The Story of Love

I lay in bed this morning, in that space between drifting and awake, my mind rootless, unfocussed.

Images floated through like the chunks of ice that keep floating past on the river’s surface, eventually drifting out of sight, disappearing into an unseen future, perhaps melting or getting stuck in an ice block somewhere upriver.

Like my thoughts. Drifting aimlessly until one comes into view and gets stuck in mental gymnastics.

“You can never begin at the beginning again.”

My mind jumped into alertness. “Of course you can,” it insisted.

The thought had other ideas. “Every beginning drifts into the ending becoming a new beginning. The beginning is gone, changed, morphed into something else. To begin at the beginning again, you must wind back all of time, all of what has transpired between the beginning and the moment you decide to begin again. And you cannot wind back time to make everything exactly as it was when you began. You have changed. The air around you has changed. Life has changed. That’s what life does.”

Seriously? Sometimes the thoughts in my mind are a bit too heady for my heart.

At that moment, Beaumont the Sheepadoodle decided he needed to go out and came and stuck his wet nose in my face.

I got up and left the heady thoughts on my pillow.

At least, that’s what I imagined I did.

Until I sat down at my computer and started to type and the thoughts from when I first began to awaken came hurtling back into my mind.

I can’t quite grasp them the way they appeared earlier. I tried. To go back to the beginning of the thought. But time, and awakening, going outside into the cold winter air while the sky was still dark and the air was filled with sounds of the river passing by changed the beginning, making it impossible to rewind my thinking back to the precise space where the thoughts began.

It’s a grey on grey kind of morning. Dark river flowing between white earth. Withered trunks of winter bare trees standing against a bleak tone-on-tone landscape, their leafless limbs extended up into a bleached sky. The delicate fronds of their outer limbs interlace with one another like the filigree of a necklace my mother gave me long ago. It was from India. A gold slipper of exquisitely interwoven strands of gold.

I no longer have that slipper. It was lost to a time when my world crashed into chaos I feared would never end.

The chaos ended but I could never go back to the beginning to unwind the devastation and pain of those years of terror and abuse. 

I could only go forward, gently weaving the many strands of that story into The Story of My Life – one where I live fearlessly and authentically in the beauty of my heart beating fiercely in Love with all of me, my life and everyone and everything in it.

Yesterday, I saw a meme on Instagram that asked, “What’s one thing from your past you wish you’d never done?”

My answer is, ‘Nothing.’

I can’t change the things I’ve done. Nor do I want to. Everything in my life has served its purpose of bringing me here, to this place. I am not powerful enouh to unwind time back to a given point where I can weave a different story of my life. This story. This one I live today was created through all the strands, all the darkness and light, the pain and joy, the hardship and ease I’ve experienced.

I love the story of my life today. It’s the only one I’ve got.  It is a story of Love.

And so, I do what I can do, must do, to keep Love flowing freely throughout my world and my being present, in this moment right now, connected through and in Love with all the world around and within me. I weave beauty out of what was and what is, letting Love be the warp and weave of all I create, all I do, all I am.

Namaste.

About the Zine - Created with one sheet of 9 x 12 mixed media paper, the backgrounds were monoprinted with acrylic paint. I used acrylic inks and gold pen along with gold foil to create the hearts. 
The story grew out of the paintings. 
The video was a 'just for fun' way to stretch my creative muscles.

The best laid plans…

I had a great plan.

  1. Get back into the studio in the evenings. (I haven’t been in the studio throwing paint for a few weeks now. Busy-ness. New Job. Several events. Summer-like evenings and all that jazz kept getting in my way.)
  2. Wake up earlier (5am) to be able to meditate half an hour every morning followed by half an hour of yoga.
  3. Go to bed earlier. Lights out by 10:30.
  4. Check my diet. Ensure it is laden with nutrients and healthy foods.
  5. Walk an hour a day.

 

And, like many best laid plans, life got in the way.

Well, a cold actually.

I have managed to fulfill on Step 3 — Go to bed earlier. Sleep is about all that has been calling to me this past week and weekend. Sleep and more sleep. In fact, Saturday, which was a perfect summer day in the studio because of the rain, I did not get out of bed all day.

That’s the thing about ‘plans’.

You gotta be flexible. Adaptable. Kind.

Flexible enough to adapt your plan to unforeseen circumstances. A cold was not on my agenda, but, working back at a frontline homeless-serving agency it is in some ways inevitable. New venue. New germs. And as this is a child and family centered agency, there are always lots of germs floating around.

Years ago, when I started working at an adult shelter, even though I’m not frontline staff, I got a cold every month for a year. After that, my immune system had strengthened itself enough, I didn’t get another cold for the next five years I worked there.

 

I figure this may be part of my modus operendi. Condition my immune system with variable germs until its strong enough to defend itself.

At least, that’s the plan.

But then, you know what happens to the best laid plans…

We either adapt to present conditions or the plan falls apart.

In the case of a plan that doesn’t follow my script, there’s only one thing I can do, be kind to myself by treating myself with tender loving care, and when conditions improve, give myself the grace to …

Begin again.

 

 

Always begin again.

I am on the mend. The bloom is off my cold as its love affair with my immune system wanes. There are clear nasal passages and fewer coughs on the horizon.

All is good. My plan for now is to treat myself with tender loving care, allowing myself the grace to not appear anywhere at 5am except my bed. And if getting up whenever I get up does not allow enough time to appear here on the page, I’m okay with that too. It’s all in the plan.

Namaste.

 

Begin Again | 52 Acts of Grace | Week 18

acts of grace week 18 copy

We know the things we need to do that keep us healthy. We start a regimen, get going and everything goes along swimmingly until a life hiccup interrupts the flow and we stop. We stop exercising daily, writing in our journal, meditating, eating healthily.

And in the stopping, we tell ourselves, “I don’t have time.” “I’m too tired.” “I’ll start tomorrow.” “It wasn’t making a difference anyway.”

And resistance rises. Avoidance mounts. Shame grows.

Stop.

Stop and breathe and tell yourself, “I shall begin again. Right now. Right where I am at.”

And begin again.

Stop the mind chatter. Stop the litany of reasons why you can’t, or how you are such a loser because you never follow through, always fall down, can’t keep agreements with yourself.

Give yourself the grace of letting go of ‘the story’ of why not, and begin again.

Always begin again.

 

Soul-full encounters on the journey

I raced the sun. Drove west into the darkness that rested above the peaks lining the far horizon while behind me, pink light streaked across the sky, lighting up day’s beginning. By the time I reached Canmore, an hour west of the city, the sun had won the race. Day had broken.

I was driving towards a day of retreat. A day to meditate in group on the beauty and synchronicity of being within a circle, grounded, connected, at One.

It has been awhile since I joined my meditation group. Life. Excuses. Piled up piles of busy-making lists have all intervened in my commitment to join the group to be of service through silent contemplation of our collective power to create peace, love and joy in the world.

As written in The Rule of St. Benedict, “always begin again“.

I begin again.

To connect to group. To be part of a weekly commitment to join the circle and delve into the silence, and the wonder, of what is waiting to reveal itself when I quit doing, doing, doing and allow myself the grace of being. Present, at one, at peace with where I am, connected to the soul-full synergy of my fellow travellers on this journey of Life.

It was a beautiful day. A joyful and playful encounter. A graceful reminder to stop. Breathe. Listen. Feel.

And to begin again.

I am grateful.

There is no yearning copy