Giraffe and I, so many connections. Necks, long and lean, both our strength and our weak-neckss. Feeling super tall these days, at my five-foot-three bare bones and all neck-Ed. My energy though, is as tall as can be as I shed what’s held me down, what’s held me out what’s held me back.
Sticking my neck out, I help right the wrongs creating flow and ease. Giraffe, easily able to reach up for food, nutrients, dessert, sustenance, she is satis-pie’d. Like a G-neck I travel higher within myself for fulfillment – or is it filament? as I am light.
In the neck of time I arrive sure footed and savvy, at break-neck speed to tackle issues. Like G I, too have horns, tiny, unseen but felt if need be. “Mess with the horns and you’ll get the giraffe or is it Mess with the giraffe you’ll get the horns? Either way it’s a slippery slope-like back we have.
Yes, our ears big, standing at attention on a funny head, we focus and listen for trouble. But at the onset of any riff G-raff we stay close to home, make a go of it, relying on blending in, turning away from chaos, disappearing.
At times we are invisible, certified shape shifters -Giraffe and I …sisters from different misters, equally underestimated, overlooked. Comfortable in our patterned skin, homebodies are us. GirAfrica and the You Es Hay, our language of love, acceptance and tolerance universitally wonderstood. We arrive seemingly aloof, unassuming, mild and pleasant. Until we’re not.
Today I aspire to be quite, to be poised, to be present. I will allow life to happen around me. I will discern how much I’m involved in other’s shenanigans. I plan to feel into my thoughts to gauge my intention – before I speak. This or better.
It would have annoyed most people. I should have been annoyed. I wasn’t. My anger would have hijacked the most profound moment. Her anger could have ruined everything. But instead, a life changing moment, a nudge from Spirit. I met a teacher, an angel…Marilyn.
While attempting to park my car I was met with a snow plow clearing the lot. I pulled to the side to let him clear where I wanted to park. Nosed in and put it in park. When he cleared the area, I put it in reverse and started to back up. I heard a beep and realized that someone was right behind me. I quickly pulled back to where I was and put it in park.
I did feel the annoyance rising in me. But then again, by beeping this person, this lovely woman, saved me from smashing her car. Upon entering the store there she stood. Sizing her up, I prepared to be yelled at, I deserved it obviously. “I’m sorry I beeped at you” she blurted out. Wow
Holy shit! SHE’S sorry? shocking. For what, for being alive? I told her I was GLAD she beeped and stopped me – I was totally going to wreck both our cars. “Always beep and don’t be sorry!” She thought that was a funny thing for me to say. We began to talk about things. Families, jobs, why we were at this store…the normal bla bla bla. Until
Until she disclosed her daughter’s situation. Somehow, by the grace of God, I found myself in a very private and profound conversation with a complete stranger. I was deeply moved by her sharing. I didn’t deserve to be privy to any of this. I was the jackass who made a dumb move in the parking lot! Still, she shared with me. Still. I was deeply moved by her daughters will to live. I was deeply moved that she died repeatedly only to be revived again and again.
All because she made the choice to have compassion for me instead of anger for me so close to wrecking her car. She not only forgot about HOW she met me, she trusted that it was ok to tell me about her life’s recent tragic events, in detail. Every detail. I’m still in shock but strangely honored.
Again. I was blown away that her daughter coded several times during her C-section. Several times. Was clinically dead seven times. That hits hard. Even when it’s a stranger. I didn’t want to cry but it was already there. I was crying inside. Profound. It was a miracle mom and baby survived.
Marilyn’s daughter has some complications because of these events and continues to recover.
I was ready to be scolded, degraded, sneered at for being dumb and assuming no one was behind me. Instead, I was met with compassion and understanding. That’s what Marilyn had waiting for me. Understanding and Compassion. How sweet. What an incredible woman that Marilyn. What an awesome day with the chance meeting with my latest teacher. Teaching love, trust, compassion and understanding even for strangers. Even for someone who nearly caused you more angst and worries.
