Inspiration

I spent five days with an amazing and inspiring group of people.

As part of my studies with New World Ayurveda, I traveled to Portland, Maine to participate in the first of two Clinical Intensives. Since I enrolled in this course about a year ago,I have been learning how to “read” people through looking at them externally, through pulse diagnosis, and in other subtle ways. It was really neat to get together and practice on each other. There’s nothing better than getting together with a group of likeminded people to boost one’s confidence!

Getting to know my co-students, hearing their stories, becoming friends through the intimacy of sharing our stories – that was even better. I was amazed to meet so many who have already walked through their fear and are living their passion, inspiring me that I CAN DO THIS, to stop looking back and keep looking forward.  I made new friends who give of themselves to pursue what they love, caring for family or traveling long distances, and just keep doing what they love. They gave me much to think on.

wp-1460249516517.pngWhat kept coming up, as others practiced on me, is that I still have some issues from the past that aren’t resolved. I have generally thought of myself as stating my mind, not being afraid to say what I think, yet the subtle vibrations in my pulse said otherwise, and as it came up it resonated with me to the point of bringing tears. I realized that I am still finding my voice and learning to speak my truth.  Thus I write here, and paint, and seek  out the company of people who inspire me to go to the next level.

“At some point, if you’re fortunate, you’ll hit a wall of truth and wonder what you’ve been doing with your life. At that point you’ll feel highly motivated to find out what frees you and helps you to be kinder and more loving, less klesha driven and confused. At that point you’ll actually want to be present—present as you go through a door, present as you take a step, present as you wash your hands or wash a dish, present to being triggered, present to simmering, present to the ebb and flow of your emotions and thoughts. Day in and day out, you’ll find that you notice sooner when you’re hooked, and it will be easier to refrain. If you continue to do this, a kind of shedding happens—a shedding of old habits, a shedding of being run around by pleasure and pain, a shedding of being held hostage by worldly concerns.” ~ Pema Chodron

I am inspired to push through the next wall of fear, to not look back, to dream big, to trust my intuition, and to love MORE.

If you want to learn more about ayurveda, New World Ayurveda is offering an introductory course. Check it out!

Embracing Uncertainty

It’s been a year since I started writing here, and life is still, and always will be, uncertain. With each step I take, this becomes more apparent. It has always been that way, but when my approach to life was fear-based, manifested by attempting to be in control of things and other people, I didn’t appreciate it. And I was pretty unhappy.

That first post was about pushing through fear, because at that moment in my life I realized that everything had shifted. I was in a happy place, after having gone through many flaming walls. Since then, I’ve practiced what I preached and continued pushing through. Every time I do, it gets easier.

Not to say that I am all fearless and never doubt! I don’t think that struggle ever goes away! But once you start making decisions based on love and hope, fear becomes much smaller.

I have written posts from my heart struggles, posted pictures, used this forum for a travel diary, and whatever else came to mind. Through this last year, I’ve asked myself what I really want, what is my passion and my purpose? I have meditated regularly and I think it has helped with clarity of mind.

I made the decision, after facing a pretty big wall of fear, to study ayurveda with the goal of becoming an ayurvedic practitioner and eventually being able to quit my day job. I am now wrapping up the end of the first term of three terms, on track to finish the program in June of 2016. Through this time I have dealt with doubt – mostly doubting my abilities to “do this”! The nutrition part is the easiest to assimilate, but the pulse diagnosis and Jyotish astrology are stretching my limits! And then I delve in again, and get excited by the possibilities.

This week, I had another big moment of knowing that I have found my path. These moments come at unexpected times. I was flooded with an overwhelming sense of peace and joy that this is really it. My passion isn’t writing, or painting, or being a case manager, or anything else I have either done for  a living, or dabbled in.  My dharma, or purpose, is to help people be well, and I am being given the knowledge and tools I need to make a difference.

Looking forward to the next year, until June 2016 when I travel to Michigan for the final intensive, I see myself devoting greater amounts of time to study and practicing what I am learning. I have a big trip planned for October when I am finally realizing my dream of going to Maine to see the fall colors. I will watch with wonder as my granddaughter grows from babyhood to young childhood. I want to strengthen my connections with my children as they wander the maze of adulthood. I will dabble with paint, color mandalas, take lots of pictures, and dream, dream, dream!

Much has happened this last year, and I am excited about the year to come. Beyond that is a world of possibilities!

Me by the lake on a very windy day!
Me by the lake on a very windy day!

Be like the sun for grace and mercy. Be like the night to cover other’s faults. Be like running water forgenerosity. Be like death for rage and anger. Be like the earth for modesty. Appear as you are. Be as you appear. – Rumi

 

Still facing fear

I am reblogging my first post. I “met” another blogger who had just started Morning pages, so went back to read this. Indeed there is something magical about writing 3 pages longhand about whatever is in your head first thing in the morning. So much has opened up for me in this last year, and there is so much opening up ahead.

Facing Fear (written and posted June 20, 2014)

I chose “embracing uncertainty” as the name of my blog because this has been my life, although until recently, I couldn’t see that. I always liked the illusion of being in control, of making things happen.

Learning the seven spiritual laws has really changed the way I look at life. Detachment simply means not being attached to a particular outcome, or point of view. I get up in the morning and have no idea what the day will bring. I meet someone or have a conversation, and let life flow, as opposed to imposing my views or desires on others, or even GOD.

