Monday, July 27, 2015

Unique Reflecting

The Mystery within...
I was on a “Women Gathering” retreat this past weekend.  It is a happy time when I leave everyday activities behind and sit in a circle with other women who want to explore what life is all about.  I look forward to this annual coming together.  Who I am becomes more apparent and I leave these weekends with a sense of fragile wholeness. 

There is always a craft project to symbolize the theme of our gathering.  This year’s theme was “Endings and Beginnings” with the symbol of a spiral depicting life as one continuous flow with ending events turning into new beginnings.  I’m not fond of doing crafts and always feel some resistance to the task.  This year was no exception, with not one, but two anxiety producing crafts for me.  But in naming what I struggle with I always find healing. 

My first project was to glue a length of twine to a piece of cardboard with Elmer’s glue in the shape of a spiral that symbolized my life thus far.  My fingers found the stiff twine hard to turn and keep glued down so I did the best I could with just looping it back and forth and decided it represented the twists and turns in my life that have become a little more gentle as I age.  But the two ends of my twine didn’t meet and I thought they should until I saw the distance between them representing the time I have left in this life before I return back to where I initially came from.  Everyone else did manage unique and widely differing spirals highlighting how different and special each one of is.

And then came the instructive, all afternoon weaving project, where we were provided a weaving board, a myriad of colorful yarns, textures, and ribbons, and were invited to weave a depiction of our life thus far.  One thing I was sure of was I needed to keep mine simple.  My board’s base yarn had to be easy to work with as well as using just one texture of yarn to weave throughout.  I choose a soft multicolored yarn in shades of green to represent the heart chakra’s color that to my surprise turned to a soft gold near the end.  All I needed was to trust my heart and embrace my fears and it would be okay.  And it was.  I did need some help in taking my weaving off the board and hiding some mistakes.  But I didn’t want too much help.  I wanted to see and fix those flaws myself, even if imperfectly.  And I knew how true that is for all of us who struggle to come to our own insights in how best to find answers for healing.  I was reminded of a paragraph from my memoir, “God Never Hurries,” as Bear, the Shepherd/Husky, searched for his yellow tennis ball in the back yard after an early snowfall:

“Just as I watched Bear out of the corner of my eye as he frantically searched for his ball of sunshine, so too God was watching me as I worriedly searched for answers to my care giving problems.  God knew I needed to find the answers myself in order to grow.”

Each of us gathered was gifted with a beautiful spiral pendant to help us remember the weekend and how we learned from listening to others’ unique stories and sharing our own.  No matter that my spiral turned out to be a loop de loop and my weaving has memorable flaws.  It is all good.

What if we all had opportunities to appreciate one another’s uniqueness and find our own true path through sharing?

Monday, July 20, 2015

Lessons Everyday

The Mystery within...
Three things I am quite sure about this week:

1.  Every one of us is unique and we each come with our own set of gifts and faults. 

2.  Our faults are pure gold for they hold the potential for true humility, compassion, and the ability to love everyone else regardless of their faults.

3.  Every day presents opportunities to grow in love for others and our self through the power of reflection. 

What if we all knew our true potential for humility, compassion and love, present in each day’s living?

Monday, July 13, 2015

Being with Mystery

The Mystery within...

My daughter’s cat; my daughter’s Facebook words:
“Rest in peace Sophie.  Sweetest cat I've ever known.  Very sad day.  She will be dearly missed.”

We never expected to lose Sophie this past week.  Her death brought us closer to Mystery and reminded us control is an illusion and change is inevitable.  She was thirteen years old and was treated a couple of months ago for a lame front leg that got better overnight.  The lameness suddenly returned, much worse, now in her opposite leg.  Treatment was ineffective and the next day she was still in major distress.  The vet suggested it might be best to put her down.  So we took her in and mercifully she was put out of her misery while we stood by her.

I had suggested to my daughter that we could bring her back home with us for burial but she was reluctant until the vet mentioned home burial was one of our options.  I thought Sophie would also have wanted to come back with us. 

Clearing a spot for her burial, digging a deep enough hole, sawing away large underground roots from nearby bushes was hard work.  But when I watched my daughter gently wrap Sophie in the cream colored sheet, carry her to the grave, and nestle her in, I knew it was the right thing to do.  She put colorful flowers upon the sheet, and sprinkled some of Sophie’s late buddy Ben’s ashes around her and then lit some sage.  That little ceremony reclaimed our connection to Sophie and Ben and all things beyond.  Life and death are so inextricably linked.

What if we could always reclaim the life and death link to everyone and everything? 

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Power of Could

The Mystery within...
Words have real power.  I know this because I have been calmly talking to my resistant muscles in my surgical leg telling them, “You can bend.  Yes, you can.  You can bend.”  And ever so slowly those stubborn, long dormant, knotted muscles are beginning to respond to my words thereby making my exercises and therapy more productive.  I am now hopeful good health could be restored in that leg.  Could is the power word here.  It presumes I continue to talk positively to my muscles and do the work. 

The word could is very optimistic.  It invites challenge, thinking, and a plan.  Alternatives and opportunities come with could.  The negative opposite of could is should which I could eliminate from my vocabulary.  If I tell myself I should do this, that, or the other thing, it leaves me flat and uninspired.  And heaven forbid that I ever tell anyone else what he or she should do.  But “could” could get us both thinking.

What if we could help ourselves and one another be good by eliminating should and using could?