Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Flexibility.... It's Not Just About Touching Your Toes

This morning after Best Guy left for work, I felt a desperate need to get outside. It was still chilly, but the sun was shining and I needed to GET OUT. So I did something I rarely do... I took a long walk at 8:30 in the morning.

If you've met me, you'd know that I am pretty much useless before 10am, even if I'm up and about. But the need to be in nature was overwhelming, so off I went.

I walked down to my favorite park and found that it was early enough that I could sit on any rock I chose.

So I sat.

I listened to the birds. I listened to the waves. I felt the wind. I felt the cold of the rock I sat on. I felt the sun doing its best to warm this little part of the planet.

I watched the waves as they licked the rocks, playing with the wintered-over grass. I watched the grass. The orangey-brown long blades of grass undulated with each wave. Those were strong roots, holding that grass in place. It didn't fight the relentless waves as they came, one after the other. No, it danced with the waves. Moving in time to their rhythm. Floating as they crashed on the rocks.

I figure I can learn something from that grass.

I can fight, I can try to control problem after problem, issue after issue...

Or I can ride the waves. I can dance.




Monday, April 27, 2015

...and the River Flows On

Today is the last day of my vacation. Tomorrow I start my final week at my current job. By this time next week, I'll be starting at my new job. We have a little more than three weeks to go in the condo and we are far behind on the packing. It'll get done... eventually.

Last Tuesday I had the honor and privilege of getting a massage/energy work session from a good friend. She helped me re-frame a lot of thing that were going on for me, as well as highlighted work that I needed to do. It was an amazing session, and I've been working on integrating much of the advice she gave me. As per usual, it's slow going but that's okay.

This past weekend Best Guy had a gig up in Montreal.
Elephants of Scotland playing at Brutopia in Montreal, QC. 

Can I just be a super proud girlfriend for a moment? I've always known they were a great band, but it was so wonderful seeing them play for a crowd that actually got it. They will be playing another gig in Canada next month... the same weekend we're closing on our house. And our 8th-month-iversary. So it's an auspicious weekend.

The changes are coming fast and furious this year. It scares me sometimes... the speed and intensity at which these things fly into my life. It feels like I just get used to one thing when it gets morphed into something else. Then again into something else. I'm entering in to uncharted territory. But as they say, do the thing that frightens you most.

And since I flat-out refuse to go skydiving and bungee jumping, I guess buying a house with the man I adore, becoming a step-mom to three furbabies and finding a great new job will have to do.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Re-Wilding the Spirit

About a year and a half ago I had a vivid, soul-charging dream:
I was standing in a forest. An old-growth, ancient forest, replete with mossy trees, thick underbrush, streams, rocks... a Forest, with a capital F.   
As I was standing there, I became surrounded by Dryads. They were trying to get me to join them, and I was afraid. I tried to get away from them, but they wouldn't let me leave. Bit by bit, they removed all of my clothing, leaving me naked in the Forest. 
Then I felt the change. I was Them, they were Me. I felt the Power rush through me and there was nothing but joy and ancient knowledge. It was then that I turned and started running. With them behind me, I melted into the forest and knew no one could ever stop me or hurt me. I was Nature Incarnate.
Even all this time later, I remember the way this dream felt. Last year, I even performed a piece inspired by it. Twice.

I believe I was a Wild Child. Happy in the dirt, happy in the trees, in the streams. I believed in fairies; I built little homes for them. I believed I could levitate out of my bed. I believed in the unseen. I believed in Magic. I didn't believe in God but I did believe in ghosts.

More's the pity our society doesn't like it when you believe in such things.

As much as I spent my teens and 20's trying to tamp that Wild down and conform, I have spent my 30's and so far my 40's saying fuck you and trying to get that Wild back.

I know my Wild is pretty tame as compared to a great many others on the path, and I'm okay with that. Wild is what you do with it, how it makes you feel. Wild is power, it is strength, it is courage. It is connection. It is embracing your innate Self and being unapologetic about who and what you are.

So here I am, a Wild Woman coming back into being. If one day you see me running off into the trees and melting away, smile and know I am Home.

Tarnished Angel Studio

Friday, April 17, 2015

Free to be You and Me

I had a bad sleeping night last night, and as I was doing the downward blame-game spiral at 1 am, I read this:
Spiritual instruction teaches us to keep our focus on ourselves - not in an egocentric way but as a way of consciously managing our energy and power... learn what rather than who draws power from you. ...Your task is to learn the lesson that the teacher has for you rather than to resent the teacher. (Anatomy of the Spirit, Caroline Myss, p. 39)
So, as I lay curled up on the couch in the fetal position covered head to toe in a blanket, I took stock of things. What was my lesson? First of all, I realized that my physical position was telling me a lot: I was protecting myself. I mean, you don't curl up in a ball and hide under a blanket when you feel good about things.

