Be Free. Get Simple.

I’m on a roll.

Cleaning. Sorting.

Changing my life. Starting a new chapter.

Everywhere I can, I’m simplifying in preparation for what will come.

Sometimes, I wonder what’s ahead. I think about Mary Oliver’s question, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I muse about it. I let it go.

A little later, I remember her words, “Listen. Are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?”

I notice I’m breathing just a little. I pause and breathe deeper.

A hummingbird comes to my window. My heart lifts. (How can a thing with wings cause so much happiness?) Thank god for birds.

There are also many butterfly visits to these same flowers. Thank god for butterflies, too.

I do especially love things that fly. I also love anything with roots that’s blooming.

Another line from one of Mary Oliver’s poems crosses my mind: “I want to be improbable, beautiful and afraid of nothing, as though I had wings.”

Me, too.

She said, “I believe in kindness. Also in mischief. Also in singing, especially when singing is not necessarily prescribed.”

I sing a little. (Singing helps everything. Immediately.)

Returning to the kitchen, I place dishes, vanilla, and spices back into newly painted cupboards and sort as I go. Do I love this cup? This sauce pan, this plate, this cinnamon tea…

The simpler I get, the more clear I become.

I might love clarity more than anything I own. Clarity is valuable anytime, but especially in the coming days.

Simplicity is Freedom

by Mary Oliver

When I moved from one house to another
there were many things I had no room
for. What does one do? I rented a storage
space. And filled it. Years passed.
Occasionally I went there and looked in,
but nothing happened, not a single
twinge of the heart.

As I grew older the things I cared
about grew fewer, but were more
important. So one day I undid the lock
and called the trash man. He took
everything.

I felt like the little donkey when
his burden is finally lifted. Things!
Burn them, burn them! Make a beautiful
fire! More room in your heart for love,
for the trees! For the birds who own
nothing – the reason they can fly.

********

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Try This Expansive View of Partnership. (It Could Come In Handy.)

In an intimate relationship, partners do certain things for each other. There’s an exchange, a flow unique to that relationship.

In business, team members have roles. When those roles are are well-suited, the business works better and the partnerships within the business grow stronger.

In families, mom does this, dad does that, grandma and pa do these things, and the children do what the children do. There is a pattern of interaction, again, unique to that group.

We have partnerships with pets, too. We feed, walk and play with our dog. He adores us and is devoted to us, makes us laugh, lifts our hearts. It works. Cats? We are honored to enjoy the privilege of their royal company.

Roles in intimate relationships can be astonishingly specific.

Eric was my hair wrangler. Wet or dry. In drains. Vacuums. Wherever.

Some people don’t do rodents. Others don’t do snakes. Or the dark. Or peanut butter. Or morning.

I don’t do hair. Especially wet hair.

SILENT AND SMART

Eric was also my machine wrangler. If something didn’t work, I’d simply hand it to him. If it was large, I’d point, and he seemed to know exactly what to do. He knew about electricity, garbage disposals, broken furniture, audio gear, appliances, cars and a little about computers. He knew how to make things run again.

(And the irony of that doesn’t escape me. I dearly wish he could have made his own body work again. Sigh.)

I loved the feeling of Eric evaluating a situation, the feeling of his intelligence going to work in a silent, focused way. If it was a teeny tiny thing, like a necklace in a tangle (I was in a hurry to get dressed and get out the door to an appointment) he’d put on his glasses to get a better look. I loved how it felt when he put on his glasses. There was a calming feeling in the room, an “all things are possible” feeling.

He could often fix a thing while I stood there, but sometimes he’d tell me it would be a while and I should go do something else. In practically no time at all, the thing would be all better. He’d hand it back to me, looking very cool and nonchalant, and sometimes he’d say, “smarter than your average bear…” which made me smile.

AND HE DID THIS, TOO…

He also made life feel safer for me. It’s a simple thing, this idea of safety, but it’s important, and “you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.”

Yes, I’m the person in charge of my own feelings of safety. Nobody can do that for me. However, I must say it was easier to put safety on slow simmer when Eric was around. I never cared a whit about locking doors. Now I do.

I spent 17 years with Eric and I can tell you for sure that living with him allowed me to relax more deeply. No need to be on high alert about serious weather galloping our way ’cause I had a knight in my house. Eric’s presence made potential danger feel like no big deal.

He could also lift anything, anything, anything. He never went to the gym. He was naturally well-built, top to bottom, with a strong back, and thighs of steel. (And yes, I liked those very much.)

