally unprepared for; a possible move out of state to a townhome owned by a builder who knows a business partner of a friend, who knows this guy and is the accountant of that friend who knows his Dad – yada, yada, yada. The feeling of puppetry working all over us, herding and shuffling us around from here to there, forcing us to obediently bow and scrape our thank you’s and gratefulness was the final straw. You see, it’s a continuing theme in our lives – this lack of control.

I threw my spiritual hands in the air; had enough of believing in source and abundance and love. I relinquished it all and have not felt at all like meditating or reading my favorite uplifting blogs or having anything at all remotely to do with wellbeing, mindfulness, love, light and spirit. I am not the least bit interested. Neither am I bothered by my indifference. I know the true me is there, always will be, would never abandon me because that’s impossible. And no doubt I will return in my own good time. I don’t want to admit that “I’m just being” or “I am letting it be”. To say it implies that I am interested when I just don’t care right now. That’s not to say that I’m grouchy and miserable either (although I am on the tail end of the flu, so may be forgiven for being a bit limp) I’m not at all. I’m civil, I’m nice and I’m genuinely kind. I’m…simply holding steady, I think.

My husband would like to see me back on track; he feels a certain responsibility for my current location and I would just like to say that no matter the lowest of lows and the joyous high of highs, I wouldn’t want to be stuck in the trenches with anyone else but him, even if I want to flick trench mud in his face from time to time.

And so we wait, almost as if on the precipice of someplace. We wait for news of a place to move into which all hinges on background checks, credit checks, references etc. It’s a nice place that we could afford after a little help getting our feet in the door. And I wait for news of a short story…will be published, will it be rejected?

We wait. And no matter what happens or what direction we go in, we take steps forward together. And I will come back to the spiritual when I’m ready because sometimes, you just gotta take a break.

I have sheep on my plateau!

I have sheep on my plateau!

Ell…

Take it as it comes.

I’ve lived here…

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Plymouth, England

and here…

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Charlottesville, VA

and many, many other places in between. Currently, I live here…

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Delaware

It’s been a gypsy kind of life, minus the caravan. Although, I’d love to have one of these…

Gypsy Caravan

…in my back garden, all nestled in some tall overgrown grass with some hollyhocks and foxgloves. Imagine lounging on the steps during a warm fall evening with a glass of chilled white wine and some noshy things to nosh on. Mmmm…

Anyhoo…yes, I’ve been picking up my stakes and throwing them down all over England and the United States. Made such a mess, you could probably track me down in Borneo if you wanted to. Not going there though, too many creepy crawlies.

My Dad was a Navy man, you see. British Navy, if you please, which meant moving from one Naval married quarters to the next, until I grew out of the primary (elementary) school years and needed a place to buckle down with regularity. And that’s how we ended up in Plymouth, England. Actually, we’d lived there twice before during our early years (that was a fun time – leaving a school at the age of five only to return five years later? All the kids I knew had grown up and around each other. Nowhere else have I ever felt quite like the outsider as I did during the final year in that school.)

Anyway, yes, during my secondary school (middle) years, I lived in that house in Plymouth for six years.

And here’s where I just blew my own mind across the desk. That is the longest I’ve ever lived in a house. From the age of twelve to eighteen. I’m forty-three now and the most I’ve stuck down roots in a house, not a town – a house or apartment…would be three years. Sometimes, I know my up-and-moves came from possessing a restless spirit. Sometimes it was circumstance; a broken relationship here, a job loss there, eviction notice or a condemned house (yes, that happened) – they all necessitated a move.

Just to backtrack a second, it’s probably safe to say that in my entire life, I’ve never settled down. My Mum’s marriage fell apart around the time that I was born (fabulous!), so was forced to find where she could in terms of housing. As a single, working mother in the early 70’s, I’m sure it was no easy feat. She’s told me over the years how she met my Dad (not my “step dad”, because he actually went one step further and adopted me) at a Halloween party when he was docked in Norfolk, VA and how she was sort of her friend’s wing girl, except it was my Mum who met her “One.”

So, at two and a half, I moved from the States to England. New Dad. New family. New environment. A lot to adjust to, right? Even as a toddler. These days, there would be much care taken for the well-being of the toddler and the family as a whole. But back then, there were no outreaches, no helping hands, no sympathetic groups. You had to get on with it. Stop yer grumblin’ and get to work!

Here I am now with two kids of my own; both in elementary school and one not far from the middle. I was adamant before the oldest started school that they would not be shifted and shipped around like me. That they would have a stable education and that they would grow up in one house. Images of my son bounding in after some extra-curricular activity, of my daughter standing on the beautiful butterfly staircase before going to prom…

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…Yes, these very stairs. This was our house, the one we dreamed of living in until the kids went to college. Buuuuut….circumstances outside of our control forced us to move, and move, and move again. And, quite frankly, that gorgeous house should never have been ours. It was out of our league.

I know kids move around all the time. And kids are resilient. Kids bounce back. That’s what everyone kept telling me when mine had to bear the brunt of switching schools. They took the changes in stride, shed a few tears, balked a little in the mornings but on the whole, seven months in, they’re doing just fine.

I turned out fine too, despite the lack of concern for my true well being as a toddler and the subsequent trauma that occurred which might be a bit too personal for sharing. That, and I’ve recovered quite nicely from it so why dredge it all up again, right?

We have more house moves on the cards, I know for a fact and with each one, I become more weary; I wanted to plant those roots and watch them grow (excuse the French Kiss line) a long time ago. I actually really like where we are; it’s the first time in a long time that a place feels like home.

So, circumstance might have some control over the situation but how I deal with it and how my family sees me dealing with it is the most important thing. I just wish I hadn’t unpacked ALL the boxes in a fit of “Goddamn it, I’m fed up with living my life in boxes, I’m going to open up everything and put everything in its place,” when we moved in.

Lisa…