Reality check #475
I am in the perfect place
My timing is impeccable
All things are unfolding as they should
There is a grand scheme unfolding
yes, even better than I can imagine
I have survived, yes even thrived so far
I will continue to do so.
Unraveling and rewiring my primitive brain
that thinks I am going to die any second now
I have done it all wrong
round every corner, another possible problem and worse
there is no hope and it’s all my fault.
Breathing into now.
Reality check #476
I am fine, right here, right now.
Birthday hot fudge sundae.
yes, he finished most of it. That’s what birthdays are for; to celebrate. See, he doesn’t believe in birthdays, but he does believe in ice cream. Newport Creamery. we used to go there when I was a kid. There were pictures all over the walls of the old stores. This is new England, the land of many memories. Past memories, present time, this is such a profound practice at this juncture of my life. Continue reading
Dad’s in the hospital. Last night it started, I could tell something wasn’t right. this morning it became all too apparent. Called 911, we loaded him in a big red firetruck and sirened our way to the Providence Hospital during morning rush hour: cruising red lights, breakdown lanes and the wrong side of the street. I’m gripping the sides of the big seat as the big red fire truck bounced it’s way down the pocked streets of RI.
He’s stable now, and everyone comments, for almost 92, he’s in amazing shape. The problem is, they don’t really know what’s going on, and he’s been reacting to the medications they give him. So they are trying this and that, new medicines and IV, more doses and potions, pills and notions.
He is a remarkable man. Joking with the nurses, clear about his situation. Perhaps a little too cool for my female concern. Well, I’m home now. he’s still there. I do sense he’ll make it through all this. For now. I’m acutely aware of my attachment to this man of my origin.
Also, he has been such a pillar of strength and health for so long, it’s blowing my personal immortality dreams to shreds. I was talking to my dad about that yesterday, how I was so sure when I was young I’d live forever…he said yeah, he was like that too; that’s just how youth is. Must be part of some hero’s journey or something; I’m sure Joseph Campbell would have something to say about that. (or maybe you do?)
So much for sipping the Koolaid, I’m getting pretty real out here on the East Coast.
i can feel this: That acknowledging the end sets priorities straight.
As they say, life is a terminal condition. So be it.
Dad’s not doing so well. I talk to him. I talk to my brother. I talk to him again. It’s a wait and see game of unknown rules. I’m so far away, I feel so powerless. Looking at the passage we all face some day. Not sure what’s up with Dad, could be soon, or 10 years from now. I choose to be present with myself and my own trembling mortality so I can be present for him to the best of my ability.
I go out into the wild. The hills hold court with my tenderness. As I enter into the trail at the end of the road, a little hummingbird come right up to this bush by my knee, ruby-throated and precious tiny. I climb, I walk, I run ever so little. I follow the trail to a hill I rarely climb.
At the top, I look out on the valley, the ocean, the hills. the clouds are so proud and still, the wind swept the sky, the white capped water, the islands are there in full force, visible, holding the ocean. What a moment.
The mustard has passed but new little yellow flower ignite the trail. I think, next time I’ll bring my phone and take pictures for you guys. It’s so beautiful up here. and it’s almost my back yard. How blessed is this mess I am today.
I have a tangerine in my pocket, I sit to eat it. There’s swarms of ants, big and little ones, all in a flurry, probably because this big ogre is sitting by their holes. I see them frantically going here and there-I know that feeling. A bigger ant starts hauling one of the seeds I have spit out. It’s hard. He stays with it for way longer than he might (-I know that feeling too), then gives up and walks over his seed-mountain, he’s checking it out, searching for something…what? I haven’t a clue. it is literally 10xs bigger than him; how does he even attempt to do that?
I look up to the sky again, there are three hawks circling and one buzzard, they are gracefully playing in the wind that I feel on my face. Perhaps they are waiting for me to die. Well, not this time my friends, but death is a part of this life, I acknowledge that now.
I head back down the trail. I notice another red tail hawk flying 10 yards below me magnificent. I stop again to be with her still soaring. I look down at my feet again and a 2 inch bright green caterpillar, with red and yellow and black markings and a little flag on his butt, comes cruising by my foot. i have to laugh.
Crazy mamma nature, you are out in force this morning.
Thank you, thank you.
If I only knew then what I know now…
if we only had stayed in touch, that wouldn’t have happened…
He should have paid for the damn dinner…
You shouldn’t say I’m incompetent…
If I had only stopped and asked her about here boyfriend…
She should have done the dishes…
If he only checked the oil…
It’s not his or her fault.
It’s not your fault.
It’s not the world’s fault.
I offer you a ‘no blame’ option. Continue reading
My dad doesn’t have the same measure of cleanliness that I do. I walk into his apartment and it feels so dirty to me. I ask him if he wants me to clean up ‘a bit’. He says, if it makes you happy, go ahead. Science projects at various stages in the refrigerator (you know, different color molds at different levels of bloom), the toaster oven is so caked you cant see the bagel toasting through the glass window.
Yesterday I tackled the refrigerator. Today, I cleaned the toaster oven. Yeay, I can see my bagel toasting (I never eat bagels, but when I come to NY, you know, it’s just in the air…). Makes me feel some weird level of accomplishment.
Dad say, you know, you just scrape of the mold, it’s good underneath. He retells the story of getting a much desired salami from his mom during WW2 (he was stationed in the Philippines). He threw it out because it was moldy; found out later that you can just cut off the mold and it’s great. He has lived his life with that philosophy ever since!