He made short work of physical projects that overwhelmed me. If I was carrying one box at a time, he’d pile them all on top of each other, pick up the whole darn batch, carry them to the car and that would be that. Done.

He also provided emotional safety. If something stressful was going on with me, he noticed. I didn’t have to announce it and ask for help, which is a beautiful, beautiful thing…

He’d come over and put one arm around me and say, “do you want to sit a minute?” (that was his phrase). His presence calmed me, and I breathed better in a (real or imagined) crisis. His support helped me feel like everything was going to turn out hunky dory even when things were surely going to hell in a hand basket.

When sunshine poured from his soul all over mine, my inner pilot light re-lit. Simple as that. Mysterious creatures hovering in dark and scary corners scurried away.

YOU HAVE MANY PARTNERS AND THEY ARE EVERYWHERE

But now he’s not here — my safety guy, my hair wrangler, my fixer, my strong man. He has moved on to other things…

Now what?

I doesn’t matter if you’ve been with a partner for 50 years, 17 years or a few months. Or if you don’t have an intimate partner — still — we don’t have one partner, we have many.

Knowing my intimate partner is one in my sea of partners helps me when thoughts come up:

  • o where o where has my Eric gone?
  • I need him now, how do I get through this?
  • Eric would know just what to do, I wish I could ask him a question…

…it’s clear things have changed in my life.

But if I know he’s not my only partner, then I don’t feel as if I’m drifting on the empty sea without my captain, o captain.

Here’s what I mean.

Being in partnership is an orientation, not a state. Partnership is a much larger idea than having a relationship with one person. Partnership is a container with ever-moving contents. Each of us has many kinds of partners, for different needs or reasons.

Partnership bowls hold all changes, great or small. Many kinds of partners come and go — it’s part of life.

If I lose my intimate partner, but truly feel in partnership with my big earth family, that puts loneliness — which might otherwise take up residence in the house of my heart — out of a full-time job for sure. Holding hands with many people (both virtually and truly) makes me feel connected to the world, even when my love partner dies or meets another person and goes down the road into another relationship.

Think about it.

Life partners are everywhere.

My favorite grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and even my very own garden — all of these are food partners. I have family partners. I have friend partners in the organizations to which I belong. My tax adviser, doctors and health practitioners, and home improvement helpers are all partners, too.

This variety of partners ebbs and flows. One door closes, another opens. Gardens come and gardens go. People and pets come and go. 

You get the idea. Partners abound. Partners change over time.

YOU LEAD, PARTNERSHIPS FOLLOW

Women sometimes tell me they can’t practice partnership principals because they don’t have an intimate partner. No boyfriend or partner in the house, no dates, no possibilities on the horizon.

This is a sign of believing that partnership is a state, not an orientation. So we start there, with developing a deeper understanding of partnership seen through a bigger window.

Imagine this visual (which I adore because it’s fuzzy). You’re the mama duck, and all your partnerships waddle happily behind you, following your every lead. Relationships follow you everywhere you go. If you believe you don’t have many little ducks following you across the road to the pond, look again. And notice the traffic guy with the blue coat and whistle. He’s your partner, too.

There are also relationships that don’t follow us around, but are nevertheless there. I’m in a relationship with my desk. My computer. My kitchen. The trees around me. My garden. The stargazers outside my front door busy building blooms.

(But OK, you’re right. They don’t “talk” and you can’t invite them for a cup of tea. Fair enough.)

THE WALKING TALKING TYPE

What about these partners?

When I go food shopping, I’m in a relationship with a beautiful older woman passing me in the soup aisle who seems wistful. She looks directly at me. I look directly back. We say nothing, yet it’s a profound exchange. It’s a heart to heart relationship for a few seconds, and lasts into my day. I think about her as I walk through the store to finish my shopping. I wonder about her. I’m gently curious about her.

At Lowe’s I’m in a relationship with the paint guy who is a little impatient that I don’t know the difference between satin and semi-gloss. But I smile at him and tell him I’m a novice and I thank him for taking time for such basic paint questions. He softens. He slows down. He becomes more helpful and present and kind. Communication and appreciation improves our paint partnership.

As I head to the checkout counter with my paint, I encounter a woman struggling to get five large, flat moving boxes into her cart. I help her. She smiles and says, “That’s better, thank you so much.” That’s a partnership.

Partners, partners everywhere I go.

DO IT NOW

Notice what your partners do for you. Reach out and thank them. They may not know how valuable they are to you. Also, receive thanks for what you do for others. When someone says, “thank you, that’s better” take a  moment to let it into your heart.

