that when i am surrendered i have space to notice rather than fight
when i stop struggling against the shoulds and the outtas and the wounds
i can see what makes them
i can see the cause
i can see whether i am wounding myself using the ropes tied by others...
and this morning i realised that often i am...
i was at drop off at school struggling against a percieved slight when i remembered surrender
and in my mind i just stepped off the mouse wheel
and my footsteps slowed
and my body softened
and i realised i had no idea what was going on for that other person
and how i appear to them is none of my business
do i approve of myself?
(a whispered yes)
am i acting from a good place?
am i worthy of kindness
a stronger yes (the fact that this is my current affirmation may help)
and i felt that tension and harshness leave my body
and i felt love pour in
and it really is as simple as that
so here is my checklist
1. be aware
4. check in with yourself
5. let the love come in
it really feels as easy as that... and i think the reason is that the secret nature of the Universe is love. God/Goddess/All that Is is truely Love broader and deeper and stronger than anything we can imagine and so when we soften and we truely allow that to come in we see that is all there really is... Love
Sometimes it is damaged and has prickly edges. Sometimes we don't open to it enough.
surrendering the need to be right
surrendering the need to examine all wounds and slights and injuries
surrendering the need to be good
surrendering the need to be more
surrendering the need to be wanting
surrendering the need to be needful
surrendering the need to compete
surrendering the need to conform
surrendering the need to be liked
surrendering to the will of God/Goddess/All that Is and just floating on this river which knows where it is going...
trusting that the eddies will be there when i need to rest
and the rapids will bounce me out on the other side
and the sun will shine on me and the stars will guide me
which i have no excuse for really apart from the fact that the things i usually write about here seem blindingly important and i rush to come here...
but i am going to try to explain this wonderful awful woman who arrived
there is a back story
i am (as you may know if you have read here before) and inveterate people pleaser
i try to be a nice girl. i try to be polite. i try to be thoughtful. i try to be good.
But the secret is i have a tail that as Clarissa Pincola Estes so rightly points out, often twitches below the hem of my skirt. Of course this makes me ashamed. It fits none of the categories above.
i have a nose that smells danger but no training as to what to do with the knowledge. To run from danger might be considered rude.
I have eyes that see in the darkest of places but because they often see what no one else sees i stitch my lips together in a sweet smile so that the ugly things i see don't spill out and aren't offensive to others...
These things have made me feel other all my life
i have limped around the world looking for the place i knew i belonged - somewhere surely, there were others who smelled like me, howled like me, saw like me...
I found my family once or twice - my beloved Daryl who gave me the gift of Clarissa Pincola Estes and women who run with the wolves... but i felt so bouyed up by this connection, this homecoming that i thought i was strong enough to go back to the world of the others without protection
it almost sunk me
and so it was by sheer fate that i happened on the SARK forum, kindreds, kindness and clarity all in one pick and mix bag.... seeing other women struggle and follow their hearts was so enriching, so enlivening that i began to do the same
from there i found online art courses...especially the ones with Connie Hozvicka i began to invest in my dreams
i found, by the blessings of all that is holy and the faeries who live in the Whangarei Library shelves Elizabeth Cunningham and Maeve, they are my heart's friends and i live daily heart filling contact with them..
i have done a course with Pixie Campbell on the medicine of plants and stone people and travelling around the points, teaching me to trust my intuition, my deepest knowings....
and i found my way back to Clarissa and that old yellowed underlined book
and the wild woman howled at me from the pages... a howl of welcome and feirceness and blood
and so i took to my canvas with the gesso for texture and orange red and vermillion because i knew that she was calling herself out...
calling out the wild woman
calling out the parts of me that hear to much see too much feel too much are too much for all the buttoned down goodwoman bullshit i have been expecting myself to be constrained by for all these long lonely years
and out she came, in scratches with brushes and leaves and nails, with swoopy strokes of thick globbed paints and tiny dabs of gentle colour
here she comes
she scares me and challenges me and dares me and taunts me
and really she is me
and as Elizabeth Cunningham says "It's not all pretty pretty pretty, beauty never is"
I have been struggling for balance for the last few months....... withdrawing from the world as i know it...... the PTA, the committees, the responsibilities, the doings, the appointments, the cramming in of MORE and MORE AND MORE...... I have moved away from a warm friendship because the need for busy-ness in my friend's life made me feel too close to the maelstrom and too battered just going around for a cup of tea left me picking bits of debris out of my hair for hours afterwards.......
