Rip off the mask, tear down the walls. Show the world my beautiful, vulnerable self!

Posts tagged ‘flow’

A Balance of Structure and Creativity

Finding the Balance That Allows Creativity to Flow

BalanceI’m easily distracted, and even more easily dragged away from something I know might require patience and diligence. Granted, it’s not a state I have to fight all the time, but there are days when it’s all I can do to sit down in front of the computer and type a coherent sentence, much less an entire blog post, or a chapter re-write.

Most of the time, I’m able to fight the urge to plop down in front of the TV and watch another in a series of mindless movies or sitcoms. I’ve learned when the urge is too strong, it’s not worth fighting. I give myself a day to do nothing productive, knowing it’ll allow me to come back stronger when the mood becomes less insistent.

That doesn’t mean I’m less easily distracted. I still have to make sure I put my phone on DND, and close Social Media until I’ve knocked out a reasonable number of words or pages. I also have to fill my water bottle, and put something in my stomach that’ll hold me until I come up for air. Sometimes the partially enforced bouts of productivity last longer than expected, frequently because they were waiting for me to get out of my own way and just start.

Priming the Pump

Often, the problem isn’t getting going as much as it is starting. I don’t know why I become https://www.flickr.com/photos/jslee/420574961/in/photolist-Dayhr-DaxXz-PH2XRJ-DaxBQ-6wyJCM-Q7Qs-Q7Q7-DaxQs-DaxK6-M5tZS-2etGoi-DaxLj-DayoW-cdfuY-DaxYZ-GRrsjX-Day3S-DZPnx-M5tYf-DaxuR-DaxHd-DaxAv-oPay9M-4VPXSt-56635o-DaxYn-DaxCk-Day1i-71dpo5-Day2u-Y62h-57R1nL-Day9y-6MtkU6-pHSVQ1-DaxqA-Days4-72V4qY-4P9zGm-Dayoh-7M8fgp-ptyCqq-Day4P-DaxRF-oP7HE7-DaxSB-DaxUT-Dayj8-5HDdsX-pttx4xresistant to starting sometimes. Am I afraid of what will come from my fingers? Are there demons waiting to be unleashed upon the innocent masses? I admit, I have a couple of horror stories brewing right now, but in my defense, ’tis the season for horror stories. In a couple of months, maybe I’ll even pen a sappy, feel good holiday story.

One of the tricks I’ve learned when inspiration seems to elude me is to keep my fingers on the keyboard, no matter what. Fight the urge to examine my fingernails, or pick up my phone, or check email. Keep typing, even if I think I don’t have anything to say.

Deep in my subconscious lurks a creature who never runs out of words, never gropes for new topics of discussion. By keeping my fingers on the keyboard (and ignoring grammar and spelling for the most part) I allow her free rein to conjure as she must, weaving tales out of nothing, stories out of ether. In fact, if truth be told, that’s how all 3 of my NaNoWriMo’s evolved. a single thread of an idea, perhaps a character or two, and the rest was left to the willfulness of my demon muse.

Creativity is a Demon Child

She is a demon, as she operates by no rules but her own. She comes and goes as she pleases, and works best when I lift all restraints, and send my analytical self off to get groceries or some other cobbled together excuse to get her out of the way. I suppose the two are like a wilful, unharnessed, undisciplined child, and a buttoned up, rule crazy, unbending governess. They’re always at odds with each other, having entirely different ideas about how life should be lived, and operate best when kept apart.

That isn’t to say there aren’t times their efforts meld beautifully. The child gets bored of her creation once it’s done and wanders off to find new mischief. The adult picks up what was left behind and sees the value in it, but recognizes a need to organize things into a less haphazard format without subduing the beauty in the child’s playfulness.

I get stuck when I try to force words where there aren’t any, or where the right ones refuse to come. I try to bring the adult back too soon. The child’s will rises up, and she might cross her arms and pout, or fling paint at the walls instead of the canvas. When play is directed or even gently guided, she’s done. It’s no longer fun, and creativity becomes destructiveness.