If you’re in an intimate relationship, it’s a sweet exercise for the two of you to put occasional words around this ongoing exchange you have. What your partner says about you may surprise you. Take it in. Appreciate it.

Eric and I talked about this sort of thing off and on throughout our time together. There is one discussion a number of years ago that made such an impression on me. I think it began with me apologizing to him for looking like the Wreck of the Hesperus.

He told me never to apologize to him again for my appearance, no matter what the conditions. He said it was entirely unnecessary because to him, I always looked beautiful no matter what I was doing or how I was dressed. He told me I had his favorite face. He said I was equally beautiful whether I was spreading horse manure on my garden or wearing an evening gown. He made sure I got the point. This changed me and changed us.

That’s how it works.

He helped me remember a truth about myself, and I thanked him for that. When you tell each other these things, it settles something in the heart of the relationship.

SO MANY!

You have many love partners. They are everywhere. You live in love. You swim in love, breathe love. You plant seeds of love and they grow and nurture you and others around you. You speak love and it flows through your heart and mind to the entire Universe. 

Your partnerships offer bouquets of “this and that” love. A sprinkle of this. A dollop of that. A bucket of this. A cascade of that.

You have three easy assignments.

First, notice your partnerships. They are everywhere.

Then, open your arms and receive them. Take in the generous spirit of the Fed Ex person who just now handed you a package.

And then tell your partners why they are wonderful. Don’t keep secrets. Let your love and appreciation tumble out of you. This makes you and the world truly more beautiful.

 

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Wait. There’s More Water?

After three months, I admit I wanted to cross grief off my to-do list.  I thought about how nice it would be to get through grief faster, wash my hands of it and move on.

But apparently, it doesn’t work that way.

Grief lasts a while or as long as it does. It’s a process and it’s different for each person. I feel the most sad when I think against what happened.

Grief is also unwieldy. It’s inconvenient. It washes over us, ready or not.

After three months, I desperately wanted a break. A little time off. A grief vacation.

And I got that.

The most amazing relief came over me, and not just for a second or two, it lasted for a while. I felt a clear breath of fresh air. I remembered how I used to feel when I was happy without trying.

I felt like myself again.

(When a pain goes away that you’ve had for a while, at first you may not notice it’s gone. But then it dawns on you… oh, I don’t hurt! I feel better!)

I enjoyed the relief. The sun came out. My heart opened for business as usual.

After that, my happiness waxed and waned, but seemed more present more often, and I deeply appreciated that.

OPEN AT YOUR OWN RISK

In one of those moments when I was feeling stronger and more confident, I took advantage of my bravery, and walked into Eric’s closet to retrieve a mystery box of his belongings, as well as an old briefcase with a tattered handle.

Both should have (in all fairness) been labeled “Do not open. Will cause immediate and dangerous flooding.”

(And being what they were – a mystery box and a briefcase – I should have known. But like I said, I was feeling brave.)

In this mystery box, I found his contractor’s license (expired in 1985). Near that, his reading glasses, his passport, and a pair of cuff links in a velvet lined box, which I had seen him wear only a couple times in all our time together. In another corner of the box laid his lariat and name tag from a LifeVantage trip to Cancun in 2013, heavy with milestone buttons.

I put it on. It felt nice. The weight of it, the medal memories, and that it fell over my heart.

There were many photos. I sorted them and kept a few.

There was a single business card for “Russtique Antiques,” his mother’s livelihood for many years.

In the same box was his fathers 1962 championship medal for high powered rifle sharp shooting. Eric had told me about his father’s ability to shoot long range using iron sights. Taking the medal out of the clear case and holding it for a minute, I wondered what it took for his father to earn that medal, the hours of practice, the innate skill, the keen vision.

Next was a handwritten copy of Eric’s family tree, listing 102 members and their birthdays. Under that, seven 10 cent copies of “The Chateaugay Record and Franklin County Democrat” (1967 to 1970) with various high school shots of Eric, the kind that local papers love to print, ending with his (shy and sweet) Valedictorian graduation photo.

There was an envelope with past driver’s licenses. One photo was funny (really terrible!), one was Eric attempting to appear awake (made me laugh) and one from 1984 was downright hot. He was in his early 30’s, looking into the camera, doing nothing at all. Good haircut. A hint of sweat on his brow.

You know, like I said, casually hot.

DIP-ER-DO. YOU, TOO?

