Labyrinth

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I stepped into the labyrinth path not sure of what I needed, wanted, or why I was walking. I started slowly. One step at a time trying to listen to my breath and the wind. I was in pain and didn’t realize it. For a while I have been floating through my days acting as if I was happy and ‘in a good place”. And maybe I was. But there was pain. Pain that had not been introduced or acknowledged. It was small, sharp and tender. I have spent many hours in reflection confronting my pain and joy in hopes of embracing it all. It wasn’t until I stepped into the labyrinth, stepped in with a yielding heart did I notice this piece of myself. I had been praying for a door to be shown to me. A door to the next path of my journey. A new career, a new life, a new something to be presented to me so I could run to it and through it.

I tried to envision myself available and ready to be presented with this opportunity. I attempted to let the Universe know I was ready to leave what I knew as my daily routine and fly to something exciting and new. (Oh Universe, you are more clever and interesting than I give you credit!) As I walked I visualized a room full of doors that could be opened and I prayed that my walk, my weekend of meditation would rescue me from my current path and light up a new door. I thought about it flashing and flying open with a beautiful flourish and glorious light and music that I would dance my way into my true self.

I had been in this mindset where I didn’t like my job and the people I work for or at least the policies that dictate my day. I could feel a dread of returning to work after a holiday and it was not the typical “not wanting to leave vacation land” dread. It felt deeper and sadder. I felt like I was willingly digging myself into a hole that I would claim I was stuck inside. I was beginning to understand that I was walking myself to my despair. I was sad.

I stopped on the path and looked around. I took in the sounds of the meadow coming alive in the afternoon sun. I prayed again “please, please, please show me what is next, what is great, what is true.” I expected to get insight from the wonderful person that was Leading my workshop. I thought she would say or do something and tell me or even command me to try something new. I thought she would save me before I buried myself. The birds flew very close to me. The bees rested on my skin and I didn’t flinch. A mothy butterfly thing fluttered on my breath causing me to walk again. As I took each new step, I felt the pain again. A tiny piercing but gentle pain was awakening deep within my body. Tears started to swell in my eyes and drip from the corners down my cheek. At first I was confused, but I let it happen. I didn’t wipe them away, I let them go where they needed to go. I began to cry without understanding of why. I brought my mind back to my little pain. It was like a whisp of light and emotion somewhere deep in my shell.

I heard a voice. Or maybe I heard myself. But the words of Rumi rang out clear and soft, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”

My breath latched on something sharp like a crack and then poured out with tears and a warm, fluid light. This sounds so unreal even as I write it, but I swear this is what I felt. My mind showed me images of cracked glass, shattered Earth and then a small flower bud with small bits ripping open to bloom. At that image, I understood something with out words. I was the shattered cracking beauty ripping to bloom. I began to laugh and walk faster. I talked to myself about allowing myself to crack open and bloom. Could I do it? Could I be brave? Along my walk ,I saw many small flowers trying to open in the sun and my chest ached. ACHED so intensely I actually stumbled and cried out. I am fairly certain there were others at the Labyrinth when I entered but in that moment it was only me. Only me.

Then my walk became more steady and directed. Only me…became simply me. A glorious Me. The meadow around me seemed a few shades brighter or more vivid. I tried to clear my eyes, thinking it was the tears distorting my world into a technicolor land of OZ, but it was real. I thought back to my initial concerns. What did I hope to achieve from this weekend and meditation? I was hoping for a door, an escape into my new life. I wanted to be shown a door to the next Me that I would love. A door. I focused on this image I had been obsessed with, a door. As I neared the center of the Labyrinth a door was presented to me in my mind. It became more clear but somewhat frustrating. I kept trying to see it open up and show me the new world that would make my life better. To my confusion, it did open but not out to something. The door swung in…it lead me inward. Inside this door was that concentrated ball of light trying to escape.

I stopped in my tracks and blinked several times. I shut that inner door and took some breaths. What was happening?

