I have hands that work and they have been a blessing. Hands that have worked hard on muscle tissue; worked delicately with the fragile and delicate of spirit and worked long with the patience of a potter. My creative hands have been gifted to me by my Mother’s lineage; the words to express them from my Father’s. Both are a blessing.
We all have the ability to give and receive blessings. Whether it is by a wise proclamation of hard won intuition; a touch that belies the strength and vulnerability of a friend or the simple gesture of a small smile curling into a moment of shared intimacy and reverence.
However the blessing is delivered, the grace of knowing that you are present and it is occurring is a beckoning of great receptivity. If you feel it, it is what is needed at that very moment for you to receive and ultimately your obligation to pass to another when you can.
This week I needed blessings and by the looks of it, a lot of them. Loss and transformation have occurred in my Life and for all of those that have afforded me their soothing words, their gestures of love and their patience of time, I bow in reverence. And I promise, I will pass it along ❤️
One day, when my daughter was around 8, we sent her off to clean her own room without assistance from us. For 30 minutes we heard crying and yowling from behind her closed door. For 30 minutes we resisted the temptation to open up that door and either give her harsh words as a parent or break down ourselves and help her.
Finally, everything got very, very quiet. Bob and I looked at one another, thinking for a brief moment, that she had cried herself to sleep. All of a sudden, as if from another Universe, came these words……
“IT’S TOO MUCH STUFF FOR JUST ONE PERSON!!!!”
We looked at one another and absolutely fell to the floor laughing! Indeed it was. It was too much stuff. Way too much. The tension was broken and we went back into her room to sooth her, all the while laughing and giggling which ultimately caused her to lighten up as well.
I am reflecting back on that moment in our lives because I am in the place of having to handle too much stuff for just one person. My life has grown and changed. I have accepted new roles and thrown myself into my very own gallery and art. It’s a wonderful, chaotic, let the dogs out kind of Life. But I am realizing with all of this comes the hard won decisions of what must go. What no longer serves me, my husband or my evolution.
I had a thought this morning that if I honor myself, I am honoring everyone else. I need to give myself the grace that I am constantly begging everyone else to have for themselves.
All at once, I know what I need to do, where I need to be and who I want to be doing it with.
I move forward, knowing in my heart, that I will disappoint others with my decisions but heeding the inner call of my own Life in which I can honor those around me by taking ownership of my very own pile of stuff that had become too much for just one person.
For me, the work of the Soul is to softly and gently speak to the bearer about what is true and whole. Just for this one person, in this moment, at this time and without construct of another’s considerations.
I know when my soul speaks to me simply by all of the times that I didn’t listen. When I failed to pay homage to the “tickly” sensation deep inside of me that was beckoning recognition. And in those moments of failure, I learned. I learned that avoiding my very own “soul talk” didn’t make me the brightest bulb in the box. I learned to sense the feeling that I experienced when my soul and my intuition sat down for a cup of tea and I forgot to join the party. I learned that there is always another opportunity to be quiet and to lean into that moment when something profound is about to be imparted. And in each of those moments, those many magical moments, I can look back and see the choices I have made constitute the Life that I have lived.
To take ownership of one’s life is not for sissy’s. It takes courage, honesty, integrity, dirt grinding, soul purifying persistence that can take you to your knees and perhaps all the way to Grace. If I have one goal, any goal, that I could lift up my arms to and move forward with, it is this. To show up and be the person that makes no excuses. A person who takes the reins of their own life, their own choices and Yes, dear ones, their own consequences. Good, bad or indifferent, I am the lead Artist in my very own masterpiece.
I have been having a conversation with this beautiful Deity for almost 2 years now. I would occasionally drive to one of my favorite locations in Asheville where I first laid eyes on him just to see if he was still there. Always, still there. Always, ever peaceful. Always, patiently waiting.
