journal

musings and ponderings…

December 14, 2017

morning whispers…

i went out a little later than usual for my walk. it was just getting light when i started. not fully bright morning light, but not dark anymore.

the walks are completely different depending on the time. and each one holds its own glory. today’s was so beautiful, it just filled me deeply. the clouds covered the sky with all different hues of sliver and gray and white. they puffed into each other and wiggled into the spaces in between. it was those shades of color that started the feeling – they gave off such a sense of quiet presence and vastness. i took off my hood so that it could just soak right into my hair.

the trees, with their bare arms, were reaching for the clouds, pretending to grab for them, but truly just content to share the morning with them. i looked at the dark brown limbs against the whitish grays, feeling the profound sense of their stillness.

it could not have been any more perfect for me. and just as i was feeling that, the clouds parted and showed me the moon. exactly at that moment. and i thought ‘look at that, it seems that just when you think things can’t be any better, they get more perfecter.’ and then i realized what i wanted to hold was the thought that when you think things can’t get better, they can. that’s a good thought. especially if you’re struggling.

just when you think things can’t get better, they can.

maybe we can all hold that thought today.

and then, of course, it just kept getting better and better – a lone crow sat at the top of a tree with the sky against his back as he watched the world below him.

a squirrel ran across the telephone wire so quietly and beautifully as if he just wanted to add to the magic for me.

i planned on taking a shorter walk. i didn’t have much time this morning. but i turned down towards the little loop around the pond. the threes were calling me. when i looked over at them, i saw this purpley pink aura that they were giving off and i knew i wanted to go walk into it.

coming up out of the loop, out of the aura, i looked at the sky and couldn’t believe it – there wasn’t one single cloud in the sky. i turned to look. yeah, okay. the clouds were behind me. in another direction. it kinda helped that they were somewhere. there had been so many. but now, in the direction i walked, there were absolutely none. and the sky was lit up with this moon-glow color.

i thought about how lucky i was to be there watching the morning. it felt like so much more than luck – i searched for the right word, but couldn’t find it – honored, privileged – yes…but more. i was in the middle of the sacred. and how do you describe that?

there’s so many reasons i don’t want to finish living yet. so many things to do, see, try.  and one of the things i just don’t ever want to leave is this beauty that we get to see in the quiet moments of the day.  for now, i am just going to follow the guidance that the morning whispered to me today – ‘don’t worry about anything, terri. don’t try so hard, terri. just be. all you need to do today is be.’ when i heard that whisper, my shoulders relaxed and i knew it was mine to hold today. and maybe yours as well…

December 13, 2017

tis the season

i wrote something to a friend the other day that has been stuck in my mind ever since.

she’s struggling. and i got to thinking that if you’re gonna have a struggle, maybe this is really a good time to have it.

you know how we wish we weren’t blue during the holidays? and we want to be all merry and bright? well, let’s face it, we always want to be all merry and bright. that’d be nice. but if there’s going to be a hard period, maybe the holidays are perfect.

i can hear you thinking, ‘terri! what’s wrong with you??’

but i’m serious.
of course this would all depend on what the holidays mean to you. THAT matters. this only works if there’s some sort of deeper meaning to them. so yeah, if it’s just a time to gather with friends and parties and such, well, okay, it’d suck to be blue now. so i’ll buy that. BUT if the holiday has some sorta deeper meaning, maybe it’s a good time to go to that meaning and hang on to it.

i recently heard from two friends in one day that were going thru horrendous ordeals. oh man. what a time for all this, i thought. and then! i thought about it again and thought – yeah! WHAT a time for all this!

it’s a time to hang on to the idea of there being light in the dark even when you can’t see it. it’s a time to remember that you believe in something bigger than you. it’s a time to believe there’s magic out there somewhere. it’s a time to light a candle and just sit with the light and be in the stillness. it’s a time to gather with a friend or two and share your struggle. it’s a time to believe things can change.

maybe this holiday season is totally about sitting in the darkness and looking for the light.

it’s just so easy to forget as we get told it’s about being all merry and bright. whether you feel it or not.

this season is getting deeper and deeper for me as i grow older. and yeah, so much of it is about believing in the light. even when we can’t see it. for all those who are deeply struggling right now, i am holding you in my heart. and you are with me each time i light a candle.

