Be In Every Moment

photo by Patricia

The cold comes to New York, sweeping across the state like white tundra hurling mountains of frosted snow. Looking out at the swaying trees briskly bending in the wind, I shiver unconsciously. Though braving the below zero temps to dig off over a foot of snow from the sidewalk the day before, this day is too bitter.

Not exercising brings restlessness, but time in the studio quiets me, working and dreaming of spring when these latest mosaics will be planted in gardens not already adorned with glittery pieces dancing with light beams in the sunshine.

There is a feeling of well-being in springtime and summer that cannot be fathomed during wintery days in the usual way, just basking in sunlight. But other past-times can be explored. Looking for the light in other ways includes coffee laced with cocoa, puzzles while watching a favorite movie, coming to the present moment while the slinky cat stretches her long body down my legs until they go numb and I must move her… and on the list goes; simple pleasures, sweet pleasures.

Upon waking the reminder of the work that must continually be done goes home to my center. Don’t run from feelings, go deeper into them, and into my body. Do not let fear keep you from what is real, and what is you. Unprocessed traumas from so long ago manifested itself into every moment making each one feel like a crisis constantly looms.

One of my jobs is to quell the ever present anxiety erupting from childhood where terror festered inside becoming a constant beast to bear embedded into my wiring. Breathe, let the shoulders soften, allow relaxation into the body down through the calves to your toes.  

You’re OK. You always have been, you just don’t know it.

 

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Tiny Miracle

photo by Patricia

Though the drudgery of winter is wearing, walking continues to bring a modicum of relief. By lap three the joints are loosened, muscles are warmed, and a boost to the spirit occurs. Additional rewards include resting creek-side. The silence in winter is deafening.

Where are my feathered friends, leaving me, wanting to follow? As my heartbeat calms, the dullness of bare trees does not improve mood. Then, there on my coat cuff, one lone, perfectly shaped snowflake.

Lifting my arm closer, pondering its miracle, as if an angel has spoken, “This is for you. Be aware of the beauty hidden among ugliness. This is hope.”

PLEASURE

Photo by Patricia

What can you do today to bring pleasure into your life? That’s a concept left behind. The daily business is about caring for a sagging mood, and an aging body. But pleasure? Yes, you can have pleasure. You deserve pleasure too, as if to need validation and permission.Winter depression pulls me to down to a place where just getting through the day getting things done is all there is. 

Samuel asks, “Want to take a canoe ride?”

“Sure,” I respond while resting in the Adirondack chair by the creek after a few laps.

Coming in later from an unusually sunny day, the idea of pleasure drives me to chocolate. Swirling the syrup into my coffee, topped off with whipped cream left over from the holidays, then red sugar sprinkles, also left over from the pancake Christmas breakfast, a satisfied smile erupts. Forgotten was the special use of chocolate for its curative effects on mood and endorphins. Chocolate, a necessary medicine.

What other simple pleasures await? It is up to you to provide them. Take the time to implement pleasurable activities to help the winter months pass more agreeably.

A hot bubble bath, working on a puzzle, a brisk walk in the meadow, a delightful canoe ride on a 50 degree January day, a special meal made with care, being present with the cat warmly nestled in my lap instead of dissociating—be there, be present.   

That cold pit in my stomach that comes during the winter craves relief. In it worms a restlessness unrelieved, an anxiousness lacking till the green leaves grow. What can be done to help bring me back to my core, feel good being there, and stay?

What brings you pleasure? I’d like to know.

 

PEACE

photo by Patricia – JEWELS

Words tend to tumble easily when struggles wear me down, or PTSD rears its ugly head. The stretches of peace in-between are appreciated with relief. Sleep occurs like clock-work, fall asleep by 10, wake at 6. Eating is under control, not perfect, but near. Exercise is implemented, along with meditation for half an hour, and 20 minutes under the full-spectrum lights needed to combat winter depression.

