I moved a bunch of stuff in my house today to revitalize the energy and give the space a pick me up. Translation: I moved a bunch of clutter down to the basement today because I couldn’t stand my living room anymore. Truth: Wow. I have so much stuff! Wow. I feel ashamed of how much stuff I have! And somehow, I need to be compassionate, because that works better than attacking myself. Gee. Life gets complicated sometimes. All I wanted to do was declutter my living room, and I end up contemplating ancestral trauma, the struggle for survival, and the belief that we need to hold on to everything, because we might need something later and feel regret if it’s not there. Takeaway: The deeper I go, the more significant everything becomes. Maybe I just need to lighten up!
Part of navigating this whole time of uncertainty has been learning how to let go of expectations and go with the flow. I know, I know… I’m not saying anything new or earth shattering, but it’s new for me to let go of control and just accept this moment as it is. I am not complacent, don’t get me wrong— I still have preferences, ideas, desires, wishes— but the difference is, I’m practicing welcoming what is here in this moment, and choosing how to respond from a place that is deeper than what my ego thinks it wants or deserves. I’m glad to know that this is a practice, because I’ve been trying so long to be perfect, and it’s just exhausting, so exhausting, trying to get everything right. Now, I’ll just breathe. I’ll take a slow deep breath, and I’ll give thanks. I’ll give thanks for this moment, this one moment of my life.
Oh boy. My state of Maryland has finally gotten around to telling its citizens that we must wear masks whenever we go out. What took us so long? I have to admit I was in denial about the whole thing, but now it’s undeniable, and I don’t have a mask. Yet. Luckily, I sew. I put a post on FB letting people know I can make masks if they need, and a bunch of people responded. It feels good to have something to do that is helpful for other people, and masks are an easy project, so it will be a meditative experience making 30 masks.
Back to the regularly scheduled programming, the prompt over at NaPoWriMo invited us to write about forgotten technology. Hmmmmmmmmm.
Remembering the Cassette Tape
I remember listening to you in my ’88 Honda Accord. I remember having to flip you over when you were done playing one side. I remember playing you so much that one day you stopped making intelligible sound. I remember using a pencil to wind your film back in you when it got pulled out. I remember making mix tapes for my friends and especially my twin sister. I remember my WalkMan knock off, and being thrilled to walk around with you. Do I miss you? Maybe I miss the time when you were in my life. Back then, there were no kids, no ex, no Pandemic. Of course, back then there were no SmartPhones or Netflix either. Maybe technology teaches me how to let go as the old and obselete give rise to the new and relevant. I don’t even know where you went! For what it’s worth, cassette tape, we really did have some good times, didn’t we?
Just breathe. Just relax. Look around you. This moment. Don’t try to figure it all out. The moment is always changing, and the understanding you have now is different from the one you will have tomorrow. It is enough to just be who you are. It is enough to just breathe. This moment. Look around you. Just relax. Just breathe.
Worrying doesn’t help, so don’t do it. A break from the routine is a chance to appreciate the minute daily occurrences that we take for granted. That which appeared insignificant in an unconscious repetition suddenly becomes profoundly meaningful. The mundane becomes sacred in the light of such deep appreciation. We find we yearn for what we had, so many little acts of connection and familiar places we can no longer access because of unforeseen changes and uncertain futures. When we aren’t involved in an unconscious routine the space of uncertainty lets loose a discomfort for the one who needs the calm familiar, the safe, the known. My friends, be not afraid. This is an awakening. How you experience this is entirely up to you. Take a deep breath with me, now, and breathe again. Now is the time to cultivate appreciation. The molecules of gratitude for everything you love coursing through your being bring tidings of light and health to every cell of your body. Drink in what you love, now through smiling deep breaths of YES YES YES to life, YES! Do not let fear pickle your cells in darkness and despair. Let me feel your shining smile through the ethers our friendship now inhabits. Stand in your one little spot of earth and declare that you are an anchor for peace, for gratitude, for love. My friends, be not afraid. This is a sacred time. Let the visions that were trampled under the daily stampede of traffic now float up in a whisper an inch behind your eyelids. Listen to this whisper. It promises the joy you have yearned for in the deepest center of your soul. Now is the time to create, to express; in the space of the unknown you have so much room to choose how this goes. Sweethearts, this…is…a…VACATION! Celebrate! Love! Sing! Dance! Enjoy the beloveds you have the privilege to share space with! Show us your art! Sing us your songs! Let us hear your laugh! Let us see your funny faces! Share with us a video of something beautifully boring! Let us send little resonances along the web that connects us to tickle and delight and uplift what the outer world cannot touch.