A Time for Structure

Yet somehow, the child must convey the attitudes and beliefs of the adult in her work as well, https://www.flickr.com/photos/125303894@N06/14365669046/in/photolist-nTrNV5-2f5PCUZ-28knBCQ-bSRpwg-hSnPyx-otGuDp-azqvRQ-D2QXQh-YVh4U5-8ZJcE3-26bTzFo-eeaBEi-occovQ-9i7bQ5-23CJvTx-rhV1XQ-26LZPM6-nrsG7K-bmnvub-8rRn4C-MZDGbT-HuqYEh-27342hV-HrkwAE-ehfTPF-2734sEP-LgusiG-272GRGH-25DqddG-25Dqn1m-Y2VH7U-LXKfra-LguvaJ-25Dqnoq-25DJuL5-2f1ci9J-25DqbXL-28povan-Lm2wcx-HkMrNJ-2dYUsVs-oaeobo-ZR9qTn-rtFBMa-24ZPYXp-R78K1f-Dymseq-24W5BDs-23CJCE8-21DkYfLdespite her resistance to a more structured lifestyle. Deep down, she understands the adult perspective, and even values it in the right time and place. She knows without that perspective and the structure it adds to her work, she’ll be another child flinging paint at a canvas, or words on a page without form or format. At some point, she needs to show some willingness to comply with the expectations of, if not the world, at least her intended audience.

Wandering randomly is fine if you’re playing at the beach, or wandering along the paths through a forest or valley. When creating, there comes a time when organization, grammar, sentence structure, and visual perspective become important. Otherwise, you might as well spend your day drawing random spirals on a page, or typing nonsense words.

Unstructured Play in Morning Pages

There is a time and a place for nonsense and an unstructured approach. I call it my Morning Pages. What I write there is not for anyone else’s eyes. I myself rarely look back at what I’ve written, and in many cases, can barely make out the words when I do. It’s probably why I don’t follow the path of some writers who do their first draft longhand. If I did, the stories would never be shared as they’d be lost in translation. It’s not that my penmanship is all that bad, but I tend to mess up words while I’m rushing to get my thoughts down on the page, or use the wrong word entirely.

Morning pages aren’t meant to be edited or shared so readability isn’t secondary or even tertiary. To be honest, it doesn’t make the list at all. Julia Cameron may mention going back and looking for repeating themes, but for me, it’s the act of writing first thing in the morning that’s important to me. Unless a blog post or a piece of my ongoing healing happens to come out of a day’s writing, it’s something I do, then put it away and forget what I wrote.

Sometimes, I’ll air a particularly sticky dream. It might be to get it out of my head so it stops bugging me, or perhaps to get the memory to disclose it’s true purpose and message. Morning pages is the one place I write with no expectations. If I happen to get answers, great. If not, it isn’t important enough to even mull over, much less, bemoan. If I wander far from the initial topic as I seem to have done here once again, I’ll not go back and correct or redirect my wanderings. There’s a certain freedom in it that my creative, wilful child/demon needs regularly in order to corral thoughts and ideas to satisfy the analytical, sometimes boring adult the rest of the time.

Grateful for All The Pieces and Parts That Make Me, Me

My gratitudes are:

  1. I’m grateful for my multi-faceted personality that allows me to go from 0 to 1500 in short order, even when I think I have nothing to say.
  2. I’m grateful for the ability to separate my facets and allow each their moments to shine.
  3. I’m grateful for the solitude that, while sometimes stifling, gives me ample time to create, learn, and grow.
  4. I’m grateful for opportunities to wander through my head and see what old toys I might find to play with and resurrect; perhaps even re-purpose.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; love, joy, creativity, dedication, motivation, inspiration, structure, randomness, peace, health, harmony, balance, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

Sheri Conaway is a Holistic Ghostwriter, and an advocate for cats and mental health. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income.