The way to my true self is through me…the place I have not wanted to go. The place I have tried to transform and escape. I thought back to the flowers beginning to burst open. We never think of those places of green ripping to reveal such vibrance as glorious pain. Maybe pain is not the right word anymore. It is more like a release after a strong hold. I began to pray and walk with energy thinking about myself bursting into bloom. I wanted to embrace the idea that I too could crack and allow the light to enter and escape. That light can fill me and the world to be part of a one.

Leonard Cohen says, “There is a crack in everything, that is how the light gets in.” I have spent so much time trying to fill the cracks. Now perhaps I can focus on being the shattered, cracking, beauty ripping to bloom.

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After Kindergarten Screening

I am having my lunch and reflecting on Tuesday’s exciting and emotional event. Kindergarten Screening…I was calling it Orientation but I found out yesterday that I get to go to another visit/orientation in August. This was a chance for some of the teachers and psychologists at the school to meet & greet the families. They also separate the kids from the parents to check on some skills before placing them in classes.

This did not go as well as I hoped.

I am staying positive and open to learning more about my child and our journey together. She is magical. When she was born 4.5 years ago, I knew I was on a journey of empowerment, discovery and humble love. J has always pushed y understanding of self and a women’s role in this world. Because I want to provide a healthy happy life for her, it is causing me to examine the way we treat women, girls and children.

This is all material for some other blog posts, but what I can say now is that her time at Kindergarten Screening was emotional, enlightening and a little difficult. When we arrived we were instructed to wait in the vestibule with other families. We did not have to wait long and the staff at her new school are very kind. However, immediately after being escorted into a busy hallway, we were told we were being split apart from our kiddos. They would go one way, parents another. Juliana was trepidatious about this and didn’t want to go. Understandable so as it was her first time in the building with a lot of people she doesn’t know. I had to accompany her at the start. She was shy and nervous. They jumped right in to reading a story. A story she knows by heart but she clamped down and would not respond. She is reluctant to share herself with strangers…again I do NOT see this as a detriment. However, since my little girl came into this universe, other people have made us feel that this is not normal or not ok. (Again, I will write about this again another time) We worked through a couple of sad, teary and tough moments. I was able to pull myself away and go find the other parents.

Her school is lovely. I was sure to watch the interactions between the teachers and Principal. I wanted to see if I could sense any clues as to how things really are when families are not watching. We had a great visit from the PTA rep and we were encouraged to make little cards that will be given to our children on their first day of school. It was fun. I had this little voice or tug inside that kept me connected to her. I was sending out my energy throughout that building letting her know she is loved.

They conducted some “testing” with her. I did not get to see what they did or how she responded. Chances are, if the teacher did not take time to let her get warmed up or comfortable, she may have done nothing. It is a little sad to think J will look as if she can’t do certain skills that are actually easy for her. When I was still in that room with her she was refusing to write her name. Meanwhile, she can spell and write her first, middle, and last name.

Oh well, we have to let go, right? My husband and I are realising that she will come across to others a certain way in the beginning. But on her terms, in her time, she will let the world bask in her light. She will shine.

 

My rainbow

  

It has been an exhausting day. I am running on very little sleep and suffering from back pain. My infant won’t nap and both kids want my constant undivided attention. They are so beautiful and wonderful yes. However in my sleep deprived over worked exhaustion, I am finding it difficult to stay positive. 

Several times today I had to close my eyes and meditate. My daughter would then say “Mama are you ‘breathing'”? We have clearly been in this place before. This place of Mama about to lose her mind, go off the rails but attempts to model meditation. It is not always successful. In fact I feel like lately I have been more irritable, short tempered and fatigued than ever well except for when I was in first trimester with Colin. That was tough. 

Juliana is trying so hard to Be a good listener and helper today. Yet in this quest she has also not stopped talking. Not for one second. I’m in sensory overload.

I was determined to get Colin down for  his morning nap and we were already at noon and I had no success. I was rocking him, singing, everything. Finally, Juliana stopped talking. She came over to me at the buggy as I was wheeling him back and forth hoping it would work. She put her hand on me and said ” mommy, I believe in you…and Santa.” 