We all have such different rules we live by. Yes, cleaning his place makes me feel good. He’s fine with either way. I have all these beliefs about mold and grime, and he’s 91 and quite healthy. Maybe, like penicillin, it has helped him. And at this point, who am I to argue?
I think, I am doing this cleaning for him, and you know what? He enjoys that it floats my boat. Yes, it makes me feel better, and like I’m taking care of him somehow. He enjoys that I am here, whatever I am doing.
Why do you do what you do? It’s real helpful to get clear on intention.
I’m not going to spend all day cleaning ‘for his sake’-just a few hours ‘for my sake’ and enjoy the rest of the day hanging with him.
On to the cupboards tomorrow….
Today, coming off the trail, there’s a dog to greet me about 20 feet over. He’s growling, and his hackle are up. I feel fear. Should I turn back? Should I run? Eeeekk!
I noticed my fears. Angry dog fears. I’ve been chased and attacked, but nothing close to fatal here. I also have experienced dogs’ amazing love. All this flashes through my head in a moment. So I breathe. I feel my feet. I relaxed into the safety of the earth and sent love. Then I think, hey, this is my road too, I gotta get home.
I do not run away, I do not back down, I move forward. He keeps his distance. I pass by, at about 10 feet, he allows passage. I don’t look back, resume forward momentum. All is well.
Just a little moment in life. But fear comes, safety is challenged, many times in a day. A little vignette, with a big message for me. Where is safety?
There is a lie we’ve been feed for eons: that it’s out there in these big things that we build a life around:
in money, a home, a relationship, a job, in the world as we know it.
What do you do for a fleeting moment of safety?
How much money do you need to feel safe?
How much love will be enough?
Do you find safety in relationship that is less than perfect?
In a job and paycheck that no longer serves you?
Staying in situations, mediocre or worse, just for a shred of safety?
I’m finding safety, but not where I thought it was. It is here in this moment, when I allow it. When I face into my fear, there it is, again and again: safety, on the inside. I find safety in my breath. I find it in connecting with the earth, the sky, to something much bigger than my own fears. Call it the Christ within, the Higher power, the love of mankind, call it love, call it being-ness. Safety is in the little moments, one after the other, there it is again, and there it is again.
I am aware that in life, if I run from a growling dog, he will chase me, if I back down, I cannot get where I want to go.
Know thyself. Move forward.
Safety is an moment to moment willingness.
A willingness to be.
I’ve been writing you guys, and I’ve ben amazed at all the beautiful feedback I’ve been getting from all you. I appreciate it so much.
But I woke up this morning with this ‘oh sh*t’ feeling-what the heck am I doing bearing my soul to the world? What are they all thinking of me? Especially those, that might read what I post and don’t say anything (thank god there’s no ‘dislike intensely button’). I’m way too much, way too sensitive, way too caught in my drama…here we go on that slippery slope to nowhereville, weeeeee….and then on the other side, who do I think I am, spewing all these cosmic experiences; like visiting my ancestors, or brilliant breakthroughs, etc? I’m no big fooy guru guy. I’m just a Joe Shmoe, like al the rest of the Bozos on the bus.
What I came to, as I set myself down and gave myself a good talkin-to, is that yes, I’m a sensitive being. What can I say? And I know, part of my journey and gift to the world, is honoring my sensitivity, releasing any shame I might have about it, cherishing myself through.
Yesterday, I was in a session with my long time learning buddies, Jan and Tom. Jan shared some deeply personal and scary stuff, which spurred me on to do the same.
Yes, I started working on my no-longer-significant-other-shit that still is rolling around inside. (voice inside: Still? Yes, still, I should be over this already! I’m not…) Almost apologetically, I began.
I leaned into this emotion as it welled up in me, scary-sad-angry. Everything about it reeked of terror in my animal brain. As I approached, it was like opening Pandora’s Box. My mind was saying: no, no, don’t go there! You’ll be sorry! Don’t open that can of worms, don’t open that overwhelming sea of endless pain and suffering! It will engulf you, it will destroy you! You’ll never get out alive!… on and on and on.
I leaned in further. With the anchor of the non judgmental presence of my companions, and using different tools I’ve learned over the years, I ventured deeper. I could literally feel my father, my mother, my past relationships, my son. I touched on the fringes of the intricate web of my ancestors. geez. Sounds almost psychedelic, huh? I found these things that impact me today go oh-so way-back. In the spirit of forgiveness, of myself and those around me, and yes, my ancestors, I dove deeper. I found connection to my past-present-future, a sensate experience of how they all intertwine. How they all inform my every moment, consciously and unconsciously; buried treasure. I found gold. Literally, a priceless treasure; a new level of acceptance. A ever growing wholeness.
This is not the beginning for me, I’ve been on this journey along time. But it is another step along the infinite path to ownership of me, cherishing and loving every part, no matter how ugly, painful, scary it seems.
Where are you on this journey? Are there things you’ve swept under the rug, unfinished business, grudges, disappointments? Are there topics your afraid to speak about; with someone in particular? Is it time to face in? to fess up? Are you ready to take the next step on your path?
What would it feel like, to untie those knots in your neck, release that weight on your shoulders, the gold threads that bind your heart but no longer serve? What does that look like? If there was one thing you could do today that could shift your world, what would that be? Share here if you feel moved.
I am appreciating opening up my experience to the world here. I love watching it ripple out. If you feel moved, reach out and connect with me. Though we walk our own unique path, this journey need not be taken alone.
Namaste. The divine in me, salutes the Divine in you.