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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Home

You can find this post over at www.4hundredand25.com.  Come visit.  I will be doing most of my posting there from now on.  Looking for blogging buddies, so please make yourself known.  Join and leave a comment and I will do the same for you!  See you there!  You can also find me at www.shesaidinherhead.blogspot.com but this one is a secret so shhhh.

A long time ago a friend once said to me that 'wherever you go, there you are'.  I only partially understood that at the time but it always stayed with me and has kept me asking two questions of myself.  Where am I?  Who am I when I'm here? 

I just spent the last 6 weeks in the small town I grew up in.  This year it took me longer to settle in, mostly because the place had already taken on a life of its own before I got there ~ my sister and her family were halfway through their month long vacation and my brother had parked his fifth-wheel there for July.  Add to this, husband and I bought the little house next door and we (ok, him more than we) worked for weeks to do/coordinate painting, flooring, repairs and some landscaping.

As a rule, when I go home, I go home alone.  And I really like it that way!  So it threw me a bit to find myself in the middle of so much activity with no place to chisel out the solitude I expect to have while I'm there.  Eventually everyone went home, the house projects ended and perhaps not so surprisingly, I really missed them all when the house finally quieted.

Home for me is a place rich in layers.  Not just in that it is where I grew up but more in who I find myself to be as I grow older.  One evening last week as I was going for a walk, I decided on a detour through the graveyard.  My great-uncle Sterling had been buried there just the day before at a grand old age of 94.  He was my grandmother's brother from a family of 15 children.  I attended the funeral and even though perhaps one shouldn't feel gratified at such an occasion, that is exactly how it was for me.  A sense of enduring history and belonging to people whose DNA I have the markers of  and carry around with me as I move in the world.  I couldn't help but think of those who don't know who they are, don't know where they come from.  Here, all around me, both the living and the dead were practically shouting in my head that this is my tribe, this is where I came from, this is an anchor when the world seems to set me adrift.  And I do love to be set adrift.  On this night, I enjoyed the long shadows and the setting sun as it lit names, dates and inscriptions.  I stopped and talked with Art and Nanny and of course Rolls and Yvonne for a while.  They were all giants in my life and remains so.  I've learned that people don't have to be with you for you to feel them, to garner their courage and to make them proud.

Also when I'm home there is all of my own personal history. The child that doesn't want to take her feet out of the river, the girl that still wants the boy, the adult I never though I would become but grateful that I did.  I always come face to face with who I was, who I am and the door of continual opening that can at times be hinged too tight.  Foundational roots that grow through the shale at the river's edge.  Just like the trees overtaking the riverbank, I see myself in all this beauty, some parts are evergreen while others change their colour, shrivel before falling to the ground and lose their leaves for a season.  In yoga trees are a great metaphor for our yin and yang, the dichotomy of our inherent male and female energies.   Shiva, our male aspect allows us to reach for the sky, growing out and upward while Suka, our female selves bring us back to the earth, growing us deeper and richer in experience.  We need both to expand the walls of our desires.

I'm satisfied that I let go of a few things this summer, even though when the time came I still wasn't ready to leave.  Someday I will be free of all that does not serve me.  Then again, maybe I won't!  Just as I feel myself gaining on the list, new challenges come into the rear-view mirror.  Regardless, I once again shed my skin and will be content with that for now, knowing that wherever I go, I'm grateful for this journey and don't mind being just who I am.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

Behaving Badly

I've been acting badly this week.  And now I'm in that sad, lonely aftermath of regret.  Wishing that I was better at shutting up and not always so eager to tell those around me the way I see things and consequently why I am right.  I'm quite accomplished at making speeches.  It's never a good thing when you've grown tired of your own voice.