If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward

Humanity’s Rhythm and Flow

Rhythm and Balance

https://www.flickr.com/photos/138134374@N06/23979398110/in/photolist-CwYFCs-qePxQJ-aqu7dd-fDSbmd-8oH2Nf-q64rjS-8pmGef-fmqseQ-8pmDTq-28YtzLw-8zk2dH-ULAaGG-2463xZK-8pmGv5-8oDTTF-25A4Ah3-eKwPVh-6inoK7-pHVYoZ-23ANptE-6bbyw2-f2TZHs-2aF9XE6-2fMSGAf-eRG4JE-pQwfiv-iguBq-68Q9rM-27WwJfA-c8hGoY-2ffDCSK-2cih976-phQd9-fmqrFo-dbEE5S-8oGGsG-SXZnHA-rkfsAw-KCMEw2-9PywEd-6bbxF4-gtGuHx-8oGXgd-WKFd94-ibiGRK-cJojSC-S57JBE-zTeuN-qy8nVU-6k7f1rMore and more, I’m becoming aware that everyone has a rhythm. Every social group, family, and community is comprised of a broad range of rhythms which combined, serve to give the social unit balance. People within those groups are drawn together by those rhythms; some because they’re similar and go through life at a compatible pace, and others as opposites, or at least vastly different because as individuals we need to find our own balance at an interpersonal level.

In my own social circle, I’m seeing people who are extremely high energy; always on. They’re like hummingbirds flitting from flower to flower never settling long. Only those in similar rhythm actually stay with them for the whole ride. For the rest, their pace can be exhausting. Others plod along unhurried, enjoying the sights along the way. Often, their company serves as a resting place from the people who are always “on”; a place to catch your breath before diving into the next adventure.

The rhythms interact together, separately, and in concert with other rhythms within the group to form an ebb and flow that’s the heartbeat of the community. The energy is in constant flux as people move from one level to another according to their needs and circumstances.

Finding My Own Level Moment by Moment

Some rhythms (like mine for instance) wink in and out as the need for stimulation https://www.flickr.com/photos/philipglevy/9462509263/in/photolist-fqaQkr-6B62hk-9jZwX5-4FH1En-54uCWa-a3Ns41-6BanmN-6DM4U9-5u49NP-6v9Puu-6DGTwD-4FMcCG-doJVpC-3ervgn-4FMcmC-pb1bmR-6v9McG-6DM5Wm-a71Zuu-5i6sb2-6B9Lkj-4FH1v4-gQpcex-jZKZ5o-6v9NNf-6B5zw6-89YYg5-6v9Xbb-6MPVRc-6v9Wow-6v5Gyk-aPQjfH-6v9QjU-6v5PF8-6v9VcG-cu2a4-DUvgxx-6v9YGJ-5oAaDQ-8ipJ7z-5VgzB9-6B9AVJ-5KTyGH-5Vce46-Uwsk9p-6vNzky-6v5FCV-6B5rgp-6v9UFb-6v9Ljqvs. separation ebbs and flows. Others seem to be the spark that keeps everything lit, like the pilot light on your stove or water heater. Many, in fact, engage and disengage in a dance known only to the dancer, and even then, often at a subconscious level.

Still, there’s an element of frenzy attached to the ones who are always on. I watched one recently who was running on minimal sleep, yet believing she had to keep moving or burn out. For some reason, the idea of burning out, or not shining brightly was unacceptable to her, whereas I find those moments of quiet a welcome respite. In fact, I took a few minutes to sit alone in my beach chair with music and voices swirling around me to disappear into my own personal space. I’ve learned it’s actually a gift to be able to do that.

Disconnection is Part of the Flow

https://www.flickr.com/photos/prestonrhea/5236270625/in/photolist-8YHfQ2-4X1dP6-P58XGS-dmtrwi-2pMKC-nC1YD-QxGsf-q4rWqa-8HeDZc-o8pVg-8mXR4g-o7nP7c-8jQqTQ-bPxsQc-dJusGN-78jLU7-98LY1P-dYGYNq-cgtYSu-cgu1F7-7rMJ9R-6z6KQA-6VuMG-6Jfxqk-4bbwMg-dmtxds-9Rf6xQ-v8gDMa-9PqETD-4MsUzv-ptUKap-a2BfLR-4UtU1B-4UtSun-5dBS8k-7eGxtr-7nUbqa-7nUbW8-fBZ3S4-5M1h3P-8DYirc-8E2uBh-6r2V98-7oFgff-7oBon2-7oBpbn-7oBoG6-7oFfRo-vPhUL-jk3BYpRecently, a discussion ensued about feeling alone in a crowd; disconnected from the energy flow. There was a time I’d have felt uncomfortable when that feeling of disconnection came on. One night, I decided to ride it out instead of fighting it, or looking for the source of my disconnection (me, someone else, something else). I discovered experiencing moments of disconnection weren’t really a bad thing. Instead, they give me a different, and often clearer perspective.

