Damn it, Mikey!

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Yesterday, my dog was hit by a car as he ran across the street after a furry friend. He survived the incident and learned a valuable lesson (i hope).

Today, the woman who hit Mikey stopped by my house and asked if I would cover the deductible for the damage to her car.

I was surprised by this. Yesterday, we were crying together. I could see, without a doubt, her concern for me and my dog. When I asked her if her car was ok she said, “I don’t care.” Today, when she took me over to her car to show me the dent and I noticed my dog’s feces and blood were still smeared on the bumper, I knew what was up (feces and blood are good evidence for the insurance company). I immediately got tense. When she asked, “do you have insurance?”, I caught the naughty word before it escaped my mouth. When she said, “let me give you my number” I did my very best to keep from saying, “can we go halvsies on the vet bill too?”

She left. I went back inside. My house and my head.

I get it. She has a nice car. It now has a dent. Technically, (as the world of facebook is telling me) I should pay up. And I will. But not without rattling tons of questions through my head first.

Questions like:

Why do concepts like ‘technically’ supersede compassion?

Would she have asked me for the deductible if Mikey had died?

Is she blaming me for this accident by asking me for the deductible?

Is my resistance a way of blaming her?

What is it about placing blame that makes us feel better about our situation?

I suppose a bottom line worth considering is that we are all living out our choices. Some choices show their result/consequence immediately. Other choices play out when a disobedient dog runs in front of a suburbanite on her way to work. I have to claim this event as the result of choices I made well before the accident itself. I also have to claim my resistance, my anger, and my inability to fully understand her perspective.

Whoa. Typing that last sentence literally brought a soft feeling to my heart. Yowza, that’s it!!! Because I am willing to claim my actions, my reactions, my resistance, and my part in this accident I am mine again. I don’t need to prove, blame, or separate any longer. Resistance and blame were depleting my heart. Now, it feels whole again.

Now, if only ‘lady driver’ is going through the same thought process tonight. I might be able to save some cash ūüėČ

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Naps and God

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I laid my son down for a nap the other day. He asked me to stay and nap with him. I told him I had a few more things to do before I would come lay down. By the time I came back to the bedroom to nap he had already fallen asleep. I slept for maybe a half an hour. When I woke up he was still sleeping and dangerously close to falling off the edge of the bed. I gently moved him toward the middle of the bed, tucked him in a little tighter, and left the bedroom.

When he woke up he asked me, ‚ÄúMama, why you didn’t nap with me?‚ÄĚ ¬†I told him I had, but that I woke up before him. I also explained how I moved him away from the edge of the bed while he slept. He responded with, ‚Äúoh, ok thanks‚ÄĚ, but I could see him rolling this idea around in his brain. Wondering how it was possible I was there and he¬†hadn’t¬†known.

This conversation hit me like a metaphor.

We are being cared for. We are being softly guided. We are loved. There is a Mother, or a Father, or a Spaghetti Monster, some greater force watching over us. Moving us out of (or sometimes through) harm’s way and tucking us in. Whether we recognize it or not.

Some of us do. Some of us stop to consider the traffic jam we’re stuck in may have just kept us from the careless driver who ran a red light a few miles up the road. Or that the inconvenience of forgetting our keys on our desk, and going back in the house to grab them, may have been the extra minute necessary to be in the right place at the right time. Or that any of the awful, heartbreaking circumstances we are faced with throughout the course of a life may be clearing the way for the birth of a future brighter than we could have imagined or planned ourselves.

I believe. Granted, there are times in my life when I am ‚Äėnapping.‚Äô Times when I haven’t been as receptive to this notion of being cared for, or guided by an ever-loving hand. These times of my life are dark, heavy, and downright¬†tiring. ¬†Yet, when I look back there is no denying a presence. A guiding force has pulled me from the edge of the bed numerous times. Tucked me into a safer position, and allowed me to wake up on my own¬†– yet never alone.

Aside

Last month I had a miscarriage. We had been trying for months. The extra line on the pregnancy test¬†meant¬†success, goal achieved. We began dreaming of our family of four. We picked out names. We did research into his/her zodiac sign…Then, the miscarriage.¬†Devastation. ¬†Failure.