For three months, since I started meditating regularly, I have asked myself the soul question: Who am I? The idea is to just ask,  then meditate, with no expectations of anything. This is really an effort for me , as I like immediate answers. I recently opened a book, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, subtitled A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. The author suggests writing morning pages, three longhand pages of whatever comes to mind. The hope is that whatever is blocked will be released. So I have been doing this for a couple of weeks, and it has basically become a journaling. Yesterday I came across an author who mentors and got  her 21 spoonfed writing tips for finding your writing voice. The first tip is to “spend some time writing about what makes you who you are, what moments in your life have shaped you.” Wow. Same as the soul question.

So I sat to write. And admitted on paper that I resist this exploration. And started writing, not expecting much. But as I wrote, I was able to see that I am a passionate, loving woman, and I give myself wholly to those I choose to love. As I continued to explore events and people who have shaped me and my life, I had what to me was an amazing aha revelation – the facing of fear has shaped me in a major way. And this:

Facing fear is like walking blindfolded through a wall of flame, not knowing how badly I might be burned, or if I will survive the heat, and if I do survive, not knowing what I will find on the other side or if I will be able to handle it.

Accepting the inevitability of change doesn’t mean giving up what I want. I just recognize that I control my choices, but have no idea what the consequences will be. Watching life unfold becomes wonderful instead of fearful.

Nothing to lose

As I near what is commonly known as “retirement age”, dreams, fantasies, and desires for the future invade my thoughts frequently.

I don’t really know what retirement would mean for me, as I don’t have near the amount of savings that I would have had had I lived a “sensible” life. I do know that I want to keep making a difference in the world, and promote health and happiness to individuals who seek it. For about the past year, and even before then, I have been setting intentions and seeking guidance for what to do next. I have come to believe in synchronicity, which is another word for what many call coincidences. I have investigated some wellness coach and life coach programs, but so far have been unwilling and afraid to commit my money and my time.

I am a Registered Nurse but only hold a two year degree, obtained immediately after high school in the late 70’s. I decided 3 years ago to pursue my Bachelor’s degree, as it is required in more and more settings. After 3 classes, and the realization that I would have to take Algebra, I said “no more”. I don’t love the profession enough to  seek a higher degree at my age! If I’m going to study, I want to love it! I also disagree  with our modern pill-pushing healthcare system, often sad about the chronically ill people who flow the hospital’s revolving doors. There is a better way, I know, as I have practiced my own form of natural medicine for myself and my children for the years I was raising them, and sickness was, and still is, a rarity.

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”                                                                                                      -Steve Jobs

nature

The above quote landed in my inbox a couple of days ago, just as I also had begun to seriously consider a course of study to become an Ayurvedic practioner. I was fighting off all the negative thoughts that bombard me every time I consider making a major change or commitment. Is it fear of failure? Not being good enough, or smart enough, or _____enough? Yes! And what have I got to lose if I move forward and follow my dreams? Nothing! For this life is short, and purpose is to be found in the fulfillment of our heart’s desires.

Several people have affirmed to me in the past month that I am smart, powerful, intuitive, and can do anything I want to do. I have a multitude of choices, a variety of paths I can follow, and all I have to do is choose. There is no wrong choice, no bad path. I just need to take a step in a new direction, and keep walking, without knowing what the outcome will be.

Letter to my father (part 1)

Blogging 101 suggested that I write to my “dream reader” and put a different twist on how I write. My dream reader would be someone who is interested in what I have to say and gives me some sort of validation. So I wrote this in a letter to my father. He is nearly 87 and in poor health, and although what I have written is what I would actually like to say, I probably won’t send it. There would be no validation, and would likely cause sorrow. 

Sara and Daddy

Dear Daddy,

I am writing to you because I need to say some things to you. I’ve called a few times since the incident in September but I just can’t find it in me to visit after what happened. I think about you every day.

Before I get to the hard stuff, I want to thank you for giving me a great childhood. We lived in a nice house and had everything we needed and more. We had the BEST vacations of anyone I know. I often recount some of the adventures we had. The most memorable ones for me were camping in arizona when Jeff was a baby and you broke your leg, horseback riding in Wyoming and catching all those fish, and the best of all, although I didn’t appreciate it as a 12 year old, was the year we went to Minnesota and took that 4 day primitive canoe trip. I know Ellen and I gave you a lot of grief on that trip! But we are now glad for all those good times.

Remember how you would take the three of us girls fishing? I was too impatient to sit there and hold a pole, but didn’t mind putting earthworms on the hooks for my sisters. So it all worked out. You taught me how to clean a fish, and by example you and mother taught us a lot about how to get by, and then took us back to live at ease for the rest of the year.

When I was a senior in high school, you helped me figure out what path to pursue. I am very grateful that you made me make a choice, and that I went to nursing school. Even though I didn’t work for a lot of years while my kids were small, I was able to get a job easily and have a good income.

The worst thing that ever happened to our family was losing Laura. But we held together and went on.

There are a lot more memories. I just want you to know that I am grateful for the life you and Mother gave me, and for the monetary gifts you gave me through the years.

Now comes the part that is really difficult for me to say.

…to be continued