Ready or Not Here It Comes

My friend Elaine came by for a brief visit and filled me in on her life in the past few months. She looks wonderful. She is one of those blessed women who has radiant skin and while she wears no make up at all, she looks beautiful.

with lighting filters

I wish i had been born with eyebrows. She has lost weight which she didn’t even notice. Her life is so busy with the job and kids and volunteer work that she is not at all self-absorbed. It was great to see her and to see her transformation.
My brother sent through an email to me suggesting I get out more, start working out. Oh do I wish. I probably have another month of limited mobility. The issue is how much I push using my foot. Tomorrow I will go collect my art work from a show home and go to a doctor’s appointment. That will be a big day out for me.

with sketching filter

I am almost done listing possible magazines for submission from Poetry Market 2011. Once that is done I will move on to Michael Brown’s workbook. Gabor Mate suggested Michael for me to work through a few things.
I know I am getting better because i am getting restless. I want more social contact, more stimulus, more things to look forward to. My brother and my daughter keep urging me to just go out. But I was doing that previously… sitting alone in Chapters reading, going to a movie alone, eating in a restaurant alone. Maybe, that is not what they are saying. Just maybe I need to start connecting with people more.
I think there has been an element of shame around my past choices and a feeling that I didn’t want to be seen because of past associations. But as my brother was reiterating to me today, it is not me who was unethical. So I need to leave the past behind.
Learning how to use my new pse software is fun. Yesterday I took an image that was posted on facebook of my grand daughter and treated it in various ways. I was very pleased with the result.

chalk and charcoal

Setting goals for the future, having something to look forward to, spicing things up with fun are all important once I can step down and out again. Then I can say…. I am truly looking forward.

conte crayon filter

Going Around the Bend, Is it a Good Thing?

Life can sometimes be a winding road. As I sit with my foot up, waiting for my healthy, vibrant body to heal the bones, I ask. The questions are many-faceted. Where do I live? What do I do to make a living? Am I ready to be with a partner or will the bitterness from the last relationship work its way into the next?

Two souls reaching for one another: love

Should I sit still, save my money, get work or should I be more expansive and take opportunities for further healing work with Gabor Mate?

earth a grounding

Have all of my protective strategies become a constrictive bunker stopping my growth. Sonia Choquette suggests that a person perplexed ask the divine and then sit quietly. Surety. That is what I seek. But it is an insane quest. How do we have any guarantee that being safe is safe or that taking a risk is bound to end badly?
One thing I do know is that I am definitely becoming healthier. The very restlessness is a clue to that.
Last night I had a very accurate dream. I was in a hotel room with my ex and we both were about to go to work. The difficulty was that we had a giant, pet elephant. Could we leave it alone all day in the hotel room? I had premonitions (which wouldn’t be difficult based on the situation) that all would go badly. I pulled up all of the carpets and turned the television on because the gray beast liked television. There was another, smaller pet-being in the room but I couldn’t see clear what it was. It was skittering around on the surfaces basically unseen.
So my subconscious mind is a witty and amusing creator of dreams. Yes, I feel sad. But did I always want to be afraid of the elephant in the room destroying the home?
I awoke with a back-ground head ache which is an indication that I was grinding my teeth. Where did this tension come from? My sensitivity continually surprises me. I moved the screens in the yard and there was his saw that he has left here for pick up. Seeing the saw unleashed all of the fear, the memory of deep pain and a sense of insecurity in my own environment. Perhaps dreaming about it is one way of releasing it.

Looking beyond where I am now, asking to see around the corner is my goal. Make a plan. Four hundred steps towards the future. No matter how much it looks like a hop on my healing foot. There is a better life around the Bend. I am a seeker.

How Do We Live Approximately?