Over the course of the next few weeks my emotions were all over the place. Initially, just sad.¬†Unbelievably¬†sad. Then, angry. Then, beating myself up. I’m a healthy person. Things like this¬†don’t’ happen to¬†healthy¬†people. I’m a yogi for fucks sake. Who ever heard of a¬†miscarrying¬†yogi? In fact, I began to get angry at my yoga practice and lifestyle. Why wasn’t it helping me through this situation? I wasn’t prepared for this grief. What the F was going on?????

Then, I practiced to a yogaglo session with Elena Brower. It was a 30min practice and she started the practice with these words, “You are forming a relationship with your body…” I immediately broke into tears. Later that day, I met with my Spiritual Director, Esther, and as I¬†shared¬†the events of the past week she stopped me to say, ‘You must be tender with yourself.” I began to see the pattern.

I am not tender with myself. My relationship to me has always been hard. I want to do well to prove I am good enough. If I don’t do well, then I am not good enough, and I am the first to beat myself up. I am my own worst critic. I was taking this defeatist form of self-criticism to a new extreme due to my miscarriage. I was so mad at myself for what had happened. I was going to make myself pay.

But instead of making myself pay, I began making myself pay attention. Through Esther’s guidance and Elena’s yoga class, I really began to focus on my relationship with me. As I take more steps along the path of¬†grieving¬†I’m learning to forgive, accept and heal. My heart, my body, and my soul. My miscarriage was a blessing, a wake up call, a catalyst for¬†much needed change around my internal¬†dialogue.

True yoga, true unity, is creating the best relationship to oneself as possible. In losing one life I now love mine so much more. Thank you tiny soul.

To my family and the friends who are more like family, who cried with me, cared for me, shared with me РI love you. You know who you are.

Carried Away

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I’ll spare you with the excuses regarding my¬†long¬†hiatus. Instead, I will¬†share¬†with you what I have been thinking about for the last two months(ish). ¬†Dying young.

Here’s the background: When I was in elementary school I played with a Ouija board. It told me I would die in a car accident at age 40. At that time, I thought 40 was old. Now, I’m only 9 years away from 40 and I realize I still haven’t grown up.¬†The Ouija board also told me I would marry someone named Zach…that didn’t happen. So it’s¬†credibility¬†has shrunk. However, I am often fixated on this dying young thing. I get incredibly sad when I think of my son being only 12 years old if …well…you know.¬†Most of me thinks the Ouija board is bullshit, but I am not without my insecurities so this ‘fate’ lurks around those dark corners.

When these early death thoughts pop into my head they usually go one of the following ways:
A.¬†¬†“Crap, I only have 9 good years left! What am I going to do? ¬†Oh, man. Now I’m sad. Why did I play with that Ouija board? Fu&%ing thing! That was so dumb. Speaking of dumb,¬†remember¬†that time you…..”
B. “If I die when I’m 40, what will I have to show for it? ¬†What have I been doing the last 31 years? In fact, what the hell am I doing right now? What’s my purpose? What’s my passion? Do I even know what makes me happy”
C. “I need a drink.”

A&B are what I like to call, “Black Hole Thoughts’ (C speaks for itself). The kind of thoughts that suck you, spin you around, and leave you thinking there is no way out. ¬†Ultimately, leading to more and more suffering. Lately, this suffering has centered around needing to figure out what my passion/purpose is so I can live a fulfilled¬†existence¬†for my remaining years. Then, last week I got a note from the universe. (You can get them too. Sign up here)

The note read; “You’re here this time simply for the love of the game. Just to smell the dirt. To lend a hand. Give comfort.” It went on to say, “you’re¬†way¬†past having to prove anything.” Later, the same day, I read this quote from writer/painter, Henry Miller; “The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.”

Hmmmm, could I really be here just to notice things? ¬†Could my purpose simply be to pay attention? If this is true all the striving, proving, and busying myself is a huge frickin’ waste of the time I have left. Golly, and what if the Ouija board is wrong? What if I go much sooner than 40? Tomorrow? Damn!! My final days are going to be waaaay better if I just chill the frick out!¬†So, I’m taking the hint. Thank you, Universe. Thank you, Mr Henry Miller. I will smell the dirt. I will pay¬†attention. I will be amazed by this magnificent world. And if all goes well, I will die doing it. With a smile on my face and dirt under my fingernails.

Oh, and just so it isn’t another two months before we meet again, I will¬†share these ‘paying attentions’ with you. But it will have to wait until¬†tomorrow. Right now, I need a drink.

Pay Attention

The Citadel

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I was recently in Utah for vacation. Hiking, camping, canyoneering, and generally just being away from it all. It was divine.

