Monday, November 26, 2012

Day 17,218 Gratitude: Steady Courses and Tricky Terrains


With full hearts and stomachs, we safely tucked our daughter back into her college dorm yesterday.  It helped us to remember and remind each other that we would be back soon to fetch her for the month-long Christmas break.  But it was still a somber five hour drive, half of it with her and half without, no matter how much we tried to fa-la-la it.  Eastern Ohio in November is all sullen sky and barren landscape ... fodder for deep thoughts about life's changes, which can be its own tricky terrain.


I had assumed that I would be self-employed by now, conjuring a livelihood through some patchwork configuration of a creative life, but content in the meantime (i.e. the last 12 years) to work my traditional job primarily from home.  But here I am, blinking in front of the computer as I complete my application for a position that will require my presence in an office, full-time.  Something I swore that I would never do again.  Something that makes absolutely no sense in light of what thought I wanted.  And yet, somehow, something that makes perfect sense after all.  Or will.  I hope.

If we can't be completely fearless in the face of change, maybe we can muster a little faith or keep an open mind.  Sometimes we can't know what's waiting for us until we say yes to the invitation and then follow through, come what may.  The clearest view is always in hindsight.  For a steady course despite the limited visibility, I am so deeply grateful.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Day 17,211 Gratitude: What is Given is Received

These are interesting times as we all, to a greater or lesser degree, feel the squeeze between eclipses and Mercury's retrograde dance.  So many are going through so much right now.  A friend asked me to crochet a Reiki shawl for a dear one who is going through cancer treatment.  It is such an honor to create something that will be of comfort through this experience.  As with Reiki treatments, every one given to another is one also received, so I have been basking in the healing and compassion inherent in the process of needle, fiber, and blessings united on behalf of another.  We are all in this together.  Uplifters and uplifted.  And for this I am so deeply grateful.         

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Day 17,203 Gratitude: Baby Cheeses in a Manger

Today I am so grateful ...

For a belly sore from laughter with dear friends (and baby cheeses in a manger).

For my sweet old dog with a heart (and appetite) so big that she must be in the middle of everything (and everyone).

For the luxury of an unplanned day wide open for a long, dream-laden nap.

It's all about simple pleasures, small changes and realistic expectations around here as the trees around me release the last of their leaves.  I am grateful to know myself and my cycles pretty well.  This one is all about pulling inward, circling the wagons, and building the figurative fat layer that will sustain me through my upcoming hibernation. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Day 17,202: She Let Go

She let go.
Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of the fear.
She let go of the judgments.
She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.
She let go of the committee of indecision within her.
She let go of all the "right" reasons.
Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
She didn't ask ayone for advice.
She didn't read a book on how to let go.
She didn't search the scriptures.
She just let go.
She let go of all the memories that held her back.
She let go of all the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.
She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.
She didn't promise to let go.
She didn't journal about it.
She didn't write the projected date in her daytimer.
She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.
She didn't check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.
She just let go.
She didn't analyze whether she should let go.
She didn't call her friends to discuss the matter.
She didn't do a five-step spiritual mind treatment.
She didn't call the prayer line.
She didn't utter one word.
She just let go.
No one was around when it happened.
There was no applause or congratulations.
No one thanked her or praised her.
No one noticed a thing.
Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
There was no effort.
There was no struggle.
It wasn't good and it wasn't bad.
It was what it was and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be.
A small smile came over her face.
A light breeze blew through her.
And the sun and moon shone forever more.

-Ernest Holmes

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Day 17,200 Gratitude: Goodness

I don't know if it's all due to sitting under some lucky star or hitting the karmic lotto, but over the last couple of years I have met and befriended a number of amazing and inspiring people.  Through their encouragement and example, they have helped to resurrect the creatrix in me.  Each of them, in their own unique way, make me think, make me laugh, and make me bring my best to the table.  Many of these newish friends are professional artists.  Some are not.  But all of them are brave, prolific and steadfast in their craft ... whatever that may be and however that may be woven into their day-to-day lives.  They are wholly unapologetic about who they are, what they have to offer and what they need to thrive.  What is borne of it and of them is beautiful, heartfelt and, in its own way, healing.  In a world sorely in need of more whimsy and why-nots, I am so happy to have had the good fortune to find these good people who are such good examples to us all. 

For the precious opportunity to gather with a few of them this weekend to contemplate and toast the year that is closing and the one that is to come, I am so deeply grateful.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day 17,197 Gratitude: The Care and Feeding of Uncertainty

From out of the blue, a potential opportunity landed in my lap this morning.  All surprises, be they good or bad, tend to throw me out of orbit, at least initially.  I was shocked, then flattered and finally wrecked by this prospect.  This isn't an offer that I would have sought out.  In fact, I thought that I had been running in the opposite direction of its kind for many years.  So, in its own way and for many reasons, the idea of turning around and pursuing it feels like a step backward despite the inherent advancement.  The first whiff has that pungent note of giving up.  The first impression is unmistakably play-it-safe.  And yet there are many important reasons why it would be crazy for me not to consider saying yes.  How are we supposed to know if that which we are resisting is really what is best (and blessed) for us?  I am torn and troubled.

So tonight, for the first time in six months, I got my butt out the door and then put it on my yoga mat in the safe circle of class.  I did something else that I've resisted ... returned to my body and breath.  With a tear or two, I surrendered yet again to what has become a familiar traveling companion this year.  Uncertainty.  For the answers that I trust are forthcoming and the perfect path for me that I trust is unfolding, I am deeply grateful. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Day 17,195 Gratitude: Treated

Over the last year or two, I've taught several Reiki classes.  All of them from my home.  This weekend's class was the first at a local shelter.  They have approximately 400 dedicated volunteers and not one single paid staff member at this no-kill facility that's brimming with animals and love.  It is such an honor to be here.  In the moment this photo was taken, before any students had arrived, I had the chance to really contemplate the impact of what it is that I am offering here.  It is one thing to give treatments.  One wonderful thing.  But it is something altogether different, deeper, to teach people how to treat themselves ... to treat others ... to become a force of healing and compassion in a world that sorely needs it.  My students don't know it when they get here and class begins, but when our class ends, they do.  Life will never be the same.  And for the privilege of facilitating this discovery, I am so deeply grateful.

Although not born on a Monday, there is a new mandala for you to download and color.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Day 17,193 Gratitude: Birth

November is here.  Those who know me well know that this is the start of what I call Dark Time.  Moving forward from now through February requires me to muster fortitude that it takes all year to store.  I am wired to need sunshine and warmth to thrive.  Without them, I sleep.  A lot.  I start to avoid going out.  And some days it gets hard to shake the blues.  Rarely do I forget that this too shall pass, things will get better ... brighter days will return.  But this in no way means that it doesn't scare the hell out of me when my trusty bag of tricks provides no relief.

So drawing the Birth card this morning made me wonder.  Maybe this is the year that things could be different.  Maybe this Dark Time won't be so, um, dark.  Maybe all it takes is a fresh new perspective, the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe this is a beginning, an opening, rather than a period of shutting down.

Let's face it, like it or not, contrasting conditions are character building.  They also make great fodder for art.  Just as we must push our way from the womb into this world, we must push our way through the winter into each spring.  It's easier for some than others.  But for all it's an act of faith.  Trusting in the literal light at the end of the tunnel.  We have to go through the darkness, maybe even get stuck at times, in order to get to it.  For the knowing that it's there, I am so deeply grateful.