My foot is healing and it will be good enough to drive with either this week or October, approximately. I have another x-ray coming up in two weeks. Today my goal is to finish the application for my ISBN number and to correct an error in my first poetry anthology. Uploading the new anthology called Facing In: Poetry posted on Face Book 2011 will happen approximately in a week or so.

the beauty of sunlight

When I awaken in the morning at around 9 am, I think over what I can accomplish within my limiting parameters. I begin the day by being still and attempting to gather up my dreams as messages. The fragments are like discarded clothing on the floor.
Last night I retrieved a vision of a baby which had silver/blue metallic skin. I don’t know if the baby was something I was meant to nurture or another version of myself. I can only make a vague guess.
Sitting meditation each day allows me to examine my unseen anxieties. I observe what lies beneath and gently work with it. For one, my debt load is so large for my pay out to finish the marriage that I am restricted as to choices. But I know I need to find work, any work and lots of it. It isn’t where I had planned to be as a 67 year old woman but as my friend Val points out, I am in good company. Many, many people have suffered an economic hit. Mine was a bad choice in a marital partner. Theirs was a bad investment or over-spending. It is all the same, approximately.

creamy tulip is delicious

The sun is shining brilliantly and I will go sit in a sunbath in order to let the vitamin D work its magic on broken, swollen footy, footy.
I am starting to feel stronger in my life. The twenty months of deep grief, anger and frustration are being alleviated by my reading. Deborah King and Sonia Choquette are teaching me to ask for what I want and then let go.
When will I be financially stronger and in a relationship that is secure and healthy? Well the divine field will make that decision. I feel it is approximately within two years. But I could be wrong.

delicate structure

What I do know is patience is a skill that is far more important than I ever knew. Sitting with whatever is happening and learning to set intention is my new accomplishment. And what I am desiring will be at the end of my 400 steps. It will arrive approximately when it is supposed to.

Are We Open to the Lessons?

The air is moving through the house. The Sun is bright but turned down a few degrees as nature slides us into winter. I have completed the second edit of my anthology entitled Facing In: poems posted on Facebook 2011. Each page has from two to three short poems paired with an image from my art work.

varigated gladiola

This time, because the subject was specifically the observation of self, I used the close-up shots of flowers as the theme. Last time, the anthology Facing It was about the feeling of explosive disintegration of the old structures in my life.

So the second edit, is done. The art is selected. I am feeling much stronger as I move through my goals. Action itself is drawing me forward.

However, I am very pleased that I have not let the frenetic, robotic work addiction act as a medication for my grief. For the first time in my life, I have sat with my sadness and processed it. The time spent meditating and writing has helped me to reform myself.

So my intention is to work from an interior sense of desire rather than to drive myself forward like an oxen. And it is surprising how much gets accomplished without the release of adrenaline.

Strangely enough, a man came to my door today who had lessons to teach me. The reason he knocked on the door was fairly pedestrian. But he taught me a great deal. He reminded me about laying my burdens down in the Divine. He encouraged me to keep moving and rebuilding my life. Two years ago, his life was dismantled and he has gone on to build a more solid, spiritual and contented place to dwell.
I am learning that if I am quiet enough, the universe speaks.

So I continue to work on my second anthology, my photography images, to publicize my courses which I will be teaching at UBC-O Continuing studies and to encourage others to buy my first ebook. The mixed media course will take students into the exploration of an entirely new concept.

Standing up in what and who I am means being able to believe that what I do is worth value. Moving forward with confidence and without ego is an admirable goal. I am encouraging myself to keep moving on that path.

Some of the courses which I intend to benefit from are Lee Harris’ energy workshop here in Kelowna.

Another is an on line course through Hay House called entitled Cracking the Karma Code.

The third just came to me yesterday which is an on line extended class in Ayahuasca wisdom.

I am in school. I am open to learning. What I learned today through watching others and myself is that if we put up defenses, we are not allowing the messenger to get through. Relax, accept, feel and speak from the heart. You can still go wrong. It can all go very wrong. But staying in a tight safe place is not growing. And I want to grow without having life show up with a battering ram and break down me down.

looking inward

How Do You Trust?

One of the ancillary damages that comes with being in a relationship based on lies, is the second guessing. But what I am learning, is that if I can connect with myself deeply, my body will be the early warning system. It has taken me decades to realize that if I am afraid of someone, it is for a reason.

varigated gladiola

So today and every morning I rededicate myself to go slowly, pay attention to what I am feeling and learn to be patient with “my process.” I do believe Karma has a way of working out. Whatever it was that I was supposed to learn, no matter how financially costly or bitter the lesson, I am ready to learn.

gladiola close

Always start again. Always start from now. I remind myself.

