Archive for Women

Living With What IS

Healing comes in many forms and in different ways.  The lengthy divorce settlement has presented great difficulty.  After years of being divorced the final settlement is nowhere in sight.  The challenges are still there…no matter what I do to move through them, face them, deal with them…they remain.  I keep wondering, “what is it I’m not getting?  I don’t understand the teaching.”  Finally I reached my breaking point, the unraveling of this courage, strength, and faith, became days of tears, nights of anxiety and fear…threads of who I am disappearing into reaction.

Sandy listened…and reminded me of what I know and what I Know.  This was no miracle conversation…just a gentle reminder with questions.  I took these new questions and looked within…and finally I get it.  Perhaps my great healing is as simple as accepting and living with what IS…how things are…being One with it all.  

The realization and teaching is this…the greatest healing of all could quite possible be living with what is…with acceptance and peace in my body, mind and spirit.  The challenges and circumstances of life do not define me.  A great burden is lifted and I am once again free to be who I am and create the life I want.  Now living with what IS…is quite wonderful! 

Golden

GoldenFor now I am silent with only the rustling leaves, busy chipmunks and squirrels as background sounds.  The air is crisp, pure, fresh, and moist.  My lungs drink in deeply.  My ears rest in the quiet, my voice rests in silence, my body rests when needed.  My first morning here, Saturday, I dress warmly, leash my little buddy, Shortey and walk into the woods, pausing along the cove of Lake Simond Pond.  All my senses are delighted…my eyes fill with tears.  I am here.  I am ready.  I surrender to this time and to the grandeur of the Adirondacks.  Silence, Stillness, Quiet, Mother Nature….all Golden.

Bare Walls and Boxes

Bare walls and boxes–the deconstruction of home. I start to pack and then write another email or call someone to say good-bye.  I’ve not shed a tear yet, but know they are coming.  I’m restless as the space between my settled home and move leaves me with boxes full or empty, some all taped up, others open just in case.  Shortey sleeps by the screen door, content with the moment, yet knowing something BIG is up.  The tension is building in my chest and the tears will come, I sense it, I know it…I’m just not yet ready to let them start…I’ve so much to do.  One week from today Stevie will bring the truck here for the loading.  He came by this morning and just hung around, we didn’t say much, but Stevie and I have always been comfortable with silence.  He came with me for the injection at the hospital.  I sense the worry in his eyes as the Radiologist explained why they are doing the test.  My full body bone scan is at 1:00 and the radio-active liquid courses through my veins.  The scan will be fine…my bones fine…because I”m leaving on this great journey.  Like bare walls and boxes…I am empty yet full, taped up and open just in case, beginners mind…the bare wall of new beginnings.  This is who I am right now.

Wind Beneath My Wings

Wind Beneath My WingsI love that song…and the tune, the lyrics come to mind this beautiful sunny Sunday morning.  Last night was our 4th Gratitude Gathering, a women’s support group I began last autumn.  We meet once each season, at different homes, whoever can make it comes, all is as it should be.  We share delicious food, chai tea, dessert, we mix and mingle, delight in the loving environment of wonderful women.  Then we form circle…a time of Sacred Sharing and Sacred Support.  This is an incredible group of women…a Spiritual Powerhouse of growth and evolution, love, support, and acceptance through our accomplishments, our illnesses, our challenges and triumphs.  We are Sisters.

I began the evening with open mind…beginners mind and wondered how difficult this night may be emotionally as I am moving so far away.   This move to the Adirondacks is the greatest decision I have ever made, the biggest change, a dream coming true, a goal manifesting.  This is a new road…a completely open road into a new life, my transformation.  A time when I will be hours away from anyone I know (accept when my dear Aunt Carol is at her camp), all that is familiar…I’ve lived my whole life here.  And now at the age of 52 I am embracing my dream and going for it! 

I left our Gathering with the greatest peace.  No sadness…only the strength of loving support from my Sisters.  I am empowered with great courage and Knowing that all is well and that no matter where I am, or who I am at any given moment I am uplifted by each of you…and know that you are the “wind beneath my wings”…

Fly, Fly, Fly

So high I almost touch the sky

Thank you, thank you, thank God for you

the wind beneath my wings….

The Empty Box

The sun shines brightly through the blinds into my living room leaving yellow stripes across the boxes empty and collapsed.  From my kitchen chair I observe the teaching in this boxes. 

