Saturday, June 4, 2011

Synchronicity. Truth: Part 11.


Walk.  Put one foot in front of the other. 
Don't think ahead.  Don't plan ahead. 

Just do what is necessary now.
It sounds so simple, but, trust me,
I know it is not. 

It can be a lost way that takes years to find again...
but once you do, prepare for amazing things to happen,
because they will, and they do. 

They have.  Amazing. 

I'm in awe at what has transpired in the last 3 weeks of my life:
The progress.  The healing.  The ease of mind
The slightest sense of peace. 

I don't think much needs to be said, nor do I have the words for it. 
You can see it in my eyes, hear it in my voice. 

Change is coming here. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Resistance. Truth: Part 10.

WalkingImage by koeb via FlickrHave you ever searched for something far and wide, and then once you found it... you froze... unable to take that final step?  You can call it anxiety, fear, laziness, or resistance.  You can blame it on being weak or a perfectionist.

Whatever it is you want, you are the only one standing in your way, but you can't move: you're paralyzed by this inundating resistance.  You can't figure out how to get out of your thoughts and just PUT. ONE (damn) FOOT. IN FRONT. OF. THE OTHER.  Thinking about the task as a whole seems enormous, too much, or maybe even pointless by now... whatever your mind is telling you.  You've created an unsatisfying end (or thirty) to the story without even engaging beyond page three.  You put the book down and are ready to walk away.  

'I already know what's going to happen,' you tell yourself.  But you don't.  But you sure know what's going to happen if you stick to that thinking: nothing.  Nothing will happen.  Nothing will change.  Nothing will come to you if you don't go get it.  Or even just ask for it... though asking isn't easy when you know someone has the power to say 'no'.

Isn't just letting it go easier to deal with than finding out what you want is no longer for sale, not in your size, or just slightly out of your reach?  'Sorry,' your little heart tells you, and it feels so real, before you've even tried seeking the (actual) truth.

I play this game.  The more important the thing that I want, the more frozen I become.  This started in college as I was nearing the end of my studio classes; a resistance kicked in that I'd never known existed within me before.  I feared everything.  I couldn't put pen to paper, or finger to keyboard.  I slept hoping to wake up without this heaviness existing upon me.   I punished myself and denied myself playtime.  But it never went away.  The heaviness stuck, time kept ticking, and deadlines were looming.  I became a zombie.  I knew the motions, and I tried to just Do the Work to distract myself.  This worked for a little while, until I'd become overwhelmed again and have to try a different approach. Then I'd start this process all over again.

I feared failure more than anything I've feared in my entire life.  I feared going all this way and not getting that degree, or that stupid little B that I needed.  I was so terrified of failing that I almost made sure I failed just so I could know if I would survive it.  What is it that makes us do this to ourselves?

Today I had something important to do.  Actually, this week I had something important to do.  I wanted to get it done Tuesday.  It didn't happen.  Wednesday passed... Thursday... 'okay, okay.'  And then the external resistance kicked in.

'Just how strong are you Sera?  How much can you handle?  How much do you want this?'  THAT... that is when my perseverance kicks in... the inner athlete in me sees a challenge.  'Oh, so you think I'm going to let this beat me down?'  I had to get something printed... and of course I'm out of ink at my house.  The first place I go, the only place I thought I'd have to go, can't print something double sided and make it line up.  'Are you kidding me?'  Maude is now having a field day.  Here we go... nothing can be that easy.  

I start calling print stores, and no one's answering.  By this time, it's after 6pm... and they're probably closed.  But I've got the determination NOW; I need to do this NOW.  I need it printed in color on card-stock.  Still, no one's answering.  The library prints for free on regular paper, and black and white.  'Something is better than nothing, Sera.'  Okay.  To the library I go.  I print.  I print a few extra copies just in case.  I check out the book I reserved from another library.  I walk out to my car and realize... I did it, and yet, nothing is going to change in the next 12 or even 24 hours.  I want color and card-stock.  I don't want to settle.  I want to do this right.

