Thursday, October 13, 2016

Heart & Soul

This past Monday I took a walk in the woods close to the house. My heart and my thoughts have been heavy with home, family, friends and work so I was attempting to find my center. Nature always helps calm my mind and soothe my soul.

I walked up through the old North Cemetery communing with the trees. They aren't as vibrant as I've seen them in past years but they are beginning to change. We've been in a drought so the Autumn colors seem to be a bit quiet this year. Still, I smiled at the trees and even stopped to tell a couple how beautiful they were. I like to run my hand along the bark gently in greeting.

Trees are comforting to me. They are strong yet flexible. They know how to sway with the wind. Their leaves whisper gentle sounds of comfort.

In the park where I walked there is a pond. Sadly, a much smaller pond because of the drought but, still, a pond. After walking the loop trail around the park I headed to the bench next to the pond to watch the sunlight dance on the water.

When I sat down on the bench I noticed that my feet didn't touch the ground. Sort of like what it might feel like to kids when they sit on a big bench. I smiled at the realization then as I sat there I began to relax into that feeling of being a little kid. A kid who needed comforting. A kid who can't explain why it hurts but knows that it just does. A kid who's lost her family or is just too far away from them.

As these thoughts filled my head I felt the burning in my chest. The tears began to form in the corner of my eyes. They fought me to get out, to find freedom on my cheeks. Finally I stopped fighting them for a bit. The release felt good but I stopped them again. My only thought being, "What if someone walks by or comes to sit on the bench, too?" I was alone. There wasn't anyone that was going to want to share the bench with me but I didn't want to be surprised. So, I got up and walked along the bank of the pond. On the other side of me was thick brush so I knew for sure no one would happen upon me there.

As soon as I got far enough away and tucked back into a little alcove of bushes, my body let go. Why I felt the need to hide, I'm not clear, but I allowed myself to just to let it out. Out it came, too. In full force. My heart felt like it was going to burn through my chest as I silently sobbed and cried.

I love my family dearly and want nothing more than to help all of them in any way I can. My West Coast family is struggling and I'm feeling quite helpless all the way out here. My heart aches to be with them.

The transient feeling I've had over the last few years has helped me find myself and my priorities. It's been a good tool but I'm beginning to feel like I need to grow roots again. Ideas of a house, eventually a partner, a long term job, holidays spent surrounded by family and so much love are all floating around in my head quite a bit these days. I want to settle down again. I want to build those roots so I can stand even taller.

The tears I cried that day were for my family, for the distance, for their struggles and for the time it may take me to get home.


Just knowing I have a sense of that word now brings happy tears to my eyes.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Self Compassion & Understanding

Returning from the Farmer's Market with a carrot top tail.
This morning I woke up with a sense of sadness. I awoke to clouds and rain and cool air and the sound tires make in the rain as the cars pass by beneath my window. I slept in this morning after staying up late. I've been tired, yes, but this tired today felt different. It felt a little like escape.

My weekend mornings are usually spent leisurely drinking at least two cups of coffee while I read or journal in bed. This morning as I sipped my first cup I felt it. The sadness. The loneliness. It scared me so I finished my first cup, took a shower and walked down to the farmer's market. I felt this pull to run from it but at the same time I knew that taking it for a walk would do it some good and it did. When I returned I continued to find ways to get away from it, though. Escape, I recognize, is an old pattern for me.

I cleaned while listening to a pod cast. It was a Moth Slam that airs on NPR and sometimes those stories stir up emotions and sometimes they inspire me to write or look at things differently. Sometimes they just plain make me cry. I'm not even sure what the story was about at this point but I remember feeling the tears start to well up and the surge of emotions in my chest. I had to stop the vacuum, sit down on the steps and let myself cry for a moment. I let myself feel what I had been running from all morning. I stopped trying to escape and just sat there with it all. In my mind, I wrapped my arms around the emotions and myself. When I did that I realized that it wasn't just sadness that I was feeling. It was such a mix of happiness and sadness and homesickness and gratitude and all the feelings.

I sat there on the steps with tears rolling down my cheeks counting all of the blessings in my life.
  1. I have a group of the most amazing people in my life, both family and friends.
  2. I have an abundance of love, the size of which I've never before felt.
  3. I have a real sense of belonging and home that I've never before felt.
  4. I live in a world where there is beauty that stops me in my tracks and brings tears to my eyes.
  5. I am healthy and getting stronger every day.
  6. I am so much more connected to my body, my soul and my mind than I've ever been before.
The self growth I've done over these past few years has brought so much peace, confidence and friendship with myself. I am amazed at the amount of growth that I've experienced, in awe and am so incredibly proud of myself.

It really is true that happiness begins within yourself. I have become my own best friend, my own companion and my own confidant and there is absolutely nothing sad about that. It's reason to celebrate. The level of trust I have in myself to be completely open and authentic and real with those around me has skyrocketed.

Never before have I ever known myself so well, been so in touch with and connected to my soul and what it wants and needs.

Never before has my heart felt so completely open to life and love and happiness. This...THIS is what it feels like to live, to be fully present with myself and the world around and inside of me. This is what it feels like to be able to sit with the good and the hard feelings and emotions and to come out on the other side of them a better me. A more compassionate, understanding and loving me.

This life is amazing and full of adventure. My heart is so full of gratitude and love.