Sometimes, I need to step back into myself to simply feel the music, the energy, and the rhythm. Other times, I need to step out of the scene so I can see something or someone more clearly. No matter why the feeling suddenly comes on, I’ve learned to honor it because it’s there for a reason. There’s something I’m supposed to notice.

Maybe it’s discord in my own thinking, or a need to retreat and steer clear of impending drama. Perhaps someone needs me to be aware they’re not OK even if there’s nothing I can say or do for the moment. Sometimes things are simply shifting, and I need to stand back and let the shift happen.

The Dynamics of Community

In every community and social circle, the dynamics are constantly in motion. They Created with Canvadrive some closer together while others move further apart, or into other circles as their own rhythm shifts and changes. I picture a kaleidoscope where all of the participants are pieces of colored glass. With each turn, the pieces shift and reassemble into different patterns, never returning to the same one twice.

I realize my view may be overly complicated. People don’t shift as quickly as the pieces in a kaleidoscope, though sometimes, watching a room from the sidelines, I feel as if it does. In truth, I’m seeing certain pieces moving faster than others, and some simply standing in place allowing the others to drift around them in groups and individually. (often, the stationary piece is me)

The view changes dramatically when I’m in the middle of things instead of on the sidelines. Sometimes, I’ll even get a kind of bird’s-eye view of myself drifting from circle to circle. In the process, I leave bits of energy behind with each group and individual I touch.

Sharing or Not. Which Do You Choose?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/augustbrill/5025448773/in/photolist-8E5JQv-bj2Q3-buZES-NosS3S-bE9C2-8NP6x3-oKBJYc-7yxvUJ-4eRexw-28mE1ch-5tW6Kf-f2JEoo-acCwSd-eajL56-paxFhz-4cv8b7-7yxvw5-7D7azC-ofd2U1-4jX86v-cLpNW-7yxvPb-7yxvS7-6hKsj7-7ytH5n-6ZkEpv-nxKqWs-pz4SNk-8HDCce-gT2U3W-7AkeTX-5hzA7T-5hDXEh-fjpMeq-ceoQ2-5hzAiF-51qGYK-ceoza-51qFRM-9vkmV9-5v6EqD-ceoGA-51uTs5-51uSJo-8NP6zA-51qEZx-7zy4Hg-ceoKc-ceorH-w9TTqIt occurs to me that the ones vibrating the fastest leave the smallest pieces of themselves behind; perhaps only the tiniest spark. Is it by accident, or design? In a way, I accomplished the same thing when I kept myself tightly encased in a kind of energy damping cotton wool. My touch was feather-light and few if any even felt me pass. Though the swift movers can definitely be felt, they’re gone before a piece of themselves escape their own version of protection.

I guess in a way each person fears losing a part of themselves. They perform their own complicated maneuvers to prevent it from happening, though, like me, they’re often unaware they’re doing it. Coming to terms with my own unfounded fears made me realize something important.

Learning the Rules of Connection

Connecting deeply with other people doesn’t mean giving up a part of myself. Instead, it allows me to open up and build on what I have with input from others. It creates a synergy where the whole is more dynamic; more evolved than it could possibly have been left to its own devices.

Opening up to the infinite number of rhythmic levels in my communities is teaching me how limitless I can be, but only if I let others in. The lessons I’m learning aren’t always easy or comfortable as they’re completely at odds with what I was taught to believe, and saw fit to hold onto for far too long. Which serves to remind me, growth, discovery, and learning always occur outside the comfort zone. Thank goodness I learned to chuck mine aside, realizing it was about as useful as an empty banana peel.