What was I protecting myself from?

Protection. The Fetal Position... This is Root Chakra work. "The Right to Be Here." The right to take up space. The right to have my basic needs met. The ability to trust, to take care of myself, to be nourished, all comes back to this most basic of ideas. I have a right to be here. I have a right to have my needs met. I have a right to put myself before others when putting on the damn oxygen mask on a crashing plane.

I have those rights, but I have a tendency to put everyone else's needs first. I'll acquiesce, I'll understand, I'll shove it down because really what the other person needs in the moment is more important. I am hyper-attuned to what other people need. I feel other's energies. I know when they're anxious, sad, confused, angry, etc. Even if they don't always realize it or are trying to hide it. I put their needs first, because I can help. I understand.

Yesterday afternoon, poor Buddy had a Bad Day. We were at our new place for the inspection. I had been looking forward to this for days; it would be my opportunity to get to know the house better. I had never been in on an inspection before and was looking forward to learning about the process. But poor Buddy. He was not having his needs met. And he let us know, loudly and frenetically. I ended up babysitting him for almost two hours while the inspection was completed. I missed everything, including my chance to get into the house and really "meet" it.

This little episode triggered all my feelings of  being left-out, being put on the back burner for more pressing matters, and feeling like what I wanted was not at all important. THIS WAS NOT ANYONE'S INTENTION. In that moment, taking care of poor Buddy was the right thing to do and far more important than me listening to the inspector talk about the hot water tank. I was the one best able to do it. End of discussion.

You can't - and shouldn't - get everything you want. Life doesn't work that way. Sometimes sucking it up Buttercup is your lesson. But everyone - me, you, Buddy, every random person on the street - has a right to take up space, to be heard, to be seen. To exist.

The lesson is there for me to learn. I have a right to voice my needs. I have a right to have my needs met. If my needs are not getting met, I have a right to say so.

I have a right to be seen, to take up space, to be heard, to exist.

And so do you.



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

All the Small Things

1. New employment may be soon. I am going in today to fill out new-hire paperwork, but it is not final until a background check can be completed. So background company, if you're reading this.... HI! I hope you find my entries quirky and though-provoking.

As I am transitioning from one job to another, I am finding that for the first time ever I am grieving for the job I am leaving. This has never happened before. Oh, don't get me wrong; I have missed co-workers and done my best to keep in touch with friends I made over the years, but this is the first time I am sad at leaving a position. I catch myself at odd times wanting to cry. It is a good ending for the best of reasons, but I will miss that place. So it has been interesting navigating the swings between exciting new ventures and grieving what is coming to a close.

2. Speaking of...  My vacation is just 2.5 days away. Yesterday I didn't think I was going to make it. Today, I have hope. Although I think it is going to be a very long couple of days. I was in a pretty bad mood yesterday. I was Soul Tired. I was misreading everything and taking everything the wrong way. I am Over Due for this break. And I'm sure what I posted above wan't compounding my foul mood at all. Nope.

3. After a quick negotiation, the buyer agreed on our price and we are now under contract with our soon-to-be new home. I am so excited. I have bought a book on gardening and my Pinterest board has lit up with potential projects. Which is ironic because I suck at home improvement projects. But if all I have to do is glue it together, we have a winner! We still have a ways to go before all is final, and as a friend pointed out nothing is set until you've got the keys in your hand. All of this I know. But I am choosing to focus on the positives because living my life focusing on what *might* go wrong sucks the fun out of everything. So we'll deal with things as they pop up, but otherwise I'm planning a vegetable garden. In that corner of the yard. It's the perfect spot, really.

4. It is quiet here this morning. The cats are upstairs sleeping, and Buddy has been brought to Doggie Daycare for this bi-weekly overnight stay. Best Guy is at work. It's just me at the kitchen table, sitting in the sun, drinking a cup of coffee.

5. I am so very, very grateful.



Monday, April 13, 2015

Recharging

It's sunny, nearing 70 degrees and gorgeous here today. So this had to happen:


Getting all of the stones cleansed and recharged in the sun. They've been working overtime this past year, so it's time they get a little lovin' too.

Now... it's time for me to go out and play in the Spring.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Everyday, Life Gives you an Adventure

When I moved in with Best Guy, it was with the knowledge that we wouldn't remain in this location long, and that we would be moving again soon. As much as I was aware of this, I've also done my best not to think about it, because moving is No Fun.