Slowly, I am starting to awake to the possibilities in my life. I feel so good about the fact that I was able to walk out onto the lawn and take a photograph of the stunningly, complexly beautiful gladiola singing its colors into the yard. I was able to wash my linens and this time I am so much stronger I could hang them on the line.

As I made the bed, the comforting smell of the outdoors was releasing from the sheets. I will lay down into the clean, freshness tonight. What we can do for ourselves, the small steps of making a life are actions of self compassion.
So the bed is made anew, the kitchen clean, images worked and posted on facebook. And as I compare the way I feel to the last time I undertook these steps for order, I see that I am getting my strength back.

Tonight I will donate a piece of art for a children’s charity. My anthology of poetry is now 85 poems in length and I have the art jps ready to upload on the pages.

Several months ago, I talked to the Hay House Radio coach Michael Neil. His advice was to form a desire and then take 400 steps toward it. So the anthology is my next focus.

I have repeatedly played the Cake CD song that I love. Then one day, I understood. The lyrics entered my brain and I got the flash. “Say it all. Say it all.” That was when I realized that my task now is to write honestly about my life. I will continue with the poetry anthology and I am starting a book with the narration of the amazing, weird and unexpected turns that have come to me in my life. “Say it all.” I got the message.

So I am healing, getting more and more able to walk. Although, I have lost a lot of muscle mass and weight I will be back, baby!!!

What I have learned is how amazingly loving my friends are. I have been surrounded by my “sisters” who have mowed my lawn, bought groceries for me, taken me to the doctor and checked in to see how I am doing. There is love all around me. And it is the kind of love that I can count on. I am thankful as I start reforming.

My desire will lead me where I need to go. I am open and willing to learn. While I have placed my trust foolishly in the past, I will trust the Divine Field to lead me where I need to go.

How Do We Design A Life?

I am infused with energy today. The looming possibility the last two days of my retina detaching in my left eye as it did in my right had me plunged into an interior darkness. However, the vitreous fluid snakes moving across my field of vision have stopped their writhing presence.

floating time

The ophthalmologist, David Grimes, was wonderful. He expressed concern and told me that there was no way of predicting what would actually happen. He gave me his home phone number and informed me that he wanted me to phone no matter what time of day or night, weekend or weekday if the flashing at the periphery of my vision was accompanied by a “curtain” effect. How that manifests is a clear field but a slash of obstructed area will appear.

When I went to bed, I prayed as I normally do. I ask for healing of my foot, my eye and my heart. I ask that I no longer allow myself to settle for situations which are not healthy for me. I ask for guidance, forgiveness and lay my confused life down in the divine field.

This morning my foot was swollen and some bruising from when I fell on my face yesterday. But the area of my foot which smacked the floor was not the surgical site. I phoned my son who does in home senior’s care to ask if he would run me into the ophthalmologist should it be required. His advice cut through the flattened mental activity that comes with depression. “Mom, if the doctor said you can put your heel down to stabilize yourself, then put your heel down.” Duh.
My son’s advice still reverberating in my head, I decided to make this day a new beginning.

Because intention, re-dedication, re-comittment to a vibrant life is the only way to stay on the path.

What came to me as I stood in the shower today was how unprepared I was to give those children who were in my care all of who I am. My own chaotic, frightening childhood had driven me into work addiction and relationship addiction. The effect of that upon the three children who were in my care was that I was not fully present.

As I washed myself, I asked that I be forgiven for my misunderstanding, my human weakness. Imagining the guilt sliding down off of my body, I forgave myself. The intention I made under the flow of warm water was to learn, to move forward with a more substantial and loving heart for all of my relationships.

I have come to understand that my perfectionism is just an ego state.

So today, I begin again as we can every new day. Michael Brown’s BEING OUR COMPANION work book is next to me. My journal whereby I work through my emotions is next to me. Gabor Mate’s encouragement is freshly in my mind. And I have the tool of the Tarot deck to connect to my guides.

Having washed my hair; washed my grief and guilt down the drain; teetered out into the yard to pick blackberries and strawberries; picked four water- starved flowers for my altar I feel stronger and more capable of designing my future life.
And the first step in that life is, as always, surrender. I ask and lay my desires down into the divine field. Plan and relinquish.

