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Friday, April 15, 2011

Nourish Me:: Week Eight - I Spy

Warmth, light and beauty

My writing focus this week has been about clear-seeing. I find it amusing that it is nearly the weeks end and that I am only now really reading the material I should have started on Monday. Only now am I giving myself the gift of some time to focus on myself and my journey.

It's been a bit of a battle this week but then I think I'm still in the process of avoiding. It's interesting to note my resistance to something I chose for myself, that I longed for, looked forward to and am now finding reasons not to engage in. Clear seeing - what is that? Seeing in the moment or seeing the moments truthfully? I think I see all the negatives very clearly. I can see where I go wrong on a minute by minute basis. And sometimes it feels as if that's what I'm doing - judging myself by my failures minute after minute after minute. It's no wonder I get to the end of the day and feel exhausted and demoralised. 
Photo  via http://lipglosnletdown.tumblr.com/page/10
As you know, I decided a few months ago, to spend this year focusing on nourishing myself. I chose the word 'Nourish' as my word for the year - the word by which I would try to live and to which I would try to pay attention.  I found the first few weeks easy and could barely wait to have the next post ready to go. Then, after five weeks, the nourishment came less readily, in small bites, yet these were just as delightful in their unexpectedness. My clear seeing seems to be following this same pattern. Little moments of nourishment and little moments of awareness go hand in hand. Yet, now I am in this place of 'what do I write about?' How do I know what I am not seeing? What am I missing? How can I see those moments of nourishment in areas that may not come so easily to me. The ones that I may not even know about because I have never looked towards them? How does one train the eye (inner and outer) on that which one does not ordinarily see? I guess by paying more attention. By incorporating more pauses into my daily life. By giving myself permission to slow down and let go.

I know that in order to move to a much healthier place emotionally, my mind needs to be able to focus more on these moments of goodness, of grace, of success in my every day life - where I meet my expectations or at least get a little closer to them. I need to stop punishing myself for every little mistake and remember to focus on the things that I do and say that are right, intuitive, funny, patient and kind. My fire often gets in the way of clear seeing. It causes the world to narrow, my vision to tunnel and my actions and therefore the outcomes to remain the same - the very definition of madness. I can see all my faults so clearly as if punishing myself for them, somehow makes the mistakes easier to bear. As if by punishing myself, I won't be punished by others. By God.
Photo via http://silenceiswild.tumblr.com/ 
I have PND (post natal depression). I have talked about it many times. It's hard to see anything clearly through that. It is a filter through which my life and my mothering are scorched. PND does not really mean 'depressed' it is more of an anxiety that fills you up and jangles every stretched nerve. It keeps me in a constant state of 'simmer' so that every little bump in the road pushes me into anger. It is not easy to live with and neither am I. Part of the PND that is difficult to live with is that I get separation anxiety sometimes. When I am not with my children, and especially if I have had a few difficult days with them, as I have this week, I worry that 'God' will take them away from me. I fear their loss. It can be terrifying. It's interesting to me that I see God in this way. I was raised a catholic and I wonder if all that hellfire and brimstone has left this legacy behind? God as a judgmental, violent, jealous being who sees fit to punish those who falter, who lack sufficient faith. When I stop to really think about it, this is not how I see 'God'. It is only in those moments of fear when I strive to avert some anticipated, feared disaster. When I am bargaining. 
I am not a religious person. I class myself as spiritual I suppose. And yet, I see myself slipping into the martyr role so easily in times of struggle, begging God to forgive me for my sins. I think this ties into my uncomfortable feelings about faith. When I try to see my relationship with the Divine clearly, I cannot. It's as if I don't really know what it is that's 'out there'. I want to believe there is some divinity guiding us, but I am uncomfortable with the uncertainty. Again, I don't have that unshakeable faith that there is something, bigger and wiser than me, guiding and illuminating my path. It feels like falling to surrender to this not knowing. I am someone who needs certainty - control. Yet, in those moments I do surrender or am at peace with the not knowing, there is a sort of acceptance, a sense of peace that comes with it.
Photo from thenocturnalnest
I remember the surrender that birthed my boy into being just 10 short months ago. The day that he was born, I was 6 days overdue and had been feeling highly irritated and uncomfortable for months. That day I simply felt at peace with everything exactly as it was. I felt no stress despite my birthing assistant leaving the very next day for a three day retreat and my back-up assistant having bronchitis and not being available. It was all as it should be and I was totally comfortable with whatever happened. I didn't want to find a way to push the labour to happen. I didn't want to talk to the baby and convince it to come. I simply wanted to sit with everything, just as it was, and let it be. It was extraordinary, to say the least, for me (the giant stress-head) to be in this space and I savoured it. I truly did. I let the surrender wash over me and I was truly at peace. Just hours later I went into labour and birthed my boy into the world in a mere 8 hours, totally naturally. I remember just breathing my way through it all, trusting the process, my body, myself. Letting myself go into the waves of contractions until I could feel this power vibrating through my body. The birthing energy was so intense and so fierce and so concentrated. Yet still within it, I was surrendered to the process, breathing into it - journeying with it.  I was a proud birthing mamma - joined by some invisible thread to all the other birthing mammas that were with me on this journey, that had ever been and that ever would be.  I felt strong and indomitable and fearless. It was joyous and beautiful even in those moments of challenge that are a part of every birth. I relished every moment and still do. I have never been prouder of myself.
Photo via http://turnofthecentury.tumblr.com/
Now I find myself wondering if I could surrender to the rigours of an ordinary life in this way? To simply trust the journey to unfold without me trying to control, steer, interfere. Without standing in my own way and, most importantly, without beating myself up. Wouldn't my entire life be as joyous and as beautiful? Wouldn't I be present to the beauty of the world and even myself, if I simply allowed life to take me instead of me trying to take life and mould it into the shape I think it should be? Is it that easy to really let go? To surrender to the flow without knowing where it will take me? It was easy that day but can I surrender daily to the discomfort of not knowing and let it shape me, change me, bend me to it's will? Can I begin again without all that I think I am and all that I want to be getting in the way? And, more importantly, if I begin to do this - can I find my way back to this intention when the days are tough, the tempers are frayed and I have merely dark indentations where (my oft pushed) buttons once lived?

