Walking into the storm
head facing forward
typhoon fever pitched
determined feet rapidly burning
the cracked pavement
to stare a perching bird
in the eye
on the healing spirit
And now this strength
by doubt or sadness
so not only is it Kryptonite
but a beautiful strength
an origami formation
built from intricate folding
of a fragile
This amazing painting was created by the most important, talented and influential person in my life. She has been an artist for many, many years working in all sorts of of mediums from oils to stone, much of it self taught. This talent moved her to become a teacher herself where she was respected by a host of adults who never dreamed of creating gorgeous stone sculptures prior to her tutelage.
I have always believed she could do anything she put her mind to (except maybe fix a leaky faucet, but that’s another story) and felt if you could read you could do anything.
This painting is her latest, started before she became quite ill. It sat for some time and she feared she wouldn’t finish it, but it’s a testament to her strength and perseverance that she did.
I’m blessed with it’s beauty now on my wall which will be a constant reminder of her beauty. It’s intricacies remind me too that we all have depth that is worth exploring.
It is with gratitude that I accept such a gift and love is what I return. And whenever I look at it I will always feel my deep connection with this most special person, my Mom.
From a really bad thing came a really good thing. Today my Mom and I decided I should quit my job. As many of my long time followers know, I was really unhappy in that job anyway. From the beginning that position has been hard for me with difficult co-workers, rude doctors, unreasonable managers and unkind people in general. Not what I wanted in a new position.
I felt that when I moved here, that one priority was to be relaxed and enjoy my place of employment. Stress from years of working in the Emergency Medical field had taken its toll and I was ready for a big break. But admittedly I took the wrong position offered to me from a couple of offers. Figuring this was somewhat within my field and giving me the opportunity to meet more people and slightly more money–I jumped at this one.
How wrong I was! Money should never, ever guide us, and I should have known better. And while I did meet some very wonderful friends that I hope to keep, the bulk of the folks there were more of the same uncaring healthcare ‘professionals’ that would sooner spit on you than help you.
So when the opportunity arose to help my Mom get well, you didn’t have to ask me twice to walk out the door. I didn’t even give two weeks, which is not my style at all. I’m not sure I’ve ever done that in my life! But with her health, their attitudes and my degree of frustration, I was out.
To my great surprise and gratitude, my boss was very kind and understanding about it all and even said if there was anything he could do he would. If there were more words like this, maybe there would be more retention there, but sadly he is not the one to talk to most people. It happens I go to him because he’s nicer.
Sadly it’s the loud mouths that run the place who either pretend to be nice or just plain aren’t nice or have their favorites. Of which I was not one. And I am proud not to be! I’m always glad not to be part of the crowd that played games or is too afraid to say what I feel for fear of pissing them off. Bah!
Because I know in my heart what is really important, and it’s certainly not any of those silly folks who can’t walk their talk. It’s about family, real connections and honesty. And hopefully when Mom gets better, it will be time to find a new career. But this time it will be nothing to do with human healthcare!!
It’s rare these days that I have as bad a day as I did today. Or that I post something that is down in the dumps or negative. Over the years of my blog I’ve worked so hard to try to be upbeat and more positive in my life. But today I think maybe the storm left some residual pressure that has left my life a mess.
Everything that could go wrong seems to be. The most important thing is a major family emergency. And really, all things being equal, it’s the only important thing. But the other things that stressed me out were such bad timing, that for the first time in a very long time I really thought I might not be able to cope.
This blog has helped me so much to do just that: cope. My writing and sharing and meeting so many wonderful and dear people on my journey here has literally put my life back on course towards a more content and peaceful one. It helps me clear my mind and soul while sorting out difficult moments or simply sharing my insights toward light.
Some may not understand this venue and some have other ways to get on during difficult times. To each their own. And this is not my only coping method, but it one of my very important ones. Especially during times of extreme pain or stress.
I’m feeling it now as I may be heading towards something extremely challenging. I do not know for sure, but I sense a potential change. Only my really dear and close friends respect what I am going through while most concentrate on their own lives. It’s a rare thing that people can put their own stuff aside (their anger, hurt, stresses, frustration) for the moment to concentrate on someone else’s needs. It’s a gift to be able to do it and only the kindest most compassionate of people can. And I am blessed with some who do.
And with them I will get through all my upcoming challenges. There will always be lonely times in my life anyway I know. Lonely because I say what I feel and am brutally honest, but those that really know me, love me anyway.
Remember the good old show “Sesame Street”–and the one skit where they did “this thing is different from another” and you had to figure out what it was? It had a little jingle too to engage the kids, just like all the wonderful things on that show!
Well, I feel I have been that ‘different thing’ my whole life. For as long as I can recall, I’ve always been the odd kid out, the one that did everything against the grain. As a youth, this of course often frustrated (or angered) the adults in charge around me. As an adult it leaves me, at times, like the bright berry surrounded by the melding colors of those around me.
I’m not sure where this part of me comes from: maybe the lonely heart of an adoptee looking to be seen by those passing by. Or maybe this is just who I would have been anyway: the stray, wandering off from the pack to march to my own drum.