I couldn’t “pull the trigger.” Chastising myself with the internal conversation that “it’s too expensive; I really shouldn’t; it’s a luxury I don’t need”; and yet the feeling that there was somehow a deeper connection continued to return.
Finally, a couple of weeks ago, when my husband asked what I wanted for my birthday, this Statue, this gentle, humble beauty instantly came into my mind. Bobs resistance to the piece was the same as mine. Must be practical, pragmatic, sensible. Blah.Blah.Blah.
And so, with much ado about nonsense, we made our way to the location that had been his home for countless dusty days . My heart truly beating insensibly in my chest; hoping beyond hope that he was still there. Still waiting with the benevolence you could only imagine in your most peaceful dreams.
To my delight and relief there he was; still standing amid the clutter; careless of placement. Hiding in plain sight of a million other things and still, oh very still, singing to my heart.
As I picked him up to lay him on the cart I was surprised to find what I initially thought was a cement statue turned out to be one of hand carved wood. Internally delighted and with a smile stretched across the whole of my soul, we wheeled him up to the counter along with a cement stand for him to reside on, happily paying the price and quickly making our way to the car.
Onward to home, I placed him by the covered entry against a backdrop of stone and wood thinking he looked rustic but lovely. However, as I was making the final adjustments to his stand I decided to get a duster to gently remove what I thought was just a slight layer of the fine stuff. And then, I realized that the fine layer had a bit more heft to it. So, out came the wet cloths soaked only in water and more was revealed; and my eyes sparkled wide open and tears started brimming from the corners.
As I was bathing him, he in turn, was blessing me. A reverence in that moment overtook me and I was flooded with gratitude for the beauty lying beneath all of that dirt and debris and for the intuition all along that I was the intended recipient of the love offered from a long, lost time; it was I that needed what this moment of service could create. The kindness and compassion of that simple act of washing away the dirt and care from him also began washing it away within me. That is the gift, the true gift that has been given me. The reminder that we all, everyone one of us, needs the care and tending of our own souls, in our own way, to make this a Life worth showing up for.
It can take so little time to mindfully wash away the dust of a day poorly minded or a year creating inertia that could rival the concrete monoliths that we hold dear. A little kindness, a little water and the presence to know what we need in this very moment.
I present below the Before and After Photos taken without filters to share the treasure revealed. May the beauty of whoever or whatever you hold dear and sacred seep through and bless you always ❤️
I once had a very wise man tell me that there is huge difference between change and alteration. My younger self scoffed, putting his suggestion in the bin of semantics and “never minds.”
This year, this crazy, run off the rails, sideway skidding of a year has caused me to revisit my consideration and I finally think I have an inkling of what he was talking about.
Alteration is leaving your past behind; running as fast and as furious as you possibly can into a new terrain. A terrain with your suitcases, your hopes and your resolve packed nicely and neatly into a fixed consideration of how things are going to be different. YOU are going to be different. The world is definitely going to be different. And it is, and they are for awhile. The freshness of the bloom and the beauty of the fantasy without any residue of the past incarnation of who you were before.
And then, something starts seeping through; and quietly, subversively and without any real effort on your part, the same patterns and shapes start forming in your “new” Life. They sneak in through the cracks of conformity and unintended habits and before you know it, you are sitting at the table with the usual suspects, sipping tea and lamenting how once again you have made it to complacency and excuses. A place to resent but so comfortable and familiar that it’s almost ok. Almost.
Change, on the other side of the world, walks hand in hand with Transformation. It’s standing in the torrent of falling rocks and realities being vulnerable, truly and deeply vulnerable to the existential pain and terror, and standing there anyway. Doing “it” scared, but doing it anyway. Taking a step forward into the unknown and being there for yourself anyway.
This year; this terrifying, daunting, uncontrollable year, is giving all of us the opportunity to truly change and transform. Yes, it might be more than any of us bargained for but I see no way out other than through. And each choice we make can bring us to our knees but can also bring us to grace. True, abiding grace for ourselves, for each other and for the world in which we reside.