Can’t we all try to BE the compassion and understanding. You never know who you’ll impact and how far the ripples will go. It may be life saving, life changing. We all struggle. We need to trust and see each other. I think it was Rumi who said, We’re all just humans, walking each other home.
I’ll be talking the long way. Past some lovely strangers.
I know how to run. For years. On empty. I’m so very familiar. Wishing, planning to move, transform into some other profession. Maybe when I’m a healer. I can be who I really am. Maybe when I’m an author life will be simple. Seamless. Less of a struggle. I will be fabulous.
Then the voices…This is not what I’m supposed to be doing. If only I could disappear, mold , morph into my surroundings so as not to stand out. Just live out my days until I can retire. My interests are different than my co-workers. I don’t fit in. Here. Idgaf about deadlines, schedules.
Relentless voices from within…this present career. I can’t show heart here. Too sensitive, too opinionated, and intuitive. I don’t fit in with these academics. Tough shell, (as my broken Mother would say) you need to toughen up so you don’t get eaten alive here. Head down, carry on.
I was a great AS IF actress as a kid. Pretend that you’re invested. You know how (the voices are encouraging me) Fake it till you make it. Like they all seem to be. Just go through the motions. Act like you care. Show no emotions, no heart. Play small WTF is wrong with you? Shut up and just act like everyone else.
Tragic truth tho…. Not trying, still I’m excellent in what I do, truly good at it. Imagine if I tried? Autopilot looks great on me. So the Lies. Lies I’ve told myself so I could play small. Survive feeling different. All lies for a long time. Years. Fooled even me.
I’ve spent years running from my present career. Running while standing still. Turmoil and angst kept just under the surface. Functioning just enough to get by. In it but not fully in it. Sweating even the small stuff. Because it all felt too big. Survival. I’m so great at Surviving. Fucking warrior. Beast.
Hmmmmm. Now that sounds amazingly familiar. The fuck it does! CHILDHOOD rears it’s brilliantly tragic head again. Always feeling like I was meant for greater things. Angry. So pissed that I wasn’t over THERE. Wherever “there” was. The distance I created from myself, excelling at not being present, going through the mundane motions of not giving all of myself…just existing.
After all I’d be exiting soon – so I told myself. Right? I need to GET AWAY from this meaninglessness. I was meant for greater things – my inner dialogue carried on. Years, years of contempt. Functioning day after day after year pushing away. Having a large fuck you for any chance to grow and learn and expand my expertise. Shadow fanning the self-sabotage fire.
But slowly, over the past 6 months. Slowly, as I age in this career and in years, things are shifting. The fog lifting.
In a profound way I am living more from center. I am sitting back, settling into my worthy. The gold is RIGHT here, and there and even there. As a human being, I realize my depth. And I don’t have to dumb myself down in anger. No killing what is emerging. No withholding my potential or heart or intelligence or intuition.
I realize that within the running is the lesson. I don’t have to BE or HAVE or DO ______ to realize the wisdom of me. There’s nowhere to be that is more fabulous or evolved than right here. Now. I can be who I came here to be REGARDLESS of where I find myself physically. This is true authenticity. Without the struggle, guarding or fearing aliveness.
Nothing is changing yet EVERYTHING has changed. There it is again, that movement yet standing still. Suddenly I am aware that there IS nowhere to get to. No final destination (physically anyway). The destination is satisfaction with who you are in any given moment. That private joke pleasantness that spreads over your existence like warm Winter pajamas.
The where’s why’s how’s when’s – become irrelevant. Once we are completely accepting and embrace our present situation – NO MATTER what that is… you realize that it’s not the actual career, environment, $, fame, or recognition that matters. What really REALLY matters is that you are undeniably YOU wherever you may find yourself.
