Friday, May 14, 2010

I Am Enough...

I love this time of the year in Wilmington. I always say that April is the most beautiful time of the year to be here. The Azaleas and all the flowers are in full bloom, the air is still cool and everything is lush and green. You can see the aliveness in everything. But May holds a special little secret. After the fan fare of the spring bloom, there's a sense of quiet that settles in. You can feel the first drops of summer heat and humidity beginning to mingle in the air and with it, the sweet scent of Jasmine and Magnolia. You don't have to breathe deep to smell it today. It's intoxicating.

It's that wonderful sweet smell that got me thinking today. I've been a little frustrated trying to come up with the next post. What to say next...what's going to put it all in it all pertains to living my truth and authentically...and then it hit me: I'm trying too hard. The explosion has already happened. Spring and the first Mercury Retrograde of the year have already stirred the pot, now we're in the quiet after the storm and it's time to let things settle. The change has already happened and now it's time to just simply live it.

My girlfriends and I have been having a good laugh this week about how cool it is that when we make a decision to "live our truth" and act appropriately upon that (such as knowing when to say "no", not being afraid to do so, and doing so with confidence and compassion) then how the universe steps in to reward us. Sometimes it's just with a really good, giddy feeling that we just did something great for ourselves and sometimes it's another door opening that's full of wonderous possibilites that we wouldn't have seen or been able to step through had we continued to stay in that "pleasing everyone else and forget about doing what's right for me" place. That's great incentive to continue on the journey :-) It's almost like this little game now...we call each other with "you won't believe what i did today! and check out what happened right afterwards!" I have to say, by the way, how wonderful it is to have girlfriends. I've never liked girls. I was never into the "girlie things" and hated the color pink until a few years ago. I grew up a tom boy and was always more comfortable hanging out with the boys. They weren't judgemental like the girls were. They just took you at face value for who you were, or weren't, and cheered you on when you did something really great. It hasn't been until the past year really that I've found those kinds of friendships with women...authentic, caring, no pressure to be anyone/anything you're not, and lots of support and encouragement to be who you are. In fact, I surprised myself the other day when I called one of my girlfriends out of the blue just to say hi. I don't ever do things like that unless it's my husband, who I call all day long just to rattle nonsense to. I'm sure he's very happy to see me finding friends, lol.

But you know, I've always believed that when you follow your heart and you live in alignment with your path that all sources come in to support you. The natural world gets very excited when we let go of fear and step out into life with an open heart, or as author SARK would say...with wild abandon! It's almost as if you can hear all these little angels, fairies, gnomes, tree spirits and greater powers that be cheering you on and doing a group whoo whoo, arm pump included :-)

So as all these amazing changes are settling in, I'm discovering new ways to explore this great letting go. There's a word that's been rattling around in my brain for a few days. It's Moksha, which literally means release...but in the greater context...release from suffering. There are a lot of ways that we humans suffer, and I'm coming to find that much of it is self-inflicted. There is no doubt that there are great loses and sorrows in life that we must grieve and that do cause suffering..but at what point does the suffering turn from a natural part of the healing process into the opposite, something that we continue to hold onto consciously or unconsciously that over time begins to wreak havoc in our bodies and minds and creates a loss of self. The concept of suffering is a big subject and one that I am interested in exploring further for my own interest and understanding of it, but for the purpose of this blog let's just say that I am more aware of some of the "smaller" sufferings that we cause ourselves that just by bringing awareness and breath to we can begin to free ourselves from. I've been pondering this letting go, this detachment from old ways of being and doing; old thought patterns; old movement patterns. And of course the dancer and yogi in me jumps immediately to idea of freeing up movement patterns and letting go of old stories that I carry around in my body. I happened upon an old acquaintance at my chiropractors office this morning. She's not one of those "bone crunchers". She practices something called Network Spinal Analysis which is a phenomenal form of bodywork that I will certainly not do justice by trying to explain. But the fella I ran into was talking about how much he loves her work because just with a simple touch, a contact/release point on your body memories and life experiences that have long been stuck in your nervous system and muscle memory can come up for "review" and be gently and lovingly released. And as simply as us giving them permission to go.
Being a teacher of gentle yoga, I know the body doesn't have to be beat with a sledge hammer or worked until exhaustion to get what it needs. Our bodies have their own intelligence and when given the right environment (mentally, physically and emotionally) they will find balance, health, strength, flexibility and happiness. We don't have to try so hard. I don't have to try so hard. So today I am choosing to breathe, find my "inner wiggle" and let go of the effort of having to be in any particular way. I'm enjoying the wonderfully sweet fragrances of Jasmine and Magnolia and I am stepping with wild abandon in what this moment has to offer me.