Finding Gratitude in the Little Things

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I’m grateful for friends old and new who are teaching me what it truly means to live a full and fulfilling life.
  2. I’m grateful for opportunities to experience different rhythms.
  3. I’m grateful for the communities which allow me to learn, grow, and experience a life I never before knew existed.
  4. I’m grateful for the quiet times which allow me to reflect on the new things I’ve been learning.
  5. I’m grateful for abundance; love, growth, experiences, life, energy, rhythm, friendship, shifts, change, peace, health, harmony, joy, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

 

About the Author

Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, ghostwriter, and an advocate for cats and mental health. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward

Take Time to Breathe Through Your Challenges

Just Breathe

https://www.flickr.com/photos/philipglevy/9462509263/in/photolist-fqaQkr-6B62hk-9jZwX5-4FH1En-54uCWa-a3Ns41-6BanmN-6DM4U9-5u49NP-6v9Puu-6DGTwD-4FMcCG-doJVpC-3ervgn-4FMcmC-pb1bmR-6v9McG-6DM5Wm-a71Zuu-5i6sb2-6B9Lkj-4FH1v4-gQpcex-jZKZ5o-6v9NNf-6B5zw6-89YYg5-6v9Xbb-6MPVRc-6v9Wow-6v5Gyk-aPQjfH-6v9QjU-6v5PF8-6v9VcG-cu2a4-DUvgxx-6v9YGJ-5oAaDQ-8ipJ7z-5VgzB9-6B9AVJ-5KTyGH-5Vce46-Uwsk9p-6vNzky-6v5FCV-6B5rgp-6v9UFb-6v9LjqLet’s face it. For life to be any kind of interesting, there are going to be periods when you feel like you’re riding the roller coaster from hell. While the wild ride might be fun and exciting for a while, there comes a point when you’re grateful to have reached the end. There comes a time when being in a semi-comatose state is not only a relief but necessary. We all need time to let our minds, bodies, and spirits recover from an overdose of the insanity life loves to throw into our paths. We need to allow ourselves time to just breathe.

This week has really run the gamut for me, and there are still a few more days left! From plumbing issues which just don’t want to be easily resolved to meeting with new clients, to throwing myself into new experiences, the week has definitely been an E ticket ride. The ups and downs I’m experiencing remind me, like a bucket of ice water to the face that life is truly about balance.

We are mired in frustration and soothed by ease. We hit all the red lights, then a path opens up just for us. We feel like money flows only one direction—away. Then suddenly, those interviews we had or proposals we submitted begin bearing fruit—often with the intensity of a California mud slide. When they do, we realize just how important those times we spent semi-comatose really were. We’re ready for the challenges and embrace them wholeheartedly.

Make the Most of the Down Time

Yet the biggest challenge for me is to use the down time wisely. Though I need to catch up on reading or finish a course I started, it’s easy to slip into sloth-like habits; spending too much time on social media, watching TV, playing computer games, or just napping endlessly. I recently discovered something most of you probably already know. Sloth attracts more sloth.

While I was farting around accomplishing nothing, opportunities eluded me. But when I changed my course, began participating actively in entrepreneurial groups, or supporting other entrepreneurs, focused my reading (and my meditations) on self-improvement, and limited the time sucking activities, abundance began to flow like the leaking hot water line under my house.

Messages in Bottles or Leaky Pipes

I also realized something rather profound. The leaking pipe and the destruction required to fix the problem were a direct reflection of the path my life was taking. The foundation I’d laid was weakening and even breaking. It needed to be torn up in places and rebuilt differently. My efforts were flowing uselessly (and expensively) into the ground, wasted and misguided. I needed to do some serious soul-searching to redirect my efforts and locate the places in my foundation which no longer served my best interests. Even the ground on which I stood was no longer the safe, stable place I’d come to take for granted.

Yet, I’m reminded by people like Linda Clay that, like the song says “there’s a time for every purpose”. The times I spend mimicking a sloth aren’t as unproductive as I think. Yet, knowing when to move away from those times is also key. Just like a dead-end job can become a rut, so can dead-end slothing. Recognizing things like plumbing leaks and excess water usage are essential in determining when we need to do what is taught in the Neurogym courses, and GOYA (get off your ass)! Ignoring the signs and symptoms will result in hemorrhaging our resources, be it money, energy, water, or even life-giving blood.