I lifted my head to the heavens, closed my eyes and cried. She wrapped herself around my leg and squeezed. This little person has the ability to send me to places of rage, frustration, and fear. She also has this prophetic ability to say things that rock my shell of doubt and negative thoughts, make me vulnerable and joyous for her wisdom. Love. 

I’m in the car. She and her brother are sleeping. We got that morning nap in for him. Then later went out to the store. Colin didn’t fall asleep until moments before getting home. When I got into the driveway, Juliana said “Colin is asleep. Mama please drive some more so I Can nap too.” 

Wow! Didn’t think I could get that lucky and then I started driving. Less than 2 min away the heavens opened and it poured. I would have been attempting to get a toddler, bags and an infant down 80+ steps in torrential rains. We drove slow and she drifted off. I did a big loop of country roads for only 15 min when the rain stopped and the sun burst through. I saw this rainbow and took a picture for Juliana. I want her to see the magic when she wakes. I sit now and soak in the magic of my sleeping children. They teach me when I let them. 

Eye of a Storm

Over the past few months, we have been bombarded with the rage and reason of our little girl. She just turned three. She is attempting to be Master of Universe before she is fully potty trained. She is on her way!

As I re-read and then posted my last entry about a day when she was on a rein of terror, I have reflected on my emotions and how I express them. I have reflected on my husband’s expression of his. This little girl has made me realise that while we are helping her to deal with her emotions and find healthy and safe ways of expressing them – we too must do a little work on ourselves. We are her constant models of coping and striving. I know I could use some attention to detail in the area of anger management or self esteem.

Today I am thinking about how I deal with being angry, hurt, frustrated and embarrassed. All the things that set her off – how do they manifest in me. This is an evening or weekend of simply noticing and paying attention to what I do – or not do.

From that I might be able to make some healthy changes to my own lifestyle.

Thanks kiddo.

reflection on Thursday

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” -Nelson Mandela

I was deeply saddened and reflective upon learning of Mandela’s death. I was home from work and my husband saw it on Twitter moments after it was announced. We had just been having a discussion about something he said to me the night before. I didn’t feel it was very kind and yes, I was a little resentful. We were talking it through – rather I was talking it through. He was listening and then waiting until I was through and changed the topic – usually how it goes. Usually leaves me feeling unsettled and resentful.

Then Mandela died and I was overcome by a flood of memories. Memories throughout my life of learning about this man. I have always been an admirer. He has been an inspiration through out my teenage years and beyond. I sat down and turned on the news. I listened to the President speak. I cried a little. Then I turned off the tele and went to pick up my daughter from daycare. I embraced her with the love of ages. I silently tried to transfer a respect for Mandela’s journey and what I have learned. I gave thanks that education is and always be an opportunity for her. I soaked up the sight and sounds of her to carry with me whenever we are apart.

Then, yesterday a co-worker reminded me of this Mandela quote. Of all the quotes that flooded to my head, this one did not…until she gave it to me. I needed it. I didn’t know how much until that moment but I needed it.

I am swirling inside with unresolved bitter and hurt feelings. They seem to increase every time I try to work them out. This weekend I am reflecting on this quote and examining myself and what I hold onto. I am rejoicing in the here and now as it is full of love and hope. I shall try to “forget the past” and leak out my toxic resentment.

Love is strength.

For the longest time I had people close to me tell me I needed to learn to be more selfish. I thought what a horrible thing to aspire to – but I gave it try. I think my efforts have failed me as I have learned to be selfish in the wrong ways. What my loved ones meant when telling me to be selfish was to be stronger in my commitment to myself, my dreams. I need to be more confident in my place in this world as a beacon of love. The more I try to please others and their manipulative ways, the more manipulative and unhappy I become. Then enter the resentment, the poison. It has been festering throughout my body and has caused me sickness, sanity and time…time that could be spent being content.

Ok Mandela. I continue to learn from you and be amazed that someone so human and so prolific has been in my world. I begin a week of reflecting on letting go and setting goals formyself. It sounds so new age and flimsy but I am inspired.

“It always seems impossible until it is done” – Mandela