Learning to Lean The Other Way

A nice thing happened last night. I hadn’t heard from L all day, but I knew he was driving to meet his friends, and when he did would be all caught up in their doings, having fun, so didn’t expect to. On Sunday I had asked him to send me a picture of himself, a selfie, because he’d taken down all his pics on the dating site, so I didn’t have any. I jokingly said, “I don’t want to forget what you look like.” He replied that “you are so sweet! But I am not good about selfies.” So I said, “well, maybe one of your friends can take one and you can send it to me.”

Last night going to bed, I was just thinking about him, wondering where he was, because they had a few places on their itinerary, and hoping really, that he was having a great time. And I heard the text alert go off, and he sent me a pic his friend had taken of him at the finish line on the Daytona track. It’s from a distance, but I was able to zoom in enough to see him well. He said, “Does this qualify as a selfie?”

It was just so nice, not just the picture but the fact that at the end of the day, he remembered my request and cared enough to honor it. Wow. I may have a keeper here. He actually knows how, and seems to want to, build a relationship.

It’s still so new, too new to tell if it will go anywhere or not, but clearly, the foundation is being built one brick at a time. And not being torn down in between, nor is anything being withheld in some kind of power play. No game, at all.

It’s so refreshing. I have gotten so used to leaning into the discomfort of a relationship. Now I am leaning into the joy of it. Which is actually a little scary, lol. I am trained to expect the rug to get pulled out from under me, to wait for the other shoe to drop. But every day, I am less afraid of that, and more willing to believe in the possibilities.

Love and light….

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Not Foolish, nor Destined to Repeat the Past :-)

The sun was almost up when I awoke this morning. Daybreak had broken, the eastern sky was alight. I slept the sleep of the dead last night. I didn’t go anywhere, both of my friends who were going to go to the artwalk with me were sick. One with a cold, the other with a migraine. As it turned out I fell asleep on my couch from 5 to 6, and then stayed up late because I wasn’t tired.

I was in quite a mood last night, and yesterday, with those poems I wrote, Foolishness and Destined. Today my waking mind was in a far more indifferent place. It is always therapeutic lean in to that discomfort when it shows up, to write those feelings out, and send them out to the universe.

This morning I’m out on my deck, sipping my coffee under the canopy of the banyan tree in my nightgown, feeling quite content. I am still seeking a love that can last, but have no regrets over the past, nor really any attachment to it. Just moving forward, and expect what will come will come when it’s supposed to, if it’s supposed to. In the meantime I have friends and family here that I love and who love me, and a wonderful life. There is no reason to feel bitterness or angst.

And who knows? I had a short text with C last night. He’s always up, it seems. In a good place. It’s a refreshing change for me. I hope I hear from him again soon.

I always say that the people I loved I will always love. But really, some of those people are out of my life for a reason, and the reason is that they were in it to teach me, part of the lesson my soul needed to learn. They’ve taught me and we’ve both moved on to our own next lessons. Today, I am grateful for the lessons, and for the fact that I have such a wonderful starting point for my next adventure. Love always? Yes, I suppose so. But maybe not desire, not hope that things will be different. Oprah defined forgiveness as giving up hope that the past will ever change. I think that’s where I am. Glean from it what we can, and go on.

Like my horoscope said, I am an Aries and I like to move forward. I can backslide like anyone else, but not for long. I don’t like that place. I hate covering the same real estate twice. A relationship that takes me over and over the same ground without ever moving forward is not compatible with me.

Feeling so much more myself today. I’m going to go down to the water, take a long walk. Go to the grocery store and get the stuff I need for Christmas food. I’m making baked stuffed shrimp for Christmas Eve at my sisters. And for Christmas night, my traditional raspberry angel food cake with Raspberry Amaretto Sauce. And whatever my sister and I decide we want for Christmas Day. We’re invited to a friends in her neigborhood for Christmas night, which will be fun. It will remind me how I always went to my bff’s in CT on Christmas night. I was often the only non-blood family there, but that huge family always treated me like one of their own.

I have been really blessed, haven’t I?

Love and light, all.

Reconnecting

I had a very hard time getting to sleep last night. I was up at midnight, writing. I have heard wakefulness is a curse of many writers. It seems to be mine lately, for sure. I wrote, some things that I won’t ever publish, just trying to express whatever it was that was stuck inside and trying to get out.  Leaning in, as Brene Brown advises, to the discomfort. Often that helps, just to write out whatever comes to mind, without a whole lot of worry about the mechanics. But still, as I sat on the couch, I was wide awake.