Turning Messages into Productive Actions

By now you might be asking how to recognize the signs. How can simple things like a plumbing leak or constant delays mean more than they seem at face value? For me, it comes down to a process I’ve developed in the usual manner, through trial and error. I’ve learned to apply it to any and all seeming problems which arise in my life, my home, and my overall environment. I apply those steps as follows:

  1. Step back from the problem.
  2. Depersonalize it while remaining open to possible solutions.
  3. Ask myself how it might apply to the situations currently active in my life, be they personal, business, or something else.
  4. Meditate on question 3, allowing answers to flow rather than be forced into existence.
  5. Take the necessary steps to resolve the obvious problem (especially with interpersonal issues, this isn’t always clear).
  6. Take action on signals I receive about seemingly unrelated parts of my life.
  7. Repeat steps 3 through 6 as often as necessary until I feel that my life is flowing freely and smoothly again.

I won’t say this is a fool-proof system as the control freak in me invariably decides things are moving too slowly and seeks to intervene, more often than not exacerbating the problem rather than helping. What I will say is that the more I practice the process, the more I fine-tune it. The more I fine-tune it, the easier it becomes to let go and avoid trying to control the solution.

Going with the Flow

Even now, as I sit here waiting for the leak detection company to re-do their work because the spot where they said the leak was located turned out to be a perfectly solid piece of pipe, I’m opening myself to other areas in my life where this situation is reflected. Where else did I think I’d found the problem only to discover I hadn’t. Where else am I experiencing delays? Where else am I allowing myself to be frustrated because I’m not controlling the situation?

It all comes down to one thing, really. I need to get out of my own way. Give myself permission to stop and smell the coffee. Maybe even find a way to get those two red chairs I saw at Lowe’s home so I have a cozy spot on what I jokingly call my veranda. Invite a friend over to share a bottle of wine and watch the world go by from my front porch looking out.

We spend a lot of time rushing from here to there, blowing through a to-do list that would freeze the heart of the most Type A CEO. Yet in most cases, we’re not really changing the world. We’re simply anesthetizing ourselves to the effects of everyone else rushing around like they have to accomplish so much every week. In reality, less is truly more. We really need less moments which leave us breathless and more that take our breath away.

Let Your Gratitude Go Wild

My gratitudes today are:

  1. I am grateful for setbacks and challenges that force me to slow down, look around, and reassess.
  2. I am grateful for opportunities to look at my life from different angles.
  3. I am grateful for my sloth-y times. I’m never really doing nothing, or acting without purpose. It only seems like it.
  4. I am grateful for new opportunities which arise when I finally figure out how to get out of my own way.
  5. I am grateful for abundance; love, friendship, inspiration, motivation, aha moments, joys both great and small, peace, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.

Love and Light

You can find the associated Facebook Live Podcast here.

 

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

 

Photo courtesy of philipglevy via Flikr

February 7, 2015 Upside diddly down kind of day

I love the rain

I love the way the air smells just before the rain appears. I love the feel as the water cleanses the air. I love the sound as the drops hit the roof, first small drops, pitter pattering on the vent above my stove, then great big drops beating on my windows as the wind buffets them around. I love hearing the water as it pours out of the rain gutters and the whoosh as cars drive by and stir up the puddles.

But today is different somehow. While I enjoyed listening to the rain during my meditation, hearing it wind and twist, intermingling with the sound of Scrappy’s purr, now that the rain has stopped and we’re left with no more than a heavy mist, I’m feeling unsettled, even jumpy and out of place.

These feelings confuse me as I don’t know where they’re coming from. Could I just be catching someone else’s feelings? Their irritation, perhaps at some minor inconvenience or small delay? Am I tapping into someone else’s energy which causes my big toes and thumbs to ache for no apparent reason (aside from the toe I broke years ago and never let heal)?

I don’t know the answers to the questions I’ve posed. The only thing I know for certain is that I do not like these feelings. They are preventing me from finding my usual child-like enjoyment in the phenomenon of water falling from the sky; the phenomenon we see seldom in this area; the phenomenon called rain.