Friday morning.  Body is sore.  Supposed to do this, need to do that.  I can't do one thing because I'll be distracted by the other: I can't go on my scheduled weekly 'artist's date' because I will be beating myself up for not doing what I need to do.  One foot in front of the other.  Get dressed.  Put your contacts in.  Make yourself presentable so you can face the day without confidence as yet another distraction.  Bring all your supplies, your zip-drive and your card to pay.  Just do one step at a time.

Drive to the print store.
And then print.
(Breathe some more.)

And now... it's DONE.  And while one step at a time was manageable, I was nearly in tears by then end of this process.  But I did it.  And now there will be no regrets, no lost opportunities, no blame to throw around.  Take THAT, Maude. 

I'm doing the best that I can. (And yes I have to keep telling myself this.)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Maude and the Divided Self. Truth: Part 7.

The Penitent Mary Magdalene (1825) Civica Gall...Image via WikipediaFirst, let me make this clear: I do NOT have a Split Personality disorder. 

I do though, have a habit of beating myself up, ferociously.

I hear that Inner Critic, that Censor, as Julia Cameron calls it in The Artist's Way.  I have to make it known, mostly to myself, that THAT voice isn't my Truth.  She is instead my demon, my serpent, my daily dose of self-inflicted torture.  She is crude,  a smart-ass, and a know-it-all.  She is pessimistic beyond comprehension.

She hates change; she balks the instant she senses an opportunity to talk down to me, and barks self-loathing accusations repeatedly until they are heard.   She makes me feel like a burden, exposed, ashamed, a maudlin: undeniably unworthy of anything I desire.  She is my FEAR, embodied.

I felt it appropriate to give her a name.  Her name is Maude. This name seemed fitting enough, simply to remind me how deep (and quick) her lies soak into the cloth of my being.

A little history on the term 'maudlin':
1607, "tearful," from M.E. proper name Maudelen  (c.1320), from Magdalene  
(O.Fr. Madelaine ), woman's name, originally surname of Mary,  
the repentant sinner forgiven by Jesus in Luke vii.37 (see Magdalene). 
In paintings, she was often shown weeping as a sign of repentance. Meaning "
characterized by  tearful sentimentality" is recorded from c.1631.

Ahh, it makes so much sense now.  I do not feel I have empowered this presence by naming her.  I feel now I can reason that she IS NOT speak my Truth, and I can now tell her, by name, to SHUT UP. 

I also have another voice that I hear or rather, sense.  This voice is quiet, like a child, maybe she is a child, my inner child.  I've been seeking a name for her.  She speaks my Truth.  She is serene... Serena... no, that name is close but not quite right.  Something soft, silent, strong, just as she is.  I'm a fool for alliteration and the 'S' was sticking with me.  It's been nearly 2 weeks in seeking.

I hadn't found it, until tonight.  As the stars align, leading me from one Renegade Conversation to another, I find myself reading a new blog (new to me) called Sophia Leadership.  I am quickly drawn in, I soak up post after post.  I find myself seeking the meaning of this name, Sophia Leadership, though the connection has not yet been made.

In the top right corner of the blog I find my answer:  

"What is this about? 
Sophia: Greek word for wisdom. A word that is feminine, 
spiritual, intuitive, creative, visionary, and compassionate. 
Leader: Anyone who steps forward with courage to influence people toward action."

 She is my Sophia.  That voice: that gentle, sophisticated, trusting, honest, strong yet soothing voice, is my Sophia.  It feels so lovely to be able to acknowledge her for everything that she is.  She speaks from all of these things: my femininity, my spirituality, my intuition.  She speaks (and craves) my creative freedom, and my true vision.  I can feel her gentle persistence when I ignore her, but she is patient and kind with me.  And most importantly, her essence of compassion embodies my Truth. 

