May your day be merry and bright

Peace on earth, good will towards all. Joy to the world! I am happy and grateful for the peace and joy that I have in my own small world. I pray for the peace and happiness of all beings.  I hope for an end to strife and prejudice everywhere.

Christmas treeI have started my 60th year of life on this earth, and plan for 60 more! I remember the wonderful Christmases of my childhood, always plentiful, without much thought of the rest of the world. Then  I think on the Christmases of my 20’s and 30’s, with many children, trying to teach them about giving, not just receiving. The Christmases of my 40’s and 50’s were more difficult, having to deal with divorce and teenagers, but still we lacked nothing. The last few years have seen another shift as my second marriage came to an end, my spiritual beliefs continue to evolve, the rest of my children left home, and I found myself in a new and wonderful relationship.

I treasure each of my children and my grandchild, and have hopes that we can all spend a Christmas together again. Over the years we have drifted away from that, finding other days of the year for reunions. I have even purposefully worked at my job on Christmas to avoid family reunions, partly due to my own sense of inadequacy. But that is behind me, as I have embraced forgiveness of both myself and others. I am hoping that the pendulum will swing back, and that we will again enjoy the magic of Christmas as a family.

In the meantime, I am happy for the near-to-Christmas celebration earlier this month, the travel to North Carolina and time with old friends on my birthday weekend, and a quiet Christmas Eve with my partner.

May the spirit of the Christmas season stay with us throughout the year.

 

I don’t want to quit my job

A few months ago, I was thinking about how to leave my job, and developed a timeline to make it happen. Part of it may have been that my two closest coworkers left, then my boss, who is amazing. The rest of it has to to do with generally not buying into traditional western medicine and the revolving door that the hospital I work in has. I was searching, questioning, setting intentions, and back in March made a decision to do something different, and found my passion.

I have finished the first term of study with New World Ayurveda, including the Nutrition Intensive. I have learned so much, and have made gradual changes in what and how I eat, and have weaned myself off the bioidentical hormones I’ve been taking for 7 years. I feel fantastic. I have energy, clarity of mind, purpose, and joy. I am more productive at work than I’ve ever been, and am developing new relationships with new and old coworkers.

Stress is there, of course, but somehow it is easier to deal with. I’m sure there are quite a few factors involved, but I would say the main one is my regular meditation practice. It’s been a year and a half, and even I notice that I am less reactive, calmer, more peaceful, more in the moment. I’d like to incorporate more yoga into my life, and for now, most mornings, I follow this zen yoga video, and it just seems to energize me and get me ready for the day.

I worked hard this week, and felt good after every day. That’s different. It wasn’t like that a few months ago, or a year ago. The job hasn’t changed. I have. As I walked out to my car yesterday, which was Friday, I realized that I wasn’t all about quitting the job anymore. I have purpose there. I have opportunities to share love with hurting people, and be a source of encouragement and help.

I still have goals, and time lines, and dreams and desires. But I am happiest when I stay in the present moment with the people that are in front of me. Perhaps next summer when I finish my course of study, great changes will occur, or it may be that I keep on where I am now. Between then and now, I am sure that I will find guidance as I set one foot in front of another.

 

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

 

Morning Introspection

I went down to the lake this morning to drink my coffee. It is coffee, although I am gradually decreasing the coffee and increasing the Raja’s cup. Blended with butter, it is delicious.

The lake has a lot of vegetation floating on it. Robert thinks it is water hyacinth. Much haslake with water hyacinth gathered along the pier and boardwalk where I sat, contemplating and watching the birds. Lately, when I look out the window, I don’t see many birds. But sitting, they come. I don’t know the names of most of them.

There are gulls, of course, and an occasional egret. I think the large black bird is a grackle. There are smaller birds that flit quickly over the water, and seem to really like the water hyacinth islands. I wonder if there are insects there that are easy to catch. I saw a lone duck, flying low, quacking as he went. I wonder if he’s trying to catch up to his friends.

My favorite is the pelican, but there were none to be seen this morning.

My thoughts recently are wandering to the future. I want to stay in this present moment, mindfully, enjoying the beauty of the morning. Yet, I am in a spot where my life has had another turning point, and I have set a goal.

Next June, 2016, will see the culmination of some of these goals and the beginning of something else. It’s that something else that keeps causing me to wonder.

Sometime last summer or fall, it had become clear to me that it was time to think about my future. I don’t want to stay at my job forever, or even for a few more years. I want to travel, even live a gypy’s life, maybe.

Goal #1: save as much money as I can, for the time when I leave the job. Goal #2: work full time until June 2016. I will have been there for 6 years, and I will have had enough. I sometimes feel like I’ve had enough now, but practicality still reigns somewhat. I think there’s still purpose for me there. That month, I will be 59 1/2, the age of being able to withdraw some monies without penalty.

Those were my only real goals until I made the decision to enroll with New World Ayurveda. Not only is the course of study exactly what I am interested and the cost affordable, but the concluding week long intensive is in….. (drum roll, please)… June 2016!

A major shift has occurred since I began this study, a shift in my soul, a new sense of purpose. Robert, my partner, says it is visibly noticeable. I’ve had people ask me what  is happening, I have a more peaceful appearance. I can feel it inside.

I think it all started when I learned Primordial Sound Meditation and began the practice of twice daily meditation – March of last year. I don’t understand how it works, but it does.  I started stepping out of my comfort zone more and more, with painting, writing (this blog), decisions about ridding myself of toxic relationships, and other issues related to how I live day to day.

So, as I sat thinking on this, enjoying the beauty of the morning, I realized that the wondering about what would happen in June of 2016 was turning into worrying.  I was sitting in a place of beauty, so I closed my eyes, felt the air, took a few breaths, and decided that the best thing to do would be to write about it and let it go. I opened my eyes, drank in the beauty once more, and went inside to write.

It’s the little things

sunny table viewThe weather turned warm, so we decided to go to one of our favorite places for Fish Taco Tuesday. It is a popular place, with outdoor seating, and when we got there, it was packed, and we had to wait. We were next in line, and I wanted a sunny table right by the water, and said so, to no one in particular. Next thing I know, a couple got up from the very table I coveted, and we were escorted to it.

Say what you want! You just might get it!