You could, however, pick a word that might touch on your hopes in a positive way... So, maybe your word would be "wellness" and that would mean SO.MUCH.MORE than beating yourself up over the fact that you want to lose weight. It would encompass caring about what goes into your body and/or moving for the sake of celebration that your body can and will do so...
So, you get the picture. Resolutions are so yesterday. The WORD is where the New Year is at! :)
So, last year my word was TRUTH. I think it is safe to say I rocked that word. Last year's BLOG ENTRY...
I have been meditating on this year's word and letting lots of things filter through my brain in the last week or more. The other day I was just doing some chores and listening to music and the song Rise by Eddie Vedder came on. For whatever reason it gave me pause. I love this song but I don't listen to it much because I hated that stupid movie it was from. LOL isn't that funny how we let things that really have nothing to do with each other shape our thoughts?....
Anyway - so I'm listening to it and thinking about how time passes before us, sometimes slow, most times at breakneck speed. So much life, so many moments, joy, love, regret...
And the word comes to me: PRESENCE
I just want to be PRESENT. I want to practice it, think it, live it, BE it.
So much of life is spent either planning the future or feeling bad for the past. In meditation, they go on and on about being present but in reality, how good can we ever get at that? Yet, I believe it to be a worthy focus. I think, like TRUTH, it can be filtered into any and every number of daily activities and life itself. It will require me to pay attention, to shush worry when it comes knocking, to set aside fear (my constant companion), to filter annoyance and remind myself to just BE.
PRESENCE is the companion of compassion, the sister of patience, the doorway to knowing.
So, here I go into the official "new" year with my little word that could. It is a daunting task, much more so than the task of TRUTH because truth comes more naturally to me as someone who has always been known to see things a little differently than others. This, however, will take serious work. My mind has a helluva time standing still and is constantly littered with thoughts, (mostly the aforementioned worry based in fear), of a million things and scenarios. I hope to make PRESENCE a friend to lean on and after awhile, perhaps it will naturally become a part of me.
In the fall of 2012 I went on an amazing trip to Seattle and spent about a week in the city, exploring and experiencing life in general. I had a good deal of time to myself because I was tagging along on a conference. I didn't actively seek a "marker" of when my mindset started to change about magic, life in general, my future, the fact that time for us all is running out in terms of being authentic and true to ourselves, etc. But, for some reason, that trip has become a marker for me. Nope, nothing extraordinary happened. I didn't have a prophetic experience there. I didn't have an overly negative one either. I had a great time and arrived home happy and exhausted from what I recall.
It was, however, shortly after this that I began to struggle with chronic fatigue (which was my own fault having been pushing myself very hard physically for years) and decided to take a break from travel and concentrate on me. I struggled to do this for some time. Almost two years actually. I did win the CF battle eventually and my body has now regulated. But, I was told that being "still" was not the answer by those close to me (who do not like being still LOL) and for some time, I believed it. It MUST be ME then. I just must not be able to pull my shit together and care about life...
I took baby steps though, tried to be the person I desperately wanted to be... There was major upheaval both personally and professionally. I lost my horse. Not to illness or death but to differing philosophies between owner, trainer and caregiver. Owner trumps caregiver AND trainer. I lost my way. I found myself uninspired to light a fucking candle much less actually talk to the moon. I lost my perspective. I worried I might lose my job in the midst of crazy talks of mega-park systems, other people's retirements and power plays. I lost my soul. My personal life became some odd sort of contemplation on the tree of woe, only not that dramatic! I say it only for the buzzard reference LOL. I felt pieces of me getting pecked away while I stared down at them, trying to figure out how to put them back while not upsetting the apple cart of what I had participated in building...
I somewhere had to make peace with the fact that these were all my choices. There were others involved in my life for certain. None of us live in a vortex of "self" although sometimes it would be easier if we did in many respects. But, in the end, I had made choices as we all do and I had built a life that was not a bad life at all. It was a good life. But it wasn't mine.
