Sunday, October 6, 2019

Reflecting Vulnerability

The Mystery Within...
This week’s post is a little longer than usual since Tuesday’s entry contains a summary of July’s Women Gathering Retreat on Vulnerability that I finally got around to writing.  

Sunday, September 29, 2019

There was a very light mist falling when I put on my rain poncho to walk Oliver to the woods this afternoon. I was grateful for my return to daily written reflecting and completing last week’s post. I appreciated how my reflections revealed some of my vulnerabilities and strength--deep empathy, acknowledging my humanness; and for tears of sadness and joy at Enzo’s love of humanity in the movie, “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” and in sharing that experience with family members. I wondered what insights this week’s reflections will reveal?

I always thrill at the sight of deer. And one was watching me in the woods this misty afternoon. I checked my medicine card book when I got home that said if Deer has gently come into my life I am being asked to find gentleness of spirit that heals all wounds; be warm and caring and love people as they are. I know Enzo and God would agree.

After cleaning up the supper dishes, I saw a big brown spider on my kitchen floor. I stepped on it and then felt remorse.  I picked it up and put it outside in the grass.  Hopefully, it will be a meal for another being. This being a gentle, caring human being isn’t always easy.

Monday, September 30, 2019

It was a very short day today with yoga in the morning followed by a walk to the woods with Oliver before it got too unseasonably warm; and then an unexpected visitor after lunch; and then feeling truly tired, I laid down for a nap. The weather report for tomorrow is for heavy rain, so when I woke I justified a bike ride before supper and the early autumn sunset.

I found a note I wrote to myself earlier this month, I even dated it 9-10-19. Maybe that was the actual beginning of my return to written reflections. The note began, “I am retired. Retirement has purpose. Slow down. Find enjoyment. Be realistic about what I take on.”  

I am proud of myself for not feeling guilty about my very short day today.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Women Gathering Retreat 
on Vulnerability
July 26 to July 28, 2019

“What makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful.”  Brene Brown

Two months have passed since our summer Women Gathering retreat on the theme of Vulnerability. I am just now getting around to reviewing my notes and summarizing what that weekend meant for me. In some way, it is good that I have some distance between my retreat experience and notes before attempting to highlight them. The intervening time, and more recently my return to daily written reflections, has allowed my vulnerability to come into sharper focus and to appreciate its gifts. 

Vulnerability is what I initially want to hide from myself, or from others, for fear of rejection. When I lean into my vulnerability with openness and compassion I can then be more open and compassionate with others. Vulnerability is innate to being human and part of my natural state.  My vulnerability allows the natural strength of my heart to emerge. 

Vulnerability means showing up as I truly am and taking risks in expressing my thoughts and feelings. It asks me to tell the truth that then lets me rest in self-love. Accepting my vulnerability also allows others to accept theirs and expand the natural strength of their hearts. The paradox of vulnerability is when I allow myself to be undefended I find my true strength. It is the birthplace of my courage. It is my vulnerability that makes me strong and more whole.

When I came across the last sentence I jotted down in my notes it brought a smile to my heart and face. “Be okay with my single life-style choice.” Those seven little words now feel remarkably honest and freeing.      

My art therapy piece for that weekend, cutting and pasting pictures and words from magazines, brought me these words and images to paste on a board: “It’s your vulnerability that makes you strong;” a clock to remind me to take time for myself everyday, and the words, “Keep it simple,” to remind me to do less and be more. There’s a heart pictured with three rings in the center. I now think the three rings within the heart signify accepting my vulnerability expands my heart and helps others expand theirs. Or maybe it means life and love is a three-ring circus. Perhaps it is both. There’s a silly looking Labrador with a flowered shower cap on his head that tells me to incorporate some silliness into my life; and a paddle boarder on a northern lake. Both represent wellness. And on the backside of my board is an empty hammock between two trees with a beach in the background. I put it on the back of my collage because I actually didn’t think I would realistically lounge in a hammock any time soon, if ever.         
Thank you, Cathy Gawlik and Dawn Zak, for all your hard work and skills in gathering us women together to reflect on our vulnerability.
* * *
I now realize reflecting and writing daily is a major step in looking at my vulnerabilities. And I’ve even started lying down for a nap some afternoons. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

There was a light energy that flowed in my body today. It felt good.   

I dropped my car off early this morning for an oil change and to make sure it is road worthy for winter. Frost is in the near future, so when I got home I brought in two houseplants that summered on the deck. They grew and thrived with the bright natural light and real rain. Several times throughout the day I peaked in on them in the sunroom to admire the variegated brightness and significant growth of both the ficus tree and umbrella plant. They should be okay in the sunroom for another month before it gets too cold and they join me in the house for winter. 

Walking back to the garage with Oliver to pick up my car, I felt deep gratitude for this day, my energy, car, house, sunroom and the security of my retirement. After I paid the garage owner, Mark, for caring for my car, I acknowledged a friend told me that he donates his time and car servicing skills to needy St. Vincent de Paul clients to help keep them safe on the road. I thanked him for doing that. He said, “I’m not comfortable around people, but that is a skill I have and I  am happy to help out.” He said he has been doing it for 35 years and thanked me for my acknowledgment. I felt gratitude enlarge both of our hearts.  

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Yesterday’s quiet energy left today. I am feeling overwhelmed with what I want to do to get more organized with household tasks and paper work. The best thing I can do tonight is go to bed and sleep on it.  

Friday, October 4, 2019

Dear Matthew Fox,

Your book, Original Blessing, was of tremendous help to me in finding my voice and claiming my freedom. It allowed me to write my first memoire, God Never Hurries, which was a pre-requisite to writing Both/and Things where I am learning a deeper form of freedom in loving unconditionally.

Thank you,

Marcia Kaminski 

Saturday, October 5, 2019

After Matthew Fox finished his talk yesterday on his book, Naming the Unnameable – 89 Wonderful and Useful Names for God…Including the Unnameable, God, I asked a Sienna Center staff person to give Fox the envelope I had addressed to him. It contained my October 4 handwritten note to him and a copy of Both/and Things. I would have handed it to him myself, but he was whisked out of the great chapel for his book-signing event that followed in the dining hall. My friend Ann and I did not stay. I was tired, there was distance to drive home in the dark, and Ann had early plans for the next day.

In his talk, Fox listed God’s many names slowly and deliberately. I could identify with some of them from my experience with Native American sweat lodge ceremony and my East Indian experiences with Kirtan and yoga, and my Buddhist readings. My ears and heart enjoyed hearing Fox speak God’s feminine names and say the Goddess is returning in many forms; and that there are trillions and trillions of names for God--flow, compassion, kindness, and every being is a name for God. His talk was expansive. I felt privileged to be able to relate to many of God’s names and to know when we show compassion, kindness, and forgiveness, we become Godlike.

And today, October 5, is my late son Joe’s birthday--Happy Birthday Joe. You now must know so much more of the Great Mystery that loves and lives within us all. Love, Mom  






1 comment :

  1. A couple of years ago I enlisted the aid of a friend to rescue a baby bird that had landed on the lawn much too soon. We got a step ladder and put it back in the nest. (Yes, this works. The parents won't reject the bird because they smell you on it.)

    Then I spent the rest of the day feeling guilty for depriving whoever missed out on lunch because we scooped that nestling up and out of reach. Overall, about 30% of baby birds survive to be adults. The rest are there to provide healthy meals for someone else.