Perfect Start

I have started my week perfectly.

I woke up in my own time without an alarm clock and eased into my day.  I eventually turned on the television and watched coverage of the Libya fiasco and, even in that, found inspiration for my week.  While watching State of the Union, I heard the following with regards to Libya:

“We know what we’re trying to prevent. That doesn’t mean we know what we’re trying to achieve”.

How true is that for so many things – even how we live our lives every day?  We wander, often aimlessly, through life relatively clear of the pitfalls we hope to avoid but negligent to be clear on our intention for being here and to create the life we want to experience.

So, instead of complaining about not having the time or the money or the energy to do this, or that or the other, I went about the business of finding and enjoying things that bring me joy.  If you expect something deep to follow immediately — sorry.

First, I went to the kitchen (because that’s the center of my joy!) and recreated the sweet fuji apple and Gorgonzola sandwich a friend of mine had at dinner last night.  Yes, food is joy.  I am not ashamed!  I had whole wheat artisan bread, fuji apples, cambozola  cheese and fig spread instead of the exact ingredients and the end product was…heavenly. Who knew raw apples would make a great sammy?!   I brought the sandwich back to bed and ate it while watching the first of 3 episodes of the House marathon.  Again, I determine my joy.

By the time I noticed the sun peaking in my window (an indication that the clouds where clearing), I felt a little motivated to get moving.  So off to the store I go to buy kale for the soup I’ve been wanting to make and a pot, some soil  and some herbs to start my herb garden.

The energy that began to build in me as got closer and closer to manifesting my herb garden dream was surprising.  I was so excited and somehow in tune with something bigger.  I feel a natural inclination towards earth-based systems of spirituality and planting herbs on this first day of spring became a compulsion and not just a whim.  I couldn’t wait to get my hands in the soil and give my babies their first drink of water.  It was a humbling realization to be choosing to be a tender of life.  It was more than just, “I wanna grow my own herbs ’cause it’s cheaper” and more of an honor to take care of plants that were in turn going to take care of me.

See, I’m having some health issues at the moment.  Doctors have proven themselves useless once again and said, well, “what’s going on is noteworthy but not treatment worthy so let’s just wait six months and test again and see where we are.” Well, hell no!  I’m not going to wait for damage to occur so that you have something to cut out or kill — all allopathic practitioners seem to know how to do.  I’m taking my health into my own hands and that means supporting my body’s ability to do what it’s meant to do anyway – heal itself.  I feel tremendously connected to the whole of creation by bringing these plants into my home, into my life, to support my life.  It’s kinda beautiful – I take care of you and give you what you need.  You, in turn, take care of me and give me what I need and neither of us is destroyed by the reciprocity.

Yep – it’s more than just free rosemary to me!

When I got to the organic  market they had huge bags of organic potting soil out front! This is my lucky day.  Everything is lining up perfectly and just inside the door – yup, awesome rosemary plants.  I grab one and my kale and head next door to pick my pot.  I get one and head off to another store because I want to grow more than just one herb.  I get to Trader Joe’s and they have an OK looking thyme plant.  I grab it.  And two sad looking, limp and wimpy plants – mint and Italian parsley.  I take them both.  Here’s my challenge.  Can I revive these babies?  Although I’ve never kept anything green alive for any respectable amount of time —  these babies are going home with me.  We need each other.  The clerk told me to keep my receipt in case the don’t “come back”.

I went to the pot store and bought another pot and back to the organic store for another bag of potting soil.

I came home and it was time to let spring into my apartment — all the windows open, blinds drawn.

I went to work potting my new babies and giving them their first drink of water.  I talked to the parsley and mint and told them I had great expectations of their potential.  I swear, not an hour later, I saw one sprig standing up.  Thinking it was my imagination, I waited.  A couple of hours later both plants had most of their little lifeless limbs erect or on the upswing.  They are on their way back.  Yay!