Sonia Choquette and Gabor Mate both offer as advice that we let curiosity draw us forward. Ask the universe, “What lessons do you have in store for me? What will happen next?” And the way to move through change is to be fascinated by how we are changing, not resistant to losing those known structures.

So for now, I am in chrysalid state. Kind of mushy, weepy, and inclined to feel stalled. What my higher mind knows, is that I am in the tunnel. There is an opening on the other side. Enjoy the ride, I remind myself.

How Do We Know We Are Seeing Clearly?

What a day. Last night I started having a light flicker at the left periphery of my eye. Great, I thought to myself. Over a year ago the same thing happened in my right eye when my retina tore away from the rest of my eye. It took 53 laser shots to melt the retina to “glue” the edges of the rip.
I am trying to keep my spirits up, my house tidy around me and the long vision. Another month will find me walking, driving, teaching, making art. Patience. I tell myself. Patience.

The possibility of blindness in my left eye kept looming last night. But when I saw the doctor today, I felt better. The doctor feels if I just don’t bounce too much, it is likely to be fine. Okay. So now how do I get from room to room on crutches without bouncing? Interesting.

The only thing to do with so many restrictions was to sit down today with a sweet, thick drink and eat almost half a package of cookies. Since I don’t drink alcohol, or do drugs, I had a cookie binge. I am laying on the couch with my foot elevated and an ice bag on it. The recent full-face plant involved my foot smacking the floor. So I am in retreat, reclining with a lacy cover of cookie crumbs all down my front. It is my version of heroine chic.

blue sky, brighter day

I have BEING OUR COMPANION by Michael Brown printed out to use as a work book. Gabor Mate suggested that I would benefit from doing the exercises.

Hey. At least I can get some kind of exercise, right? I visualize an honest, healthy man coming into my life in the future. I picture myself standing in front of a group of people achieving financial strength by doing that which I love, teaching. I envision living in a major centre enjoying the cosmopolitan vitality of the Urban centre. I am surrounded by loving friends, the company of my children, being secure in the relationship with my man and exploring the adventure of being alive.
Through out this “down” time, I hold on to my heart’s desire. And my foot is feeling better after the smacking as the ice pack numbs my toes. What if I could be fully awake with no need for numbness anywhere? Wouldn’t that be a serene way to enjoy life.

interior patterns

Hot Lingering Days

The warm sun shone upon me as I sat on the deck with my foot up. The morning had been “busy” relative to my schedule since bunion surgery. Crawling upstairs on my knees to shut off the alarm that mysteriously started beeping gave me an aerobic commencement to September 8th. I grabbed a blouse and eyed the space for any other treasure I might want to scootch back down with me.

where is the path?

Since I had the excitement of having a guest over, I felt it only right that I dig out the nest of detritus that had fallen from me in the living room. Doing dishes, taking out compost and recycling are fairly strenuous activities since my enfeeblement program 23 days ago. Now that I can put my heel down to balance myself I don’t end up throwing myself across a chair or a coffee table to break my fall. The tattoo line of bruises up the front of my legs is fading and my thoughts more frequently venture to “the other room” from where ever I am at the present time.

My divorce came in the mail and is official since stamped on September 2nd. My son and my daughter were thrilled. They congratulated me and encouraged me with a vision of a future life without the constant threat of the results of his impulsive actions.
I was, in a state between two floors. I felt sad for the failure of so much promise between us. We did work together well as a team. Very few people can keep up with the two of us intellectually and so it was wonderful fun just talking every day. But I am now secure that no further damage can be inflicted. The poisonous merry go round is at an end.

It made me feel good to have been strong enough to take that step. And to hop objects out of the living room so my surroundings don’t indicate that I should star in a segment of Hoarders. Is there a dead cat under that pile?

The visit with my friend was really fun. Emboldened, I saw that Gabor Mate was on skype, so I send him notice of my divorce and just a general update about my paralyzed and confused state.

And this is what I love about this world-famous doctor and therapist… he immediately send back to me the name of a teacher who could show me a way out. Gabor suggested that I go to to Michael Brown’s site and order some books.
Brown’s web page was like a treasure hunt. First I watched a series of ten you tube videos of Michael that were available. Next on his site, I downloaded three free textbooks that take the student through a series of practices.