“Maybe it’s not about the darkness.
And maybe it’s not about the light.
Maybe it’s about the knowing.
The knowing there is sacred always.
Even when you can’t see it.
Maybe it’s the knowing that’s the holy part.”

December 11, 2017

listening deeper

i guess if you sat me down and asked me if paying attention to my dreams would help me learn to listen deeper, i guess, if i really thought about it, i woulda said yeah.

i guess it makes sense. but i HADN’T thought of it. and then i had a dream this weekend. i got up and wrote it down, altho i was pretty darn sure that i would remember it without doing that.

and then i spent some time thinking about it. and i was amazed at the wisdom mixed all thru it.

later, i tried to share it. and i think that’s when i realized the listening thing. because my friend i was sharing it with, wasn’t hearing. i let it go and moved on. but i saw how limiting the lack of listening made things. and i realized that there are probably about 100 more layers in my dream that i could go deeper into listening too. that just cause i heard one thing, doesn’t mean i didn’t miss a whole bunch else.

and yeah, that doesn’t just go for my dreams.
i know.

active listening.
it’s been on my mind all last week and thru the weekend.

i think of it a lot with my conversations.
but now i’m taking that into my dreams.

yeah.
this is kinda darn cool.
i’m thinking my dreams are going to help me in all kindsa ways.
and it feels real good to be stepping back into the trust in them.

December 7, 2017

do we learn this as we get older?

talked to a young friend of mine last nite. she was really struggling with the holiday season. and she is struggling with having to be jolly and bright.

of course, i gently tried to remind her that she didn’t need to be either. but i’m thinking if we don’t all know that pressure now, we at least did at one point. so we can understand what she’s feeling. she’s still grieving a huge loss and just can’t pull off what she thinks she should.

the beautiful part of the story, which doesn’t feel beautiful at all to her, but from my eyes, it’s incredible – is her body won’t let her anymore. she can’t stop the tears now. and thankfully she cried the last two times i talked to her.

this is good.
i really believe our bodies will step in when they have to.
and i can’t help it, i think that’s good.

and this reminds me of my own things i need to take care of and pay more attention to.

i thought i’d put a reminder out for all of us –

no need to be anything you’re not this holiday season.
in fact, the need, i believe, is to be everything we are.

this is no easy task for sure. and i’m thinking all of us could use a little more time every day paying attention to the things inside us that need our care.

toasting our whole selves. the stuff that makes us sing, the stuff the crumbles us, and the body that demands we pay attention!

December 6, 2017

the birthday boy as our guest blogger…

it’s my oldest son josh’s birthday today!
and so i asked him if he wanted to do the
blog! and being an enthusiastic kinda guy,
he hopped right in. i haven’t even read it
yet….figure i’ll just cut and paste it here
and read it right along with you guys…

thanks josh! and happy birthday to you!
you have made such a difference in my life!

……….

It seems backwards. Mom gives ME the presents? Man, if I had to endure the inspiration for Alien where some ugly creature burst forth from me, I’d be demanding commemorative parades through the city streets for my bravery and fortitude.

That’s right, it’s my birthday today. Resistant to change from the very beginning, I took 30+ hours to arrive in this glorious, confusing world. I have two younger brothers, and I’ve witnessed their births. It IS like Alien. O. M. G. I’m so thankful to be a fella. Mom said to us boys one day with sincere disappointment “I’m sorry you sons will never be able to experience the joy of childbirth.” We hastily assured her that skipping the experience was a sacrifice that we were happy to make. I’m buying mom a boat some day, calling it BREATHE PUSH BREATHE.