Having been a vegetarian, long before it was fashionable, I got looks from waitresses when I would question what was in the soup stock. And I brought bags to pack my groceries before Whole Foods gave you money for it–back then the baggers just got annoyed and huffed and puffed as though you were putting them out. Now I’m a hero!
For years I’ve embarrassed my kids with my ‘behaviors’, being too out there (I don’t see it as such)–maybe talking to strangers or how passionate I am. I just have never seemed to be able to melt into a crowd.
Belonging certainly has been something I have wanted: that symbiotic need where I would get out the desired sense of feeling a part, but I’ve never been willing to give up my identity.
Today, in this massively diverse world, belonging seems to create a strange new need. While I may have felt hurt or sadness, I never felt drawn to violence over people leaving me out. In fact, it either made me try harder to be kind–or made me tuck into myself more.
It never made me lose my sense of self, my ideals or values. Over the years, they have gotten stronger while my mouth has gotten softer in expressing them.
We should all be acknowledged for the special and beautiful person we are, whether or not we are different from the next person. This can be very hard in these tumultuous and changing times. But there is room for growth and two different types of people can understand one another given patience and remaining open.
So I still stand out in a crowd and am proud, not sad, that I’m unique. It would never suit me to follow the masses. Rather I want to be hanging on where I’m not supposed to, saying what I really feel and always being true to my heart.
It’s been an interesting week. Coming off some emotionally rough weeks, I feel like I’ve done some evolving. I told a friend this and she wasn’t sure what I meant. Evolution when it refers to the grand scheme of life obviously happens at a pace we cannot detect. For me, my evolution I suppose is on steroids in some ways, as I don’t have a billion years to live this particular life, only a measly 80-100 if I’m lucky. So I must do my work as quickly as I can, make the changes I feel necessary and blossom into the new life form that is more adaptable to life as we know it.
Of course, we all know this is easier said than done! I seem to go back and forth contemplating if we come with all the ‘stuff’ inside us that makes us who we are already. Or do we really have the means to change, be better, kinder, quieter, listen more, not gossip and go slower? If we’ve always done our lives a certain way, can we really evolve into a new and better person?
There are so many self-help books to guide us be these better people! And TV shows, and medicines, and psychiatrists and advice from our friends. But to me it seems that what it really boils down to is what is deep down inside of us. Are we happy with our lives and how we interact with the world around us? Are our relationships with people fulfilling and meaningful? Are we finding joy in our every day tasks, our careers, ourselves?
These are the questions that need to be answered before any book or person can help us. And sometimes the answers are hard to come by. The answers change from day-to-day. But if one makes a quiet space in their life, the answers do come and this is when true change follows.
Change and evolution becomes hard to grasp because the outside world has become accustomed to you in a certain persona. It tries to keep you trapped in that person and it is easy to stay trapped there. Even when we may be working hard to shed the skin of the old archetype, if one is perceived a certain way, it is easy to lapse back into that role.
Staying true to the new path one has chosen takes strength and perseverance. And help from special friends and mentors. The serendipitous moments that one has on this journey can be rewarding and beautiful! If one remains open, help comes sometimes where one would not expect it. It’s these moments when one is hit with the sense that the journey is the right one and that around the next corner will be yet another positive step towards enlightenment and self-awareness.
We are never done learning and growing. And I told someone recently, the more I learn about myself, the scarier it gets. But also I am finding more peace too as my inner questions become closer to being answered. I come closer to myself and more comfortable knowing I am OK with trying a new vision for a better me.
Deep breaths, more meditation, thinking more positively and believing that it will all be as it’s suppose to be. Trying more self containment and less controlling every external thing around me. My hibernating during this dark time of winter to evolve into a creature of spring: bright, warm, joyful and full of peace. This is my hope!
As we wrap up 2013 and look ahead to a new year, I find myself in a very different place. Last year was a place of searching, pain and digging deep. But I believe I’ve come through to the other side and as I approach 60 years old (!), I can finally say I’m reaching real inner peace.
This is a time for many of us to set our resolutions. And when I looked at our local paper where they had randomly picked people on the street and asked them theirs, I noted most had inward facing ones. Last year was my year of inward facing resolutions I suppose. As I ground through the garbage of my past and tried to see into the mist of the my future, last year was basically centered around me.
We all need years where we focus on ourselves to heal, grow and hopefully expand. And once these tasks are accomplished we are ready to face the world as our new selves. I’d like to believe we face it with strength, energy, love and joy if we’ve done the hard work.
So this year, while I won’t stop keep working on me, my main goal is to face outward more. To give more and do service to others. Service for people who need it and want it. I’ve spent many years and much energy on people who really don’t want my help. And now it’s time to shift that energy in a more receptive population.
Also I hope to spend more time giving to the environment, animals and anywhere else I see a need. I’m ready to take the inner peace and strength I’ve gained through this last year and spread the vibrations.
May you all have mindful, realistic and magical resolutions that will ripple through this year to make you and this world better!
Happy New Year!