"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." A.A. Milne

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Wild Within

Within my heart and soul there is a primal, wild spirit. She longs to break out. She yearns to run with abandon through the woods, to dance with wild abandon in the forest clearing under the light of the full moon heavy with promise and possibility. The desire to submerge herself into the mysteries of life and love drive her forward. She is like a stalking panther waiting for the opportunity to break free and fly recklessly through the trees. She is primitive. She is wild. She is beautiful. She is me. 

Yes, of course the two of us are actually just one being. Years ago I attempted to sever her from my psyche. I thought I wanted to fit in and be "respectable". For some reason I can no longer fathom I thought repressing this part of me would make me more acceptable and thought it was important. You see this facet of my spirit can make some people  uncomfortable even scared. Often  people revile what upsets them and attempt to push it out. I thought I cared about that. I thought if I could just curb my wilder inclinations I would be more palatable and therefore accepted. 

I was wrong. 

I no longer care to change for those who would change me. I no longer care to suppress such an integral part of my personality in order to be accepted. I was wrong to think I did. 

So now I am learning to reintegrate this amazingly beautiful aspect back into me. I am letting it crash around and take up residence where it may. It has been caged too long and I freely give it, give me, the room to explode with unbridled passion and joy. 

I will be wild. 
I will be free. 
I will be sensual.
I will be nurturing.
I will be willing to ride out my emotions and allow them to flow will they may. 
I will laugh and dance and sing and twirl wild abandon. 

I will be me.  

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Importance of Connecting With Nature

Spring has returned to our fair state and the joy it brings me just bubbles over each day. Yes, I love the return of the sun and the warmer weather but more importantly, I reconnect with nature. My physiology does not do well with the cold so each spring is a long over due and heartfelt reunion with a precious friend. I NEED nature in my life. I do. I believe my spirit would shrivel if I could get out into the woods and feel that ancient connection to life that truly walks on the wild side.

I walk into those woods that have been alive for far longer than I have and will hopefully out live me by a long time. There is a connection to the ages to be had if you will quiet your mind, cease your speech, open yourself, and just let the experience wash over you. As I wander in the wild wood the sounds of bird singing and chattering wraps around me and begins infusing me with peace and serenity immediately. Within moments, I can feel my heart slow and my entire being relax. It is mystical and beautiful.

I love sharing this with my children. I have mentioned before I think my daughter may be a woodland fairy child. It is her natural element. She climbs, runs, frolics, and explores. We chase adventure and quietly watch the life of the wood unfold around us. My son loves to find a plethora of sparkling rocks, acorns, seeds, and other things I end up carrying.

We quietly walk through scenes like this:

I swear I could feel the ages upon us. The silence held a gravitas I could not define although it permeated my essence.

We turned a corner to find this unexpected delight:

I find I am not like other people. If my daughter is a woodland fairy, I think she may have inherited fae blood from somewhere in my ancestry.  I cannot be tied to modern technology or the mainstream world for long. Living a fast paced, rat race life kills my very soul slowly but with excruciating thoroughness  It leaves me bereft and desolate. I tried it. I was successful and it damn near successful killed my spirit. I think there are far more people like me than have been realized. I have to wonder if the sale of antidepressants, antacids, and sleeping pills would decrease even a little if people would slow down and find that connection to the natural world I believe is in all of us. I think the results could be significant.

But we all must make our own decisions. I am a great believer in personal freedom. For me and mine, we choose to romp with woodland creatures, play in the woods heavy with memories, and sit together quietly hoping to catch a glimpse of the fairies frolicking hidden around us.

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Challenge For My Mindfulness

Living mindfully each and every day is something I constantly aspire to do. Life is so short and so sweet, I want to experience every moment in the fullest way possible. I do not want to spend a single minute of this miraculous life in fruitless worry or anxiety. I mean, I do spent minutes on that, but I don't want to. I strive to spend as few as possible on such worthless endeavors. And trust me, worrying, fretting, and living in anxiety does nothing good for you as far as I can see.

I think one of the most difficult parts of living mindfully is you must open your eyes fully and honestly to your own faults and failings. Then you must take those difficult and often hard to admit findings and turn it in to love and compassion for yourself. You see, if you want to practice loving kindness for anyone else, you must practice it on yourself first. If you don't love yourself, it is impossible to love others with a true heart and unconditional love.