And finally, there were two envelopes, 4 X 6-1/2 inch manila, yellowed with age, with red and blue print. They were labeled Mike Stone’s Original dip-er-do Stunt Plane. 3 for $2.00.

According to the envelope’s claims, this little paper plane was designed to do flips, come back to you and land in your hand.

I thought about my elusive happiness of late, and how it has done more than a few flips. I thought about how I’d like my happiness to come back to me and land neatly in my hand.

I followed directions for preparing the dip-er-do for flight and gave it a whirl.

Well.

Clearly I needed flying lessons.

Even though it was fun to fly, that “come back to you” thing wasn’t happening. My little dip-er-do did do dips, however — one particularly spectacular dip required a ladder for retrieval.

Unfortunately, I never got flying lessons from the expert himself.

I wish I had.

Long ago, Eric told me how he and his first wife Penny traveled to malls on weekends to sell paper airplanes. If they were able to get passers-by engaged — “Come on over and have a flying lesson!” — the new flyers almost always bought a pack (or two or ten).

He said they often made six to eight hundred dollars on a weekend, flying paper airplanes hour after hour.

Whodathought?

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE

After sorting Eric’s box and briefcase, my emotions rose up and had a little talk with me.

More accurately they reared up, rivaling the heavy gully-washer rain we had that same evening. I hadn’t seen that much water coming off my roof, maybe ever.

And the egg-beater wind — that was new. It swirled forcefully, changing directions, causing heavy rain to be thrown at my windows and deck plants from every possible angle. It was intense and gusty and a bit alarming.

(Just like my emotions earlier that day.)

This crazy wind, combined with the massive amount of water coming from the sky made the three of us standing in my living room pause in utter awe and amazement.

My awe didn’t last long.

I realized I should head downstairs and check the garage and basement.  Yes, water was coming in, and despite my creative measures, which included a well-positioned wheelbarrow to lure water away from one vulnerable corner of the house, things still got wet. (But thankfully not my downstairs bathroom or laundry area.)

There I was, vacuuming incoming water. Deja vu!

Hadn’t I just sopped up water pouring from my eyes that very morning after playing with the airplane, holding his cuff links and wearing his LifeVantage lariat?

Yes, life is reflective. I get it. Again. For the hundredth or thousandth time.

But since sopping with Kleenex is easier than heavy rain, a shop vac and high winds, hopefully I can stick with the Kleenex and keep on keepin’ on through this emotional journey. Grief is a process, it takes whatever time it does and (apparently for this girl) has watery layers.

Alright.

I can do this.

To quote my favorite childhood story (The Little Engine That Could) “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…”

p.s.  Eric, could you tell me how to make the plane flip a couple times and come back to my hand?

Or will the dip-er-do naturally come back to me when my happiness does — when I don’t miss you so much, so often? How does that work exactly?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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When Less Is Truly More

I’m lightening.

Unburdening.

Every day I get rid of things. I give away, recycle, donate, sell. The energy in the house is moving again, and that feels good.

It’s amazing how much there is to do when someone dies. Everything a person owned, wore, used, collected, emailed, read or filed has to be dealt with in some way.

While I knew that (how could I not?) I didn’t really know that. Not really.

Unfortunately or fortunately, my house has great closets, a giant walk-in pantry, and other roomy storage spaces. All the better to stash things, all the better to say “I’ll deal with that later.”

Which is exactly what we did.

Unfortunately.

So now, every day I’m lightening. Sorting. Giving away. Going through. Discarding.

And then I fall into bed and get up the next morning and do it all over again.

THE JAPANESE WAY

A few months before Eric passed, I knew there was going to be big work ahead. To prepare myself I read “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo.

My emotional and attitudinal state while reading her book ranged from fairly OK to complete horror.

Fairly OK: “Alright, alright, I’ll sort. I have too much stuff.”

Appreciation:  She says tidying doesn’t mean you are choosing what to get rid of, you’re choosing what to keep. That’s a nice focus.

Total agreement: She believes that discarding is always a first step. Then store. That made perfect sense.

Silent awe: She proposes that those of us who can’t keep a tidy home don’t have an organizing problem, we have an excess problem. She says we simply have too many things.

Complete horror: She advises sorting belongings by category, not location. This means, according to the tidy Ms. Kondo, that you bring ALL the clothes in your home to one location for sorting. (Oh, Gawd, no… me and whose army is going to do this? Shall we break out the tequila? How does one get through this project in any sort of timely manner?!?)