I relight the tea light in my Mediterranean sea salt holder and straighten the circle of heart stones which ring the candle. I pause, I ponder, I take a deep breath. I listen to the quiet hum of my computer, the only sound in the house, despite the fact that my daughter and her dog are sleeping in the guest room, my cats are scattered around the house and are, for a moment in time, all silent.

Anticipation hangs heavy in the air

It’s that feeling some call ‘the calm before the storm’ or ‘waiting for the other shoe to drop’. It’s knowing something is going to happen, but having no idea what that might be. It’s a sense of change which is about to occur, but the direction of that change is uncertain. Those who thrive on thoughts of chaos and destruction might be licking their chops, hoping for the largest most spectacular blast.

But I am not one of those; one of the ones I call the ‘doom and gloomers’. I feel the changes as they ripple across my skin, but refuse to believe, in spite of even the most compelling evidence, that such changes are to be feared and prevented at all costs. Instead, I embrace those changes; welcome them; even invite them into my home. There has been a great deal of stagnation in my life time. People have moved from apathy to blame to entitlement, none of which improve their lives.

The way I see it, change is kind of like weight lifting. In order to make changes, you have to surprise your muscles; do something different or unexpected. Use the muscles in a variety of ways so they don’t see what’s coming next and have to react to whatever you decide to do. Change is the same way. If those opposing it see you coming, they’ll throw up their defenses and you’ll never get through. You might as well beat your head against a wall. But if you,Strength instead, show love and compassion, they’re not likely to guess that you’re instigating change via gentle persuasion. You’re showing them a different way so quietly and unassumingly that by the time things have changed, they’ve done so with complete buy in from all concerned.

Such is the nature of the Strength card in Tarot. I find it interesting, now that the thought comes into my head that I took one of those Facebook quizzes today and it told me that my number was 8. 8 is the number of Strength in Tarot. And though I’ve reached this point in my typically convoluted manner, I believe it was because I was meant to find the connection. I needed to understand that this unsettled, atypical reaction to a lovely, rainy day is somehow telling me that quiet strength will be a factor in the weeks to come. It may be mine or it may be that I’m simply influenced by it and embracing the changes which are made possible by those who watch and wait, and love and give. The ones who know that lasting change is not brought about by wars and violence but by spinning a web of love and compassion and watching as it perpetuates itself. Watching how worlds change because people care about someone or something besides themselves. That caring doesn’t stop at the point where you can no longer see the results. It keeps moving outward in ever increasing circles, just as the ripples in a lake move outward when you toss a rock into the water.

Compassion is the water.

Compassion moves and flows through all situations. It is fluid and unfettered by rules and conventions. It simply is. It molds itself to whatever it encounters, then dissipates, moving on to something else, flowing, ever flowing, like the water in a lake. Certainly, it can take on the violent nature of waves crashing on the shore, but those waves only become violent through the addition of other elements. Compassion flows through and around those elements without changing its nature. The water which comes crashing to the shore, once the pressure is released, flows smoothly across the recently abused sand, soothing and smoothing.

So too has my restlessness abated to some degree, knowing that a quiet strength is behind the unsettledness and that being unsettled under these circumstances just means that I’m already ready to be part of the change, and the anticipation is making me a little crazy. I can’t alter the pace of things to come, so no matter how much I want them to just be here already, I know that everything must happen in the proper time. The foundation has been laid, and the walls are being erected, stone by stone, heart by heart, each in its place to ensure the stability and endurability of the structure being built. And I feel very blessed to be a part of it.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for my writing which allows me to work through any feelings or any concerns I might have.
2. I am grateful for change. It moves, it inspires and it brings people together to bring a better life to everyone.
3. I am grateful to those who choose to leave rather than change. They, too are doing their part to facilitate the changes needed.
4. I am grateful for a lovely, though short night of dancing.
5. I am grateful for nights when I just don’t feel that writing is what I need, yet I can somehow find something to write which does fill my needs.
6. I am grateful for abundance; love, compassion, friendship, joy, hearts, peace, harmony, health and prosperity.

Blessed be.

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