Releasing from the Struggle…..

Struggle………we all have experienced it.  Whether it comes in the form of a decision, a way of life or the resistance to change, all of us have taken our turn on the dance floor.  Now, I can tell you without reservation, that this is not the fluid, graceful dance of a ballerina.  It is a genre that comes in the form of halting movements, shallow breathing and a whole lot of sharp angles.

While I was wondering around the fabric of my thoughts a few days ago, I realized that so much of the struggle we experience is of our own making.  One of my personal “dance partners” has been money.  The flow of it, the lack of it, the larger questions of what exactly to “do” with it.  I was raised with parents who were not conscious of the decisions that they made with money.  I was also locked in a struggle of child support and control with a former husband.  I carried all of these struggles with me, like a cherished book or piece of jewelry.  Letting go of them would leave a huge “hole” in my life.  I mean, lacking anything else going on, I could always concentrate on my struggles…….

It hadn’t dawned on me, until now, that I am able to release from those old struggles.  They are not mine to carry – probably never were.  And, in releasing these struggles, just as I have learned to release and let the clay take the lead, I am also able to forgive and release all of the others that were connected to them. How many other old struggles are stuck in the dance of the dark?

As with any tunnel and the light at it’s end, we have the choice to release ourselves and others from the old, worn out stories of struggle and make room for fresh new opportunities to find more ease in our life.  Our struggles and pain may be inevitable, but they don’t have to be permanent.   

Letting Go……..

As I enter back into my everyday life, I know there will be many nuances and shifts that occur.  There are events in our lives that can take time to glisten all that has been experienced.  

When I left for Ghost Ranch, I had a few things in my life that needed to be laid open.  I needed distance in which to calm down, breath and listen.  I needed to achieve a level of clear headedness that was required to truly look at my life, where I have been, where I wanted it to go and where it was actually going.

I have realized this truth………that it’s ok to let go. To gently and kindly let go of situations that no longer fit or have run their course.  To know that sometimes “your appointment is just over.” To let go of the parts of my life that have taken me away from my center.  To understand that there will always be people that will be disappointed with my decisions and those that are indifferent and still others, those rare, beautiful individuals that applaud and support me at every turn.  And it’s ok.  

At the end of the day, each one of has a responsibility to ourselves to answer those questions.  The questions of individual purpose, our own higher calling, the song of our soul.  Where will it lead us?  Where will we allow it to go?  The only person that can answer those questions for me is me.  

Here’s what I find to be true………..when you shift from your center, deep down at the essence of your being, you know it.  It may feel different for each of us.  For me, it’s an ache that keeps calling to me, sometimes just out of reach.  But every time I find my way back, I can look behind me and see the voice of my higher self was always there, whispering and sometimes wailing for me to listen……….just listen.

I do not regret any twist or turn in my life for it is those winding roads that brought me home.  For all of this and more, I am Thankful.

The Lessons of Moving……Part 1

I haven’t written for quite awhile.  Honestly, I wasn’t sure I had anything of value to say. Since moving to the mountains I have learned a lot about myself……….some of it has been good, some extremely unsettling but all of it is a continuing uncovering of who I am.  Below is a list in no particular order.

1.  I didn’t realize just how burned out that I had become.  When one is in a race, the best that can be expected is to run as fast as you can, for as long as you can, hoping that the finish line will reveal itself.  Solid logic…….if your really running a race.  Otherwise, a recipe for adrenal fatigue, depression and emotional collapse.  Ok, so that’s a little dramatic but you get my point.  My life had become moving from one job, one event, one obligation to another.  The fun and freedom had left my space and an over zealous sense of duty flooded it.  I took things that I loved and made them into chores.  And guess what?  It sucked.

2.  I left behind a full practice of clients that trusted and counted on me with the thinking that people would automatically do the same where I was moving to.  Looking back on this, I am astounded by my naivety.  How could I think that a practice that I had lovingly nourished and built for 23 years was just going to appear where I was going.  No one knew me, trusted me or believed in me.  I had to come face to face with my ego and tell it to take a hike.  I was at a new beginning not a continuation and if I was going to succeed I needed to reach out and show people that I could be trusted.

3.  I miss my people.  I miss that my people knew me……really, really knew me, and loved me for it.  What this has made me realize is that it’s wise to treasure your community for the beauty that it brings to your life and to never be afraid to reach out.

4. Admitting my vulnerability can be terrifying and liberating.  I recently reached out to my community when I was ready to jump off of a 2′ ledge……….I was scared to admit my need for comfort and yet, when I did, the response was more than I could have ever imagined.  Words of love, encouragement, strength and courage came my way and I was humbled.  I said a heart felt Thank you to each one of them and realized that no matter where I am, my people will always be with me.