I am at an age where many windows are closed. I will never have children. This is not something that I ever wanted deeply so it doesn't shatter my sense of "everything is as it should be" but it is sobering when thought of in terms of the norms of our peers and friends. I didn't find a soul mate. This is more of a deep wound for me. I've had many relationships and they have all required me to give up who I am. Some would say I have had relationships with the wrong people. I tend to think that I perhaps have had incompatible choices in place, time, company? It is like the fault in our stars only without the life-ending illness maybe. Actually I've never seen that movie so, lol. But, timing is sometimes everything. And, unless you have a Tardis....well, you get the picture. I had dreams that will not come true. I will never be a veterinarian. Again, my choices have made this so because it WAS possible. I am educated and was encouraged to learn, so I have not one person on earth to blame for not following a childhood dream but myself. Lastly, I left my next best "dream" job in the veterinary industry over 10 years ago and could never catch up on the technology or experience in that field to regain anything close to it. Once again, my choice. Yes there were life circumstances, money and poor working environment at the time that played heavily in my decision. But, repeat, right place/some of the people, very wrong time in my life.
For those my age and older, I tend to not believe anyone that says "I have no regrets" and feel like possibly they are just not willing to explore them. It is extremely painful to do so, admittedly. But, in times of reflection and planning it seems to me that I have to go there in order to count my blessings so to speak.
I have a career that I DID get degreed for and for that I am extremely thankful. I pays the heaps of bills that come with the freedom to live as one would choose and more importantly to me, it buys my food for my animals, vet care and a roof over their own heads. It allows me to be a good critter mom. I have a home I am making my own and good friends to share in my passion for a magical life, nature, horses, and even mindless discussions of entertainment over good beer. My immediate family is still alive and mostly well so I still have time to spend with them, although I know it will probably never be ideal or enough.
I hope to simply live my life in the state of just being and take the damn time to notice everything that seems to pass us by while we chase dreams and try to keep up with Mr. and Mrs. Jones. I don't think one can successfully do that while in a state of regret so I will make a point to burn those tonight. It isn't that they won't be there. It is just that, realistically they don't really matter. We are where we are and we must move through life from there, not from memories, regret or longing.
Happy Winter Solstice and Blessed New Moon. May the darkness carry all of your worries into the deep earth and may we all begin again and with the moon, transform.
Winter as a season has never been a favorite of mine. I don’t ski, snowboard or any of that exciting stuff, despite having grown up 15 minutes from a ski resort. I don’t like being cold and seem to always find myself that way. I am not really fond of sweaters. So, I guess you could say I’ve never really been a “winter” person. My girlfriend says that I never really took to the temperature outside the womb. ;)
When I realized that I was “different” in terms of spiritual beliefs years ago, amongst the many other things it did for me was that it gave me some hope I could at least see winter in a different light. And so now I work to embrace this dark season, turn inward and see the sacred side of things rather than the practical inconveniences like snow covered driveways, roads, vehicles, layers upon layers of clothing, my snot infested nose, a horse that resembles a fuzzy mud ball and the fact that the bathroom at the barn gets closed from December to March. Can you say absolute torture????
But, I digress…
I am fascinated with the season mostly from the perspective of retreat and rest. To me there is a reason that fall blazes with color. It is like a last battle for life and light, where soldiers paint themselves for war and rage against the inevitable mass destruction that will leave them scattered along the ground, piled one on top of the other in a quilt of varying shades of blood red… Those soldiers fade and rot and drift away. The Earth swallows their remains and the trees mourn the loss with creaking, bare branches. Then winter comes and says rest everyone. Rest and sleep then someday you will wake again.
Winter is like a self- induced coma that the Earth knows is necessary. The daylight slowly loses a grip on the world. Night creeps in. I’m fortunate that for the most part, my sleep cycle can follow the natural changes in light and darkness. I find myself yawning earlier and earlier lately, by 8PM I am usually fast asleep, my body resting with the natural world. I think it is odd overall that during the season where everything on earth is slowing down, we humans are asked to speed up. Be more social, more active, more engaging, more jolly… Our manner of celebration has definitely lost touch with the natural world as has most of our daily focus.
In the coming days, in the very early morning, before the Sun briefly rises, let us venture out into the cold in silence. Feel the heavy heart of the Earth as it mourns the dead, breath in the moist, cold air, listen to the silence of sleep. This is the hush. We are at the pivotal point in the natural world where Death has come forth and collected what must go deep and rest in the solid, frozen ground. A point where the Sun has retreated against the relentless onslaught of darkness. But, alas, as if our dear Gandalf is saying you shall not pass, the darkness will take what it has collected and slowly retreat, sheltering the Earth along the way, blanketing her with snow and tending to her wounded. And then, in the hush, we will slowly begin again.
Blessings to you all and may your Solstice be one of celebration and joy.