We must let go of the life we planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. Joseph Campbell
Oh, what a year it has been. It was a new experience. I can say unequivocally that I am not anywhere near where I thought I would be. I have worked for years to be in the present moment. I read Richard Alpert’s book, Be Here Now, published in 1971. It just appealed to me, it made sense. You might say Baba Ram Das was my first self-appointed guru…..Be Here Now…..HA! I am certain I had some clue as to where I would be so many years later. Whoa, not so fast. Life stepped in and had different ideas. Call it fate, call it kismet, call it karma, call it what you may, what it comes down to is you never really know. Sure we make plans and setting goals are healthy pursuits, we have no control over any of it. I have experienced a broad spectrum of feelings and emotions and my reactions to all that I have experienced this past year. That statement alone speaks volumes of how far I have come in what seems like forever but in reality just the past six months. Everything has changed, changed for the better. Ironically, it has been an organic process. Just few months ago, I would have said, “what happened to me the past year” not “what I experienced this past year”. I now say, “experienced”. A blade of fate cut through life and knocked me completely off track. I feel as though I am back on track, just not the old track. Gratefully so…..
I was unaware of how far I had fallen. Recently I wrote a post, Worst Summer of My Life. That was true then, what has changed is my perspective. What is true now is that I am very grateful for each and every one of those difficult days. The events have allowed me to awaken to a new day, every day. I continue to struggle with the physical limitations, yet my mind is open, I have set myself free. There is growth each day. Elements that I have desired have magically manifested. I recognize how totally absurd the control was. It was ridiculous and unimportant. Letting go of imagined control frees up an amazing amount of space and time.
I never have fallen out of love with my husband, but I am falling in love with him all over again. The nature of this beast is a simple matter of perspective. My self-care requires much of my real-time and a great deal of thought. My mindfulness practice has saved my life. Ironically as my focus shifted to dedication to my wellness and self-care I became more mindful naturally. I did not have the time to micro manage his life. I think it was a brand of love, I wanted the best for him – so I was always at the ready with advice and input. I was my way of loving him. He is still himself, surviving just fine. He hasn’t mentioned it, but I know he feels it. It is a relief. He is the man I fell in love with and he is thriving. Funny true story. I can’t even remember what had happen, but I was gearing up and he sensed it. He turned to me and very calmly said, “Are you planning a fly over?” It took me a moment to comprehend what he had said and we laughed and laughed. We would be lost without our laughter. He had such a sweet way of reminding me I was having control issues. He had accepted this about me and loved me regardless. The nature of my self-care and mindfulness has moved me away from the control I never had to begin with. Gratefully so…….
It is Christmas, we made it. I had made the decision to take a step back – take the breath – and put my practice first, I needed to give myself permission not to try to be everything to everyone this holiday season, which is my usual holiday routine. I made the decision to set myself up to win. I will do what I can, be happy about that and celebrate just that. I will focus on the people I love. It turns out people who you love, who love you are the most understanding bunch. They understand that taking care of myself is more important than whatever holiday it may be. The only person that drives us crazy is ourselves by the stories we tell ourselves……no one has even noticed except for me and life goes on and on and on……
it is a low-key Christmas this year. My daughter and her boyfriend are not traveling, they have work commitments. My husband and I are on our own. We are celebrating quietly, hanging out and feeling grateful to be right where we are. We will get our Christmas present in March. We are returning to Treasure Beach Jamaica with our dear friends we traveled with last year. The gifts I received were lovely. I don’t need any “thing” . The gifts do not matter, it is not what this is about. This year for me it is about the gifts I am willing to give myself. The holiday season this year is about gratitude and the promise of all the glorious days ahead. Moving on, forward motion, being mindful, acting with compassion and counting our blessings.
I feel so blessed. I have an amazing, loving daughter. I miss her today, of course, but I am happy she is right where she is today. I celebrate the smart, savvy, and compassionate woman she has grown to be. I am proud of her work which she is passionate about. I love that she is in love with her amazing boyfriend. Mostly I feel so fortunate to call her my daughter.
I am blessed with the presence of an amazing man in my life, my husband, John. It took me a long time to find him. I was 46 when our paths crossed, and we married when I was 50, my first marriage, my last marriage…..he is loving, passionate, adoring, and he takes very good care of me. I am proud to say my husband is a good man. A loyal man, a true blue man. I am grateful for the eyes I have today, I see the incredible man who I married. Heart of my heart…….gratefully so…..
I am blessed with incredible siblings. They are unique and loving individuals. They bring their love, laughter and light into my life. I am the oldest, I have learned many things from these smart individuals. I stand in their light. It is a fine bright light. I admire them and I love them. My daughter is the oldest grandchild. I have three nephews and three nieces. They are stars in my sky. I see the future in them, it is where hope lies. Their light is precious and pure.
My friends are my great joy. They have been my lifeline thought the rough waters of 2014. These friends are like a dream come true. I came home from the hospital this group of women were here for me day in day out. I have had the other experience. You have a hospital stay, you get cards some flowers arrive and you come home, people move on and you are on your own. Like after the funeral when everyone goes home and it gets very quiet. Not these friends. I spent four months on the second level of my home, cooped up. They showed up day after day. They brought me food, they made food for my husband, they brought flowers, magazines, books and lotion. They gave me massages, foot rubs, and manicures. They changed my sheets, they fluffed the pillows, they reminded me to keep my foot up and to take my medication. They did my laundry, they vacuumed the house, and they picked up the mail at the post office. We watched movies, we talked, we laughed, we solved the problems of the world and we had lunch. They listened to me, they helped me shower, they hugged me, we cried. I felt the love. They were there through the darkest days, when I was unaware of how dark they were. They lifted me up and told me to snap out of it. They never left my side. They endlessly helped me on so many levels, in so many ways. They are still here. They worked tirelessly to make my situation easier. I can’t imagine my healing and recovery process without them. We will never know, they made sure of that. Thank God these women are my friends, they are heaven-sent! The light these women shine into my life is so bright and infinite….a pleasure and an honor to call these women…..friends…..
I see clearly where I am today and how I got here. Blessings. I imagine it depends on what you choose to take away (the stories we tell ourselves). We have the choice everyday. You swing those legs out of the bed…(“no matter how big and comfortable your bed is, you have to get out of it eventually” Grace Slick) and you say, “this is going to be a good day”. This is the ‘oh yeah’ moment. I know that some days the cow pies fly in and jam the old fan early in the day. Regroup, breathe and begin again, anew, work that practice. Each moment is a learning moment. So get going and discover what you have to contribute to yourself and those you love.
Something about Christmas…my mom would ask, “You know why you are ready? Because the day comes” Trust me on this, let it go, call it and enjoy your Christmas evening. Take stock, feel the love and be grateful.
I will say it again, feel the love. The light continues to grow, it is brighter than the light at the end of the tunnel. I am awash in it and I feel loved, comforted, and extremely grateful .
I hope this finds you feeling well and in the best of spirits. Stand in your own light……………Always dazzle, Karen
Practice note* I love to stretch out in bed before I get up. The stretching helps to get your circulation going. One of the best remedies for pain or discomfort – stimulate your circulation which in turn reduces inflammation, which causes your discomfort. Take a few deep breaths and begin. Do your day – breath, center, choose – Do your day – breath, center, choose – repeat, repeat, repeat……..you are bound to get better at it, practice, practice, practice……XO