The family has a tradition of offering “birthday wisdom” on one’s special day. In the past, I’ve accidentally plagiarized mom. Today I should like to share two lessons I’ve learned from her (and hopefully give credit where credit is due! Talk about a fiasco at the birthday dinner table…)

– Sadness is behind anger. We live in a world where anger is common. As a male growing up with mom’s gentleness, sometimes I confused her sadness with weakness. Confronted with an uncontrollable situation or tragedy, I’d reflexively meet it with aggression, rage, the urge to destroy. (Oh man, and mom has three of us. Send boat fund contributions to the address at the end of this blog.) Mom, when faced with the same pain, would often just cry. It didn’t make sense to my young male mind. “Don’t you want revenge?” I would consistently react with aggression, she would consistently meet her pain with sadness. (Of course, she would anger, too, but there was almost always a component of sadness right at the surface. – Self Editing note: See “Undercurrents” by T. St. Cloud. Slowly I realized that my anger masks a great sadness when I meet Pain. This “mask of rage” is a thin, hot veneer over the real issue: sometimes things hurt. Sometimes things are decidedly not OK. And there’s a lot to cry about. But only in walking through that pain can we heal from it. It’s easy to get stuck in Anger. I have, many times. It’s distracting. It has a place, but often as a transitional emotion, not as an end. It has kept me from walking into the sadness, the listening, the understanding, and then into the healing.

While this story is told from the perspective of the maturation of an angry young man, often intimidating to those who have never been one, it is my hope that not only does it humanize the confusion of the male mind, but also illustrates the dance between Pain, Anger, and the genuine Sadness. Carl Jung asserts that Neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering. Mom knows how to legitimately suffer, and in turn, heal from it.

Little did I realize that mom was the one who, to use a young man’s idioms, was taking the bullet like a man. Thanks for the lesson, ma. Pass the tissues.

– On to a lighter topic, the power of the red pen is not to be underestimated when it comes to creativity. Among the countless things that she’s taught me, one of the skills I prize the most is that of writing. I remember bringing her compositions when I was younger. You all know her as gentle, supportive, and kind. Well, you haven’t seen her as an editor. “What’s all this?” she’d say, crossing out two thirds of the paragraphs. “Don’t need this…fluff, fluff.” Talk about getting angry. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” I’d bluster. But she was right, and she would kindly explain herself. To this very day, I emulate that, and smile back to those memories. I’ll find myself writing, decide that it’s “fluff, fluff”, crumple it up, and throw it across the room. The trust to self-edit gives me space to create something valuable. By knowing I can throw out the bad, I don’t have to worry about building the good. It’ll show up eventually. All I have to do is keep working. Knowing how to weed the garden means beautiful flowers can grow.

I’d like to close by wishing Mom a happy birthday. Bravo!

PUSH,
Josh

December 5, 2017

just felt like sharing this…

this is a print i offer on the website.
today it is a print i needed to just
sit with…

thought i’d share it here.

not sure if you can read it?
i’ll put the words underneath it.
it feels like a good offering today –

falling

“my eyes close and i can feel it –
pulling my soul back to where it longs to be.
i can hear it –
over and over telling me to open to it.
still the fear tugs –
until the struggle becomes too much.
and then, once again, i release into it.
falling,
falling,
i brush the fingertips of god.”

 

December 4, 2017

seein’ how it works…

i did some awesome dream work
this weekend. i haven’t done
that kinda thing in too long
and it felt so good i really
want to keep it up!

something that came up for me
got reinforced this morning.

i’ll try to nutshell a long story –
a memory came up for me in which
i definitely thought i was the weaker party
and acted that way, letting myself be bullied
into something i now have to forgive myself for.

the memory just came ‘out of nowhere’ and i started
out seeing the compassion i needed to offer myself –
which i hadn’t yet, all these years later.

but it led me somewhere else too.
it was to see how powerful i was and yet,
i had no idea.
and to see how weak the other person was,
and yet i felt they were stronger (more in the right?) than me.