I can work with this.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Theme 18: Under

'I'm going under'

Under. Sinking... falling.
Under. It's become nonsensical.

Create a world around you where you won't go under.

Embrace the changes as they come
So you don't slip and fall - become one with them
So you aren't taken under.

Beneath yourself.  To another place
Under where you are meant to be.

Never stop hearing, speaking, shouting your words,
Thoughts, ideas... let them be heard
Or they shall go under....

It is your Truth and only your Truth that will be lost...
To no one but yourself... and while that may
Make this all seem so trivial in meaning,
It is your life
Your RIGHT to be heard, to be felt, to be UNDERstood. 

I find myself asking the same questions I asked over a decade ago
When I was just a babe (some people think I still am).
I feel it slipping away... that youth.
But I've had that sinking feeling before.. that feeling of going under...

And I know I have it in me to fight, TO FIGHT until
Things turn around, and I come out okay,
I can't help but wonder HOW LONG
until I go under again.

How long in what seems a perpetual game I play
I've become a part of and haven't yet found/formed the tools to escape...

I'm going under.. just speaking these words... shame on me.
These words I've spoken so many times and, for over a decade now,
Have become so tired of speaking again and again. 

We shall rise.  We shall rise alone or with one another...
It doesn't really matter.
Into our greatness... one day it will come;
(I can almost promise this.)
We know it exists we just have to start from the bottom...
Under all of this... this pressure,
Under where we feel we were meant be.

I'm with you if you'll be here with me...
I bring myself back here to you every time
I feel I'm going under....

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Theme 17: Blood

Blood. On my shoes, in your hair.

Sticky, messy, thick. Pooling
around your aching self.

Sickening to look at. Nauseating to think about.

I can nearly taste it, or feel it flowing through my veins,
running this body, this heart, this aching heart.

Feeble. Woman vs. Man. Sick. Growth, age, deterioration.
Yet it's all the same.
The stuff that moves through us is almost all the same...

Your type, my type... your diet based on your blood.
Do you subscribe to that notion?
 I might try it if I thought it would make a difference....

I see blood, oozing out your vessels like water through a tap.
Does this work for you? Does this make you queasy? 

Can you feel, taste, or smell your blood... without any
being present? Can you conjure up the vision of this
crimson-life-force running through you and me, him and her,
both your lover and your enemy?  

That man you judge, that woman you scorn, they'll bleed,
if you cut them, just the same. It's all the same.
Over and over.

Blood. Flood. Flowing blood. Through
your veins, my veins.  Like a river that never stops,
only this time it does.  Trivial compared to the Nile.
Eventually it stops flowing, the river in our song, our tune,
our beat. Heartbeat. 

Would this blood go on forever if only we could build a well?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Theme 16: Spit

Spit. Saliva. Pity. The act of spitting upon someone. Spitting on the sidewalk or out the window.  Spitting being illegal. Spitting during an athletic game... accepted... denounced. Tiger Woods on the green having to apologize.

My dad taught me how to spit and it's something I'm actually quite proud of; I see it as a talent if you will. I don't know if you'll think it's as cool as I do, but growing up an athlete, I did my fair share of spitting. Frustrated spits, over-salivated spits, nervous spits. Because-I-can spits. Watch-me-spits. One of my most memorable pictures of me during HS softball is of me in the outfield mid-spit.  I love it.  Completely cracks me up.  We were playing at a Southern, and I meant business. That was an I-mean-business/don't-mess-with-me spit.   

Long walks in the woods as a child, long walks down the dirt road I grew up on. Two miles long and we lived near dead center... either direction prime real estate for Spitfests. Walking the dogs (and sometimes the Yak), making stories up about Dive Rock, Robin's Egg Corner, and Bear Mountain. I could take you on a tour of my childhood woods... my backyard, which just so happened to back up to a gorgeous state park. We'd walk the deer trails and make them our own. We'd spit the entire way.  Not that we made a big deal out of it, it was unspoken... but as a girl, a spitting girl... I made sure to get my fair share of spits out with my dad.  It was our quality time. He'd spit, all of a sudden I'd realize all that excess saliva sitting swamped in my mouth. My turn. Pride. The relief of a good spit.

