Tag Archive | Grace

Plans

“The best laid schemes of mice and men oft go awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain
For promised joy.”
Robert Burns from the poem “To A Mouse”

The month of October was to be a feeling and writing month. The plan was to sit on the beach several days each week and record the changes in the ocean, the beach and the feel of it all as Fall settled into the coast. The idea originated with my love of the book The Outermost House in which Henry Beaton chronicles a year on the beach of Cape Cod (in the year 1928).

And so I began the first week in October first on the public part of the beach and another day on the beach in the residential section. That second day was extraordinarily beautiful: lots of sun and wind. The ocean was roiling and the windsurfers exuberant. There was a change in tone as the air seemed fresher and a quiet sense of calm and peace seemed to underlay all.

That day a herring gull stayed near my beach chair for a long time (there was only one other gull in sight). First he was on the right, left for awhile and then planted himself on my left. As I often do with birds and animals I carried on a conversation about the beauty of it all and asking questions I am sure. It was a strange moment of connecting yet so natural.

And then October 9, 2016 arrived and with it Hurricane Matthew apparently out to humble weather forecasters. At about 6:15 AM I was sitting in the living room writing in my journal when there was a tremendous crash and the house shook. Initially I was unsure what happened but ran to my mother’s room to make sure she was all right which she was. I realized I heard dripping in the dining room and ran around to find a huge hole in the roof with a tree on top. It was still dark out so the full damage was not visible yet.

If I did not know before I clearly know now the meaning of going into a state of shock. But wonderful next door neighbors quickly responded and held my hand and reminded me what to do even as the hurricane continued. In a whirlwind of activity buckets appeared to catch the rain, a tree company got enough of the tree off so that a tarp could be put on the dining room roof. The insurance company responded and the wheels of “taking care of things” began to roll.

So here we are more than two months later, after the house was condemned for living, after 6 weeks in a hotel, “settled” in an apartment 5 minutes from the house. The feel of life is still strange and the amazing thing is realizing how many things I thought were ingrained habits are forgotten. Almost daily something comes to mind. For example I began doing the Donna Eden Daily Energy Routine (highly recommend this to start to the day) this past summer. One day last week it popped into my mind and I realized I forgot all about it. Working out at the gym is one constant that probably helps me maintain sanity.

For me it is as though a way of life was lost and the new way is in the creation stage. That new way may be internal, external or both and in time whatever it is will be revealed I suppose. My main feeling about life right now is I am in limbo. Of course we are also heading into winter the time of rest and renewal. Maybe I will manage to participate in that. But what I realize is that plans are nice but that is all they are: “plans”. There is no guarantee of completion or even initiation. Attachment to outcomes of plans adds stress as that old “need to be in control” kicks in.

What keeps me going now are the moments that show up through Grace: turning and seeing a sunset that takes my breath away; hearing the sounds of the ocean; hugging my daughter; experiencing the beauty of the sky and more. Will I still plan? Of course I will but I believe I may not do as much of it and will try to remember to release attachment when I do. Learning to trust in moments popping up is my focus though.

Are you a planner? What happens when your plans get upset. What moments have you experienced today that fill you with joy?

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Today

My heart is now open wide and I know I am here to serve.  Because I am human I am aware I must be vigilant and recognize when ego’s fear is sending me down a path I no longer need or want to travel.  However, I would not trade the human experience for anything:  embracing the beauty of this earth, experiencing the love of family and friends, feeling the warmth of a hug, knowing laughter and tears.  Opening to my higher spiritual self has elevated the human experience beyond belief.

I still have moments of doubt, moments of wanting what I want right now.  There are moments when I am overcome by sadness about what humanity does to the earth and about the meanness, hatred and lying that goes on all around the world.  Blessedly those times of wanting what I want are not as frequent nor do they last for years as in the past.  For the most part when sadness drops in I am able to go into the stillness and let it move through.  I also recognize that each teacher that comes into my life comes at exactly the right time.  Grace flows through it all.  When I am ready the teacher shows up and something within me responds and moves forward.  Now that does not mean I have not ignored the gift at times saying no that is not for me I have other things to do.  But always when the seed is planted I eventually pick up a book, listen to a CD or take a class and am propelled to the next phase on my path.  Also, when those teachers who are family, friends or irritants show up in some relationship I begin to see the truth that they all bring lessons in my life that add to my sometimes gentle sometimes not so gentle exploration of myself.

Vigilance is important but so is having at least one person who will help you see clearly.  Someone who lovingly assists you to keep you heart in focus.  My mentor has challenged me to explore my heart, to listen and to act-to take the next step.  She gently reminds me when the two year old in me takes over.  And there are times when I am actually amused at that lovable two year old.   When I remember choice from my heart I am able to focus on the peace and joy that are at my core.  The energy of peace that I am shines through.

So the somewhat chronological flow of parts of my journey ends in this blog post for now.  From this point on I will deal with topics as I am led to write about them.  If there is something you want me to cover please let me know. Let’s get ready to embrace more heart opening.

And Then There Was No Control

It was to be a Thanksgiving trip to visit my daughter and son-in-law in Los Angeles.  I arrived on a Friday night a little tired from the flight but not feeling unwell.  On the way to their home I had a bad nose bleed but I was used to it and shrugged it off.  The weekend went fine with shopping and sightseeing with my family.  Then I got up one morning began to feel weak and generally awful.  I remember lying on the couch with my teeth chattering as I was so cold.  Later in the day I felt better and did some things but that is the last I clearly remember until Thanksgiving evening.  My daughter told me that either I got dressed and let them take me to the UCLA hospital emergency room or they were calling 911.  Somehow I got dressed with the help of the angels and off we went.

 I remember very little of the next few days.  There are snippets of memory including a frantic expression on a resident’s face and my daughter asking what was wrong.  He told her he did not know as everything was off.  It “just happened” that a visiting consultant was there and once called in on my case quickly figured out a kidney stone was blocking the passage out of the kidney and sepsis set in as the poison filled my body.  I was rushed to surgery where the kidney stone was popped out of the urethra.  I began a recovery period that lasted three weeks in the hospital and three weeks as an outpatient before I returned home.

The first few days in the hospital are mostly a blur.  But I am eternally grateful to those in the hospital – doctors, nurses, nurse’s aides, food preparers, physical therapists, lab technicians – who took such wonderful care of me.  It was a time of turning all control over to others.  I could not even think beyond each moment!  The recovery was rocky and one of the things I remember is the young doctor coming in every morning to let me know how I was doing.  Each time she talked of improvement and then came back to say tests showed something else with wrong and a new protocol was started.  And each day my sweet daughter had to call family and friends to talk about something else that was wrong.  It must have been a horror for her as she spent her time working and visiting the hospital.  But what an advocate she was for me.  I recommend her highly for anyone who needs an advocateJ

So there I was with no control over anything as I depended on others to do almost everything for me.  My need to have “control” in my life led to a state of no control. I see now that Grace stepped in and saved my life. I did not realize that until I was an outpatient and the residents I saw kept exclaiming over how they did not understand how I was alive.  Each one asked me if I understood how sick I was when in the hospital. I also learned later that prayer constantly surrounded me from many family members and friends.

Is control an issue for you?    What do you believe you have no control over that you wish you did?  What is your experience with control in your life? What do you fear if you lose control?