I wanted to get on board with this inspiration and I felt like these pictures that I took yesterday captured a little bit of the kind of "love" that this young child often portrays towards certain toys and objects. Putting his whole self into an obsession du jour. The past few days...after having watched the movie "Cars" last month, and after he and Journey received a free box FULL of matchbox cars from complete strangers...have been somewhat arranged around his new fascination with these gadgets. He mostly likes to line them up and have races with just a few of his favorites. And, wherever we go, you will most likely see one in each of his hands...holding and playing and making wonderfully convincing "revving the engine" noises.
Our most recent dance parties have been especially lively in the past week. I always try to bring out our assortment of instruments so that we can all contribute to the sounds with our own rhythm and interpretation. With our last two parties...Asher has taken to beating on this drum. This instrument, in my mind, seems particularly fitting for Asher. The drum sets the pace...all others adjust to his lead...it's the pulse and the energy of a song. And, fortunately, he can go faster, faster or louder, louder or exert MORE, MORE at his own discretion and urge. Asher and drums go together well. He always has been "beat'n to his own drum" anyway...and so passionately at that!
Today, Asher was requesting a dance party. When I started talking about turning on some music, he pointed out to me that there was already music in the air (though, to my untrained ears, there was nothing but silence). And with both arms open to the air he showed me: "See mama...it's my own music."
I could see that he really was hearing some kind of groovy beat in his head...so I just danced along...imagining the boom and bang of his song.
I obviously wasn't hearing the same thing he was, because, within seconds and with GREAT exclamation, Asher advised me to "dance louder mama...DANCE LOUDER!"
A perfect expression of his energy and soul. I was lovin' every minute of that loud dance.
journey pleading to be held
I've been wanting to be scooped up into giant arms this past week. It's a combination of things, really, and all too easily...I let myself drown in that combination and become miserably upset about the fact that I can't breathe. I actually said these words the other night..."I am just realizing that I am powerless over the fact that there is sadness and suffering in the world." No. This is true. There isn't much I can do about that steady truth. I certainly cannot change it. I can't make it disappear like a rabbit in a hat. I can't let it all float away down a river somewhere. I can't bury it beneath the sand. This week I let myself get all wrapped up in other people's sadness. Sadness that isn't necessarily part of my own story...but sadness that seeped into my heart and took off it's shoes anyway...indicating that it wanted to stay for a while. It wiggled down deep into my core and invited itself over for slumber. I guess that I felt obligated to feed it, you know, since it was already there. So, I did what any good host would do and I gave it plenty of room to feel comfortable. I made sure that it's needs were met and that it enjoyed devouring every tiny morsel of what I set at the table.
I was watching the TV and checking the news at several intervals throughout the day. I was turning around thoughts of how much pain some people must be feeling...and I decided that I would be doing my job "better" if I really tried to put myself in their shoes and tried to experience the same emotions that they might be experiencing over tragedy and loss. I started worrying for people. And then it all just kind of rose up into a catharsis...and then every person in my life that I know to be suffering...well...I thought maybe I should just take on their worries and heartache as well. It really became this energetic crisis for me. I do that. I tend to make blurred the lines of distinction between what belongs to me and what needs to be set free. The world may be in a time of war...and so my heart is too. That kind of gig just wears a mother out. That is why "boundaries" has become an essential part of my vocabulary in the past years. Boundaries are good for a gal like me.
It really hasn't been a week that I could chalk up on the "healthy living" list. I was achy and tearful and just wasn't really willing to let go. Let go of the fact that none of it is something I have any control over. I can't change a thing. I can't stop sadness...and I certainly can't fix what breaks.
Letting go has been a central theme in my life this past week. Well...the past lifetime perhaps. It is an eternal lesson, yes? But...this week it was indeed THE theme of my story. It was what everything was begging to dance to. It was the only way to get that NO VACANCY sign placed up in my core so that the sadness felt the need to cut it's visit short. It was what I needed to be reminded of. I still do.
This little piece of inspiration has been stuck to my mom and dad's fridge for several years now. But, after some subtle encouragement from my dad this evening to glance it over again, it suddenly bore new insight for me. It sent a little bit of sunshine into that space where sadness left behind the gloom of despair, where helplessness took breath and invited in hopelessness. It was a place that needed an open window of refreshment. And several little moments have done that for me this week...opened windows, I mean. Visits with my sisters, writing letters and journal entries, turning my mind towards small projects, deciding what things I CAN actually do to help...and then making a commitment to do that, drawing boundaries, and taking breath. This little poem below is giving me so much space.
Let Go, Let Spirit To “let go” does not mean to stop caring, it means I can’t do it for someone else. To “let go” is not to enable, but allow learning from natural consequences. To “let go” is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands. To “let go” is not to try to change or blame another; it’s to make the most of myself. To “let go” is not to care for but to care about. To “let go” is not to fix but to be supportive. To “let go” is not to judge but to allow another to be a human being. To “let go” is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes but to allow others to affect their destinies. To “let go” is not to be protective it’s to permit another to face reality. To “let go” is not to deny but to accept. To “let go” is not to nag, scold, or argue, but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them. To “let go” is not to adjust everything to my desires but to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it.