"Weave an affirmation into each breath: I am enough. Just as I am. I am enough. Without doing anything."
~ Patricia Lynn Reilly, Imagine a Woman in Love with Herself

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Visceral Change

Okay, so this all began a few days ago when I was feeling overwhelmed about everything that needed to be done in order to get the house ready to go on the market so that Perry and I can move back to the mountains, because that’s really what this is all about….moving back home right? (more on that later) So I decided to make a list of every room in the house and what needed to be done in that room and tackle it one at a time to make this process a little less daunting. The thinking being that the feeling of accomplishment that comes from getting just one room completely cleaned out, organized and ready to haul out would be inspiration to keep on going! I decided to start with the dining room, which also happens to be the “library” and “music room” and general gathering area. It’s a small house, what can I say. I am an avid lover of books and often imagine myself in the classic image of Gustov Dore’s “Don Quioxte in His Library”. So choosing to sort through my bookshelves to see what I didn’t need anymore felt a bit like choosing a family member to cast out on the street. Needless to say, I didn’t get very far but mainly because I came across a long forgotten book whose name intrigued me, and given my intention to let this move/transition be about following my heart, I randomly opened the book and began to read. The passage called “The Instinct of Truth” (see previous post) was the first thing my eyes fell on and once again I was reminded that there are no coincidences in life. That when our hearts are open and willing, we receive the information and guidance that we need. With that being said…here is what those words stirred up and inspired in me and for the 4th time, I will attempt to share them with you :-)

Visceral. I like that word. It's the kind of word you can taste, feel and smell. It's hard to think or even say the word without using your whole being...Visceral. I found myself describing "What's Going On" to a friend recently as Visceral Change. There's no other description for it really. If you'll forgive me getting so deep and serious about feels as though my DNA is being re-written. And from what I can gather, I'm not the only one. It seems like we are all on the precipice of some great change, that we are being given the opportunity to re-invent ourselves, or better delve deep and find out what we're really made of and who we really are. I honestly think this is what the great change of 2012 is all about.
For as long as I can remember, I have found myself saying “I just want to go home", not really knowing where "home" is. I've discovered wonderful windows into home along the way. A phenomenal woman, Patricia Lynn Reilly and her poem "Home is Always Waiting" tells us that home is always just a conscious breath away. It is "this moment", it is the clearing in the forest of our busy lives, it is our woman-center, it is the place deep inside of us where we reclaim our voice, our truth. I've also been saying for years that the Blue Ridge mountains are home. They are. It's my soul-home. It's where my entire being can take a deep breath and know that I truly belong. Is it any wonder I can't stand to be away from them any longer? But I also know my history and tendency to flee when things get tough. You know…”When things get tough, the tough get going”? There was a period of my life where I didn’t live anywhere for more than 6 months at a time and now I’ve been here for 15 years. Yikes! This need to leave Wilmington though isn’t based on any sort of unhappiness or running away from anything. It's funny in fact, it really doesn’t make any sort of logical sense to move right now. The economy sucks, I have a job, people know me here and most days I can pay my bills. Life is good. And yet there is this tug at my heart that tells me it’s time to go home. I don’t need any other reason or excuse. Just “it’s time”. I recognize that the urge to “go home” is intimately linked to this waking up and transformation of myself as well as the physical need to be in the mountains. The two cannot happen independently of each other. It has to be a very conscious and organic process. I mean I try to live and make decisions in every other area of my life from those two tenants why not this too?