Then I started cooking for the week.  A good week for me means having wholesome meals already prepared or within a couple steps of being prepared when I come home from work — otherwise, it’s PBJ and hemp milk for dinner and lunch I have to buy out.  Today I made 2 dishes cannellini bean and kale soup and my version of thai red curry with chicken – homemade with lemongrass and coconut milk and this amazing roasted Sri Lankan curry powder I got at a specialty shop in Baltimore (where I also landed the delicious fig spread).  And brown jasmine rice. My house smells amazing!  I am so excited for the week.

I sit down to eat dinner and turn on the TV to hear that the Gaddafi compound has been bombed.  Why does it have to be this way?  Is violence the only answer we can come up with?  Have we even tried anything else?  Consider Japan – what a society?  Not one incident of looting.  Recognizing where the collective consciousness is and considering how to add to it in a way that brings harmony to our life and times — a joy of my day.

And now I am sitting to write about it all and to consider not what I hope to prevent this week, but what I shall achieve.

May your week be lived on purpose.  You are who you say you are.  Your life is what you say it is.

So let it be.




Feeling raw and exposed

Vulnerability is the intersection between, “whew, I’m glad I got that out” and “what the hell did I just do?”.  It’s the crossroads of saying what needed to be said and the fear of having said too much.  I’m here right now — feeling raw and exposed after sharing the “ugliest” parts of my story with not only a virtual stranger but also a work colleague.  It’s a pretty scary place.

It’s the never dying haunting of “what would people think if they knew, if they knew all the details,” that shows up as much in the 5 minute 1 on 1’s in a dialogue circle as in long, unexpected conversations that you just can’t walk away from.  You are invited right to the edge of authenticity and façade and are left to choose.

The question for me, often, in those moments is “can this person “handle” my story?”.  But, what’s for them to handle?  The real question is where, in my story, are you and I the same?  I must look for that in others to build both my capacity to hear stories and to share mine.

The Way of the Water

I am conflicted and torn.  I’m torn between knowing what it means to live in the moment and knowing when something is worth waiting for.  I am torn between being present to the now and holding space for what I truly desire to manifest in my life.  I am torn between long term happiness and momentary satisfaction, gratification in this present moment.

I didn’t think this would be easy.  I don’t know how I could.   To walk away from the ease of convenient half-love and hold out hope for future whole love, complete love, pure love.  The tension is inherent.  How could it not be?  How can I be in the midst of it all? What does it mean to just be here, to just sit in the tension?  Have I even considered sitting with the tension an option?  Is choosing doing?  Isn’t every action and non-action a choice of some kind?

At times I feel like my heart is fickle.  It betrays me in the presence of the sincerest offer of the incomplete.  It is tantalized by the invitation to settle.  Exposed is its longing to be loved, to be held, to be close, to be connected, to be respected, to be delighted in.  Concealed are the answers it wants to questions the mind parades in front of it, taunting it.  Can you do this?  Can you really do this?  Can you wait?  Is it worth waiting for?  Is it worth waiting for the uncertainty when the certain half-assed alternative bangs at the door, throwing itself at your feet?  Water flows downstream, doesn’t it?  It finds the path of least resistance?  Be the water.

What would the water do?  It returns to its Source, ultimately, I am told.  It flows through life taking each twist and turn as it comes.  It doesn’t stop.  It keeps moving and accomplishes its work as it passes along its way.  It doesn’t think about the next move, the next twist, the next turn.  It responds smoothly, easily, gently and quietly to every obstacle it encounters.  It transcends each one – not in triumph, but in gentle, fluid, instant adjustments to what it finds along its path.  And when it’s divided, it seeks its own and is quickly reunified just beyond what caused the separation.  It flows from height to depth, only to ascend again.  Only to ascend again.  To ascend again and begin its journey along its next way.

Can I learn from the water?  Can I flow without resistance?  Can I allow the way to unfold before me without creating my own obstacles?  Can I know the course, know the desired end and not be unsettled by the means which takes me there?  Can I be present to all I feel in the descent  without obstructing it, without clinging to the obstacle along the way for momentary half-safety?  Does the heart know the way of the water? Does the heart know the way?