as i thought about all this,
i could hear a voice inside me –
‘you must see clearly to hold your power.’

oh man. yes.
ever since i started out on my own,
i knew i had to work on my clarity of seeing.
i knew that.
and here, all this time later, i’m getting reminded again.

then this morning, a friend wrote.
she had been worried about bothering me.
and i couldn’t believe it when i read what she wrote.
and i thought ‘oh my gosh, she really doesn’t see the beauty
of what she’s offered. i need to help her see clearly.’

and then i smiled.
and then my smile grew.

it always always always helps me to see how it works on
someone else and then flip it on myself.
ohhhhhhhhh….
wow……….

i still have a lot of work to do in this seeing stuff!
but i feel like i’ve been shown a little more of the way
these past couple of days…and i’m all excited about that!

wanted to share!
are YOU seeing clearly?!

December 1, 2017

maybe it’s me!

my head is cluttered.
chances are this blog will be too.
but that’s okay.
clutter has its place sometimes.

two big themes whirlin’ together –

‘who do you want to be?’

and

a look at the stress i’m feeling.

they’re gonna zig zag a little here and there.
just hang on for the ride!

i’ve been stressed. unusually stressed.
so in the middle of trying to untangle all that,
i wrote down ‘who do you want to be?’ –
figured that would help me get on course of where i want to go with work.
yep, the stress has been with work/finances.

then, yesterday, a close friend/business colleague called.
he asked how i was doin’. he’s someone i can really talk to and share with.
so i told him i had been stressed. and as we talked,
i realized that a phone call with him a week or so back was what had started it all!

we were going over inventory.
it looks like i lost a lot of stuff to shop lifting and it just hit hard.
these things happen. it’s part of the deal.
it was just a lot, and i don’t know….it harder than you woulda figured.
i felt deeply disheartened.

he heard it and had been thinking about it so he called again.
it was great to put the pieces together with him. i hadn’t realized that
was the start of some sort of spin inside me.
we are so close because we have a lot of the same energy and beliefs.
because of that, i asked him for help with some of this stuff that
i am puzzling over.
we agreed to do a little sifting thru together.
i hung up feeling really good about the conversation.
and feeling good about who i was thru it.

later, heading out the door to rake, thinking about things i had dealt
with the last week, i realized i liked the choices i was making and
the self talk i was doin’ inside my head.
i liked who i was.

as i walked this morning, i thought of the stress.
a thought i’ve had before popped in –
let’s just say it’s a given we all get stress in life.
you can have it over all kindsa things. so you’re gonna get something.
if you could be at the table when the cards are being dealt, which stress
cards would you ask to be dealt your way?

well, shoot, i’d pick the ones i’ve got! cause honestly?!
they aren’t anything at all compared to the others.

i smiled.

i would actually PICK these if i could choose!
ohmygosh.
then maybe you gotta get over yourself terri.
lighten up, girl.

and then i went back to the ‘who do you want to be?’ question.
i realized that i actually am who i want to be in a lotta situations.
that it’s not a place to get to.
it’s a process every day.
and that i would actually pick who i am for who i want to be! –
MOSTLY –
BUT with this stress? no, not so much.
nope.
THAT’S where i’m not who i want to be.

ohmygosh.
so these two things tie directly together for me???
the stress and the question!
and i didn’t know – and yet – part of me knew. cause i wrote down
the question in the first place.
i guided myself to get to this spot without knowing what i was doin’.

ohmygosh.
ha!

so okay….i’d pick my stress, and i’d act differently about it.
so. okay. let me work on that.
i wonder what a difference it will make if i tell myself ‘yeah, okay,
i’ll take this one.
this stress isn’t so bad.’
can you imagine?!
and let me pay attention to every choice i’m making.
a whole lotta them are exactly who i want to be.
can you imagine perfecting this and really really really being who you want to be every day?!

ha!