Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
I saw a picture today of a girl I've known for a long time but haven't seen in years. It was of her and her husband. A casual close up, heads together ~ you know the kind where you stick out your arm and click ~ of them sitting on the couch, not even trying to impress. And they looked so contented. Like when you've just discovered that comfort zone of the person you love. All awkwardness has left the newness of marriage, you've settled into a rhythm and you don't need to be anything but yourself.
And I suddenly found myself remembering that very thing. That place where it's not new anymore, but you never want it to end. You still want everything about that other person. Their body, their mind, their future. We were like that. We were sitting on that couch in our grubbed out clothes, snapping pictures. Then crawling into bed every night, unable to get enough. Idealistic about whatever the next part of life would be.
In the last 20 years, we have had much to be 'contented' with and much to be grateful for. My thoughts of us as a couple always bring me to one of two images. First, a little basement apartment we shared in Fredericton during our last year of university. In many ways we had separate lives. He was in science, I in education. My buildings were at the top of the hill and his at the bottom. Our schedules were never even close to being the same. But every night we fell asleep in a broken down double bed that never seemed to lack for space ~ probably because we were happier on top of each other than beside ~ in a dark little room. I can still see the smallest details in my mind's eye.
The second, was our unfurnished apartment in the tiniest of towns, Port Alice, on the very west coast of Vancouver Island. It was our first heart-pounding adventure, all grown-up and on our own. Thousands of miles from anyone we'd ever known. We were broke-broke! Sleeping on the floor until much later that summer when we managed to scrape enough cash to buy a bed at the Bargain store and a second hand sofa from a neighbor who was upgrading. I wasn't working (just putting out endless resumes). I came close to reading every book the small public library had to offer. It was that summer I first fell in love with Wayne Dyer, having read Your Erogenous Zones and being awash in awareness that it was changing my life with each turning page. Each night I waited for Jeremy to be done work, so excited to see him. To meet with the new friends we were making. To hold onto every moment of beauty around me ~ the mountains, the inlet, the future that had become our now. Those were really really good days.
Our lives ~ all of our lives ~ hold such abundance. Life is a ride that moves quickly, do it with courage and joy. Remember often the reasons that you fell in love.
Posted by Angela at 12:03 PM
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Ahhh, a quiet morning. It is rare that I am the first one up, but here I sit in the stillness wanting to hold on to it for as long as I can.
I just had an explosive week at school ~ good explosive! I must admit that I love to bringing out the wildness in my students. ;-) And let's face it, learning can be messy! Personally, I always hated being bored in school. My favorite teachers were those who let go, could tell a story, could reel you in, could make you feel, pretend and imagine the subjects you were discussing.
Right now, the thing that is awakening me spiritually is the energy of my classroom engaged in the excitement of learning. Of experimenting. Of making mistakes that lead to new discoveries. Of finding truth in the pages of a book, morphed by what you've just made a part of who you are. It makes me feel bigger than my body! And I have to say, such is both exhilarating and humbling.
All week, my students were over the top full of energy! Different than I think I've ever experienced, it was like they were collectively bursting at the seams and were notching-up right before my eyes ~ if anyone is into astrology I would love to know what was happening in the cosmos over the last 5 days. Initially (as all good teachers are trained to do) I wanted to bring the energy down, make it nice and neat, wrap it in a bow ~ stop the accompanying noise from spilling into the hall!! But early on I realized that there was more order than chaos ~ there was real growth in the room, there was this overwhelming factor of going beyond, and once I realized that I got out of the way.
Last night I was exhausted. Quite possibly the most tired I've been at the end of a week since school began in September. But it was worth it. It is a transforming thing to feel like you are made for the moment you are in. It took me such a long time in my life to be present in the right moment ~ and even still these collective moments can be wrought with challenges and change ~ but my feet are on the path. And the right moment is going to be mine for a long time to come.
Posted by Angela at 8:24 AM
Friday, November 20, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
We all use affirmations in our daily lives ~ even if you've been living under a anti-new age rock and never heard of affirmations, guaranteed you are still actively engaged in employing them. I've always considered affirmations to be a powerful tool for creating favorable circumstances in my own world ~ however, the opposite can (is) also be true! We can just as powerfully and often unconsciously, be affirming negative assertions.
One area for myself that I have recently been using affirmations in is to improve my sleep. Sometimes it seems to me that no one on my mother's side of the family sleeps! My earliest memories of spending the night at my grand-parents house (the hub of family bustle) included playing yahtzee or some other dice game at 3 am. And people coming and going all hours of the night ~ and by this I mean visitors showing up at the door between midnight and 4 am!!! Seriously.
For the last 20 years my mother has been a full on insomniac. She spends most nights with the light on, reading or on the computer ~ falling in and out of irregular slumber.
I have undergone years of being programmed to not sleep. A family legacy of night owls.
Now I don't hate being a night-owl. But I most painfully HATE going to work day after day exhausted. Thinking all day how I can't wait to go home and get to bed ~ only to get my second-wind just before crawling into bed! This one thing has created more anxiety in my life than anything else.
