Thursday, May 26, 2011

In the little things

I have been reminded many times recently how time has marched on without me really even realizing it.  My world has changed and things are more settled, because I am more settled.  That and my kids are all out of that 0-3 range of unending physical needs.  I am a much better mother in this age because their needs are far more emotional and social... and I have done my work and feel prepared to walk this part of the parenting journey with them.  And so today I want to give thanks for the little things.

* A quiet home and a warm cup of coffee.
* Music that stirs my soul- today it is Jennifer Knapps newest installment.
* Good poetry.
* The time to work with my creativity.  Up today, baby pictures, and hopefully some scrapbooking for my family.
* The birds that are chirping outside my dining room window.

I dreamed this life four years ago, while I was in the mire of diapers to the third degree, sleepless nights, and relational absence.  I hoped to one day feel deeply connected to the wonderful people in my life, to have time for quiet, and I dreamed of having a studio and lifestyle that integrated my art with my life in a way that was streamlined and organic.

I now live that life, and I am so grateful, for I deeply respect the grace and hard work that allowed me to find this place of stillness.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The thing about stillness

So here's the thing.  When I pause long enough to be still, I feel my life in much deeper ways.  What is and isn't working comes to the surface in a way that feels very overwhelming at first... but then it starts to become more freeing the more I work within the stillness.  

When I was busying myself and creating distraction, I was hoping to avoid a few unpleasant things.  I was afraid to acknowledge my past, take responsibility for my mistakes and ultimately I was attempting to restrain my enragement, both self and others directed.  Instead of accomplishing that, I merely depleted my internal and external resources, made more bad choices and sacrificed my personal integrity. Yet I learned through it, so in the end, it is what it is and I can rest in the stillness of the postlude of that twisted endeavor.  The personal lessons I have gained are priceless and well worth the pain of growth.  

1.  I am my own best advocate and protector.  I can deeply trust my insight and my ability to live my life the way I choose.

2.  The illusion of stability, equality, and well adjustment is not nearly as important as actually living within stable, equitable, and kind relationships.  I will not need another go around with that truth to internalize that lesson, thank you very much.

3.  I have learned to tolerate my own humanity more with each and every day.  I respect my human nature in a much deeper way, and have found a deeper grace for others' human nature as well.  And out of that I am able to love others more fully.

4.  I have learned that when someone shows you their dark side, it is important to respect it and still not fear it.  I have learned a huge value in letting go of relationships that feel aggressive, even if the aggression is not immediately detectable.  When someone bares their teeth emotionally, that gives me extremely important information.  What they do with my feedback about such aggression, tells me all I need to know in order to assess the relationship.  And on the flip side of that, I already know the depth of my capability to be aggressive, so when those juices get stirred in me, it is time to stop and pay close attention.

I'm sure there is more that I have learned, but that is a good stopping place for today.  I need to go and enjoy the stillness.  May you find a moment of stillness too.