Friday, May 21, 2010

Quickie Updates

No, I haven't fallen off the edge of the planet. I've been keeping myself busy - or should I say my mom has been keeping me busy - these past few days helping me to clear the clutter I had surrounded myself with. Two more rooms to go, but those are going to be difficult. We are planning on switching our current "office" and guest bedroom locations so that I can finally have a desk in the office in a room that isn't likely to a)trigger migraines with heat and glare and b)is a favorite room of mine to begin with! Our guest room is less frequently used, so it makes sense to change it out with a room that we can close off if we need to.

All of this sorting and separating, moving around, rearranging, and purging has taken time. But oh! the cottage is feeling so much better that it has in a very long time. Last summer we did some organizing, but I was in a place of endings and trauma and so my ability to purge what needed purging was certainly not at it's sharpest - I held on to all kinds of things and moved things around in a way to close off a lot of space. This time things are finding homes where I look around and think "ah... space and openness!" which is rather like breathing a sigh of relief.

This has kept me from much blogging as I have been taking my rest time to work on some doilies - yep, I'm making lace again! I hope to have a few new pieces blocked and pictures taken so I can post them soon. At one point I swore off of lace because of the fineness of the thread, but now am finding that the challenge of the small thread combined with the complexity of the patterns is really stimulating my brain. I guess it is a crossword and word search for the fiber minded!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wishcasting Wednesday - Experience

Today at Wishcasting Wednesday Headquarters, Jamie has posed a very interesting question:

What do you wish to experience?

I wish to experience the exhilaration of the desert Southwest monsoons on a bare mesa. The intensity of the thunder and lightening of these storms in awesome and I have loved the thrill of them for as long as I can remember. I now live in a place unaffected by the monsoons, but still feel the pull of the desert on my spirit and know that there will always be a place in my soul that craves the sacred places of the high desert.

I wish to experience the solemn wonder of the rain forest of the Olympic Peninsula. Not to mention the prime lavender growing area nearby at Sequim. It has been on my list of places to visit for a very long time and I know that a piece of my soul will always long for a visit.

I wish to experience the grandeur of Alaska. My husband spent several years of his childhood in a remote part of Glacier Bay, and listening to his stories has only increased my longing to see this vast and formidable environment. Not to mention that I have always wanted to see the Northern Lights.

I wish to experience the joy of traveling by train through the Canadian Rockies. Part of my family is Canadian, and hearing the stories they told has made me wish to see these mountains. I'm sure it helps that I am a mountain girl in my soul - I love mountains!

I wish to experience finding my family's roots in Saskatchewan. I know the homestead is long gone, but it would be lovely to walk in the area and remember the stories in the general place where they took place.

I wish to experience gathering among family in England. We have done this once and it was such a delight to be among so many people and know that we are all related. Literally. By blood. Suddenly I didn't feel so alone in the world.

I wish to experience the chill of the air in Scotland. Not sure why, but Scotland has been one of those places that has called to my soul ever since I can remember. But the soul does not need a reason, so I plan and wait until I have my chance.

I wish to experience the solitude of the Welsh mountains. Another place, like Scotland and parts of England where my soul is calling to me to go.

I wish to experience the peace that comes from being at home with the one I love. To have my home tidy and orderly. To rest together in a sanctuary that nourishes and protects us from the world.

I wish to experience the spontaneous joy that comes from being at peace with myself and my body. This is the biggest of all, because without this one the others lose their savor. I am beginning this journey already and look forward to each step I take towards making peace with myself.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wishcasting Wednesday - Rules

Today's Wishcasting Wednesday question from Jamie Ridler is quite thought provoking:

What rules do you wish to make or break?

I have been doing a lot of listening to New Thought teachers and reading books and articles that stress the importance of the story I tell myself as I am working on my recovery, which has led to a lot of listening to my inner dialogue - and can I just say that after that, it's no wonder I am prone to disabling depressions? Yikes! So my primary wish is to break the rules that are in my head that make it difficult for me to know and be the person I know that I was born to be. Perhaps that sounds a bit vague, but it is amazing how many "rules" I have in my head and in my heart about what I can and cannot be, do, say, or anything else.