Bonus points for distance. This is what Dad's are for, isn't it?

Nurturing. Part 1.

Today is a rainy day.  Dreary, overcast, and colder than not.  A day you'd want to spend wrapped up in a blanket, soaking in the tub, or baking in the kitchen.  I plan on doing all three.  Today is a silent day in my heart, a peaceful day.

Yesterday was Friday.  A busy day.  I worked all day and I babysat all evening.  When I finally made it home, or probably even before then, I was spent.  It's been a long week in so many ways.  I just needed to sleep.  I came home, left the lights off, turned off the TV,  and opened the back door to the porch.  I then cuddled deep into the couch, completely consumed by my favorite corduroy comforter.

Comforter.  That was all that I needed at that moment: to be comforted.  I need that a lot lately.  I eventually made my way to the shower to wash off the day, the week.  I fell asleep quickly once I allowed myself to settle. 

Today I slept in an hour later than I am able to during the week.  I felt rested.  I wanted coffee.  I was ready to start my day (this doesn't always happen).  Z was heading to work, so I made coffee in time to send some with him (nurturer that I am).  I wrote my Morning Pages: today was Day Seven.  I also had my first unplanned interruption.  I quickly got back to my writing while the repair man installed our new microwave.  I had no idea he was coming, or I would have planned differently.  Either way, I completed my first week without fail.  I remember hearing this somewhere: it takes seven days to start a new habit.  Regardless of the science behind that, I'm going to make it my Truth.  I officially have a new habit nurturing my spirit.

Repair man gone, Morning Pages complete.  I returned my brother's call from last night, which turned out to be just a pocket dial.  An appreciated call nonetheless.  We talked about our mom; I'll save that subject for another post.  Then I asked him about these little pods that have developed on my spider plant and told him I'd send him a photo. Apparently that put me in an immediate inquisitive and playful mood.

Now, this is just a baby hanging off of the Momma plant, and you can see three of the little pods I was talking about.  (See those paintbrushes in the background too?  We will get to those in this journey, I promise.)  Momma's sprouted about 8 babies in the last few months, maybe more.  I decided despite the cold, I was going to go onto my back porch and replant Momma, as I've been wanting to for a while now.

So this is how we started: Momma and two of her older babies that I've grown in separate pots and a barren hanging pot.

And this is how we finished... with Momma planted in with her two babies for fullness, and 3 more babies being nurtured until they can grow on their own.  Momma already looks happier, though I can't actually hang her because I need her to block the passage for my kitty to get off the porch....

Then there was another problem.  I completely over-saturated my aloe plant without realizing it because the pot it was in was too small and I could barely get to the soil to see how moist it actually was.  (Have I told you about my olive thumb yet?) So she was replanted, too.  I put her in a larger pot (actually the one Momma Spider was in) along with some new soil.  I surrounded her with some other plants and objects to help support her heavy limbs.

Once this still-life was set up, I couldn't help but notice the words in my head, "I get by with a little help from my friends..." (So if you're now craving a Beatles flashback click here.)

On a semi-related note:

This little bugger just makes me smile.  Originally what I purchased my bamboo plant in, my mom, aunt and I did some planting and re-potting while they were visiting over Easter weekend.  I was sad when we re-potted the bamboo and I had nothing to fill this amazing little elephant-pot.  So my mom bought me this cactus when they visited the Botanical Garden the day I had to work.  My mom has always been amazingly thoughtful like that.

So there we go.  This post is a little more Slow Love Life than my usual.  I needed it.  I played a little today.  I feel nurtured.  I think this counts toward my Artist's Date, don't you think?

I have to bake a cake for a graduation party this afternoon.  I don't think I'll mind playing some more at all.