It's been a taxing last 5 days.  Perhaps the busiest week of the year.  I'm happy it is behind me now and if I can log 10 or 12 hours this weekend, I'll be in good shape for year end.  It is almost laughable (and perhaps I will acutally laugh about it in July) at how bad I am at handling June stressors.  I just hate that overwhelmed feeling of too much to do and not enough time to do it.  I lose perspective and basically hand over a microphone to that voice inside my head that no one else, including me, should be listening to.

So for tonight I am taking some regrouping time.  Going to work quietly in my classroom, sorting and grading.  Looking for a little redemption.

Tomorrow is another day.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

More Light, Less Shadows

I've been blogging for a long time.  About 7 years.  My first blog I deleted in a fit of anger and insecurity.  I regret that, it was a dumb thing to do but at least I learned a lesson from the impulsivity of doing so.  I began this current blog, In My Element, 5 years ago just as we were making the move from Halifax to Remote Rural Town, Alberta.

Thinking back on that time, I really needed the change.  In those moments I didn't know how to make the changes necessary on the inside without taking myself to a new physical landscape.  And it was so good!  I spent the first 6 months voraciously reading books by Marianne Williamson, Depak Chopra, Wayne Dyer and Eckart Tolle.   While life will always ebb and flow, expand and contract; those days really set the stage for some incredible personal growth that has ultimately taught me to nurture myself and live more fully from my heart.

Today my heart is open.  I want to invite people in to share in it.  But I find my heart is not so open as to be completely fearless.  This blog has been a sacred place for me.  Not unlike rosary beads that I move through my hands, contemplating and praying for wisdom.  I am however, ready for a new space in life with more light and less shadows to hide in.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

In Celebration

In celebration of my upcoming adventure I've started a new blog...  Hope you will come by and take a look!

4 hundred and 25



Saturday, May 14, 2011

Another Day for Happiness

So despite yesterday not being my best day in a while... I did recover quickly and live to embrace another day.  So what is making me happy today?  This!

Chicken Ark - Side Off

It might sound a little crazy but I've been dreaming of having chickens and collecting my own organic eggs.  This one is designed for urban chicken cooping.  How cool is that!  I think I almost have Jeremy convinced to build it for me!

Live life in whatever direction makes you happy!  Maybe we should all free range a little more!

PS ~ The photo will link you up with all you ever wanted to know about urban cooping!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Can a Good Down Dog Save Your Life?

Living this far north (almost at the 60th parallel) one mixed blessing we have this time of year is daylight.  Right now it is light until almost 11 o'clock at night.  There are many things I LOVE about these long days.  With all of those 'loves' aside, getting kids to bed at a reasonable hour becomes the impossible task.

Today I got to enjoy (sarcasm) a whole class full of children who had, by Wednesday of this week, already exceeded the functional limited of exhaustion.  Now I am by nature an optimistic person.  But even I could not stand in the face of such overwhelming circumstances.

I came home at the end of this day completely tapped out, nothing left to give.  I laid on the couch for a while and watched two DVR'd episodes of Oprah, thinking the whole time that I hated her and I couldn't tolerate her success or her money or all of the eff'ing good she has done in the world.  Most days I quite adore the woman.   But today all I could see was the contrast of her world and mine.  On one show she was giving people make-overs.  If you could have seen me at the time, I'm sure you would have thought me worthy of a nomination.

Then I thought about how poorly I was handling my state of mind.  Which just made me feel worse.

Truth is, there are times in life when we just feel low.  We get thrown off balance unsuspectingly and find that our rebound muscle isn't flexing.  For me, these circumstances are almost always born out of fatigue and overwhelment.  In such moments it is easy to open the gates and allow a flood of negative memories and emotions to come rushing in.  Much easier in fact than to do the thing that is best for us, and that is to stop the deluge in its tracks.  The pity party dress is not so pretty.

So I turned off the TV and folded up the blanket I'd been hiding under.  Reassured myself I'm not really fat.  And went and found my yoga mat.

Sometimes you just have to reach in a better feeling direction.  Sometimes turning the corner is all the work you really have to do, the rest just shows up.