I once heard a Spiritual Teacher say – we can’t expect to get “there” if we’re not comfortable with where we are. I thought, well that’s a bunch of hot bull shit. I’ll be happier once I rid myself of the misery “here”. What I could never take in was that the misery is INSIDE of me. Not created by outside circumstances.
Me: Unpacking my bags.
My mantra: Good news today – Authenticity has no known address.
Ever listen to the leaves unfurl? Lying here it’s about all I can do. A lot in common these leaves and I. Hanging out in the present moment observing, listening, waiting. The slow angelic pitch, I imagine violin string elegant. Starting low and slow and opening as the pitch rises in question and wonder. Just barely audible as I sit in natures classroom. On nature’s furniture.
Announcing, loudly,. Claiming their assigned seasonal seat. Each an expression of individuality greener and greener still. Resilience and ready mixing with the promise of the Summer’s heat. Assuming the role of caregiver for the entire tree. Providing shade for all who seek. The face of the company ready to stand tall and accept storms, adversity and insect nibbles.
Oh the silence. Silence that holds colors, movement and nature’s agenda. All timely. Full of patience and promise. The silence that speaks so loudly one cannot possibly ignore. Like outstretched palms. These unfurling leaves. We can place our angst and suck -onto their plentiful surfaces. Nature never judges. Never scoffs. Just transforms.
I never lost the child within. She’s right here next to me. Gathering trinkets on walks. Stones that peak interest, pine needles that prickle on my cheek, pods yet opened, full of possibility and promise of another season.
Feathers of hawk, abandoned hornets nests, berries artistically encased in ice – saved in the freezer, crimson leaf pressed in the pages of the Mother Earth catalogue, brown, striped seeds of mystery.
Recuerdos, mementos for recalling yesterdays, telling the earth’s story one tchotchke at a time. Don’t lose the child within. He/she is counting on you.
Who are you really? What makes you tick? Not what do you do for a living. Not who are you in relationship to others…(mother, son, sister, brother, wife, grandpa, etc.). I was asked to describe who I am. After much thought about why I think I’m in existence, I came up with this description.
I am love. I am light. I am truth, real and raw. Both colorful and dark. I am synchronous with growth, death, rebirth following the cycles of nature. I am my own best friend, confidante and lover. I am sensual, funny and deep. I am a beautiful mix of human and spirit. Light and heavy. An unchanged core of varying human experience, I am a beautiful mess.
I feel a little piece of myself in everyone I know, everyone I meet. We are all a mixture of light n dark. A fine recipe of delicious complexity. I am joyful and depressed, I’m hateful, I am optimistic, I’m a killer, I’m jealous, I’m content and curious, wild, responsible, disengaged, entitled, invisible, enraged, tired, discouraged, complacent, magnificent. Big breath in….. real, lost, embarrassed, hopeful, dreamy, open, humiliated, passive, judgmental, honest weird, eccentric, lonely, pissed, accepting, blank, spiteful, alive, proud, blessed, dismissive and aggressive.
If we’re honest, several of these are living within us. Sure the positive traits/experiences are easy to embrace and recognize. The darker, shameful, maybe even shocking tendencies we def try to conceal, deny, excise. They need love and compassion too. They’re looking for recognition and expression. To be lovingly surrounded with safety, protection and containment.
This morning I woke with a dozen things to worry about. Some things I can’t even put a thought to, just general anxiety. This time of year I especially find myself living too far into the future, out of this minute, this hour, this day. Ruminating about what might happen, what I might not be remembering, what I might not get done, how I am wasting time thinking about how I might get all these useless thoughts evicted from my head….
Then, it hits me, so simple. I have decreased my alone time, my self nurturing, forgetting to gaze into the trees and grass, less twisting off the tips of an evergreen and drinking in the fragrance, less flower and petal rubbing. Left only with stealing quick sips of this cool morning air we have been blessed with lately.
