Tag Archives: self love

Coming Home.

17 May

I often find myself completely ego-absorbed – driven to produce, create, take action… make stuff happen. I am great at ‘doing’.  Out of the necessity to find balance, I have inadvertently become great at inner stillness. Sitting. Contemplating. Absorbing. Processing. Imagining. Allowing my separated soul and body time to sit face to face, hand in hand and catch up with each other, blending back together.  Time to become whole; become One.

When I need to act, my action is balanced; centered, coming from harmony. From here, intuition, a sense of rightness and my feelings help shape and inform my proven ability and delight in taking action. Action now imbued with a sense of possibility, wonder, delight, adventure, and hope. So much different from the good old days, where my heavily armored ego, trotted off on its own, busily weighing up its narrow and self-obsessed options of fight or flight.

I applaud and commend my ego – all these years it has fought the battles for me, engaged, retreated, always ready, never complaining about the poor nourishment or dismal conditions it suffered through.  I thank you. I release you.

I imagine two thrones – one for my ego, where it now sits, resplendent in its strength, honor, and might. A beautiful, proud warrior. A warrior who has little use for armor or weaponry. A warrior skilled in the hard-won arts of diplomacy, compassion, poetry and self-love. Passionate. Alive. Whole.

The second throne occupied by the Queenly counterpart to this Warrior King- nurturing, encompassing, soothing, allowing. restoring. Cool water on a hot day. The Queen, my inner feminine, the ground of being on which my inner masculine acts. Reunited with her lover/husband. Wildly passionate, years of waiting collapse into this moment/ every moment. Fueling new life. New hope. New possibilities.

I intend a metaphor that allows me to express the feeling of my masculine and feminine natures functioning as one, as an equality, as a harmony. This does not mean that I do not fight, or do not pick up my weapons… it means that my fight and flight options have been infinitely expanded, tempered and balanced with a love, care and respect for myself, which transfers to all my brothers and sisters, unconditionally. I have infinite ability to respond. I am losing my ability to react. My ego is gratefully no longer running the show alone. My Warrior has returned with a Hero’s welcome.

It takes time to nurture this relationship with oneself – years of fighting, disagreeing, slogging it out on the battlefield of life. The day the Warrior returns, the day the Hero knows his glory days are over- is full of mixed emotions. Any sea change in life can suddenly find you washed up on a distant shore, ready to stop fighting, stop all the running; longing for home.

Coming home means learning to find new glory, new adventure in the person you have become, getting down to the business of living the life you find directly in front of you, to slowly but surely find that the life you have is exactly the life that was meant for you. You learn to meet yourself again and again, loving more and more who you see, battle scars, heartaches, regrets and all. Allowing the inner feminine to pick up the broken and aching pieces, cradle the inner child, comfort and soothe you into wholeness, until you can return to the field and not see a battle, but a life of blessing.

Mysteriously it is no longer about us, but about others, acquiring becomes less important than giving, fixing, understanding, mending, listening.  A new life unfolds. Full of the adventure and mystery of the unknown- in a world full of possibilities, anything can happen. Anything can surprise and delight. Nothing is locked down tight. Nothing is for certain. Except love. That is the only certainty;  the only possibility open.

I feel together now, in a way that I never could have imagined- heart and soul, body and spirit, mind and matter. The polarities have softened, lost definition. To the extent that I can envision myself as one, I can envision the earth and all creatures as one. There is no ‘other’, no thing to fight (except myself, which becomes silly.) I am done fighting. I have taken up residence where I have always belonged – in the House of Belonging. Allowing the Unameable Mystery of Love / God, /The Divine /my Higher Self /Being etc. to stock the pantry, turn down the covers, roll up the rug, and light the fire – anticipating those moments when I remember to return home.

Coming home becomes easier as I learn to accept myself, accept that I intimately belong. I am undoubtedly cared for. (Despite how I act and sometimes feel.) I am learning to live out of my new reality- less fear, more joy. I still catch myself, my ego poised for the fight; on red alert. But it’s more like a bad dream and in a few seconds I can wake myself up, grateful for the choice. Glad to find myself home, safe and warm in my own bed.

A dull person will suddenly become interesting…

29 Mar

Faeries-janetbalboa‘A dull person will suddenly become interesting…’ A writing prompt from The Pocket Muse by Monica Wood. I read it as I sit down to write this. I insert it in my post as the title. Trusting that it has shown up for a reason. I’m into magic like that. Coincidence you might say.