She’s got a legitimate point, though. It’s the only way to see the enormity of what we own. With or without the tequila, a sobering exercise, I’m sure.

All in all, she’s got a great book full of helpful hints, including mystifying categories such as photos, sentimental items, lecture materials, credit card statements, and yes, even spare buttons. She is thorough.

TWO GUYS WHO TEACH “LESS IS MORE”

For inspiration to party on (keep cleaning and sorting) I’ve  listened to the gentlemen who call themselves The Minimalists.

They point to research saying that spending money on experiences rather than things makes us happier. (I get this. It could be my new trend.)

One of their experiments, however, involved an awareness exercise — don’t buy any new gadgets, clothes… (I don’t remember the extensive list) for a year. Obviously, they bought food. While I get their point, the challenge sounds unnecessarily stressful to me. 

After that, they began a practice of waiting before buying. If they saw a cool new toy in the store, they waited a certain period of time to see if it still rang their chimes. If it was a must-buy after this waiting period, they bought it. Otherwise, they let it go.

The minimalist approach to living touts that clarity increases when you’ve sorted your possessions and keep only what sparks joy. Life is simpler. More manageable. There’s time for more important things when our stuff is in order.

I get it.

Having less is a good thing. Keeping only things that bring me joy is a very good thing.

I’m on it.

Now, back to sorting…

 

 

 

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Experiencing Drastic Change With A Little More Ease

Change is change. It’s not loss. But we often feel the two simultaneously, in divorce or death for instance, as in – with one, comes the other –  with change comes loss. When a person dies, we often say, “I’m so sorry for your loss.”

Change means things will be different, which in itself doesn’t dictate whether my life will be more or less, better or worse. I decide that part. I guide that part.

If I believe “different” means I’ll have less (love, intimacy, laughter) it might cause cause me to get under the covers and never leave. However, if my beliefs support my connection with someone, whether I’m with that person physically or not, that makes things infinitely easier.

MOVING ON

If change means I’m moving, and I must leave these flowers I have planted, and I view moving away from my flowers as difficult, I mourn the loss of them.   

On the other hand, if I believe that change means “more, new, different,” and I imagine planting flowers at my new home as I leave this one, I add to my joy, and to the beauty of this world. I become the Johnny-Appleseed of flowers.

If I leave this home, with this beautiful view, and fear not having a beautiful view in my future, my heart aches.

Have you ever noticed that thinking small feels perfectly awful, dreadful, unbearable — and why shouldn’t it?

It’s unnatural.

Feeling bad is a soul signal. It’s a signal that I’m thinking in a way that could use a little ease. I’ve scrunched my big beautiful self into a too-small package of possibilities. It’s uncomfortable. It should be, ’cause something’s not natural about how I’m thinking.

But here’s the thing.

I am not interested in pretending. I want  real change. I want to feel better and mean it.

How do I shift my thinking authentically? I’m not interested in simply pasting a cheery smile on my sad face. That’s not gonna work for me.

TO BEGIN

To begin the process (and yes, it is a process…) there is one easy thing I can do.

I simply question the thought that’s causing worry or stress.

I ask myself “Is it true that moving means I lose a beautiful view… moving means I won’t have a beautiful view in my future?”

No, I can’t know that for sure.

I repeat this to myself slowly, to let it sink in. “No, I can’t know that for sure…”

I am worrying about something that hasn’t happened and might not happen. I’m concerned about something that isn’t even true!

Knowing this, having this dawn on me, causes a sunrise in my heart.

How beautiful it is to know I don’t have to believe my stressful thoughts. How full of light. How inspiring. Imagine burdens dropping, baggage falling away, balloons of hope rising. It’s nice to know I needn’t spend my valuable time on a made up, manufactured worry.

Truth is, there is an endless array of beautiful views to be had in this world, so many sunrise mornings and sunset evenings ahead of me. My new home and new life will bring new views. Who knows what those views will be?

Thinking this way feels better because it’s expansive. My heart opens, my blood flows, and I breathe deeply as I stand in the wild flowers of welcoming. Here in this field of endless color and beauty where the entire Universe is my ally, I can feel the powerful support of All-That-Is.

ONE MORE

If I love the sparkling clear crystalline sound of the early morning wood thrush in my beloved forest on top of my beloved mountain, and the thought of leaving this sound (and my mountain) is disheartening, I cry. (Seriously, I do.) I weep that I might no longer hear this bird family relating in song.

Is it true that if I move, I lose the wood thrush? Or bird song?

No. I can’t know that for sure.

I could meet more singers with my next move. Who knows.

