Back in the Saddle Again

Today was the first day back from break with students. It was a long day because I had so much to do since I really went on a vacation over break and did not do any work. I’m also dragging because I could not sleep last night. It was kind of like when I was a student in elementary school and it was the first day back to school. I finally got up after rolling around for an hour and did stuff around my house at 12:30 am. I got about four hours of sleep.

I am definitely going to bed soon! The kids were super sleepy today and I was yawning right along with them.

I have been working on my house a lot and it is looking like it’s an extension of myself. It has been homey ever since I moved in, but it felt kind of empty when I took down my Christmas decorations.  I hung a bunch of artwork last night and I am really enjoying seeing it up on the walls again.

I am still reading Mark Nepo’s Book of Awakening as a daily meditation. Today’s entry was very profound to me and reflective of my 2011 journey. The essay talks about a woman who found a hardened sponge and walked out into the ocean. She let the sponge soak up the salt water and watched as the sponge unfolded and a fish came alive and swam out to sea. The secret of life, as Mark Nepo writes, is to awaken and free what has been asleep. It really is too beautiful to summarize so here goes:

Everything remains hard and compressed and illegible until, like this woman, waist deep in the ocean, we take our sleeping heart in our hands and plunge it tenderly into the life we are living – Mark Nepo

A big focus for 2012 is to keep finding ways to open my heart and  be aware and present everyday. I want my heart to soften like the sponge in the salt water. I want the peace and joy of a soul unencumbered by anything hard or compressed.

Goodnight 🙂

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The Rain is Gone

My parents have been up on the western slope for a week and I’m super jealous. I was only able to go up for two days this summer. I think I am going to go up for Labor day which will be nice.

I thought about posting on Saturday and never did get on the computer to do so. I ran a bunch of errands and went shopping. I took myself to a movie.

It was a nice weekend, but I’m sorry I forgot to post. I need to get back to my grid in September. I kinda let some things fall away in late July/early August  but now that I am settling into my new teacher life, I think I can get back to some of the things I was tackling with this project.

I can say that I have been making healthier choices for myself and that feels good. The fridge is stocked with fresh fruits and veggies and I have been sleeping better.

Right now I am driving about an hour both ways so I am hoping to find a place much closer to school and move in September. A friend lives in a great apartment complex not to far away from work and I’m going to go check it out this week.

It’s an amazing peaceful feeling to have things in my life falling into place. I am much more at ease these days then I have been in a long time. I’m also having an easier time setting boundaries with people in my life. I still care and love them, but I am not running in to put out their fires any more. The part of me that used to be is not quite gone – I still feel a bit of guilt about not rushing to the rescue, but that part of me is getting smaller and smaller.

I am still dealing with the disappointments of another unrequited love, but it is so much more complicated and simple than what the stereotype of unrequited love implies. There are moments when we are together when I know without a shadow of a doubt that someone even better is headed my way, but there are also other moments when I am shaken by how much I care for him and I am floored by our connection. The beauty of it is that we found each other this time around and I believe with all my being that we will make our way back to each other again.

In the Book of Awakening, Mark Nepo talks about getting bogged down in disappointment of any kind – Sometimes we can’t get what we want. While this can be disappointing and painful, it is only devastating if we stop there. The world thrives on endless possibilities. In contradiction to the endless number of eggs that spawn a fish and the endless number of cells that blossom to heal a wound, we can hold out the one thing we want as the only food. From here, crisis and desperation are a short step. It becomes a sorry occupation, beating oneself up for the one seed that didn’t take. For once we pour ourselves into loving another person, it seems as if they take who we are with them when they go. In truth, they take a deep part of us, but what feeds the heart from within is endless, and everything that is living heals.

It is a prophetic truth that even the most broken eventually heals. I am healing in deeper ways than I expected.

Bloom

The Risk To Bloom

And then the day came

when the risk to remain

tight in a bud was

more painful than the

risk to bloom.

Anais Nin

That has been one of my favorite quotes since I first read it almost ten years ago in the Artist’s Way. This morning, I came down stairs to find these beautiful tulips on the table. I felt inspired to photograph them and knew that I wanted to focus this post on Anais Nin’s brilliant quote.

During April I have felt that I am finally taking that painful leap to risk blooming. I have been placed in situations, especially in terms of healing my heart, where I have been very tempted to operate with my usual sabotaging behavior. However, because I am committed to this project, I have stayed present and am happy to report that it is making all the difference.

This afternoon, I read a recommendation for a daily reflection book called The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo. I was so impressed with the sample, that I had to buy it. I downloaded it to my iPod and was trying to scroll to todays date, when I went too far. I landed on May 15th and lo and behold, the Anais Nin quote was staring back at me. That was definitely a sign.

Mark Nepo talks in the essay about how roses that won’t open are called bullets. These bullets are thrown out because they have turned in on themselves and will never release their fragrance. As I read this essay, I was shaken by some of his words and saw myself in them like a mirror, “Unlike roses, however, the human chamber can be shut down for years, and still, it takes but one breath from the true center and we will flower. We can flower in an instant, as soon as the pain of not flowering and not loving become greater than our fear.”

I’m still scared, but the blooming process has begun and my heart has begun to open again.

I have been very inspired creatively this week and I am excited to report that I wrote a song today. I haven’t even finished a lyric in over a year. I was in the car with my parents and I got this image in my head of a heart with a padlock on it. I thought to myself that would be good in a song…and it just started to pour out of me. I was glad to have my iPod with me because I sat in the garage and wrote in my notes as my parents went inside. I sat there for about 15 minutes and let the song come through.

It felt freeing and it is one of the best lyrics I have ever written. It is my truth for the moment and it’s nice to see that truth in song form. Now I have to play around with some melodies and see where the song will take me next. I’m excited to see inside as  the petals unfold.

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