I’ve spent the last couple days in the dirt weeding gardens, and finally, I think, winning a perennial battle I’ve had with the long grasses that keep popping up unwanted through my lilies. Unannounced, I drift into a state of being where my doing arises out of what needs to be done next and nothing more. Thoughts arise, are acted on and then dissolve. I am me, but also larger, more conscious than me. This is what I imagine people in deep prayer, meditation, or the athletic ‘zone’ experience. I feel this when I’m drawing as well. No attachment to thoughts/things = bliss. I feel connected to whatever IS, without a need to define it, bottle it or claim myself sole dispenser of it. I am honored and delighted by its Presence. This is a nice space to be in, this space of just being. I could, in fact, happily stay here forever, as Eckhart Tolle must have felt sitting on his bench for weeks, just amazed by the lovely spectacle of life. As much as I try to, I can’t stay in this frame of mind. As I leave the garden, my ordinary experience of time returns and I find myself slowly separating from heart wide open Presence to the pale cramped residency in my head.  As I return, I’m just in time to hear the voice in my head say ‘…and I’m telling you, day dreaming will get you nowhere. This bliss is childish, non-productive – it’s time spent with the faeries!’

My little inner critic, who makes up for dullness with vigilance, who hates everything I do and feels compelled to inform me how rotten it is/I am is eager to share his view. I’m not as attached to this voice as I once was, and curiously, I find it often gives me many far more interesting things to wonder about. In this case, faeries in general and more specifically, Irish fairy tales.

In which we find that one day spent with the fairy folk is the equivalent to the passing of 100 years in human time. Hang out with the faeries at your own considerable risk. I think of another 100 years’ period – the length of time Sleeping Beauty slept after she pricked her dainty yet cursed finger on the spindle. (The humble spindle, the women’s wand, a woman’s highly regarded possession, considered a symbol of contemplation, and of woman’s powerful gift to the family; the art of weaving being equivalent in import to men’s heroic warring in the ancient world) That aside, her father, The King, had all the spindles in the land burned, while in Ireland, the Sidhe, the once mighty people of the Goddess Danu, have been relegated to whimsical faeries who dwell in the Irish Otherworld.

And so, happily ever after, never again can this idle fairy dream-time threaten our reasonable existence.

Whatever.

Walt Disney spoke of the Magic Moment; that eternal second when your heart stands still in absolute wonder and awe. Joyce called it aesthetic arrest. Campbell called it Bliss. You feel it when you’re in love. Religions fight for the right to get you in touch with it. Millions of meditating man and woman hours, currencies worldwide and vast amounts of energy are spent on developing mindfulness. Awareness and Enlightenment are pursued hotly as worthy goals. Creatives search after the Muse and creativity almost religiously. And yet this Mystery, this place of bliss, of Eternity, where time stands still, this space is embracing us, holding us every moment of every day. It isn’t a goal or a destination or an attitude.  It’s just the natural state of being. It just is. Which leads me to wonder…what would happen if my inner critic, who works a lot of overtime, were joined by my inner feminine?

I feel the hundred years ending. The beloved is waking up. She doesn’t look so happy.

And suddenly, magically – you might say ‘in the twinkling of an eye’ –  I sense that my exceedingly dull inner voice is about to become very, very interesting.

 

 

 

the face of a mermaid

16 May

And it worked…. again. Thank God. So now I can heave a sigh of relief, and lay off the coffee a little, because if I mess up the fish, only their momma’s gonna know. You mess up a human face-well, that’s a little more problematic. I ended up using a different photo reference, rather than my daughter, because the picture I wanted to use was hard to see enough detail. This picture is for an Odyssey of the Mind fund-raiser. One of my students, Olivia, suggested it. Once it’s finished, I’ll  scan it into Photoshop and ultimately it will go into a poster via InDesign. I’ll add words to it…etc.

My mom, Sharon to you, stopped by this morning, observed  my progress and just said “she looks so sad…”

Yeah…

Sad or introspective? I would imagine modern mermaids theoretically get pretty introspective/angry as we systematically overfish and otherwise destroy their habitat. I just read COD, a biography of the fish that changed the world, by Mark Kurlansky, so I’m a bit touchy about this subject. It’s worth reading. I hear his other books are just as good.

COD is a delightful read, quirky, interesting and unbelievable in the portrayal of how shortsighted yet optimistic we humans can be. Not knocking anyone- it’s just overwhelming to consider what we are doing to our planet.

Self love. The only solution. So easy to say, so hard to do.

More on that another day. Costco calls. And daughter #2’s final term paper…

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