I do know that I had not yet met the wood thrush before I moved here. My move to this mountain introduced me to one of the most beautiful sounds I’ve ever heard. 

Here is another recording which explains how the wood thrush makes such exquisite sounds.

I know the wood thrush because of change, and I can only imagine what my next change will bring.

CHANGES AHEAD

At the recent Spiritual Summit here in Asheville, initiated by Unity of The Blue Ridge, one of the main speakers hinted that she “was going through some things” and was learning to experience change as something other than loss. She didn’t explain her circumstances, but spoke briefly about her relationship with her husband, and that the two of them would “just have to see where this goes.”

She shared that she was learning how to go through change differently than she had in the past. She spoke of the idea of experiencing change as a contribution to her life rather than a loss, and knowing her a tiny bit as I do now, she’s got a great deal at stake.

I truly appreciate her approach. I’ll have what she’s having.

DOES CHANGE REQUIRE HEAVY LIFTING?

This is the part of change that most of us groan about.

The effort required to initiate a significant change can seem overwhelming. A cross-country move (or any move), a search for new employment, or making changes for better health, for instance, require time and energy.

But is it true that change takes effort? Is it hard?

Maybe.

For sure, “doing” is hard work if I’m not on board with a change I believe I need to make or feel forced to make.

I’ve noticed that changes I’m not wild about take work and often include false starts, re-thinking and do overs. (Not to mention exhaustion.)

ON THE OTHER HAND

However, if I welcome change and what it will bring, if my heart has found peace with “new and different,” then flowing with what’s ahead is more like heading down a mountain instead of climbing one. The process is easier.

It’s more like allowing myself to go downstream to where I’m headed anyway, instead of battling rapids going upstream. (And how crazy is it to go against the river of my life?)

Going downstream gives me assistance instead of resistance. I let the stream do the heaviest work.

Either way, the fact is I’m moving in a new direction. The only qualitative difference in how things will turn out is the story I tell. 

BUT WHAT ABOUT POP-UPS?

During any change process, there is that pesky problem of pop-ups. Do pop-ups rain on your positive parade?  What then?

Negative thoughts pop up. Stressful thinking pops up. Doubt or worry pops up.

It’s OK. It’s natural. This happens to everyone, everyone, everyone.

So let’s talk about relaxing around what our minds do during change.

If a thought appears — kind or unkind, blaming someone or totally responsible, limiting or expansive, heavy or light, concerning loss or gain — so be it.

Notice the thought. Receive it. Sit with it.

Then question the thought.

I question the thought so it can let go of me.

I don’t have to work hard to make the thought go away. I needn’t discipline my thinking. It’s not required that I keep a stiff upper lip or pretend the thought isn’t there. I don’t have to do a big, elaborate process about it, get out my sage and burn it away, or do an exorcism.

All I do is question the thought.

Here’s an example.

Today, I’m rolling merrily along and a pop-up thought arises that my coming changes will bring a diminished life. I am only one person now. It was better when there were two of us.

The thought family floats in. I see it. I welcome it into my heart and sit with it.

Then I question it.

Is it true that the circumstances of my life, the quality of my life, the daily experience of my life will be less — tomorrow or the next day? 

No, I can’t say that. I have no idea. For all I know, I’m trading up.

The moment I question my thought, “feeling diminished” lets go of me. It releases. I can feel it in my body, mind and heart.

Or how about this one. The pop-up thought occurs that my coming changes will be too much work both physically and emotionally and I don’t have the energy to make more deep changes so soon after Eric’s passing. The thought says, “Moving is too much… widow’s rules say this and that…”

I question my thought. I don’t argue with it. I don’t tell it that it’s not a legitimate thought. I don’t disagree. I don’t send it away. I don’t put my foot down and refuse the thought. I don’t try to positive-ize it.

I simply ask, “Can I know that’s true?”

No.

As a matter of fact, I can see how this big change could be easier than I might think, and ultimately benefit me — sooner rather than later. Moving and downsizing could make it easier to focus on the writing and speaking I will do in the future.

AND FINALLY…

I remind my mind that I didn’t make the world.

I didn’t make the rain, the stars or the moon. I didn’t make the wood thrush or this mountain or the stunning sunsets or sunrises I see every day. Neither did I make the loving stream that is carrying me. The stream of life is here for me. It will continue to carry me, guide me, help me. I am thoroughly, completely and fully supported.

And now, in the words of my Summit sister, we shall see where this goes…

 

 

 

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Terri Crosby

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