During the lull of peaceful times writing feels less emergent, yet deserves attention equally. When peace reigns, and well-being fills me, this equilibrium and stability is a sacred place honored.

A New Year

photo by Patricia

Do better, be better. And, or, allow for my humanness which provides softening in one’s soul, a soothing that all is OK even when it’s not. Because it never is all alright. There is a pull of tension then the relief of satisfying peace. This ebb and flow is a part of life. Acceptance rather than fighting offers the peace you seek.

Why does one relationship drill me to the bone causing pain that keeps me awake in the night, even nightmares that ring in my brain days later? Is it the other person, or is it my reaction to them? It is only my reaction under my control, yet the same old reactions occur year after year causing the inevitable feeling of failure that I am not in control of at least myself.

If it’s me and only me that I control, then why can’t I do better? Why can’t I go with the flow and let the silliness of what’s going on fall off me like shedding water?  This dilemma doesn’t seem to soften or improve. Or if there are improvements, I’m not noticing them. Maybe this tension filled relationship is just here to stay. Lighten up. You’re not alone. We all have those who we learn the most about ourselves from.

It is not easy. It is often painful. But the work needing to be done is the same work everyone works on, to grow oneself. To expand, dig deep, and do better.

 

ONE

photo by Patricia

Connectedness to my inner being so elusive grounds me like a deep rooted tree when it finds me. Adequate sleep is essential, also elusive. Having guests, my son, his wife, and our precious grand-daughter, would usually mean so much anxiety that sleep wouldn’t come. Except for one night, the night after my other son and family also spent the day, blessed sleep has given me adequate energy to enjoy their visit.

Deep rooted anxiety from the unprocessed PTSD in childhood from the sexual attacks by beloved brothers has stolen much of life. Parts of me, like busy electrons, spin around never connecting. It is only the past several years where being in my body while feeling safe has occurred— first only moments, then longer.

The gratefulness felt for having what most others take for granted fills me with blessedness and peace; wholeness, connectedness and feeling rooted in my being where the filigree of electrons intertwine into one is a quiet internal joy unparalleled. 

You Are Alright

photo by Patricia

Feeling lost and alone is not uncommon, you’re not alone. And especially during this holiday so jammed packed with memories, melancholy and feeling as if something is missing because it always has been missing. That is punctuated particularly sharply as all the supposed good cheer is spread around.

And there is cheer in my soul where there once resided only a void, a chasm so split no reckoning took place. Over time some of the writhing pain was allowed expression; writing out all the deep dark secrets my family didn’t want told, the hurling of journals full of anguish and rage into the ceremonial fire, years and years of meditation where moments of being present while feeling safe were experienced while the constant anxiety ebbed even for just those few moments, a mother dying whose hold on me locked in all those secrets to protect her other children…the abusers, one event after another opened the channels from head to heart, from a robotic life to one more fulfilling because wholeness and self-acceptance had begun.

Yet there it still lives, the disbelief that others could truly like me, even love me. Wanting it, yet pushing it away due to the danger of it. Wanting it yet unable to accept because love of self is still only just blossoming.

Stringing days together where being in the moment is doable for longer periods, along with success at healthy pursuits of good nutrition, exercise, appropriate sleep, and the constant challenge of negative thoughts replacing them with positive ones based in reality…then?

Something, too often the something is unknown, disrupts sleep, eating, exercise, and thoughts. Anxiety rules. Where did all the calm wisdom and self-acceptance go?

Start again. There are countless ‘start agains.’ Even my little life where I’ve cultivated a safe place is invaded by others I care about, and who care for me. The ones I love become the enemy, digging up wounds that never seem to heal. One moment warmth, the next, you are up to something and dangerous.

Easy, easy, my mantra in the night waking up with my heart beating against the pillow. You are alright, you are alright, you are alright.

Every one of us must face this aloneness. You are not alone. Many wake in the night with the same. Many face their days with the same. Pull in the threads of the universe and connect. You are not alone.