Tuesday, October 21, 2014

This Much I Know

Hmmm, that's a loaded title, a loaded first line, and pretty much loads up this blog post for a level of knowing that I'm pretty sure will fall flat. Because here's the deal. I'm starting to realize that what I 'think' I know is pretty much bunk, and I'm a smart girl - if we use today's measurements of graduations and degrees. I ‘think’ I know who I am. I 'think' I know my history. I 'think' I know what I need. But over the last 6 months, I’ve realized two things:

1. What I ‘know’ (see above about what I 'know') often changes from day to day, if not minute to minute.

2. I don’t know shit.

Let me explain. 

First – what I ‘know’ often changes from minute to minute. You'd agree, yes? Especially any of you with off-spring. I think this is where we, as humans, can swim in murky waters. This idea of what we think we know about ourselves, and the insurmountable pressures we put on ourselves to maintain these thoughts. When, truthfully, they are bogus. 

Stick with me, I think I have a point to make – actually, I’m making this point to myself so first, thanks for being a witness. And second, no hard feelings if you stop reading now. 

If you’re still with me, thanks. Let’s keep going, ok?! So we tend to have these notions in our head:

I’m a runner. 
I’m a writer/poet/painter.
I’m a yogi. 
I eat meat. 
I eat vegetarian. 
I want peace. 
I homeschool. 
I go to church. 
I like to read. 
I watch tv. 

These are all pretty easy to deal with but let’s talk about the more painful personal beliefs that scroll across our heads and hearts:

I’m angry. 
I have to hold on.
I always yell. 
I can’t control myself. 
I’m failing. 
I can’t get this right. 
I’m just like [insert various names here.] 
Who am I? 
I don’t recognize myself. 
What the hell is wrong with me.   
I’m broken. 
I need fixing. 
I can’t be fixed.

I can't be fixed...That one comes up a lot. Just in case you're worried about my well-being let me be clear that it's a good day. I’m typing this blog post on a beautiful Fall morning. My kids are happy. I’m happy. My locally-roasted coffee is hot and delicious. Life is good. But still, in the cycle of arguments and sleeplessness and head-colds, there are those moments when I hear it clearly. 
My head saying: 

You cannot be fixed. Surrender to this. Just be this way and stop fighting it Anger is easier. Anger is safer. 

And I hear her – that voice in my head. I hear her. She’s not always nice. I want to say fuck you to her, a lot. She can be so bitter and closed-hearted. But she’s not the heart. She’s the Mind. And the Mind is what stays on overdrive all the time in order to keep me alive, to keep the human species going. The Mind keeps us safe. At least that’s what she thinks, the Mind. I’m learning that it’s not quite that straightforward. The voice in my head is bitchy. But all she’s trying to do is keep me from getting hurt. And by hurt I don’t mean the easy kind of hurt like a bee sting or a broken leg. No no. Those hurts are temporary, mendable, and part of a later-told story of awesome for my kids. Nope. The Mind is keeping me from getting HURT. The kind of hurt that makes me cry when I see something beautiful, or when I’m laying with my children in the middle of the night sick with fear that I’m forever damaging them. The kind of hurt that doesn’t get repaired, but rather gets comfortable….after a long, long time. So, I’m learning to say thanks to that voice in my head. Another voice, a softer voice, a calmer voice, an older voice says:

Thanks. I’ve got this. I’m  ok I’m good, really. I’ll be careful but whatever you, Mind, are scared about, it’s not happening right now. Right NOW  I’m safe. We are safe. Don’t be mad, just trust me.  

My instinct. Instinct speaks from my stomach. She is always right. She never falters. My Mind falters. But my Intuition allows for change. Intuition knows no time, no label, no preconceived notion. Intuition doesn’t remember any stance I took a few days ago. She doesn’t hold me to some title, or ideal, or expectation. She responds in the NOW. My Mind is dressed in the past and wearing those magic future-predicting glasses. Mind is hardly EVER in this moment. Mind is always somewhere else. But my Intuition. Ah, Intuition is always here. Now. 

And this is what I mean by ‘what I know’ and what I don’t. When I live and breath and act and react from my head – that voice that has one foot in the past and one foot in the future – when I engage with my world through my head, I don’t know shit. I don’t know shit because I’m caught up in what I *think* is happening. And those thoughts are clouded with what HAS happened, or the fear about what MAY happen. And the mind plays amazing games with these types of things. Fear is an incredible force. My mind tends to stand in the middle of a room where fear has thrown up, caused chaos, puked on the walls, shit on the floor, and thrown a fit. Messy. This place can be so so so gross and messy, and steeping with message like:

You’re not good enough and You really suck at this or You deserve your shame, and your pain.  

