Wednesday, June 26, 2013

reentry

I am coming off a four day meditation retreat up in the Skagit Valley. My only word is wow. So here I am, trying to maintain the bliss in the real world and I must say it's going much better than I thought. Let me start by saying that the retreat was one of the best things I did for myself this year so far.

 I was in the company of some amazingly wise women, ten of us sitting, walking, and in discourse for 3.5 days. The first 1.5 days was spent in silence which was truly profound. Profound in the sense that I recognized that I am a jumper when it comes to conversation; so absorbed in what to say next, not really giving someone the experience of being heard. Wow.

The theme of the retreat was sensitivity in relationship. A topic that can be spread in so many directions but the main focus was really creating the pause button in our lives so we can consciously listen and speak and practice true mindfulness, something that is missing most of the time from living life on autopilot.

A few powerful insights from my time in retreat:

  • We are all doing the best we can with what we have, no matter what. Recognizing this and truly embracing it are two very different things but what remains true is that we don't know the other person's story until we really tune in, let go of our own crap, and listen. Out of this blooms lovingkindness and compassion. 
  • I am so loved. I really don't do the best job of recognizing daily how much love is around me. It pulses through every area of my life in terms of support from family and friends, great colleagues, and a partner who has my back and showers me with so much kindness and love. For that, I am grateful.
  • It takes a breath. That's all. It takes less than a second to truly tune in and feel myself breathing and that can be the most powerful thing sometimes, especially as life happens all around me.
  • I am a nature girl. I need more of it in my life. I do better with it, and not so well without it. Even if it means 10 minutes on the desk in the morning breathing in my pajamas or a walk after lunch to escape cubicleville, I gotta do it.
  • I value my spiritual life but I don't need to force it on anybody else, especially my partner. Just because I love to meditate does not mean he has to. I use the car analogy: he likes fixing things, I don't. It's okay. Accept it. 
It was fabulous and the insights keep on coming. I am so grateful to have had the experience and to be part of something so profound. Stay tuned. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

haircuts. i deserve it.

I can't help it. I keep coming back to the "as I get older" lessons. They say resisting isn't the way you should go when it comes to writing so...

As I get older, I am learning more and more not to put things off. Like haircuts. Today I went for a haircut for the first time in like six months. Now, come on. Have I given up on life? No. Do I not care about my appearance? Well of course I care. So what the hell is the problem? I have realized that I get caught in the trap of putting myself off because that's the easy, convenient thing to do. Well, that's not okay. It's quite inappropriate. Granted, I can't and won't speak for everyone, but I will say for myself, I tend to give out more than I take in. Let me explain.

I am a giver. A contributor. A caring person. A person who gives a damn. A person who sometimes does things to please others. Sometimes too much. Okay. I admit it. Sometimes I get quite resentful. That's not okay. It's actually quite self-destructive. The haircut is an example of something I have been putting off because I think to myself, why take the time when I could be (fill in the blank of something more important that would check something off my to do list, get me closer to completing a project, or do something for someone else). This is a pandemic. It's called martyrdom and I am giving it up.

I deserve haircuts. I deserve my Saturday/Sunday morning coffee and cinnamon roll time while watching the food network. I deserve reading my books. I deserve massages and smoothies and yoga classes. I deserve girls nights. Nobody is stopping me but myself and I have give up that racket. :)

You are probably thinking, she's on crack. She's trying to throw herself a pity party. Poor her, a life full of massages and smoothies. Why complain? Well, here is the thing. For the majority of my life, I had it flipped. I had it in the wrong order. I thought that everything else had to be done before I had the time for me. Well, it left me a mess. A pure, utter, depressed, angry mess. Now, it's shifted and there is freedom in everything experience. I have a tendency to scream "I have a great life!" at the top of my lungs while in the thick of commuter traffic. I dance in my house and sink my hands in the dirt and smile in my garden. It's all good. All is well. Everyone is loved. Because I deserve it.

I am also loving this new song by Daft Punk right now.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

resurrection

So here I am, writing again, actually, doing lots of things again hence the title of my post, 'resurrection.' I really have to tone down my own excitement as I think about these past few months, mostly, what 2013 has provided thus far. So hard to believe it is almost June but exciting at the same time. I enjoyed an AMAZING birthday, full of treats and great experiences, and a Funfetti Cake & pasta maker. Ha! I am a lucky lady.

Over Memorial Day weekend, I had a chance to dive into a transformational experience. It rained all weekend so I attacked some spaces in the house that have been eating away at my sanity (closet, junk drawer, nightstand, and writing nook). I 100% believe that clutter clogs us up-it's one of those things that can really put a damper on our lives. What really comes out of the whole thing is our relationship to our stuff. Old stuff, new stuff, useful stuff, trinkets, pictures, articles, magazines, books, stocking stuffers, pens, notepads...on and on it goes.

I just finished reading Gretchen Rubin's second book, Happiness at Home which was truly quite wonderful. Every time I have a birthday, I have a tendency to dive into deep reflection on life lessons learned and as I was clearing out, stuffed in the back of a dusty bookshelf, I found some old journals. Of course, I opened them and started reading and immediately started shaking my head as laughter escaped me. Yes, there were some parts that were truly naive and ignorant but there remained the glimmer of my truest self, chronicling stories of bliss and how I was going to find my dream job where I can balance my spirituality and have a loving partnership. Boom! I have THAT right NOW.

I think we sometimes put things on the shelf and move forward without looking back, whether it is a relationship, a job, or a hobby. Some may say it's not that we completely want to move on and forget it, it's just that other aspects of life suck us up. I tend to think that we put things on the shelf so we can come back to them, picking them up with our hands and enjoying them when we have the SPACE to enjoy them for what they are, even the tough memories or events.

Over and over again, I hear people describe their twenties as a time of self-discovery. It's true. You embark on what some may call the hero's journey, leaving the nest, exploring, going into the world, encountering those moments that beat you down, and then emerging as a new being. I can't say that I have a huge life lesson from my twenties, rather, I have so many micro-lessons and experiences that have carved out my truest self.

So as I resurrect memories, journals, old photos, I can truly see that yes, in some ways I have changed a lot but for the most part, my spirit and values have remained in tact and if I go forward with those, that's all that truly matters.