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

~ Carl Jung

Monday, June 25, 2012

Play



It is a happy talent to know how to PLAY.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson






I spent pretty much all this past weekend playing.  I took a few short walks but for the most part I spent my time cutting paper, painting and gluing.  It was wonderful.  My mood going into the weekend was not the best; but, after spending the weekend solidly plugged into the right side of my brain, I feel wonderful!  I need to remember to make more time for play.  

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Breathe



This is the stream that runs along the back of our mountain property.  It is a tiny little spring fed branch; but, as I walk along its banks, its power to fill me with peace and to calm my spirit is mighty. 





I  go  to nature  to  be  soothed  and  healed, 
and to  have  my senses  put  in  order. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Falling into My Inkpot


I am working again.  Last week I saw my first client since I quit my job last July.   During the session my client was sharing her thoughts and feelings about  some very significant recent changes  in her life.  Changes she neither anticipated nor wanted.  She asked if one can feel grateful,  frustrated and angry at the same time. 

I can so relate to her confusion about her emotional reactions.   While I am grateful for having this opportunity to work, I have had a flood of other feelings as well.   One would think that after living with myself for 60 years I would not be surprised by the chaotic complexity and the intensity of my emotional reactions, but as usual I  have been.  I have felt joy, excitement about doing something I know I do well; but also, I have felt a rush of sadness and grief.  In connecting with my client, her grief reached in and touched my own.   Not surprising at all and yet, I wasn’t expecting it. 

Later in the week I came across this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:  “ I dip my pen in the blackest ink, because I’m not afraid of falling into my inkpot.”   It so spoke to me.  Not because I am not afraid of allowing myself to dip into the depth of my well of dark emotions, but rather because I am so afraid of falling into the well of my grief and never coming out.  At this point in my life I have certainly had many opportunities to experience falling in and coming out, but still the depth and intensity of my grief scares me.  I like happy.  I cling to the belief that happily ever after is out there somewhere even though I know it isn’t.   

In reality, I am certain I don’t want happily ever after.  I spent a good bit of my early adulthood with my emotions numbed out to a dull gray – my happily ever after state.  While this saved me from the pain of my sorrow, it also cost me the full experience of my joy as well.  I worked hard to open myself up to my full experience and it is my intention to be as fully alive as I can be every day of this wonderful life I have been given.  Another quote that I love is by Kahlil Gibran.  He says “ The deeper that sorrow carves into your being,  the more joy you can contain.”  

Monday, June 4, 2012

I AM ME and I AM OKAY




Last week I went to a used book sale at the public library in my neighborhood.  There was an older gentleman straightening the piles of books.  As he worked he was steadily talking to himself.  When he noticed me standing near by, he looked embarrassed and apologized.  He said, "I guess if I am not answering myself, I am okay."  I laughed and reassured him there was not need to apologize.  I talk to myself all the time and I do answer myself.  
I also started reading Patti Digh's book Creativity is a Verb last week.  At the end of the first chapter she asks the reader to answer this question:  I am creative because .......  As I pondered this question I thought of the gentleman from the library.  I am creative because I need an outlet for all the stuff that is bouncing around in my head.  You see, I don't just talk to myself.  I have long involved philosophical debates in my head.  I obsess and over think everything.  Sometimes I feel like my head and my heart are going to explode.  Sometimes I drive myself  a little crazy.  Art journaling and writing slow the thoughts down and give me a way to share some of what I am thinking and feeling.  My introverted, intuitive, feeling way of being sometimes makes self expression challenging.   In fact, it sometimes makes me feel a little like an alien; but, I am trying to recognize the benefits and accept that who I am is a good thing.  I like what Virginia Satir has to say about this subject in this little essay:  
              
"I am Me. In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me. Everything that comes out of me is authentically mine, because I alone chose it -- I own everything about me: my body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions, whether they be to others or myself. I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears. I own my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes. Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me. By so doing, I can love me and be friendly with all my parts. I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not know -- but as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles and ways to find out more about me. However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically me. If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought, and felt turn out to be unfitting, I can discard that which is unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for that which I discarded. I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, and to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me. I own me, and therefore, I can engineer me. I am me, and I am Okay.