So healthy. I love the healthiness of it. I love the wholeness. I love the space and freedom. I love.
I love to fill up that space with silly, heart filled moments of fun. Which, is just what I needed to do today. So...I did.
And I work to cherish myself in all of it. The sadness, the laughter and the letting go.
So, no matter how much effort I put towards trying to organize my day, I seem to be eternally dis-organized. My intentions rotate around trying to carve out time...time to play and learn, time to write and experiment, time to clean and organize, time to read and research, time to take care of the "to-do's", etc, etc. Usually it all just melts into one giant piece of time...the time it takes to live with and care for two babes. I haven't been here writing because it just hasn't worked out for me. Our days seem to start and end and all of the in-between gets consumed with the basics and the research I am doing and the efforts I am making to do the things I know I need to do. I think I have also somewhat been thinking of coming here as a sort of obligation. And that only serves to drive me further away, like the way someone demanding something of me only makes me want to do the exact opposite. Although, I know that when I am actually writing and dreaming and expressing...I feel so much better about life in general. So, that simple statement should be enough. I need to figure out some kind of time management skill that works for me.
Other than that...we are just doing a whole lot of living. For various reasons, I have felt a generous amount of freedom in the past few weeks. I have met with girlfriends for dinner and drinks. I have been to coffee shops and have been reading books (actually finishing them!). I have been having some of the most wonderful moments with my friends and their children. Our days have been full, and we have been well. I take out my camera every now and then when it feels right and when I can give it sufficient attention. I long to do it more...but I know that will fall into place soon enough. There seems to be a lot going on with my family, with friends, with the world...that, for an empath, seems to require extensive "filling up" and sending light and love on its beautiful way. My mind is getting a little crowded...but it all comes into perspective sooner or later.
sooner rather than later with the help of this simple soul
Hoping to be swinging into this space much more often!
Last night I finished reading this amazing book. I asked for it several long months ago in hopes that I would get it for Christmas. Sure enough, my sister remembered and gave it to me as a gift on Christmas day. I started reading it last week...and never could quite get it out of my hands. I would carry it around with me, hoping to grab a few moments here and there...those rare and spontaneous moments that sometimes magically appear...granting me a few minutes of whatever-the-heck-i-want-to-do time. And it happened. I would take those seconds and minutes and dedicate them towards allowing myself to be engulfed in this woman's story and journey. The book is full of enough delicious adventure for a woman like me to become enraged with envy upon reading her words. She basically begins to courageously seek her own peace and happiness through travel and intuition after reaching a place of despair and desperation in her own reality. She moves herself across Italy, India and Indonesia...with each location offering her transformation in unique and astounding ways. Quite literally, it is a life that allures me beyond explanation. But, reading her book didn't fill me up with that kind of energy at all. Yes, of course, I would love to be able to replace my name with hers on many of these pages...but that kind of longing didn't linger with me like the other things did. I was so inspired...and had this calming acceptance of what it is about this life that makes up for happiness, inner peace, balance. What lingered with me most was this motivation and energy to pay attention. To pay attention to my story and to keep my mind open...remembering that my soul is on an endless journey and there is a certain connectedness of life that whispers in my ear all the time with confidence and assurance. Like some inner wisdom already knows how it all turns out and there is no reason to worry and ache. Reading her book was like sitting down with my best friend in a quiet kitchen as she relayed the stories of her adventure with humor, love, wit and compassion. She had me crying, laughing, sinking into a familiar "i totally know what she is talking about" kind of thinking, and she even made me blush once or twice. To say that I loved this book would be quite the understatement. Last night, after I read the last page...I kept flipping through the book again...just making sure that it really was the end and that there weren't any secret compartments holding further inscriptions of her writing. And when I finally had to come to terms with that fact that I had indeed finished the novel...I was really sad. Sad in the way of having to leave a dear friend after a really wonderful visit. Her writing and her beliefs were so familiar to me and recognizable...there was so much that I totally understood about her passion and what moved her. It was so easy to sink in and be moved right along with her.
I keep thinking about the little inspirations left for me after reading this book. I keep journaling new ideas and thoughts that surface after a particular scene is replayed in my mind. I especially am thinking about the thoughts that we play over and over in our minds. The ones that we unconsciously begin to believe and then treat them like they are the doctrine of our lives...our mantras. I keep thinking about the ones that I play over and over to myself and how, with a conscious effort to alternate those mantras ( so easy to write about but quite another thing to carry to completion)...so much more possibility is open to us.
These are all things I have known with my mind for so long...the lessons of meditation, the transformation that comes when we change our thought, the calm that comes with actively seeking divine wisdom, etc and beyond. For some reason, this book just wrapped it up nicely and presented it all in a warm, familiar and enticing book. I guess in a really soft way, I was reminded of where I want to be in my own personal journey and was given enough inspiration to start looking at the habits that I need to adapt or get rid of in order to take steps that lead me where I am going. I may not be capable of traveling in the physical sense to places like Italy or India or Indonesia at the moment...but I surely can't allow a little thing like geography to disengage my soul in it's own exploration of life and meaning and peace and happiness.
