In Synch

Synchronicity is the word of the day. I had an interesting time at the CEC conference today. I went to a couple great sessions and one really awful one. I planned on eating lunch at the Cheesecake Factory, but felt compelled to go into a small cafe instead. I met a wonderful woman from California who was here for the conference too and shared a nice lunch with her, discussing special ed and our place in it. This afternoon, I took myself to a movie, that wasn’t the best movie I’ve ever seen, but it did mirror an important relationship I am traversing in my life right now. Then I drove around in the rain, singing and soothing my soul. I came across a beautifully haunting song that I’ve listened to a bunch of times, yet tonight, it spoke to me in such a profound way that I was soon crying too hard to sing. Even that soothed me. The song pulled something out of me that I had been unable to process until that moment.

I have always believed in synchronicity, but lately it has been everywhere – all around me. I couldn’t ignore it if I tried. I also have been overwhelmed with what I have already begun to understand in therapy. I have only been twice, but it has been so enlightening. I am understanding why I tick the way I do, finally. It is an eye opener. It is shaking me up too. We had a pretty major break through this week and the ripple of this realization is still impacting me in profound ways  five days later.

It is giving me a new lens to view my experience. That has been a synchronicity as well. I got my first tattoo a couple of weeks ago. I had wanted one for a long time. I couldn’t decide what I truly wanted and I was terrified that my body would do something weird like reject the ink like it rejected the piercings I had tried in the past. It was such an awesome experience. I shared it with one of my soul sisters and the symbolism for the image seems to be endless. It is the perfect symbol for so many experiences on my journey – exactly what I think a tattoo should be. It was empowering to face something I feared, realize it wasn’t as bad as I had imagined and then witness my body embrace it, take it in and heal.

The picture above was spotted on my trip to New York in China Town, 48 hours after I got the tattoo. Maybe my willingness to learn how to love myself, my decision to go to therapy and unravel the layers of dust that block the real me from always shining through is making it easier to follow my intuition again. Maybe these synchronicities are always around me, but I only notice every once in a while.

Either way, I am happy to have these events or coincidences. It helps me to have faith. It bolsters up my resolve to keep working and learning and trying. It soothes me and helps me to keep going, even if I am afraid.


Faith, Wisdom and Hope

This last week the irises began blooming in my back yard. I’m always blown away by how beautiful these flowers are. The irises are transplants from my late grandmother’s garden in Colorado Springs. It is so nice to see them return every year. They remind me of her and her grace. I miss her still more than I can imagine.

I photographed them yesterday and then did some research about their symbolism. I found some interesting facts. I learned that irises symbolism faith, wisdom, hope and valor. All qualities I loved in my grandmother. They take their name from the greek word for rainbow. This is also important imagery – a link to one of my other grandparents who passed away when I was five.  The Greek Goddess Iris was the personification of a rainbow and acted as a messenger for the Gods –  a link between heaven and earth.

I learned that irises are commonly found in Mary gardens. This was very interesting as I am extremely connected to Mary symbolism and am named for her. The french also fashioned their fleur-de-lis symbol from an iris. I took this next picture before I did my research and now I see it so clearly.

The Chinese  recognize the iris as the dancing spirit of early summer and when their soft petals sway in the breeze, it reminds them of butterflies. I had no idea how much deep symbolism was to be found in the beautiful fliting flowers in my back yard. I knew they made me happy, but I had no idea how central they were to my life symbols.

As I type this, I sit on my front porch protected by shrubs and invisible to the passersby. The light of the evening lilts through the leaves and the soft breeze cools me inside and out. A bird I can’t identify warbles a sweet song. It is very peaceful.

The iris represents all that I am after right now – beauty, grace, faith, wisdom and hope. A butterfly growing tall and strong in the summer sun.

Painful Metamorphosis

I always thought that butterflies were beautiful, but I have to admit that the symbolism seemed kind of trite. I am now thinking that trite or not, it is very appropriate symbolism and imagery in my life right now.

I’m feeling better. I slept better last night than I have all week and that I think has made all the difference. I don’t have much energy yet – at best the energy level of a rinsed noodle. But I digress… back to the matter at hand. I dreamed of butterflies last night. I have been reading about butterfly gardens. I have butterflies on the brain.

March seems like a wash. I was so busy with school stuff and ignoring most of my human needs that I don’t feel like I got much accomplished on this journey. It wasn’t wasted time…it never is. I hope that April brings new commitment and hope and warmth of Spring.

We all know that butterflies represent transformation. In the span of a month, the small creature expends an enormous amount of energy to go through such a painful metamorphosis. After doing some research this morning, I realized another important element of symbolism for me.

The butterfly embraces this painful change as a natural part of its existence. It fully accepts its call to change as a natural part of life. It has faith that after the dark night of the soul, it will emerge from the lonely cocoon as a thing of great beauty. It will unfurl its vibrant wings and fly off into freedom.

This week has been a painful reminder that my health needs attention. I may not be able to cure myself of asthma, but I can take better care of myself in the interim. April is going to be about really trying to find that balance and begin to nurture myself. I have to. It’s too important to put off any longer. I know I wanted that back in January, yet this illness has shown me that I’m still just going through the motions. These 21 days will be about going inside. My transformation may still be painful, but I’m trying to have faith like the butterfly that I will emerge a thing of beauty and find freedom on the other side.

Show Your Feathers

I have been enthralled with peacocks for as long as I can remember. I think they have the most beautiful feathers and I love all the brilliant colors. When I was a toddler, I caused quite a commotion when I chased one around the Denver Zoo at top speed. The peacock wasn’t interested in being friends and led me through a frenzied chase. I was too engrossed in his beauty to realize I had stomped through a couple of picnic lunches. My parents finally caught me before I caught the peacock and I’m sure they were very proud of me that day 🙂

This weekend, I have been surrounded by peacock feathers. I did some research on the symbolism of the peacock and found it to be appropriate to this journey I’m on. The peacock is a symbol of integrity and the rich beauty we can achieve when we commit to showing our true colors. The feathers are also a symbol of protection and watchfulness. I have felt highly connected to protective forces recently, and this synchronicity of seeing so many peacock images this weekend doesn’t feel coincidental.

I read tonight that Buddhist’s associate peacock feathers to the feeling of openness, because the peacock displays everything when they spread their tails for the world to see. And apparently, peacocks can eat poisonous plants and survive, which they attribute to the ability to persevere and thrive in the face of suffering. Lots of connection to my own life!

I’ve had a wonderful weekend of support, love and reconnection with many friends – some of whom I haven’t spoken to in a decade. This morning, I skyped with two of my best friends – my writing soul mates. We try to connect every three weeks and it is healing to hear their voices and receive their advice and input in my life. We spoke about my journey of healing, especially in intimacy and relationships. It helps to put a voice to my mending heart and have ears that so willingly listen. Lately, I have received little glimpses of what I have been missing for so long. It is exciting and unnerving at the same time. I know that I am  healing because although I am tempted to run away, I am staying present and working through these emotions.

Today we spoke about the reasons that I had shut down in the first place. I’m finding it less difficult to talk about. I think even acknowledging how profoundly hurt I was, has taken away some of the betrayal’s power over me. I don’t need to be dejected or unlovable any more.

Even though I’m nervous to open up and show my feathers again, I feel a deep urging in my soul that it’s time to come out of hiding and show off my colors.

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