Yesterday on Inner breath, yet another course with Connie we were discu
ssing the need to slow down in painting - the possibility of painting as meditative practise and how many of us on the course are feeling pushed away from the busy.... how difficult we find this in a world of goal-driven-achievement-focused-doing-stuff-freneticness ......
It has been bought home to me hugely by the wonderful workshop i am doing with Pixie Campbell .... we are working with the medicine of the North at the moment... the place of the elder... the place of sitting with our own wisdom..... and even typing those words evokes a stillness i can't describe (i have been in the midst of a raging virus too - my body REALLY wanted me to sit still this week!) .... In the discussion thread the beautiful and ever wise Lis said
all the striving and pushing is about that - about wanting to make myself more lovable, more acceptable ... when the truth is, as we are we are enough, we are deserving of all the love of the universe and we just need to accept it rather than grab at it.
so we can be co-sponsors for each other in Over-strivers Anonymous! And being still is hard because then we are left to face what we are moving through - the feelings, the fears, the shame or sadness - what i am learning through this challenge with my mother is that by bowing down to all that arises, acknowledging its presence, somehow space opens up for me to hold more ... and often that something more is gratitude, joy, magic, beauty, ...
isn't that profound?......All that striving, all that filling every stinking second with sound and movement and ever more dizzying circles of stuff, the bleeps and the rings that constantly call us away from any prolonged concentration, the tiredness that we wear like a badge of honour and courage... ALL OF IT IS THERE TO STOP US FEELING AND SEEING OUR DEEPEST WOUNDS AND TO STUFF ANOTHER SOCK IN THE MOUTH OF OUR PAIN.....
i also had the thought on Inner breath yesterday that we are drawn to the stillness, to the stopping when we are more and more open to the divine.... to the ancient, timeless, stillness of the Divine.... the more the Divine lives in and is expressed in us the more we slow.... the more we feel the rhythm of the breath of life in us.... in.... and out..... the more our hearts are at ease where they lie rather than being distracted from their business of beating out the sound of the magic of life every second we are alive.... HERE IS TO SLOW. HERE IS TO STILL. HERE IS TO SITTING WITH THE REAL STUFF OF LIFE, THE HOLDING OUR CHILDREN, THE FOCUS ON THE BREATH, THE REALLY SEEING THE GREEN IN THE GRASS AND THE BLUE IN THE SKY AND BEING PRESENT TO THE MIRACLE OF THAT AND OF OUR HEARTS BEATING AND OUR BLOOD FLOWING
Eila in The Hat Helen made - she loves it but she can only use it sometimes! it is so beautiful i could pop. i had a discussion with my friend Helen yesterday which has been circulating around my heart ... we are both stepping up and making something happen with our dreams.... we are both making a visible and measurable thing to show the world our dream.... we are both scared shitless about that.... and i said to her yesterday that i felt like it was easier to hold on to the potential and not actually step into the dream because it was easier and safer to have the cache of potential and talent and not having to be measured about the actual doing of it.... how that fear of being measured as not reaching our potential (on the very first try) was enough to put me off doing something that my soul was calling me to do was sobering.... how could i be so scared of being measured that i risked not living even a part of the life of my dreams.... that i could let fear take that away from me and call it being safe seems so ludicrous i can barely credit how many years i have spent telling myself that my potential was enough... so today i posted the culmination of the work that has gone into my creative dream to get it to a working reveal to the world stage... and when i hear back from Helen (who graciously agreed to be my guinea pig) i will come here and tell you about my creative dream and give fear the cold shoulder as i turn to grab, with both greedy hands, the life of my dreams
i think the small comforts are the ones that lift my undercarriage off the ground
i think the littlest things make being a human being worthwhile i think that things like these can save lives...
the smile of a stranger
the true warmth in a hello
the sun warming your back
my pounamu soft-curved and warming in my hand
the kind word from a friend who knows
the comfort of a good bed the edges of a book's cut pages
the trust of an animal that has learnt you are worthy
sand under your feet
the tickle of earrings on your neck
the way colours mix to make new colours
i am so grateful to be finding a habit of noticing these small, exquisite things and being sustained by them...
