“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”

~ Carl Jung

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Roller Coaster Ride

I am an anomaly in a family of adrenaline junkies.  My son and daughter climb up sheer rock cliffs for fun.  My son and my husband love motorcycles.  My husband who is not a big man used to climb up on the backs of bulls as a hobby.  All of them plus my daughter-in-law love to shoot guns.  I don’t get any of it.

I have an amazingly sensitive startle reflex.  I hate heights, sudden movements, and loud noises.  I am the person at the amusement park sitting on the bench looking slightly green, feeling dizzy and nauseated just watching the people I love hurl through space.  I wish I could say I am the Zen member of the family, but I think it is just that my fight or flight response is off the charts.

That said, the last two weeks have felt like a rollercoaster ride to me.  Several positive possibilities have arisen, not come through, followed by more possibilities.  Nothing has actually worked out yet, but maybe.  I have felt excited, appreciated, competent, frustrated, disappointed, and excited again.  Whew!

The most interesting part of all to me has been my response.  I have had the full range of sometimes intense emotions; however, I have taken it all in stride and not let the emotions of any one moment get set into a more lasting mood problem.  I have somehow stayed grounded in my center and just let it be.  I am actually letting my life unfold and maintaining a sort of curious detachment.  The word that best describes it for me is transcendence.  It feels good.  I like it; and, I hope I can hold on to it.  

Monday, April 16, 2012

Circle of Connection

Women have always had an intuitive awareness of our need for other women and have as a result gathered into groups or communities.  We often call our groups circles.  Our history is full of these circles.  Be they quilting circles, book clubs, or study groups, they have served the purpose of bringing us together often to accomplish some task or purpose;  but more importantly I think, they have brought us together to provide each other with  connection, support, loving validation, and encouragement  in our personal growth processes.

Recently I have thought a lot about the communities and circles that I have belonged to over the course of my life.  I often think about my connections to specific people in these communities with sadness over the losses of these relationships; but, I am finding my thinking on this is shifting.  I am accepting that loss is simply a part of this cycle of community.  

As human beings we share a need for connection and belonging.  On our life journey we meet many people and have opportunity to be a part of many different communities.  Many of these connections to others are temporary.  People bring their gifts into our lives and we into theirs for a season.  Each experience molds and shapes us providing opportunity for continued growth.  So, as I think about those whose lives have touched mine, I hope that I will be more aware of my gratitude for the gifts they have shared and less focused on the loss. 

As I think about community I am drawn to the symbol of the circle.  The circle represents unity, wholeness, inclusiveness.  It has no beginning or ending point.  Perhaps these communities, these circles, to which I have belonged also have no end.  They live on in my heart and mind and in the hearts and minds of all of their members.  Their gifts continue to be expressed in the lives of these members as they move forward on their journeys into new circles and communities and thus exponentially the gifts are shared.  It is possible that these connections I grieve are not losses at all; but, simply partings as we move forward down different paths.  There is a Chinese legend which suggests that we are connected to all those we are destined to meet by an invisible red thread.  Who knows, perhaps I am still connected to the people I am missing by  that invisible red thread of the Chinese legend; and, we may find ourselves traveling the same stretch of road on this grand adventure we call life again sometime in the future.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Celebrating the Ordinary

This has been a week of ordinary days.  My days have been filled with routine daily tasks.   The week started with Sunday night dinner at my son’s house with all the family.  Sunday dinner together is a family tradition started shortly after my son and daughter left home.   I took my sweet two year old grandson Jack to and from daycare several times, having a wonderful time singing and dancing along with Elmo as we rode in the car.  Later after school, Jack and I blew on dandelion heads releasing the seeds to the wind.  We watched ants crawl through the grass and sang The Ants Go Marching One by One.   My daughter-in-law who is a personal trainer took me to the gym and put me through a challenging workout.  I spoke with my daughter, my sister, and several friends on the phone.  My husband and I had a date night dinner.  I completed several small tasks related to building my practice.  I cooked some meals, did some laundry, but there was nothing out of the ordinary in my week.  No major accomplishments.   No  major disappointments.  No drama. Nothing terribly exciting.

What a wonderful way to spend a week.  It reminded me how much I love the ordinary.  I love everything ordinary – blue skies, daisies and dandelions, day to day family life.   Our lives are filled with all kinds of days.  We have special events, holidays, celebrations, challenging days full of hardship and loss; but, most of our days are ordinary.    These ordinary days filled with routine daily activities involving those closest to us are so important and create the fabric of our existence.   They provide us with opportunities to strengthen our connections with those we love and opportunities to enjoy the beauty all around us that we so easily overlook.   So today I am celebrating the ordinary week that I have had and hoping for lots more ordinary days to come.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Wounded Heart

Our lives are filled with all kinds of experiences;  and, each of these experiences impacts our being.  The positive, fun, and loving experiences fill us with warmth and light, but what about the more difficult painful experiences in our lives.  I think we have choices to make when it comes to how we incorporate painful experiences into our process.  Of course we need to allow ourselves the opportunity to fully experience our pain without judgment.  We need time to grieve.  We need to find support and acceptance within ourselves and from others. 

But finally we come down to a heart choice.  Will I react to this painful experience in my life by closing off my heart in an attempt to protect myself from future pain?  Or will I allow the wounds in my heart to open up space for love to grow; and, as it grows, for that love to be released and shared with others?     My hope for myself is that bitterness will not find a place to take root in my heart, but rather that all of my experiences, both the joyful and the sorrowful, will create space in my wounded heart for love to grow.