Saved on my computer is a short meditation, “The Great Bell Chant (The End to Suffering)”. ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1ZwaEzMtJw ) . It has always given me some peace to watch this video, or simply to listen to it. I put it on, and after the first minute, closed my eyes. It isn’t too long, about 7 or 8 minutes. It is the first thing that helped me to begin to relax, and center myself.

When it ended I clicked on another suggestion on Youtube, for an Om Chant. It said it was 3 hours, but I thought, just let me listen for a few minutes, maybe it will clear my mind, remembering years ago a meditation group in which we listened to chanting for at least an hour, in the dark, and how I was always able to somehow shut down the monkey mind in my head. This video was simply a recording of Buddhist monks chanting OM, over and over again. Deep resonant voices. Listening to them, focusing in on them, my eyes finally began to close, and restfulness finally came to me. I found the same video on my phone, went to bed, and put it on. It was supposed to play for 3 hours. I don’t know if it did, lol, because finally I fell asleep, and slept until about 6:30. Only about 5 hours of sleep, but enough, especially for someone who’s retired, lol.

A few times in the last couple of days I’ve seen the term “metta” associated with Buddhism. Not because I was in particular reading or looking for information on Buddhism. The word just showed up, on FB, in my email newsletters. So this morning I googled it, and found a fascinating (to me) article on what it is, and how it’s practiced. ( http://www.vipassana.com/meditation/facets_of_metta.php ) It’s one of the 4 sublime states of Buddhism that leads to enlightenment. It kind of goes along with my post about unconditional love, but extends that love to oneself equally with extending it to others. You have to make yourself happy first, basically. And in serving others, you will find you make yourself happy. But, you can’t defer to others wishes if doing so makes you unhappy.

I slept well at my sisters, because I was helping her, and her friends, and it made me very happy to be there. I came home, to my little house that I love, but it was empty, devoid of that human connection, or so I thought. But connections remain, there is no space or time in regards to a connection. In focusing in on the OM meditation, I reconnected to myself, which reconnected me to all in a loving way. And I went to sleep.

And so the journey continues. Love and light.

On Being Vulnerable

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A friend who lives close to me came by tonight and dropped off a couple of rakes she offered to loan me, rather than me buy one. I was going to buy one today because I need to rake up the back yard, from stuff that’s fallen from the huge tree, which someone told me is a banyan tree, though I’m still not sure it is, and from the palm tree that is entwined with it. I want to get the yard cleaned up, and put down crushed shells back there. It’s supposed to cool off later this week, so it will be a good time to do it. She offered to loan me her rakes rather than me buy one.

I invited her to eat with me, and watch the Voice. She’s the friend who sings, really sings, so I thought she might enjoy it. She doesn’t have TV. We had about an hour to kill til the show was on, and I’d told her about Brene Brown’s TED talk on vulnerability, so we watched it. She loved it…she already understood it, but loved it anyway. It’s probably the 20th time I’ve watched it. It has almost 27,000,000 (yes 27 million) hits now. Literally.

But I thought about how while I espouse vulnerability all the time, I still don’t make myself completely vulnerable. While I am fully willing to be the first to say “I love you” with no guarantee the feeling will be reciprocated, and while I’m fully willing to invest in a relationship with no guarantee it will work out. I was fully willing to move to a town where I knew 1 person, and willing to do what I had to do to create a new life here. I thought I was fully willing too, to show up, to be seen, and to risk failure, because after all, I write a blog. I pour my heart out here, I have few things that I won’t discuss here.

Then I look at my friend, who sings her heart out. I look at the others who go to open mic and sing because they love it, and aren’t afraid of the failure. Of the people who are willing to sit in front of a crowd and read their poetry, and risk that maybe people will not like it, or worse, criticize it.

Those people are really espousing vulnerability. Their lives are alive, and full of joy, and they get off the stage and they collaborate on playing music together, or putting together other venues, or asking people to come hear them read their poetry.

I’m not that willing. I am terrified to get up in front of people and read my poetry. I am even terrified when my friend gets up and sings it. I can’t, yet. It terrifies me to my soul. I easily allowed myself to fall in love with someone and completely gave my heart to him, with no guarantees. Yet, I cannot get up in front of a crowd and read a poem I’ve written.

What’s up with that?

I think if I’m going to walk that walk, and talk that talk, I have some work to do. Allowing my friend to sing the poems was a start, I suppose.

I think it may align with Marianne Williamson’s famous quote, that our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure. Who am I to write a good poem, that people like? What if I can actually write? What if….does that then put expectations on me that I’m afraid I can’t meet and that then I’ll disappoint them? And then disappoint myself?

Brother. This shit gets deep.

Every time I have watched that TED talk, I have learned something else. I always take another step, begin to excavate another level.  As Brene says, “Lean into the discomfort.”

Well, here’s to some productive digging.

Love and light, all.