I invite the anxiety to come along with me today as I keep meeting this moment and the next and the next. The present standing still long enough to be noticed. I’ll breathe through the crazy that surfaces. Aware of the path the air takes into my body and visualizing oxygen reaching all of the places my worry lives. I may just discover the lessons the anxiety is keeping me from… I wish you the same presence and intention for your day.
You fought, you pleaded with me to shut up. Oh I wouldn’t shut it. Not for a hot second. You created this mess. All of you. Perpetuated it by keeping the lid on, simmering, bubbling. Me poised to explode. Abuse years, haunting memories, flashbacks and dirty tricks making their way to the surface. Into the now. My mouth too small of a space for this hot garbage baggage to escape. It came through my pores, my guts, out of my eyes. Violently it breached the walls I had erected to keep the silence with you. For you. About you.
I wanted to save you. All 5 of my sisters. I would physically carry you if I could. Come with, I begged. I tried to wake you, slap that cool-aide pitcher out of your hand. Jesus Christ. You were abused too, I saw them, I saw you. How dare you deny this? It wasn’t your fault. It was just the way it was. Generational. My best efforts to save others were received like “attacks, attempts to ruin the family or make problems”.
Even in my dreams, I was unsuccessful. You were frozen. I would escape, door left open, and no-one followed. You stayed. I pleaded. I escaped. You dug in harder. How I wanted to remove the dark cloth from your eyes. Rip and tear and claw until you saw. Scream like the wounded animal that I was…until you connected – with something. With reality.
Torturous to want something sooo out of my control. Yet, I kept on. Pain and anguish were frequent dinner guests. A plate and seat were saved. I wanted someone to board the reality bus. Empty bus then, empty now. Oh, how delicious it would have been to have someone stand beside me. To honor OUR truth, OUR breaking up with dysfunction, OUR naming the insidious virus. Divorcing the dead from our life.
As children, our leader wanted us distracted. Our perfect saccharine sweet smiles. Pretty pin curls and dresses. Manners and obedience and black paten leather. Exceptional family. Got us so much outside attention. Stroked her gross ego. Believable. The world believed the picture. We were not allowed to question. blindly pleasing, serving. Resistance just a dream. Beautiful little liars, all of us.
Remembering all of this. Remembering all of the ways we had to leave ourselves. All of what we were forced to give up in order to belong, to have somewhere to live, food and some semblance of safety….
I walked away. Cutting the frayed cords, split ends. I was tired of hemorrhaging on those who drank my blood out of both sides of their mouth. I decided my life was worth saving, worth better. Donned with the ole oxygen mask, I stepped new steps out into the world. Lonely, edgy steps. Only taking small sips of life at first, barely looking back at the owned, the victims, perpetrators, the voiceless.
I actually did you a favor. Free from the reminders that my face brings. Free from the sting of my authenticity. Free to believe the beautifully creative fairytale you tell of your past. The fabricated loveliness of the overcrowded vacant house we were raised in.
I am no longer the one who ruined this amazing family unit. I am no longer the lost sheep. I am no longer cause of chaos and making poor, defenseless mother sad. Gag. I am no longer trying to pry you from your completely functional, well adjusted existence. I have no desire to wake you. You are completely correct, my energy, my desire to transform and re-parent, and evolve, and open my heart, and see and hear and feel – that is all for ME. I won’t waste any of that on you. My bad.
As a courtesy, I will leave you alone. You all function way better in a slumber. No matter how delicious, I will not remind you of the atrocities. We can leave them where you’ve buried them. How dare I devote any portion of my life and love to those who think I’m trying to ruin theirs? I will even tuck you in with soft, fuzzy blankets. Sleep well. Sleep well.
I’m in love with deep breaths. The boundless kind refilling my sails. Conscious sips of love welcomed into my chest scape. Dismantling an anxious foundation fortified with last weeks sludge. Thought by thought, I see them to the door. Some reluctant, but soon completely evicted from this wisdom pipeline of the soul.