The world as I know it has collapsed…everything stripped away.  Over these past two years large homes, furniture and things to fill them, financial security, physical health, employment, structured life, relationships…have all collapsed.  I begin to pack, leaving Orange County for the first time, alone, heading into the unknown…the empty box.  Into the empty box I will place myself and this rollercoaster of detaching and excitement, panic and peace, anxiety and elation…with a great blanket of faith and trust to warm me. 

Sometimes our world needs to collapse so that we may find new life…true transformation.  I recall the bald eagle that flew overhead on my last day at the Lake this summer.  He circled above me disturbing my meditation…so I watched in awe as he danced and soared then disappeared.  No sooner did he leave then  a Monarch butterfly bright orange and black danced directly in front of me over the calm stillness of the Lake, she fluttered way up into the sky almost disappearing before she came back down to eye level dancing again to my delight before silently stealing into the forest. 

I am about to enter the empty box of the unknown…all the while Knowing on the deepest level the transformation and new life are blessed…I will dance like butterflies…and soar like eagles.

What Is vs. What Was

Memories of sweet love,  ending love and the pain of detachment, the grief of loss, a broken heart.  I realize that so much of the pain is from remembering what was.  The reality of what is…is far different from what was.  The mind and the heart so desperately want to hold on to the greatness in relationship…purposely ignoring the what is…the not so great, the hurt, all that is wrong, unattainable or not good at all.  The mind and heart pull me deeply into what was while I sleep…the thoughts stir me awake and my heart aches for what was…my mind with great effort tries to reason…bring me to the present, the reality of lost love…and heart pulls the mind back to what was…the newness of love, the passion and wonder, the intimacy, the witty banter…hold it…hold it tight…what was is gone forever to what is.

The Mirror

The MirrorThe mirror today reflects my natural hair wavy and fuzzy, a bit frizzy from humidity, blond highlights.  My face has plenty of fine smile and laugh lines, hazel blue eyes with my right a bit lazy from the golf ball that landed there ever so perfectly when I was 10 years old.  A couple of age spots, some grays when I play with my hair along the temple and part.  There are some new skin tags on my neck, my shoulders are strong and sculpted from 5-1/2 years of daily Yoga with slightly muscular arms as well.  The veins in my hands are prominent from years of caring for the needs of many, my nails are short and well groomed.  My breasts sag from breast feeding two children 24 and 28 years ago, with scars on my left breast from lumpectomy, catheters, lympnodes removed, milk duct removal left scars around my aerola.  All in all, my breasts look very good, healthy, perhaps a bit voluptuous…I’m so grateful to have them.  My abdomen has always been a source of disappointment…never had the flat as pancake, six-pack abs…but there’s something to be said for soft and shapely.  My hips are fine, buttocks firm and strong though I sense they would like to sag a bit down toward my knees!  My legs are strong and muscular once again from years of Yoga and strengthening.  My knees no longer take kindly to bending for very long, or kneeling on them, they resist the straightening movement, but still work well.  My feet are different…my right is strong and works so hard, my left is softer, weaker, trying so hard to hold her own.  The left foot looks better than she has in years from drop foot, but through healing work and perseverance with toes that barely function it is looking stronger and more hopeful every day. 

I will be 52 years old in a couple of weeks…Libra.  And since the age of 50 I love who and what I see in the mirror for the first time in my life.  I love who I’ve grown to be and all the great possibilities that lie ahead.  The body is far from the perfect images we see each day…but I love her exactly as she is…and I am grateful for all the ways this incredible body has served me constantly for 52 years…I look in the mirror and smile with wisdom I have earned, the faith that sustains me, the persistence that keeps me moving forward…and those fine smile and laugh lines?  From living a joyful life…no matter the challenges I face.

Reflection

Reflection

As the time gets closer to my move more and more people are asking, so what will you do?  Some wonder if I have everything lined up, job, friends, etc.  But the truth is, the only person I know is my Aunt and she does not live there full time. 

As I reflect on this past year and my goal of moving to the Adirondacks my intention was to write and now I’m uncertain of what exactly lies ahead.  My desire is to have all the solitude I need, whatever that may be, to be in the heart of Mother Nature, inspired by the glory around me everywhere I look, slowed down to stillness by the calm, slower pace of this quiet lake town.  Taking time for quiet, to heal, explore, learn, and grow and share what I learn along the way.

I enter this time with many emotions, sadness for leaving those closest to me, excitement of a new life, of dreams coming true, of professional goals manifesting, creative juices flowing freely without interruption, allowing the space to Be, surrendering to each moment, living in a way that goes completely against my old ways of living…busy busy busy, crazy busy, doing, doing, doing.  I’m going deeper, getting down to the bones and marrow of who I am and experiencing the new blossoms and fruits of this time to come.