Beautiful, isn’t it? Ugh.
So… I’m learning how to drop into my heart. When my head is in mass-casualty mode {you know this place, yes?} When my head is going insane and telling me that everything is wrong and everything will change and crumble, and that I am broken and beyond repair, I'm learning to drop into my heart. And Heart reminds me that in this very moment, all is well. Because, in the big scheme of how this thing goes [life]
, everything is exactly how it should be.. My children are with me. I am healthy. My husband is safe. I have a home. I am safe. Whatever may have happened in the past that’s getting triggered in this moment, is NOT happening now. And whatever fears for the future are being triggered, are NOT meant for my control.

I am fine. 
I am safe. 
I. Am. Enough.

This much I know…

Friday, March 28, 2014

Curious Observer

Here in the southern part of the Northeast, because apparently Virginia is part of the South, we've had numerous March snowstorms. It's enough to make someone crazy. I'm already crazy so...I felt quite at home. 


I wrote this one mild morning. The birds were loud, the breeze was nice, and mother nature was sending us 8" of snow later that night. It was crazy-making. Trust me.

Writing outside this morning.
The dog searches for new smells.
Smells brought from the darkness of night,
newly emerged from a thawing Earth.
Geese in the distance,
communicating with the truest GPS.
and blue jays
sing across the yards.
The train moans in the background.
The air is mild - a glimpse between seasons.
A snapshot of balance.
We c-r-e-e-p into the warmth of Spring.
We tip...toe towards a closer sun.
With snow in the forecast I default to my trust.
My trust that Mother Nature knows best.
This is her plan;
her divine creation;
her artistic attitude unfolding.
She withholds the full display of Spring.
I hold her wisdom paramount.
I am a curious observer.
Interested in her dance -
the long stillness of Winter,
with the faint strokes of Spring color.
Solitude - Fellowship.
Barren - Fertile.
Death - Life.
Winter - Spring.

We are all simply curious observers.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Pay It Forward

My friend Amy, over at mamascout has her Dream Lab coming up in April. This lab is amazing, and has changed the way I think about dreaming! We aren't talking dreams of winning the lottery, or a dream that you get that brand new car. These are the big dreams. The silver lining, change your life, holy shit! kind of dreams.

And because I love her so much - and because she has taught me so much - I really want someone else to experience this Dream Lab, along with me...'cause I don't know that I'll ever miss ANY lab that Amy offers (but that's another post...) It's a sorda 'pay-it-forward' kind of thing. I've loved this experience and I want others to also!

So, in true 'Dream Lab' fashion...I threw my dream into the universe (ie. at Amy.) Apparently, she was on a dreamy little nature walk and caught my dream and encouraged me to grow it. So...here you go. Read all about it here.

She sure threw me a whole lotta love! This lady, and her way of weaving together dreams, and stories, and support, and kindship, has changed my life. I am forever a better person for being part of her world. I love the idea of taking it beyond.

Be the change you want to see in the world, yo.

On a recent hike I looked at the sky and said, 'X marks the spot. There must be a treasure up there...' Without missing a beat Calum responds, 'I bet it's Mae Mae.' In January, we lost our precious dog of 12 years. It still hurts knowing she's not here.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Claiming It

in a recent discussion about Creativity and Art, a close friend encouraged me to claim my craft. i tend to think i'm not the most creative person, and the title 'Artist', when used in the same sentence with 'i am', makes me feel like an imposter. 

but - this friend is very smart. so i listened to her. and below is me, claiming it.

i'm a Historian,
and a Biographer.
i write to Remember.
i write to Forget.
i write to Honor, to Heal,
to Believe,
to Connect,

to Rejoice,
and Encourage.

i am a Live'r
i want to craft a Life 

with Whimsy,
with Love,
with Passion,
with Depth,
and Connection.

i am a Writer
of lists,
of love notes,
of letters,
of thoughts,
of desires,
of plans,
and my soul.

i am a Photographer
my Life,
my Muse,
my Children,
my Faith,
my Soul.

i Write and Photograph for the Delight of my Soul.