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Showing posts from March, 2011

Lent - Day 21

I had a feeling that if I just committed to this path, then something would appear that would guide me to my next step.  Today, I read about this.Choosing to Fast.

And this is my next step.  For the remainder of Lent, I will fast 24-28 hours each week.  This is an offering to myself.  A chance to go a little deeper into my relationship to food and drink.  And perhaps to find a way out of my emotional eating addictions.

I know it's small - but in some way, I also hope that I am part of something bigger that moves our government into action that makes sense in this budget process.  I'm not going to get preachy here. But I do believe, along with Thomas Jefferson, that the essential role of government is to protect the powerless from the powerful - especially when they would abuse that power over them. Just think about it.  This applies to protection from enemies, foreign and domestic.  This applies to protecting the free flow of information.  This applies to basic human rights - …

Lent - Day 19 & 20

Out beyond ideas of rightdoing and wrongdoing,
there is a field. I'l meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn't make any sense.

Someone sent me this today.  They had no idea where I was spiritually, what I've been trying to do these past weeks - and how here at the half way point I was ready to give up.   They just shared something with me that had been meaningful to them.  And suddenly I see what I am supposed to do now.
I am supposed to give up.  Not in the way I was thinking.  Not by forgetting my vows and commitment.  But rather by surrendering to the struggle and simply being with it.  By letting myself be vulnerable and sitting with my feelings of fear and loss. 
I am halfway through.  I am at the point on the path where I can no longer pretend that things are going to be okay. I have to keep going forward into my broken-heartedness.  I've reached the crossr…

Lent - Days 16, 17 & 18

This is my father.  Today is the 30th anniversary of the worst day of my life.  March 27, 1981, my father died, 10 days after suffering a fatal stroke.  He was 67 years old.  I was 21.  And my life was changed.  It's pointless to say what my life would have been had he not died.  I only know what was. My father was a kind man.  He was generous, to a fault.  He was hard working and provided the best he could for his family.  And it was quite a family.  7 children, 4 boy and 3 girls.  I was the last.  All of us finished high school.  5 of us went on to college, 4 of us finished.  We had a big rambling house with 5 bedrooms.  We may not have had the best things, but we were warm and feed and loved.   My father was born on the eve of the First World War.  He lived though the Great Depression and served in the Second World War, leaving behind a wife with 2 small children and one on the way.  After the war, he and my mother moved from Los Angeles to Grants Pass, Oregon where I was born an…

Lent - Days 14 & 15

This is getting really hard.  I know that something is happening because of the great disquiet I am feeling these days.
Such frustration though.  I'm feeling so good one moment - clear and focused and optimistic; so sure that good things are right there, just waiting for me.
Then almost out of nowhere - I careen into depths of sadness and tears and like my insides are being torn away.  I guess they are.  Not my physical insides of course, but my spiritual insides.  Old beliefs are fighting to stay active and my newer, better self is fighting them, wearing them down.  It's like there's a war going on 24/7 and all I can do is wait for the outcome - try to negotiate a peaceful surrender. 
The ego never goes quietly does it?
When am I going to stop being prey to ever wicked, nasty, horrible attack that comes looking for me?
When am I going to look at myself and know the real beauty that lives there; and stop hating myself, kicking myself, beating myself for every little wrong …

Lent - Days 13 & 14

I'm sneezing and sniffling again.  But this time I'm fairly certain it's allergies.  I moved to this apartment 4 years ago on April 1.  And every April since then, I have suffered mightily at this time of year.  So one of the trees that are starting to bud is most certainly the cause.  Time to break out the Zyrtec.
The allergies are also making sleep difficult.  Zyrtec should help that, too.  I hope.  Because I need to sleep!!
Other than the allergies, I'm doing fine.  My bread craving seems to have subsided. 
I wish I saw some change in my body, but I guess it's too much to ask after only 2 weeks.
I'm feeling a little creative spark returning.  I'm wanting to spend more time on my book.  It's a bit frustrating right now, but I hope to start carving out blocks of time for it.
Spring is definitely in the air.

Lent - Days 11 & 12

I don't watch the news much.  It's not that I don't care, but rather that I find that most news broadcasters anymore tend to dwell on the sensational, the gruesome, the horrible, the fearful.  And I don't choose to live in fear. 
I try to live in hope, in possibility.  I try to stay informed so that my choices are well thought out and reasoned.
So today, I find myself in pain as war is erupting in another part of the world.  As nature exacts pain on another part.  As economies tumble and struggle to rebuild and tumble again.
So I'm going to focus on three things I know are true.
I know my daughter is the one person I would do anything for.
I know that even when I don't know the best thing for me, somehow I always stumble into goodness.
And I know that wine is the best use for a grape that could ever have been thought up.
I miss my wine.
And my bread.
But somehow this will all come out alright.

Lent - Days 9 & 10

I woke up this morning to bright, beautiful sun streaming through the window.  Now the wet rooftops are releasing steam into the morning air as they dry out - attempt to shed the days of downpour and cold.  It is possible that spring will finally arrive.
And in my adventure of discovery, it is possible that spring will come. My little seed of faith that I have struggled to keep alive in the long dark days of winter may at last be finding roots.  And it is not surprising that these roots are my family - my family of birth and my family of choice.  Everyone that I have let in to my heart has blessed my life in ways I am only now beginning to understand..
Life is not a straight line.  It is, like Sir Paul said, a long and winding road. It doubles back upon itself and goes in circles.  We cross over our own path and sometimes we take the wrong turn and go back over road we have traveled before. We see things we missed the first (or second or third) time we walked this way.  And we avoid t…