5. If I sit in stillness and trust the flow, life has a way of working out.  That does not mean to just float along like a leaf in the wind.  For me, it’s been a balance of working, striving, reaching……….and then letting go.

Moral of the story: Love your people, commit to your life and be kind. 

  

Wish You Were Here

It has been a little less than 90 days since my husband and I, along with our 3 dogs and 3 large UHaul’s worth of stuff landed in the mountains of North Carolina. I return to Florida once a month for four days to maintain a long standing massage practice and am asked by almost everyone if I love my new home. Well…….here are the answers I have come up with so far…….
1. Beginnings are full of magic, hope and lots of heavy lifting. How did I ever think that we didn’t have too much stuff??? The velocity of wanting something to work helps for it to work – it just takes more time than I idealized.
2. Endings are painful, emotional, cleansing, cathartic and involve more heavy lifting. Damn! Some of the people I thought would be with me forever have just upped and disappeared……..some I never thought would give me a second thought have been the support I didn’t even know I needed. And the stuff………cleaning out is a beautiful thing but requires fortitude and lots of upper body strength 🙂
3. The mountains are my muse and I am their bitch. No two ways about it – they are in my DNA and they own my heart. I, in turn, work diligently to honor them in my life and in my art.
4. I miss my tribe, my community and my girlfriends. Sometimes, there is no substitute for spending a few hours with a girlfriend that just “gets you”. They don’t need to fix you just the way you don’t need to be fixed. To hear the words, “me, too!!”, is so damn comforting that it makes me want to cry tears of joy knowing that I am connected with another person.
5. I’m a whole lotta of me for new people in my life to take in. A girlfriend called me “formidable” yesterday. I finally understand that it’s not for me to decided whether I am too much or too little………I just “am”.
6. I am stronger than I thought. Putting one foot in front of the other can be an incredible challenge at times but moving through is the best way I know how to get to the other side and find progress and peace for my soul.
7. I am more vulnerable than I thought. Ohhhhhh, this is a tough one for me – Ms. Strong Enough. I am fragile and prone to self doubt and ridicule. It’s nice to know that there are people out there who inspire me to be gentle with myself.
The discovery that in all the change I have encountered the past few months – what matters most, to me, are the treasures of friendship. I bow In gratitude to you, my friends who make up my heart.

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Catch and Release…….

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I have chosen to hold on to and what I have released back into the universe. The major theme of my life right now is knowing what to let go of and what to keep……possessions, relationships, places, dreams, realities. There are times when it is so damn easy to ease my grasp, allowing my finger tips to unfurl and open to the winds of change, and then there are times when I would rather feel the pain of the comfortable rather than let go into the vastness of the unknown.

Sometimes, I wish for certainty, in my own life, with my relationships with others, with the universe…….and then I realize that always being certain can eliminate the joy of discovery, not just with life but with the creative process as well. We don’t get to have it both ways. Letting go does not mean laying back and being blown around like a late autumn leaf. No sir – it means you let go of the conclusion – moving toward your desires and future with activities that align with your intentions and wishes. In the Alchemist, written by Paulo Coelho, he writes, “when you really want something, the universe conspires to make it happen.”

So, in the spirit of the new year, when I am to be letting go of the old and the universe of things that no longer serve me and my evolution as a person and an artist, I will honor the newness of life and the conclusion of my past. I am moving toward something greater than I have been and that is something to look forward to even if I don’t know what it is.

Setting my intentions, my desires, and releasing them into the universe one breath, one step at a time.

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Leaning into Now

My husband and I, packing up our little band of misfits and all of our worldly possessions, moved exactly one month ago, to the mountains of North Carolina.  A dream of almost 20 years realized, we have gone about setting all the details of our lives in place.

There have been many moments of chaos, anxiety, fear, worry, joy, apprehension, grief, sadness, excitement and calmness.  These “moments” never come with any order or warning.  They just appear from thin air, and when they have had a whirl, they tend to leave just as quickly.

I haven’t wrote much about it because I don’t like to be off balance let alone appear like a staggering drunk.  But here’s the truth…….this simple decision of picking up and moving has had subtle and profound affects on me that I never even thought of.  The good, the bad and the sheerly different details don’t really matter.  What does matter is the fact that I am creating more than I ever have – even through the confusion of stability and emotional centeredness.  I am fragile, vulnerable and unbalanced at times, and yet with that melee’ has come incredible moments of inspiration and creativity.  Go figure……..

I stand in this transition realizing more and more what very little we actually have control over. As I do with clay, I must let go of holding on so tightly, to the old, the comfortable, the familiar and start to embrace the next chapter of my life.  May it be beautiful……..IMG_4585