Michael’s message is that ultimately, I need to take responsibility for the quality of the experiences in my life. He suggests that individuals learn to connect to his or her authentic core so that there is truth in personal experience. This process will lead to feeling peace and not to doing things in order to create peace.

He believes that the process is to go through the physical, mental and emotional aspects of experience. The North American work ethic cheers us on to “perfect” ourselves through effort. We are encouraged to get on with it, suck it up, exert force.

the shape within a container

Michael believes that we don’t need to keep working. He suggests that the individual just be in the emotion and have self-compassion as you are feeling. The direction I was given was to go in and look at all of the things that I have hidden within myself so I now don’t project my pain out into the world. Feeling can contain the emotional experience so that there is no acting out.

How do you know when you are well and truly IN the experience? Because it feels as if there is no end to it. You enter the emotional state, feel it in order to process it. Michael says when people feel overwhelmed and engulfed by the emotion, “We are looking at generations of fear, anger, grief for everyone in our family.” We now feel not only our own pain but the pain that has been passed down to our parents and their parents before then. There seems to be no place in the field where there is not pain.

What is the upside of doing this deep connecting work, you may well ask. When a person feels his or her own pain he or she is more stable. We are now more able to help those around us who are in grief because it does not knock us off balance. It is the feeling that is required for us to grow up.

When we look with concern at our families, Michael suggests, we see that which we would like to fix within ourselves. It is the damage that we wish to avoid and so we choose to sedate ourselves to keep from experiencing.

The way into an authentic experience is to connect with the body. Where are you feeling the emotion in your body? He suggests we continually check in. If you allow it, the emotion will transform organically.

The last section that I listened to was particularly relevant to me at this time of my life. It was about love.”Love is always only experienced in giving.” Michael like so many other spiritual teachers, suggests that you begin with yourself. He recommends the practice of looking yourself in the eyes several times a day and saying, “I really love you. I love you when you mess up. I am here for you. I will take care of you. If you are angry, I love you because you are here.”

And finally that is what I think is the deepest lesson. Why do we love ourselves? Not because we succeed or achieve more or overcome a bad habit. We love ourselves because we are alive. We are here. And we start from that. We return to that.

Spell casters, Dark energy and the future

Today I went to the hospital and got my bandages cut off and the ends of the stitches snipped. The rest of the stitches are supposed to absorb into my body over time. A four year old little boy was in the cubicle next to me and when he had his cast cut off he began to scream in terror. Whether it was the saw or physical pain that triggered him, he was in deep distress. What made it more marked was that previous to the removal of the cast he had been very happily playing with his toy trucks, enjoying the company of his parents.

self portrait, energy study

The parents pulled out a book and tried to distract the boy from his situation. Their voices were urgently pulling his focus away from the fear and anxiety he was feeling. I thought to myself how helpful it would have been for the small boy to have meditative or self calming practice.
The doctor came to me next and quickly dealt with my x-ray, asked the nurse to remove the bandages and snipped my knots off. So now I can have a shower and put my heel down.
It will be three more weeks and after another x-ray I can put my entire foot down. Walking for two weeks is required before driving.
Apparently, the fear of applying pressure to the foot can interfere with safely applying the break. Therefore, the recommendation is that the bunion operation “survivor” be secure in the use of the toe.
So I have another three weeks of house arrest. Unlike Lindsey Lohan I don’t have raucus parties of people coming in to distract me. One thing that really concerns me is how fragile I have become. I can’t go far on my crutches without getting out of breath. It is like a reverse work out. I could hire a coach to enfeeble me and require that I lay down for weeks on end with my leg elevated.
I guess the bottom line is a lack of power in the world, or perception of power. (With my turn of mind, I know that what seems to be control is often not.)
I have been having very vivid dreams that I remember. Betrayal, dishonesty, lying around me. I dream of dragging all of the negative energy items out of my space and leaving them on the sidewalk. I am given maps I cannot read. I am abandoned in a train station by one who promised to take care of me and I wonder lost and directionless.
I know that these dreams point to a transitional period in my life. But not having the distractions of mobility, going shopping, meeting with friends is difficult. It is what needs to happen right now to move me beyond this “cinder block” of grief.
The major work I need to do is to not allow myself to stay in bitterness. I definitely do not want to move forward expecting to have my next intimate relationship be another betrayal. Letting go of anger, of grief is the work. And if I have to sit still in it, then that is what I need to do.
Clearing for a better future is what I know is my task. I pray so frequently when I feel the darkness come over my spirit. I call on my guides and angels to lift me up.