Lent - Days 7 & 8

It's been a week now.  And I'm doing pretty good.  I really wanted a sandwich today - warm bread, melted cheese - comfort.  It's cold again.  Wet and windy and cold.  And I want warm comfort.
I finished the most beautiful book last night.  The Elegance of the Hedgehog.  It's about a 54 year old, lumpy, unseen, unknown, unheard, concierge of an apartment building in Paris where the apartments are huge and old and grand, handed down from generation to generation.  Renee is happy to be invisible because the people she works for could never comprehend the complex person she is.  And she sees beauty in delicate camellias, well made tea and cookies, Japanese art films, and Dutch masters. 
"Human longing.  We cannot cease desiring, and this is our glory, and our doom. Desire! It carries us and crucifies us, delivers us every new day to a battlefield, where, on the eve, the battle was lost;..."
Writing like this makes me desire to write and slays me on the battlefie…

Lent - Day 6

Last night was miserable.  My neighbors were watching some action movie with a boom boom soundtrack until well after midnight.  Tonight is quiet.  I think the manager has finally spoken to them and gotten through to them that they have to adjust their habits to live with everyone else here.  Late night movies are fine - but not loud and booming!
I didn't get to sleep until well after 1:00 and had to be up at 6:00.  I was grouchy all day.  Well - until my sister Nancy called at lunchtime.  She'll be visiting with her daughter Nikki and our niece Maggie the first part of April.  I can't wait!  I'll get to hang with my sisters and nieces and laugh and cry and it will be so good.
Nancy and I talked about Mom and Dad, of course. And how tough this year has been for us so far.  But we are determined to shift and think positive and move forward. 
Toughen up and keep going.  That's what we do.  But it is nice to not feel alone in the process.
Well, it's only 9:30 now, …

Lent - Day 5

I was watching Big Love today and suddenly found myself sobbing.  This year, they have had Nicki dealing with being a mom to her teen-age daughter - a daughter she had when she was herself a teenager as a product of a forced marriage.  Nicki has been unable to separate her feeling about what happened to her from what she wants her daughter's life to be.  And when she discovers that the girl has had a sexual relationship with her math tutor, she loses all ability to be reasonable. 
She sits on her daughter's bed and tells her that she is horrible, that no one will ever love her, that she is evil and unworthy of love.  Of course, Nicki is actually talking to herself - but the cost will be that her daughter is now shamed and lost and messed up.  The show wants us to believe that with enough love the girl will be fine.  But I know better.
While she may never have sat on my bed and told me in words that I was unworthy of love and shameful and obviously evidence of a sexual relation…

Lent - Day 3 and 4

I missed posting last night.  I was pretty tired and my neighbors were being very noisy last night.  It made it very hard to concentrate.  I got to bed and as I was falling asleep, I realized I hadn't posted - but figured you would forgive me.

Today was a good day.  I had breakfast with my girls, Suzy, Jenn and Kat, which makes every Saturday a good day.  Then I did a little shopping and have spent the afternoon catching up on various things.

I'm still holding true to my Lenten commitments.  I've decided to share with you what it is I am "giving up."  Bread and wine.  This came about due to a discussion with a friend about systemic yeast infections and how she gave up sugar, bread, and alcohol for a couple months and is feeling more energy these days. It sounded like a good idea to me - but I love bread AND wine and I just wasn't sure I could do it.  Besides, it seemed a little pretentious to give up the things that symbolize Christ in the faith of my youth d…

Lent - Day 2

Well, as far as what I am forgoing for Lent, I did great today.  But it was sure tough.  Had a miserable day at work - one of those where I'm trying to track down errors and discrepancies and whenever I ask someone to explain something - I get the third degree.  If I'm there to track the budget and point out errors when mistakes are made is no reason to get upset.  Either you trust me or you don't.  And today I didn't feel a lot of love coming my way. 
Now that I'm home, I'm looking forward to giving myself the space to let go of the frustration and find that peace within myself.

Lent - Day One

All in all, a pretty good day.  I woke up late and really didn't have time to do a mini meditation to help me focus in on the day.  Still, I managed to focus on my goals and a do feel like there is a seed of something. 
Whether I am able to nurture the seed into something that flowers beautifully and fully is yet to be seen.  But today - I have hope.  And that is no small thing.

Time in the Desert

Today is Mardi Gras, the last big day of celebration before the Catholic world goes into that period of Lent - 40 days until Palm Sunday and Holy Week.  It is meant to mark the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert before he entered Jerusalem and surrender to his death.
As a child, what I remember most about Lent was that we had to "give up" something that we really loved and offer it up to God.  My child always rebelled a little at this.  It felt like I was being punished for being Catholic.  Lots of my friends went to church, but they didn't have to give up chocolate or deserts or meat.  They didn't have to be extra nice to their siblings.  And they certainly didn't have to go to confession whenever they failed to do these things and accept more punishment.
As an adult, I realized that it was much more about using these 40 days as a way of growing closer to God.  It was less about giving up than it was about eliminating those earthly things that get in the wa…

Why is it so hard?

I've become addicted to Adele.  This young woman has a voice that just melts my heart.  I've had her new CD for 3 days now and I have my favorite tracks.  Oh wait, they are all my favorite.  :)

Seriously though, her voice and lyrics just rip into me in a way that I haven't experienced musically for many years now.  But there is a down side to this joy. 

"I often think about where I went wrong.  The more I do, the less I know."  This is from "Don't You Remember"  a song that wonders why a lost love seems to have completely wiped her from his mind.  I wish I could say that I have no idea what this feels like.  But of course there is that one who seems to have forgotten not only why he loved me, but that he ever loved me at. 

And so then I move on to Set Fire to the Rain - "There's a side to you that I never knew, never knew.  All the things you said, they were never true, never true.  And the games you played, you would always win, always win…