Conscious or unconscious. I breathe. Resetting the tick, time, tock. Slicing up deadlines and have-to’s. Making manageable the most tangled armor. This luscious, quenching air filling the deep crevices between uptight and spacious. Grounding the body right here, right new
The holy rolling of chest. Breath enters and exits on two lane highway traveling South. Drawing in fuel, to our receptive muscles. Once again, saying yes to life. Then the exit North. The release of rib cage tension allowing drainage of all that is not serving us. All that has expired within us. Each cycle bringing us closer to ourselves.
In an endless cycle of fresh. An endless cycle of Peace. An endless cycle of Presence. I’m in love with deep breaths.
I’m in love with loud purring. Body shaking and telling of fondness for life. A soft, rhythmic blanket of furry love. Unscheduled pleasure. Rising and falling, sleeping and waking. Our eyes closed tightly, savoring the tune. Your whispers of fuzzy somethings at the foot of the bed.
The 3am motor, my favorite engine sound. Sheets ripple, erupt with fluttering plaid flannel. Sleepy pats offered. Met with nudges, of the predictable kind, to carry-on. Purring the kind of purr that becomes more audible with a rub.
This is where sensory joy lives. Comfortably. Amidst the pitter-patter of sounds from this warm furry throat. No troubles in this moment. Or this one. Or this one. I lay my heavy head on your fat, warm belly. Your kitty pillow accepts my forehead. Riding with the gift.
My ear bathed, absorbing the peaceful concert. Feeding my needy inner child soul with fizzy sound waves. Soothing even the most silent of frazzles. Within.
Compassion is having the capacity to hold, and the wisdom to allow, deep love to flow from your mature heart space as an energetic offering, to a recipient/situation.
Compassion is not subject to permission, boundaries or reception. It’s a private, organic offering/agreement between your higher self and ancient, wise mother heart.
I see compassion as two chambers of the same heart. One holding and honoring what WAS and the other holding and honoring what IS. Right and wrong, good and bad don’t exist, there is space and acceptance for all of it.
Compassion is having room for the entirety of an experience and seeing the inherent beauty, anyways.
Compassion is when you realize that caring deeply about others does not mean you have to surrender or negate some part of yourself.
Compassion is our loving acceptance of shades of gray in the human condition.
Compassion is a process by which you gaze, with eyes of softness, on those who could use holding, through their pain and struggle, especially when they can’t/won’t help themselves – regardless of their “deserving it”.
Compassion is standing onshore, looking into the eyes of pain in another, and remaining separate (without jumping in after them/merging with them in their pain) and loving them from dry land.
Compassion is realized, offered and received when the path to heart wisdom has been significantly cleared of the debris of trauma.
Looking for some inspiration today I stumbled upon this Wintery scene. Quiet, frozen and crunchy. Alive underneath but who would know? Who could tell? My desire for inspiration, stirring. Alive, underneath these Winter layers. We sit. Simmering, planning, fantasizing about the greatest of possibilities. Maybe adding some sparkle and intrigue to our lives, our existence. What rubbish can we dispose of? Can we be doing more? What’s really important? What’s fluff in our lives? What do we keep? Feed? What do we watch die off? Freeze? These cold, crunchy layers of Winter-ness masking, the ME, the YOU, the US. But yet the seduction of mid-Winter hibernation, stagnation, complacency is victorious. For ME? I’m still spying for some inspiration, the ME I aspire to be. Underneath it all.
Today I’m thankful for the animals that share our space.
The stealth snow owls, focused red tailed hawks, regal bobcats, black oil-slicked crows, curious deer, confused possums, five finger discount raccoons, cold sticky frogs, snakes using my garden as a dressing room, baby mice and the raggedy ass coyotes singing and announcing their intentions all night long. Invisible or seen. Vocal or silent. Life is fuller with your influence, richer with your light, more interesting with your presence in our space. Honoring all that sings late into the night. If just for today.