So I started thinking about ways I could possibly change this pattern. Don't forget that how I got to this point has been reaffirmed steadily throughout my life! So I came up with this and wrote it on a mirror in my bedroom...
I sleep every night like tomorrow is Saturday. Rest. Dream. Sleep.
On another mirror, a long dressing mirror, also in the bedroom, I put...
Let it take you.
Relax into it.
Sleep. Delta force.
Dream. Sweet dreams
Lullaby Goodnight Love.
That was about 2 months ago. Since then, I've barely experienced a sleepless night or have had trouble settling down to go to sleep. Amazingly it has somehow changed my negative thought patterns about sleep ~ and not just prior to going to bed but throughout the day. I now have a great calm and ease about bedtime.
I'm not sure if this proves that the mind is powerful beyond measure or weak and easily influenced!
Have you had experience using stated affirmations to get what you want? I would love to hear how they have worked for you.
Posted by Angela at 3:19 PM
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
there are days when living wide open is easy. you breathe deep. your eyes see beyond the surface. you smile effortlessly. your gait is straight. words flow like a river into the ocean.
I imagine myself as the river. A small river with round stones that small feet can tread on and learn to swim. against the current and then be carried back to the starting place. and then eventually on...
words, like a river I happen to know, have always brought me closer to the flow. carry on with ease. recognize your oneness within and without.
Posted by Angela at 12:55 PM
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
It came out like a river once I let it out
When I thought that I wouldn't know how
Held onto it forever just pushing it down
Felt so good to let go of it now
No wrapping this in ribbons
Shouldn't have to give a reason why
Chris Daughtry, No Surprise
I've been sitting at the fork. Somewhat bidding my time. You know, that place where the road divides in a yellow wood. Bittersweet, this spot. Feels like home, like all the things you've grown up with and love and have come to expect that they will just always be there. When you need them.
My mind seems like a hardwood ridge to me right now. In my head... Beautiful trees, maples, birches and a few spread out beeches. It is the peak of fall and a multitude of reds, yellows and browns litter the ground beneath. It is fun to run through the trees, trying not to slip on the decaying undergrowth or to snag my foot on rogue roots where the dirt has eroded away.
When I was a kid I would walk the lane across the street from my home, for hours. Lost in thought. Admiring the beauty. Afraid of nothing, even though my mother tried her best to terrify me of bears (which I never once saw). Life to me was like a hardwood ridge. You climbed to the top and it seemed as though a trail was possible whichever way you looked. I never tired of this and I never concerned myself with making a wrong turn or not finding my way back. Such was impossible.
Posted by Angela at 11:29 AM
Friday, November 06, 2009
November is one of my favorite months in the north. Everything starts to freeze up in November. This part of the earth slows down, goes deep. Snow gets crunchy beneath your feet. The night wraps you in a blanket which is strangely comforting after the length of summer days that are yet to be forgotten.
The trees are naked now and most days they are covered in a thick layer of ice frost that cloaks every branch. During the day, the sun lights them up, highlighting every crystal against a clear blue sky. At night, the street lights cast them in pure silver radiance, illuminating them against the indigo black of the north sky.
There are people in my life who think I'm a little insane for being here, even by Canadian standards I'm living in the far north! And I just think that this is in some earnest way my very own holy grail ~ something so few get to experience, I might as well enjoy it while I'm here. There is beauty every where you go, some places just aren't as obvious to the masses. There are moments when I wish I was closer, yet even as I write this, I smile and wonder... closer to what? The heart doesn't really know distance, the heart only knows how to beat and to love ~ and I am learning that neither time nor physicality are barriers to the places and people I love ~ their spirits continue to move and jive with mine. Frequently, they feel like they are in the room when I take a few minutes to just sit and breathe.
The north is teaching me the great lesson of now. Of time. Of everything and nothing. All of which I am.
Posted by Angela at 9:18 AM
Monday, November 02, 2009
I'm thankful for poets and writers and painters and dreamers that phrase things just so. How awful the world would be, were it not for those who have a knack of expressing things just the way they should be ~ be that in either picture or verse. This creative force adds such energy to the world, electrifying the invisible waves around us.
Tonight I had a very long talk with my aunt Clara on the phone. Our conversations are one of the greatest joys in my life (and my life is pretty joyous!). I believe that she and I have been connected for many lifetimes, that this is not the first we have shared and I doubt it will be the last! She's always helped me to be courageous and has shared her wisdom gently.
I related to her about an area of my life that has opened up. And words that I am biting my tongue not to say aloud. And how this had been suppressed by my own fear of inconsequential things, finding myself free'd! She said, "Ange, you're at a fork in the road. And this fork is new. And it is okay to rest here for a while. Just sit with it and appreciate the fork. Imagine what each road will feel like, and you'll know."
And of course I'm going to leave you with Robert Frost and his famous 1916 poem. But before I do, what are your forks in the road? Is there something burning inside of you that you need to sit with, and appreciate that you have a choice? That your biggest fears reside in the mirror?
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Posted by Angela at 8:43 PM