This morning i was setting up the washing machine.
Should i wash it on a long cycle?
that much detergent or less?
Spin at 600 or 800?
and then i got to thinking about how every day we make a mind numbing number of decisions... some of them like the washing machine ones, trivial, unseen
some of them like the ones to turn into that gap between the oncoming cars on the road that turns out to be too small ...
or not listen to that little voice inside that says "NO"...
or the one that says "YES"....
or the decision to say those words or not....
those ones are big and lifechanging and often irrevocable.
And is there somewhere where the weight of these decisions, the constant scouring out of our decision making cup, that leaves us scraped and wounded?....
And is there a place in us desiring a sheild from the barrage of those decisions? A place where we just wish to rest and be and allow?
is there a place in us that is made to wake up knowing that the feilds need to be plowed today and the fruit gathered and the jars boiled for jam making and that is all we have to do?
is part of our twenty first century heart fatigue just the being worn away by the constant decision making? i can't decide.
and i use that expletive advisedly... it is the descriptor of the ultimate regeneration, and at the same time, the little death as the French say...
i have been rereading Women Who Run With the Wolves.... and have been pondering how the presence of death in our society is such a feared and maligned thing...
and yet of course we all die
some of us a little each day
and we all grow new life
some of us a little each day
it is about getting the balance right
but our fear and revulsion of death and the lengths we go to to avoid it have been running around inside my heart lately
I often count my blessings about having a garden and the lessons it teaches me... the death and decay of one plant leads to the life of another and the presence of this death in the midst of all this life is a lesson for me about respecting the balance...
As a woman i see that i have been gifted the possibility of being the vessel of a miracle - being able to produce a living human...
And i read Clarissa's words about how the Goddess and the matriarchal societies didn't hide from Life/Death/Life Death was part of life...
and so it is mirrored in our house... our lovely sheep are such a part of living here and we woke up 2 mornings ago to Jerry Collins being dead... such a sad surprise... the other sheep were aware that something was wrong and stood at a respectful distance looking at her.... we buried her in the paddock and now that the sheep are in that paddock i found them all standing in a wee circle around her... they knew i am sure... this photo is me disturbing them in their noticing her
and then after 2 tumultuous days and 2 trips to the vet Eila's lamb Flora died last night... She was devestated when she realised she might die and was quite distraught but when she finally died she had a wee cry but was not frightened
Living here has blessed my children with an understanding of death and loss that i never had as a child and makes them more able, i hope, to see the things in their lives that need to die, to let things go that need to go, to be alive to the new life that follows....
i have been scared in my own life to let things that need to die die.
I have seen death as cruel... but now i am finding more and more that i need to see life as requiring death in order to live... that the great cycle is what i need to honour and respect.. to meet the ugly hag of death with the respect she deserves in order to fully embrace the gifts of life...
The colour of the sky *the ocean * Elizabeth and Maeve * people who reach beyond the ordinary * genuine generosity *good food * watching things grow * the miracle of birth *a woman's power *tenderness in all its forms * the cycle of life * courage * people with a sense of fun * compassion * beautiful jewellery * art that is made from the heart - without a view to the purchaser or the market but made because it has to come *Clarissa Pincola Estes * grace
LIKE SANDS THROUGH THE HOURGLASS THESE ARE MORETHINGSTHATITHINK
i welcome you with warmth and love to the thoughts that grab me .... and the way they come out of my fingers when i make the time in my day as a mother and artist and poodle walker to write them down.....