gladiola circle

But there are times when I look at others who are married and see that no matter how much conflict arises, there is a bedrock of trust and honesty. Next time. I want that next time and I ask the universe to help me find it. To be safe in love is to be like that child: Protected and accepted.

Learning, Loneliness and Acceptance

One would think that sitting alone in a small house, not being able to bathe, put weight on my foot, drive and seeing no one would basically protect me from making any social faux pas, would give me time to reflect and grow; basically I am on an enforced retreat.

Well the only difficulty is self. Learning to forgive the mistakes that I have made in the past and to forgive the errors that I am committing in the present is on- going.

No amount of isolation can still the inner voice. And how wonderful to have the internet so that I can make graceless and judgmental responses to others. Yes, the shadow self is alive and well no matter how I try to quell the beast, no matter how isolated I am there are still opportunities to go to school.

Images of self

Yesterday was a black day. A day full of sunshine can be a black night of the soul. So much grief was coming up about the stupid choices I had made. Sorrow was my company and tears my shroud. A friend dropped by and I pulled myself together enough to get through a conversation looking fairly normal. She looked beautiful and spoke of cheerful, hopeful things. I warmed myself in her presence.

Yesterday I also took the 83 short poems I posted on Facebook and put them into text files. The first edit took most of the day.

So I am learning, I am grieving, I am clearing my past life and past hopes that were held in my marriage. I am not restless in the sense that I want to get past this stage. Acceptance for the physical restriction, the isolation, the surfacing of deep sadness is inevitable. But I do set out to create new possibilities through my writing and art.

interlocking light and dark

Hay House Radio had a wonderful broadcast a few days ago which spoke to my heart. The broadcast was called Enchanted Love. The statement contained in that broadcast is helping me to understand and forgive myself for my paralysis. “To be cheated on by one you love takes a toll from your sense of well-being and is a life-force injury.” The understanding that came to me when I heard this was that I have lost the steam in my engine this last 19 months. Never before have I been so stalled and felt so lost. I haven’t felt like I had the energy to move forward. So forgiving myself for the situation is where I begin.

Another lesson this session brought me has to do with one of my great weaknesses: “Listen to others without reacting.” My desire to “fix” others, to offer help, advice, a way out is not appropriate. My judging, analyzing etc are wrong- headed. People just want to be loved and accepted for who they are. Rushing in without permission is a boundary violation. So the advice to ,”Listen to others, without reacting,” was something I really needed to connect with.

Another gem from the show is exactly what I was talking about earlier in this blog. “The universe always has an assignment for you.” So be as hermit-like as you will, the lessons will come in. Judge not others: judge not yourself. How can I be loving and compassionate even when I make stupid, bone-headed mistakes.

Another area of discussion was surrender. ” Detox your life by placing problems in God’s hands.” Or for others it might be changed to say, let go and trust that an answer will come. I have always been of a mind that I had to control myself, others and my environment. The horrendous chaos in my childhood was partially responsible for my creating this coping skill.

And, perhaps, my very nature is that of one who is disciplined and demanding.

So there is grief. Grief over my lost dreams and deep, heart-felt connectedness to my husband. Disappointment that at my age I have to find a way to recover my financial strength. And the issue of watching myself in the world with the intention of being loving, failing at times because my very nature is surfacing.
Forgiveness is the answer and the freedom.

I need to feel desire again. I need to feel a passionate sense of connectedness again… to life, to other people and to myself. No matter how imperfect I am, I need to trust that “Your desires become your destiny.

I get my stitches out September 6th and will be able to have a bath, perhaps put my heel down and my world will expand. There is so much to learn. I wonder what assignment the universe has for me in the next phase of my life. Perhaps, I can dance again soon.