I find that my ego is never far away. It is always ready to jump in and lead me into the fray. With my ego, there is ALWAYS a fray. Le sigh. My ego is happy to push my most stellar qualities to the forefront. You see I can be arrogant, self absorbed, judgmental, just know I know better than anyone else, impatient, and my favorite, not really listening to someone speaking to me just waiting (impatiently) for my turn to speak again. There are more but that is a good start. My ego proudly displays all of these for the world to see.  Now before you send me private messages about being too hard on myself know I can easily name off twenty things I love about myself at the drop of a hat. This is just an honest and realistic assessment.

But what do you do with this information?? I think the most common things are too either beat ourselves up, berate ourselves, or maybe even explain them all away or manage to blame the whole thing on someone else. But anyone of these options are missing the point. To live mindfully you must be honest AND practice loving kindness with yourself.

I find that treating these antics with and amused indulgence is one of the quickest way to dissipate my ego and allow my true self to return to the forefront. My ego doesn't seem to like being treated like  naughty but amusing child. It would prefer to be treated much more seriously. But how can I when it is acting up like that??

This may not be the "right" way but it is the way that works for me and promotes personal growth. I have found that focusing on the personal transgression does nothing but make the entire situation worse and makes me feel worse. Then there is the whole problem of people who feel bad, act bad. Well I find it to be true.

How does it unpack in the real world? Today I was at a big box store and was not feeling completely on for a variety of reasons. Due to a misunderstanding I snapped irritably at a stranger. Moments after I walked away I realized I had behaved in a very unloving manner and it was a misunderstanding to boot. I could have beat myself up or berated myself about what a horrible, worthless person I was. I could have convinced myself it at all been HER fault. Instead, I thought "Oh ego, you slipped in again." Then I wandered all around the store to find this woman and apologize to her. She was overjoyed. I had made amends. After I explained to my kids, aka witnesses to the mess momma had made, what I had done wrong and how I had went about fixing it, I did the the most important thing....I dropped it.

Then will a smile on my face and with peace in my heart, I went about my day.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Spring Showed Up Yesterday

I know that by the calendar spring arrived a little while ago but something forget to tell the cold, gray, snowy weather. This winter has been particularly hard for me. I have really struggled to stay centered and peaceful. Depression has loomed over me like an unwelcome visitor who refused to leave. Yesterday the sun burst through and the sun upon my face was the only anti-depressant I needed. It was blissful. 

This spring finds us in a very different place. We have really slowed down, refocusing our energies and reorganizing our priorities. It is quite lovely to be honest with you. Exactly what we needed as a family. Instead of running around to different museums and distractions in the city you will be more likely to find us stomping in a creek or working in our new garden. Our focus is on family, home, and living a more sustainable life. 

My kids are at an age I just find them utterly fascinating. I cannot imagine a better way to spend the day than the four of us tromping through a stream, getting filthy, and exploring their love of science. I think a lot of nature studies will be developing spontaneously all around us. Some days it is all my husband and I can to keep up with the amazing questions these children think up. I have done a lot of serious research to discover how a month and butterfly are different, what is energy, and the lives of Monarch butterflies. I am much more educated and I enjoy every minute of it. 

I love our house. It is old and needs a lot of work. When the babies were born renovation pretty much came to our halt. It is time to pick up our paintbrushes again. I am bursting with excitement  to pour the love I have for my family and our home into each project. I am excited to paint my kitchen, create a mosaic for my "Portrait of a 14 Year Old Dancer" to stand upon, to draw the flowers in our garden that will become the artwork for our home. I love it. I don't care if my home is fashionable or stylish. No, I just want it to be filled with things we love and reminders of the amazing memories we are making together. 

We are also eager to become less of a consumer family and much more sustainable. Stuff has never been our thing but I know we can do better. We have put in a sizable garden, started composting, and attached our first rain barrel. We hope to learn to reuse and recycle in innovative and clever ways. We want to teach our children the important of cherishing and protecting our environment. We want to foster their already burgeoning love of nature. We want to raise them to leave a light foot print  and maybe leave everything at least a little better than they found it. 

So even though life is quiet, I must admit it seems a grand adventure to me. I am eager to understand my husband and my children even more from just spending good time with them and listening. I am looking forward to see how this much loved home emerges in beauty and personality. I am excited to eat the produce we produce, season our meals with our home grown herbs, and spend hours drawing the flowers in my gardens. It is going to be a wonderful year.

May harmony find you and may your home and life overflow with the abundance of peace, joy, and love.