I ate it, prayed it, and loved it all up...and I am still enjoying the consequences of that.
...some magic. naturally, my most treasured subjects to capture in picture are my chilis. i never tire of seeing new shots of them and i quite simply just LOVE seeing a certain expression of theirs stopped in time. i am always conscious of the fact that my days with these two as the wee ones they are right now... are numbered. i won't always wake up to their pleas and giggles and i won't always have them filling up my days with laughter and tears and naps and nursing and dirty diapers and hugs and play and frustration and love. NO...they will grow and change and leave this home and make their own ways and i always try to keep that in perspective. especially on those days where it all just doesn't come together. those days where i feel quite insufficient and terribly uncertain of what i am doing and how to do it well. those days where i long for a different kind of reality or just find frustration in my own. whatever it may be...there are those days...and there is also that sparkling truth that these children are only children for a short time in the grand scheme of things. and i know there will come a day where my greatest hope just may be that i could have one more day with them being this small.
that is partly why i so greatly adore trying to capture some of our moments in time. my most favorite ones always seem to be ones that speak of who these little ones are right now...their own individual essence. i am drawn to pictures that speak of their character and remind me of how i feel about them...pictures that stir up some reflection of their spirit in my minds eye.
i, of course, have about a million photos of them already on this new camera. but...here are just a few that i am really loving these days.
amazing, yes? i am still in awe. this here is my christmas gift from josh. my very own snazzy camera. the kind with more buttons and functions than i really know what to do with...but whose possibilities and capacities have me swooning with excitement. i am so eager to really get to know this camera. for now we are taking things slowly. we are just barely introducing ourselves and allowing for a bit of playful exchange. i dream of eventually knowing her like the back of my hand and exploring new terrain together with courage and ease. so far, i'm in love with how sharp her images are and the way her shutter clicks so clearly.
josh really dedicated a lot of time, thoughtfulness and sneakiness into the giving of this gift. he even sent me on a scavenger hunt on christmas morning in order to eventually walk into the room to find him snapping pictures of me with my new beauty. what a sweet surprise! it is something that i have been completely longing for but never really thought we could make work out. i was convinced that it was nothing but wishful thinking and so i never once seriously asked for anything of the sort. there were jokes and out-loud dreaming...but it wasn't anything that i thought would REALLY, truly happen. once i layed my eyes on it and a few minutes passed where i grasped that it really was MINE...i was overwhelmed with a bit of emotion and thrill and awe. what was i supposed to do with it!?!?
i am so.so.so thrilled and also find myself feeling a bit lost with how to maneuver through what this camera has to offer.
one thing for sure, this most certainly could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
It's quite a daunting task to think about catching up in this space. I have missed it here! I can't quite understand why it has been so difficult for me to make time to be here...to write and think and "be" in this sphere. There has been so much going on...so much to take note of and so much to involve myself in. I am just barely coming into this calm of "normalcy" and breath. I have missed several blog worthy moments, surely, but I guess that is what has been most helpful for me to take it all in...to miss out on my documentation of it in this realm and to simply live it all out. My energy and motivation in getting the stories and moments to this place has fallen short of existence...and I am not sure where to begin to re-enter my desire and practice of showing up. I suppose it will all work itself out. And, although I have failed to honor all of the wonderful events taking place in the past few weeks (ie. family time, Josh's birthday, my parents' anniversary, etc...), I thought that today would be a good day to make myself heard. Because, four years today I joined Josh in a ceremony that dedicated us as husband and wife...life partners in this crazy journey.Four years ago today, I had no idea what a challenging road this would all be...but I had some sort of confidence that it was where we were to trod. So, along with friends and family (and Asher in utero) we exchanged vows and repeated words that hold great meaning and sacrifice...words that have somehow carried us into this messy, hopeful, and mysterious partnership of marriage. I certainly don't think this kind of commitment to one another is always easy or lovely or breathtakingly beautiful...but it is a commitment, and a sort of promise, and that in itself is extremely courageous and full of the kind of faith that moves people to do selfless things and to carry our hearts into greater struggle towards growth and understanding. Sometimes I look at the ways our roads cross...how we sometimes are journeying at different paces or taking detours through rocky terrain. I look at how we tend to adhere to our own inner compass and take note of the road signs that we know how to read...and sometimes it even looks like we go off in different directions, but there are always those moments...those ones where our paths come together, form crossroads and perhaps even travel parallel to one another...offering greater opportunity and strength to our individual existence. I think about those moments and I find myself feeling confident in what we have and where we are going...and I find that I am thankful for it all. For the ways we are so different and for the ways we keep searching and working to make this a place of growth and love. I'm appreciating this day and for the memory and magic of two people committing themselves to form companionship and meaning in a world that often feels void of that kind of support. Thanks for taking this journey with me...I look forward to another year of learning and choosing love...of living and breathing and doing our best.