One of our day hikes was to a rock formation called The Citadel. The hike to the Citadel was extremely trying for me. The further along on the trail, and the higher onto the rocks we went, I realized my tennis shoes were not the wisest choice. As we climbed I had to trust not only myself, but my footing, my hold, and those with me (we were vacationing with friends) who were much more experienced in rock climbing. I had to trust that moving forward and moving up was actually going to lead me somewhere beneficial. There was definitely trepidation. Especially, when I was on hands and knees crawling 20 feet across a rock ledge whose only exit was straight down. 500 ft down. Shear cliff face. With wind blowing head-on. Yet, I kept moving forward. Up, over, and through. Until we reached it -The Citadel. Anasazi ruins dating back thousands of years lined the point of the Citadel. This nesting place of ruins held safely by canyons below, rock walls alongside, and blue expanse above. 6000 Ft elevation. An incredible journey worth each hesitant step.

I shared this experience with my Spiritual Director when she asked me about my favorite part of the trip. After I shared the story she smiled and said, “no wonder it was your favorite experience, you just described the spiritual journey.”

Though we may never be fully prepared (i.e. tennis shoes) we step forward. With hesitation, struggle, and wind at our face, we move on. Trusting that other’s steps have gone before us. Trusting that we are not alone. And at some point, the view opens up and we are able to marvel at our surroundings. Grateful for the path, however turbulent, that led us there.

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Guest Bloggin’

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I’m so excited to share with you my first guest blog post! ¬†It’s for a highly popular home design/style/renovation blog, Hammers and High Heels.
Did a little, “Say what?” just go¬†through¬†your mind? ¬†Well, truth be told, Hammers and High Heels is written by my beautiful, creative, inspiring,¬†innovative¬†sister-in-law, Carla. ¬†ūüôā Regardless, I’m a guest blogger today and that’s cool. Check out my post here!

So who says Yoga isn’t as much a part of home improvement as anything else! In fact, it may be one of the most tangible forms of Yoga at work. Vision, determination, adapting to the unexpected, and reaping the rewards of staying in the fire when you want nothing more than to give up, bail out, or throw in the towel. ¬†Yoga is¬†definitely¬†a thread woven into home improvement. ¬†Just look at some of the before and after pics or DIY projects on Carla’s blog and you’ll be able to relate.

Anywho, today marks a milestone in my blogging life. I hope you will enjoy my guest blog, as much as I hope you will enjoy Hammers and High Heels!

Yogi out.

You Can’t See The Picture If You’re Standing Inside The Frame

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A couple of weeks ago, our family spent a weekend in Chicago. We stayed on Michigan Ave, 30 stories up. Our view of the busy street below inspired me to share a¬†teachable¬†moment with my son. I proceeded to say, what a busy world it is we live in, lots of coming and going. I then said, “it’s our work not to get swallowed up by the busy-ness.” To which my son replied, “No, mama. Look at clouds.”

Boy, was I schooled! What I took from my son’s comment was less about looking at actual clouds, but approaching everything I view with a ‘Big Picture Mind’.¬†In my moment of sharing ‘wisdom’ with my son, I wasn’t even seeing the beauty of all that IS. The way the¬†street-life,¬†and traffic, and people, and sounds, all play their part in making this Big Picture worth looking at!

This ‘Big Picture Mind’ has been especially helpful as I mourn the tragic and unexpected loss of a friend. Over the last few weeks I’ve gone through the natural progression of grief: anger, sadness, disbelief, doubt, and this week with the funeral behind us, a form of peace. A peace that has only come from a realization that the Big Picture isn’t at all about trying to figure out WHY, but in noticing that life progresses forward even out of darkness. In no way am I thankful for the loss of my friend, not at all. But what I am thankful for are the conversations, the¬†re-connections with old friends, and the celebration of life that has bloomed from this tragedy. ¬†It makes me think of something I read recently, it went something like this: When the plans we set forth go awry, when we’re taken off course by something unexpected, it’s merely a way of distracting us long enough so that what needs to be born can be born.¬†Here’s to looking forward to what will be born…
Wherever this moment finds you – whether¬†with an¬†awareness¬†of BIGness, or a focus on the particulars, take rest in knowing that in some way it’s all the same thing. What you’re in right now, is part of the Big Picture. And if all else fails, look at clouds – a subtle reminder of the¬†grandeur¬†we are all delicately weaved into.