So as I choose not to settle for what is easier: staying in Wilmington where life is “safe”, and decide instead to let my heart “speak up” and find my voice, I am reminded of my cousin, Tucker, who always used to pick on me saying “Speak up Heather, Speak up”. Imagine this very tall, blonde Pennsylvanian speaking with the pleading, raspy tone of Guido and the hand gestures to match. I hear his voice in my head nearly every day and it has become my own personal joke. I've always had a quiet voice. I'm one of those "low talkers" and like my father, I usually don't say much unless I really have something to say. What I have come to realize is that my cousin wasn't just telling me to "pump up the volume" but encouraging me to find my voice and not be afraid to speak my truth. Like many, I tend to value the opinions of others more than I do my own. In fact, in pondering all this the other night, I came to an interesting realization: "I do not trust or value my own opinion because I feel like I need the approval of everyone else to live my life the way I have chosen." do you like that? A bit oxymoronish isn't it? And so I began to ask myself what I could do to change this belief and the only reasonable action I could come up with was to change my words. Words are incredibly powerful. Everything we say or write is an affirmation. So my new affirmation is: "I trust and deeply value my opinions and therefore I do not need anyone else's approval to confidently and joyfully live the life I have chosen." It sounds pretty simple really and after going back and reading this again, is one of those “well duh!” statements. So maybe starting this blog wasn’t such a bad idea after all. If nothing else it takes the “Mongol Horde” of voices out of my head and let’s me put them where I can see them and figure out who needs to stay and who needs to go. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that life isn’t an intricately woven web of an infinite number of interconnections. Nothing happens by chance and there are no coincidences. It is all part of the same perfect plan. Universe within and without.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Instinct of Truth

Well after 3 attempts to write this post and 3 losses of said post into the cyber void, I'm giving up for the night. Either Mercury is working hard in its current retrograde or i haven't gotten it right yet :-) Funny thing is, after you've poured your heart out a few times over, what was scary at first kind of seems comical after a while. So i'll leave you, instead, with the passage that inspired it all and to your own meanderings about its meaning in your life.
Happy inquirying....

"An instinct isn't learned, its visceral. There is an instinct for deep personal truth that resides within each of us. Its truth is unshakable and sternly requiring. Instinctual truth can't be unearthed by thinking alone; it begs for a soulful emotional inventory and for sincere and courageous examination. We brush up against it and it frightens us with its intensity. Speak up, the heart urges, but the timid little ego says, Settle for what is easier, what is available. Who do you think you are anyhow? Who do you know that ever got anywhere by following their heart?.....The terms of battle are clear. The ego says, Make the choice to claim your own life and you may die. The heart says, Don't make the choice to claim your own life and you will die. You will die the slow death of knowing in your heart of hearts that you never truly risked being authentic - choosing to live from your particular and unique instinct of truth."
~Heart Sense: Unlocking Your Highest Purpose and Deepest Desires,
Paula M. Reeves, Ph.D.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Blank Slate

A blank page is a very scary thing to me. I remember being a child... a blank piece of paper was put in front of me and i was told to draw something, anything i wanted. i think i stopped breathing and in an instant i was both filled with terror and sheer bliss. I had no idea what to draw or even if i COULD draw but there sat a moment of pure potential in front of me. The world was my oyster and i could create anything i desired. Unfortunately, the panic won out, i had a slight emotional breakdown and think i ended up drawing an image of a dilapidated butterfly. Poor thing...never had a chance.
So here i sit again in front of a blank page, physically and metaphorically. I am at an interesting point in my life... a crossroads it seems. Where i cannot stay where i have been and looking ahead i see a world of pure potential. I'm not exactly sure how to get there but am being driven like a herd of wild cattle by some unseen forces in my life. My poor dilapidated butterfly is having to learn how to fly. And so begins my journey to find out what it means to live an authentic life. (Those of you who know me might find that a bit amusing, but keep in mind that even us yogis and so called enlightened beings are still human). So with both sheer terror and bliss i share with you my journey, questions, findings, struggles, passions and rediculous ramblings as i learn to trust my heart and see where this great path leads. I believe it will be a true adventure for all!

"The heart is always right--if there's a question of choosing between the mind and the heart--because mind is a creation of the society. It has been educated. You have been given it by the society, not by existence. The heart is unpolluted." ~ OSHO