Saturday, December 31, 2011

End of the year...

Purple Bachelor's Button Bokeh


In less than 12 hours it will be time to change calenders, get used to writing "2012" on our papers, and (hopefully) feel relief that 2011 is behind us.

I chose this picture today because it shows so well how the things up close are easy to see, and what is further down the road won't come into focus until we reach them. Each day brings new focuses and new challenges and it's not always important to know what the view tomorrow will be. Or even an hour from now. Each moment it is important to see the beauty of what is right in front of you.

I've been thinking a lot lately. About my life, the choices I made, the path to get to Here, the possible paths to There, yesterdays, todays, tomorrows. And most of those thoughts have made me glad to be who I am.

I have some very important people in my life right now. The most important ones are Anthony, Brianna, and Kevin. Coming close to them is my Dad and my chosen family (the ones I call Sisters). Without these people in my life, things would be dreary and empty.

I wrote about Kevin last month. I mentioned how he's brought me to my highest highs, as well as my lowest lows. He also has pushed me to grow more than anyone else. And has pushed me to stand my ground in times I'd normally give in. He's the first one I turn to with anything significant: ASC news, issues & triumphs with my children, sorrows and celebrations, fears and hopes. I will be forever grateful for all of that.

My children... There has not been a moment, since I knew of their existences, that has been dull or unimportant. Everything about their lives has touched my own in such a significant way that there really is no way to describe it. I have cried more, feared more, and become more angry than I thought possible. But I've also laughed more, faced more demons, and felt more love than I thought possible. I cannot imagine my life without them. I thank Spirit everyday for their presence in my life.

My Dad has come into my life only in the recent years. Through that, we've learned respect for each other, acceptance of our differences, and are building a wonderful relationship. It's like a chance to start with a clean slate with each other. We can meet each other as adults and grow from there. That is a rare and precious gift, and one that I cherish.

My chosen family... Oh, what a difference they have made to my life! The love and support from them has been overwhelming at times in its beauty. I leaned heavily on them during some really rough times. They encouraged me, loved me, and never let me down. They mean the world to me in more ways than I can describe.

This year has been tough financially, but our bills have gotten paid and we had food in the house. This year has been a roller-coaster emotionally, but I've grown through it and was able to share most of it with others. This year has been frightening physically, but I've learned so much about how to take good care of myself. And, perhaps most important, this year has really stretched my Faith, and even through that, I have felt the presence of Spirit, filling me with the strength to keep going.

Many people might look at my life as not-so-bad or even spectacular. That's really good, because then I can remember that I had a really good year. My loved ones were there through it all, and that made it an amazing year in my life.

I am looking forward to many more.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The day before the day...

Morning Mood


It's almost here. The day when we can really look at the clock and know that the day has begun to get longer. These few short days (since the 20th) have been overcast and dreary, and yet, after reading an interesting Daily Om, I reevaluated my outlook. Rainy days shouldn't be dreaded and depressing. Instead I should be focusing on how I can use the day as a time of reflection. Will this be easy? No, of course not. Few things really are.

On the 25th the days will begin to slowly grow. Oh, so slowly. But the knowledge that they are lengthening will give many people a renewed sense of hope and of peace. There are moments when I wish everyone could feel that on a daily basis. To be able to look at the dark times as a time to rest and gather their strength. Even when I forget it for myself, I still wish it for others.

I have an interesting variety of birds in my yard lately. From large crows to tiny finches, they all spend a little time here chattering at each other, plucking the last of the belladonna berries, and just watching over it all. I love watching their movements, each different from the others. There are times when all I want to do is to fly up there with them. To feel the small branches bend beneath my feet as the wind washes over me. Oh, to fly along the breezes as the world slips past me below! What a glorious thought!

Does this contradict with my fear of flying? Some people might think so. Still, I think it would be very different knowing that I am the one in control of my flight and not a bulky machine built by the lowest bidder.

I have a lot to finish this morning and so I must get going. I hope you are all having a wonderful day.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wintry

IMG_0191.JPG


"Deep in the wintry parts of our minds, we are hardy stock and know there is no such thing as a work-free transformation. We know that we will have to burn to the ground in one way or another, and then sit right in the ashes of who we once thought we were and go on from there."
-Clarissa Pinkola Est├ęs

The days are getting shorter and shorter now, of course. It's not an easy time of the year for many people for myriad reasons. I’m trying to look at the next couple weeks as a “shedding” time. For example, I’m shedding a dehydrated body by drinking more water. I’m shedding some of the cluttered spots in the house. I'm shedding some old ways of thinking that still hang on.

On December 20 the days will be at 9h10m and will hover there until the 25 when it will be 9h11m (found that info here, and yours will be different), and I will celebrate a “hesitation” of sorts and focus on how the darkness of Night affects me positively, such as time to dream, time to see the stars, time to connect. Once the days begin to lengthen, I will start focusing on how day positively affects me. And I will create new habits.

As for sharing the journey on my blog, and through my personal groups? I’m half afraid that if I do not, I may not reach my goals. Most of my life I have gone through things without a support network and it’s been so much of a struggle. Granted, that all did its part in helping me to grow, but growth comes with knowing my friends are there, too. Now I have many friends who are working along with me in all of this. I’m thinking this way, the burden might be lighter in a way.

As the days shorten, I truly hope you are able to find the time to reflect on the deep parts of your Spirit. The parts that are Self.

Namaste.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Shocked and confused

Yes, I was shocked by one of my reactions today. Intense jealousy and pain, then guilt because I felt that way. All of them hit me out of nowhere, leaving me sobbing. Yes, really sobbing, and now I feel emptied out.

You see, a friend's daughter arrived back in the states today from Iraq. I am so filled with happiness for them, but the other feelings... Anthony won't be home for a while more. This is our first holiday without him. Brianna & I will be alone, with each other.

I wasn't going to write about it, but maybe there is another parent out there who is feeling the same way. If you are reading this, please know that you are not alone. Please know that I am so grateful to you and your support for your loved ones so far away.

And to my friend? I would like to say to her, and to all the families who are so joyful today, I am so very sorry for my reaction. I truly am happy for you all and I really do appreciate all that you have gone through. My only excuse is that I miss my son, but I know he'd not want me to be sad, so I will turn on the music and reflect on how much you have all gone through to get to this point.

Namaste.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Rainy Days

Half an Arc

Sometimes it seems that the rain will never stop and the sun will stay hiding forever. But we all know better, logically, that the sun will come back. Until it does, I'm going to do my best to look for the rainbows. To trust in the turn of the Earth. To let go of the fears of failure.

I wrote a short little poem yesterday about the grey skies and Jack Frost. It made me smile a little to think of a little sprite bringing frostiness to the mornings, even as I dreaded trying to chip ice off the Jeep windows.

I'm focusing today on so many positive things in my life that the grey skies will seem like a softness, instead of the oppressive weight I usually see.

With all my heart, I hope you are all finding some beauty in this day. Whatever it might be... a candle flicker, a unique shape in the cloud, the glimpse of an eagle, a snowflake... whatever touches your Soul, I hope you see it.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Dark Days Challenge, Week 1

SOLE - sustainable, organic, local, ethical Well, I feel that my first week was a bit of a fail. I'm still looking for some local foods (by using  Local Harvest and Eat Well Guide)  and am going to expand my circle of where to look. However, I did buy some organic foods and enjoyed a butternut squash soup, a small salad and apple juice the other day. I'll keep trying though! Here is the soup I had with lots of veggies tossed in (and mushrooms):