So....

This past Thursday, we received and accepted an offer on the condo. As of today, we are officially under contract. Yesterday we went to look at one home and looked at another four today (we tried for a fifth but there was a huge-ass dog in one and it turns out in the 10 hours between booking the showing and arriving for it, the house went under contract. You could have called instead of letting your pooch do the talking. Moving - ha ha - on).

We looked at one house we really liked, and after looking at all the others, we went back. And decided to put an offer in on that house.

Now the game begins.

Will they accept our offer? What will they counter with? Will we have enough time between now and closing? Will they move the closing date back for us? What will the inspector find that we overlooked? What the heck are we going to do with the front room? Does Pinterest have anything about refacing an ugly fireplace? (Yes, yes it does).

The real estate game is not one I've ever played before. Hell, I frankly never thought I'd do anything but rent, so this is a big deal. I also feel a little on the lucky side as I'm a tad removed from the guts of this. We're selling Best Guy's condo, and it is going to be Best Guy's money buying this house. I'm really just along for the ride.

But all that being said, days like this are an adventure. What are we going to see next? What will we experience? What is the next thing around the bend? What are the bumps? Where are the clearings? How are we going to make this work? Stressful? Yes. But also exciting. Because this is us Building Our Lives Together. And what a crazy, wonderful adventure this will be.




Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Oh, the Humanity.

Our egos. Our damned, cunning, brilliant egos. They go along, propping us up, making us think that we are More, Better, Above... and then something comes along to put us back in our place. Something that makes us confront the reality that we are in fact mere mortals. We are humans who do stupid things and put their foots in their mouths and muddle around wondering why things aren't turning out the way we thought they would.

Yeah, so I had a bad day at work yesterday.

As the saying goes "we all make mistakes." But really, when we say that we mean "everyone else makes mistakes, but I don't." Because even if we truly believe that everyone makes mistakes, secretly we think we're above that. Because our egos tell us this is the case. So whenever we get a good dose of our own humanity, it sends us reeling. It's okay for others to goof up; they're just humans.

I got a good whopping dose of my own humanity yesterday.

It turns out, I am not above my emotions. I get angry, hurt, and frustrated, and sometimes they do the driving.

The thing is, we all let those emotions take the wheel occasionally because they'll cut through the bullshit faster than we ever could. We'll get to where we really want to go that much faster. It's a very messy, sloppy way of getting what we want, whether we know we want it or not.

All this is compounded by a very sad dream I had this morning before waking up. The kind of dream that was about one thing, but very obviously about something else. I am grieving for something I love, something that I am losing*. The sadness is very real, and denying it would probably only make things worse.

Time marches on. The anger and sadness fade. New things come. In the grand scheme of things this comedy of errors is a tiny blip on my life's radar.

Now that I've had my steaming dose of reality, I've nothing left to do but to keep on walking forward.




*Before you ask, me and Best Guy are doing juuuust fine. :-)


Friday, April 3, 2015

More Like Water, Less Like Rock

Yesterday and today have been blessedly warm in Vermont. Like, 50's and 60's. Which we have not seen since November. Since tomorrow is going to plummet back into the 30's and snow is likely, this had to happen this morning:



Can I tell you how very, very good that felt? I didn't really do anything much. There was a lot of time spent in supta baddha konasana and savasana. Because both let me lie there in the sun. Which is warm.

Warm sun. Imagine that.

And then, if that weren't enough, I hauled Best Guy's meditation cushion out there and then I sat. I have no idea how long. It doesn't really matter. I listened to squirrels scurry, woodpeckers have at it, someone shoveling, the traffic go by. I felt the sun on my skin. I felt my body rock gently back and forth as it pulsed fluid through my veins. I watched the colors changed on my closed eyelids.

It came to me what my work now is. Trust. I need to work on my Trust. I need to trust that things will be okay. I need to trust in my own intuition, my own Self. I need to trust those around me, because they love me very much. I need to trust that where I am and what I'm doing is exactly the right thing for me in this moment.

I need to stop trying to force change simply for change's sake.

My struggle with my relationship to yoga and meditation is an ironic one, because I find so much in practicing both. I find peace, aggravation, confusion, fear, beauty... all the things I'm supposed to be finding. This is also part of my work now. How do I define this relationship? What are their places in my life?

And it all comes back to trust, doesn't it?

Trust. Trust in the goodness of others. Trust in my own strength. Trust in the grandness of time. Trust in the lessons, trust in the pain.

Trust.


How Do I Make this Work?

This past weekend, I took a day-long workshop on becoming a freelance book editor. It turns out, copy editing, line editing, and proofreadin...