There is so much wisdom in surrender, knowing that I don’t know, opening to guidance, keeping the faith that there’s a reason, relaxing deeper into trust. When I could finally let go of the life I thought I had, the life I felt entitled to, I finally had the space to welcome my real life, as it is, right now. Then the real healing could begin. I had to let go of my marriage and I had to let go of my anger toward my children’s father for abandoning the marriage. I had to let go of control (I had none to begin with). When everything fell apart and there was nowhere to go but through, I learned to get clear and sober and fill my mind with prayer. I learned to turn everything over to a power greater than myself. I turned over my thoughts, words and actions, my hopes, dreams and fears, my beliefs, perceptions, my ideas of success and failure. Somehow, grace pulled me through the darkest nights of my soul; somehow I survived the changes that took time… I am grateful for prayers, sacred words spoken that bolster my courage and soothe my bodymind. I am grateful that my whole life has become a prayer.
When he decided our marriage was over, I didn’t know how to let go. When he collected his family, colleagues, clients and friends and drew a line in the sand, I didn’t know how to let go. When he began seeing another woman and spending nights out, I didn’t know how to let go. When he introduced our children to the other woman, I didn’t know how to let go. When our house went into foreclosure, I didn’t know how to let go. And I was dragged. I was dragged. I was dragged. And it hurt, how it hurt, how it hurt. But I survived. I began to pray to God Show me how to let go. Show me how to surrender gracefully. Slowly but surely, Life revealed to me what remained when what was no longer serving me was dragged away. I’m finding more stable ground, and learning how to love what is here, now. I’m discovering that I’m happier by myself, healthier living in alignment with my deeper self, more confident speaking with my true voice, grateful for the simple things, the simple grace of being. I am grateful for this sweet surrender to life.
She stopped. Sat down. Breathed. Ventured within. As her shoulders relaxed away from her ears She could hear the same old fears rattling around her brain, clamoring for attention. She dropped her awareness deeper, all the way down into her belly. There she felt the ancient tension of the ones who struggled for survival, the ones who toiled and strained and numbed their pain with the fruit of the vine again and again. Then she prayed, calling in the Angels, The Teachers, The Wise Ones, The Guides, The Ascended Masters, The Well Ancestors: Thank you for being present. Thank you for holding me in your Matrix of Light. Thank you for rewiring my neural circuitry. Thank you for restructuring my DNA. Thank you for helping me to see what needs to be seen, do what needs to be done, hear what needs to be heard, forgive what needs to be forgiven, heal what needs to be healed… Breath by breath, forward and backward, across all time and all space, eventually she sits complete within herself in the center of this Universal Mandala feeling and knowing ALL IS WELL.
Forgiveness cannot be forced. When my family fell apart I tried to rush to forgiveness, thinking that it would speed up the healing process. But I was just engaging in spiritual bypassing— using my spirituality to circumvent the messy trenches of deep grief and traumatic loss. I prayed to God to show me the way, hoping I could fly over the dark valley and avoid what lurked there in the shadows of my deepest, darkest memories. I read books and listened to speakers, I attended meetings, I thought I knew what I was doing, but I was really attempting to avoid the inevitable. Finally I discovered that what I really needed was to allow myself to feel. I had to go through the grieving process. I had to face the loss of the life I knew, I had to take each day one at a time. Some days the pain was so intense I didn’t think I could live through it. People would tell me It won’t be like this forever; I didn’t believe them. Over time, as I remained clear and focused on my goal to find a place for me and my kids, I noticed the fog was lifting; I felt more like myself with each passing day. Looking back I see that it was my effort to heal that blocked the healing. It was my belief that things should be a certain way that kept me from embracing things as they were. And now I’m still working on forgiveness, but at least I have the sense now to allow that grace to come, naturally, when the time is right and my heart is ripe for such sweetness…
I’ve been turning my will and my life over to a power greater than myself… At first I was just dipping my toe into these waters, foreign waters, ones I was told to deny and mistrust. But it struck me one day that those who were telling me that a Higher Power didn’t exist weren’t happy people! Rule of Happiness #1: Don’t take advice from unhappy people. So I decided to try something different, and admit I knew nothing, and I had no control, and things had become unmanageable… and I began to pray… I turn this day over to you. I turn my life over to you. Guide me, let me surrender to your will, show me how to surrender gracefully, and let me do your good work this day. I’ve been praying like this for months. You know what is starting to happen? Peace. I think I’ll keep praying.