These are certainly things to ponder. I shall keep my eyes (and heart) open and really try to 'see' what unfolds.

And now, because I like doing this so much, I will share some more of my small nourishy bites with you:
:: watching :: myself and the world around me. Very closely.
There are fairies at the bottom of my garden
:: loving :: exploring my psyche and finding some answers. Kinda. Capturing sweet moments.

: longing :: for a break. Some time in a different environment to recharge. Some time to sleep whenever I feel like it.
found on http://perfectionturnsmeon.blogspot.com/
:: looking forward to :: finding some rhythm in my days with Beanie and Bear, to ease the tension and give us some focus for our days. My friends being within hugging distance for a while. Chai and good conversation and maybe a little knitting.

:: heading towards :: the next leg of my journey, one uncertain step at a time.

:: enjoying :: nature walks, the cold misty mornings, rain on a cold tin roof, the sense of slowing down and breathing easier now autumn is so present.

::making:: a rainbow dress for Beanie with beautiful, colourful Noro wool. Ravelry pattern here. Lots of lovely soups and hearty warm wintery food including my very first ever batch of chicken stock! I feel like such a homesteader!

:: surprising myself with :: how easy it is to make fresh stock. I may never buy it again! 

:: feeling :: a bit stormy but with patches of sunshine.

:: hoping for :: a change of programming in me 'ead, a chance to escape the rut I'm in with Beanie, a change of scene, some snow (fat chance!), someone to talk to.
found on http://weareinevitable.tumblr.com/
:: grateful for :: the beautiful photographs taken by my bestie Lausy of Warmth and Light photography. They all turned out so beautifully and she captured the essence of our family so well, it's going to be mighty hard to pick out the ones we want on the wall. And as if that wasn't enough, she gave me a back massage too. Oh that woman was sent by angels just for me.

Here's hoping that you are getting the nourishment you need. If you post about it, let me know.


laura (warmthandlight) said...

Stunningly beautiful post, precious one. So much is unfolding for you this year, and it gladdens my heart muchly to hear you speak of acceptance, surrender, kindness to self with heart as well as head-knowing.

Your birth story...divine, and I agree there is much to learn from such a joyous experience of surrender and flowing with the intense uncontrollable unknown.

Your writing has just been getting better and better, and I have no doubt this course will bear much fruit indeed. I look forward to hearing more about it. May you keep claiming the space and time for the juiciest of pursuits.

I truly enjoyed the family shoot, too, and I am rapt you love the pics (perhaps as much as I do! I can't stop looking at them). What I love most is that they show your family for what it is - so creative, loving, playful, and warm. Your mothering too, is shown just as it is: "intuitive, funny, patient and kind". I couldn't have put it better myself. I personally love the shots of you as Mother of Two, standing so calm and strong and beautiful, and ready for anything.

Very much looking forward to being closer to you. How fortuitous. Your benevolent God must have sent us to you!

Enough gushing.
How sweet to find some Lillies in the garden!

Nettles said...

ooh! Delish gypsy caravans! Veeery good indeedy!

It's funny, but I'm wondering if we may be heading in similar directions regarding the next stage of things...maybe we could be our own cheer squad...whaddya reckon?

And since I will be up your way for a few weeks, I am so looking forward to grabbing you for chai and chats. And there will be much yarn - both kinds! Yay!

And I have no doubt those pics of you and your whanau are exquisite. That Laura woman is damned talented. In fact, I reckon that birds sing and flowers unfold their petals wherever she walks...hehe. No really.

Oh, and yes! chicken stock - isn't it the most easy-peasy thing? so very smug-making.
xx see you soon petal!

Monica said...

for me, i've discovered that it's more about "incorporating more pauses into my daily life" than the attention, focus, steering.