Yet I enter this time with open hands, open heart, open mind, and a liberated Spirit, trusting in the process and the peace within.  Everything about this move has been as graceful and flowing as the Racquette River that meanders along the edge of town.  Love, support and blessings abound.  What I do know is that this time will bring me clarity…a perfect reflection of what is.  Mother Nature teaches us this lesson every day….be still and know…and all will be clear…a perfect reflection.

Labor Day 1979

I remember clearly looking over at the windup alarm clock ticking loudly, it was 1:30am, when my contractions started.  As a first time mom I am for the first time witnessing my body take on a life of her own.  There is no controlling the life force of birthing.  I am at once anxious, excited, frightened, restless, and wide awake!  I tap Steve on the shoulder, “what?”  “I’m having contractions!” “Wake me up when it’s really time”.  I waddle into the kitchen, turn on the stovetop light and watch the clock tick the night away for the next 2 hours.  My packed bag is sitting my the backdoor.  My due date is 11 days away and I wait.

I labored all day, literally, until finally at 6:34pm this perfect little miracle was placed on my chest.  Soon she was nursing at my breast and our deep bond begins.  I am in awe of this miracle, in awe of her ten fingers and toes, the power of her tiny little mouth at my breast…and oh look!  She has her daddy’s toes!

Therese Marie still resembles her dad in many physical ways.  Today she is 28 years old, and it’s been a tough year of challenges for her, but she has proven how very strong and capable she is.  I know that she has the power to make this year a great new beginning…and to create the life of her dreams.

On this day, September 3, 2007, your birthday Therese Marie, thank you for the experience of motherhood.  Raising you has been the joy of my life and you always have been and still are one of my closest and dearest friends.  I value our friendship, I treasure you as my daughter.  I marvel at the transformation of my life and my heart through the miracle of motherhood.

Into The Heart Of Mother Nature

Into The Heart Of Mother NatureToday is a very chilly August morning here in the city of Newburgh along the Hudson River where the train roars by my window and generators hum and vibrate drowning out any sound at all.  My mind quickly turns to October…

I feel the excitement of leaving in a few weeks even looking forward to packing, planning and all the preparation needed for this move.  I sense the coming liberation and freedom of a new place, perfect for retreating, going deeper, writing, exploring, being in the heart of Mother Nature being one with Her pulse…my heart beating with Hers, my eyes witnessing Her Teaching, my ears listening to Her whispers, as well as Her roars and growls, cries, chatter, songs, and Her silence.  My heart longs to be in Her presence to be present in the majestic glory of the Adirondacks.

I long for Her echo to fill my chambers, resonating with my energy and center, rhythmically tuning the kundalini and prana of this body/mind that my Soul shall flourish, rejoicing in the Oneness of All.  I see my Yoga mat and cushion on the deck of my cabin in the still morning air and my heart soars above the roar of the trains passing.

I believe this how it should be for me.  My life has been so busy, filled with external distractions and this longing to retreat is really more about the fulfillment of Natures abundance, living in the heart of Mother Nature in the grand mountain range of the Adirondacks…lake after lake, pond after pond, flowing rivers all dot the forest and mountains of thick evergreens, pines, white birch and oaks…tall, leaning into the sun, leaning from the winds that blow across the lakes leaving island forests pointing to the shores.

Yes, this is where I am heading and I hope to purchase a canoe and kayak that I may silently meader along the rocky edges of lakes and through the grassy marsh, coves and inlets, channels and rivers…silently, slowly, effortlessly gliding through to observe the loons and wood ducks, beaver and blue heron, deer, jumping lake bass and trout that leap  to the surface for the resting flies and mosquitoes.  Yes, this is where I am going and I am coming alive.  My heart beats differently this morning with anticipation of this new adventure. 

I could not make this move, this leap of faith without my dear family and friends.  So many have literally supported me through these past two years of breast cancer, the return of an old injury, followed by a broken foot and job loss, and the ongoing legal battle of divorce settlement.  I chose to see all of these challenges as opportunity rather than devastation…and here I am about to embark on this new journey,my dream of many years in a most unexpected way.  I am so blessed and I pray that every single person who loves and supports me in any way shall be blessed 1000 times for their kindness, generosity, and divine love.   A special thanks to my dear Aunt Carol who is helping make this possible.  Everyone’s support and generosity and effort is way beyond material support…you are giving me permission to be True to MYSELF.  How priceless!  Each of you live in my heart and I take you with me into the glory of this earth…into the heart of Mother Nature…the Adirondacks.

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