I suppose the best examples are recent ones, and over the course of the last week or so my mom has been coming over to help me clean and organize. We've been working in the kitchen and dining area, and as we empty cupboards to change around their contents I hear things in my head like "why are you bothering? It won't stay this nice for more than a few days since you are a worse housekeeper than Grandma Grace" and "look at this mess! You are just not meant to have anything nice because you can't keep it that way!". Of course, there are excuses, too: "it got this way when I was so caught up in depression and illness" and my favorite "I'm not the only one in this house!". So my rules have included such things as: if I can't keep it perfect I don't deserve to have it, or even have "close enough"; it is all someone elses fault if it isn't "just right"; I'm never going to be able to do it "right" so I'm a failure before I start. What a lovely group of beliefs and rules to live by, right? No wonder I have issues with getting trapped in depressive cycles!

So I wish to break the rules of paralyzing perfectionism, self-doubt, shame and lack. I wish to replace them with the gentler and more loving "rules" of do/say/be it anyway, self-love, joy and abundance. I wish to live by the rules of who and what I was born to be and not what has been imposed from outside to make me into something I am not.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lessons from a Prayer Shawl

With all of the time I am spending recovering from surgery, I find that my mind is working overtime! Mostly I have been observing myself and seeing if I can root out where my illnesses have grown into my identity. Once I find that, I can go about blooming more freely as I know where to watch for the weeds that try to choke out the good, healthy growth.

Perhaps that sounds a bit dramatic, but I have always had a rather dramatic streak - though it usually keeps itself confined to my imagination. One of my projects that I have been working on the last two weeks is a prayer shawl based on a series of granny squares using bits and pieces of yarn left from various other prayer shawls and baby blankets that I have made over the last few years. As I crocheted the squares from small leftovers I saw myself putting my life back together. There was a time in this most recent month of conventional treatments that I began to wonder if I were really being called to be a healer, especially one drawn to natural modalities. I mean, with such a powerful tool as Reiki along with proper dietary changes and other work shouldn't I have been able to take care of the gallstones without surgery? What kind of healer am I that I couldn't heal myself?

So I stitched and I thought. Squares were made and stitched together to form a rectangle, and I began to work on the border stitching that makes this one big shawl, and I began to realize that I am like those squares. Many different parts coming together from who knows what to form a cohesive whole something new. I had yarn from a baby blanket next to yarn from a shawl I crocheted for a dying person next to some that had been in my stash so long I no longer know what it was originally used for. Reiki sits beside the new pills I take to help control the debilitating headaches beside the drug intolerance that led me to embrace natural healing in the first place. Embracing all of those strands and all of those squares are the basic truths I know about myself - even though I am finding that those have been hidden for so long behind illness that I seem to have forgotten their names.

Today I read over at Unfolding Your Path To Joy about her choice to live in love, to know herself through her experience of nature and nature's moods and another strand was added to the shawl I am making. Her words reminded me of how I used to be so in tune with nature as a child, embracing the windy afternoons that sometimes threatened to blow me away or the soft and tender touch of fog or rain on my cheeks. Coming home from the beach or the local pool, or after running through the sprinklers and lying out in the sun on the brick porch to dry. I have missed that connection, and though I have tried to return to it over the years since I have grown up I have never been able to embrace the depth of truly knowing myself as a child of the earth. I have hidden in my head and tried to be totally and completely a child of the culture and utterly failed. Especially since I have never had much love and admiration for the culture I have been surrounded by.

So today, although I am still taking it easy and working on allowing myself the leisure to recover fully from the surgery, I am opening my heart to those small whispers that tell me to listen ever deeper to myself and my heart and to wrap myself in the story that is unfolding as I crochet this prayer shawl.