STAY

My life is quiet in many ways others might judge as boring. Sometimes it feels restraining and a yearning arises for travel farther than the grocery store or mall and a larger circle of acquaintances. Then the reality of my challenges along with the freedom and ability to face them gently quickly dissipates the moments of despondence. And maybe it’s not others who judge, but me.

Push, push, push, do, do, do. There are things in a day to get done. Yet my body on some days resists and hurts. So disconnected to it and annoyed with its frailties, the tendency is to ignore it. Pushing through leaves me more disconnected by day’s end, confused, ungrounded and bereft. A great need swallows me voraciously looking for something to fill the holes where I’ve left myself.

Coming back to the moment and to myself is so simple and sounds easy yet for a person who has a lived her life with great disconnect it takes effort every time, and in every moment. Where are the eyes full of love and grace?

In the mirror there is only a tired ghost of a hard edged woman. When connections are made to the pathways of spirit, soul, body and mind, the reflection softens. The person looking back emits a light that is inviting, fluid and likable. 

The tendency is to run, the work is always to stay.

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FLAWED

Pumpkin spice coffee brewing, Christmas music softly playing, candles flickering, and decorations offering a gentle colorful sparkle, something still pulls at me on this dark morning the day before Thanksgiving.

You are you own entity. A life of leaning into others reality because there was no connection to my own has evolved. Looking within instead of looking to others for worth, acceptance and answers is a new way of being offering wholeness, groundedness, and autonomy. Yet it also comes with responsibility.

Instead of feeling bad about everything because essentially “I am bad,” one looks for where they really do need work and really did make mistakes. And not with an overwhelming “I am bad” mentality, but with a realistic view of themselves; that we all are human and are flawed, imperfect and often messy.

So look within and forgive because then you can forgive others for the same flaws that may look different but are very human.

Flaws Like Ocean Pebbles

As dawn approaches, only a soft haze in the horizon beyond the hill while all else is still and dark, the thought arises that you do deserve to have a day without self punishment even in spite of yesterday’s failures and flaws. More so, you need your own compassion holding mistakes in your hand like sea worn pebbles, investigating each one gently with curiosity and tenderness.

The heart constricts banded by a tightness learned in childhood. How does one go back and unwrap the wires that cut so deep? Embedded into the vessel they will bleed if removed. As each attack happened with no recourse of protection or love, the child decides she is to blame. As she grows so does the blame she takes upon herself. Her heart constricts with self-loathing not love. She extends softness to others but for herself…contempt. 

It is a process, this practice of self love.  

Tweak the Bleak Thoughts

Morning pep-talks are helpful later in the day. These come back to me when walking especially when thoughts drift to negativity very loud and constant. Noticing the usual thought pattern it occurs to me how much beauty goes unnoticed because my mind has escaped into a memory that’s been painted bleak. 

Why not stop and go elsewhere, like right here right now? In that moment the scent of decomposing leaves, nuts, twigs and other earth matter drifted into my senses bringing me back to now and my core. 

A smile erupted as the little bird visited in her usual place chirping a hello. The tendency to think serious dark thoughts is one that heightens dramatically during the long months of winter so needs extra work and attention.  Partly there’s acceptance for this aspect of myself, but also there is value in working to ease up a bit holding both the dark and the light. 

Happy Heart

Fall has come and gone, the trees are bare as wind whistles through the branches. Sitting by the fire cozily with the cat by my feet, thick fog fills the back hillside while the hickory trees nearby in the hedgerow sway dancing like black lacy tendrils entwined together. The bareness seemed to happen overnight but it really took weeks. Perhaps night winds took the last leaves. Dawn comes in a steely grey gloom, the sun cast away behind the smoky carpet.

Days like this tend to be more common than sunny ones in NE America during the long months of winter. One must make their own joy. Dragging the six foot fake Christmas tree up from the basement, a day is spent decorating the house with strings of lights a week earlier than usual. The brightness of color and sparkle lift the dreariness. As the gold shimmery tree skirt is gently tucked around the tree base, Molly the cat curls up under it in her favorite resting place, the echo of purring floating up to my ears.

Hunting season has begun, so bright red is added to outdoor gear for the usual meadow walks. And unless it is raining, the walks continue to boost my moral, invigorate the senses and keep my heart healthy. Keeping attuned to the needs of the heart- spiritual, emotional and physical, are what makes a day fulfilling and sustaining.

You Have a Right to be Here

You are OK just as you are. Breathe. Slow down. Moving into the next moment before living the present one makes me hurried when there’s no need to. That is the injured brain operating from years of unprocessed trauma. Don’t judge it, befriend it.

You are a child of the Universe. You DO have a right to be here; and not by other’s standards but by your own. Remember what you have suffered, because it is with accepting the truth of your past that you can offer gentle kindness, patience and loving support to yourself now.

 

WITHIN

Does the light within burn with rage? Is it heated from resentments, or does it radiate outward with warm loving light? Love radiates from the core. When it cannot be found look to yourself for permission to provide it. It’s OK, it’s OK, it’s OK. It’s OK to feel OK, that you are enough too just as you are.

The tapes played since childhood say differently, but they can be challenged and over time success can miraculously occur. Maybe the harsh voices can be silenced only for a brief moment but with work over time the moments expand.

The high demands of self cause a rigidity and standard which cannot be met and is more than can be humanly accomplished. In one single moment relief can be felt once you let it causing the body to relax; muscles, ligaments, repetitive negative thoughts, right down to internal organs including the colon and heart. The stiffness of ‘must do’ transforms into a way of life worth living. 

It is only myself giving myself a hard time. It is only myself that need give permission to offer gentleness, kindness and love.