Friday, July 29, 2011

Getting Real

Do you have secret desires? Are there things you would do or ways that you would be if there were no obstacles? 

A few posts ago I wrote about the revelation I'd had with the help of a group of friends that I needed to stop "waiting" and start living the life I dream of living. (Hell, start living period some days....) Now, thanks to another friend (a wonderful new friend... hi, MeMe :), I'm being more specific about what that might entail. It's one thing to say I'm going to start living, it's another thing to say, okay, these are the specifics.  And yet another thing entirely to start taking steps to open the door to these things manifesting.

What is it, if anything, that stands in the way of your greatest longings? 

I tend to keep my secret desires secret. And vague. And locked away in some vault inside because what if I speak them and they never happen. What if I try and I fail? How embarrassing and humiliating would that be! But what good are they isolated in the dark, without the light they need to grow, where they can't be fed and watered and nurtured into being; helped along by the loving energy of friends and family and life itself?

What if our dreams are beacons, lights whose purpose it is to show us the way to the life we came here to live?

So today, I'm going to speak one of my top secret desires. There are three that rise like cream to the top when my friend says pointedly, what's next, Debby? There seems to be a conspiracy of late, one arrow after the other pointing me in a certain direction, too many to ignore, including my own thoughts that in spite of depression and fear and the other things that seem so real that stand in my way, if I wait until the conditions are "perfect," I may in fact be waiting forever. 

What if, on some level that we are rarely if ever aware of, anything might be possible? Anything... 

This is not a bucket list. That's a whole other post altogether. These are my secret (or not so secret) personal, heart-and-soul-felt, she-lived-the-life-she-came-here-to-live-epitaph things. These are the things that, if I live a long life, on my deathbed, I will seriously regret that I never gave a go. They are my personal edge right now...  and just the act of making them public is a step off the big cliff, a climb out onto the fragile fruit-bearing limb, a swan dive deep into the ocean of possibility.

What if we actually have the power to visualize into being that which seems not just improbable, but impossible...

So today the dream I am owning and honoring is my desire to write about my journey. Going as far back as I can remember, every "hopes and dreams" list I have made up includes writing a book. Whether it is or ever becomes a book or not is immaterial; the important thing is to begin the writing. I recently did a week-long creativity ecourse, and our assignment for the week was to create a book cover. Other than that parameter, it was wide open what we did with it. Oh My Goodness... could there have been a more perfect prompt for me right now? What came out of me was the front and back cover of my own book. Shocking to see it in reality. And inspiring. And scary. And weirdly, in creating the cover, an opening happened wherein I could actually begin to visualize the writing of it... feel its texture and format, see its chapters, discover its energy and potentials, know it as the creation that Yes! can actually be birthed and brought into being.

What if this "book" could actually come into being...........

Coming soon, numbers two and three (and btw, they are all top of the list, not in order of preference).

Do you have a secret desire that longs for the light of day? Are you willing to climb out on the limb with me and share it?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My Sister's A Keeper

                                       My sister Cindy

Today I am privileged to attend my sister's graduation from a program which trained and certifies her to be a Certified Nurses Assistant and a Home Heath Assistant. Her goal, to work caring for the dying in home hospice.

To say I am inspired by her courage, her enormous heart, her resilient and hard working spirit, her life's journey, is an understatement. She has not been dealt an easy life; from spousal abuse to panic and agoraphobia, raising two kids alone, helping support her grandchildren, being forced to resign from an unsafe work environment, being unable to find employment in her field (600 applicants for one position), I have watched her walk through fire again and again, and come out not just stronger, but like the phoenix rising; with a heart more and more open; more in touch with who she is, the gifts she has to give, and what, for her, comprises a life worth living.

Never have I seen a person more suited to the work they are drawn to do. She doesn't just bathe, shave, change diapers, braid hair, she respects and loves her patients. She feels honored to be able to work with them. The work is hard, it is grueling, it is emotional. And yet, and even, knowing there's a good chance she'll never make what she did at her former job, that she may not even really make a living wage, but because it makes her soul sing, she can't wait to get at it.

Today, Nin, you are my hero. I am so proud of you. I am so in awe of you. To watch you meet, oftentimes shaking in your boots, all that life has offered you; each new heartache, every new adventure; leaving a husband who beat you, an employer who abused you; paralyzing anxiety; watching your children suffer their own serious hardships; learning to trust life (and men!) again; terrified of flying, but getting on that little plane anyway to visit me in Moloka'i; the fear of going back to school at the ripe young age of 56, then learning anew how smart and capable you are, and a whole new trajectory and meaning to life. And now, oh the irony, valedictorian... I can't wait to hear your speech, knees buckling, voice quivering and all, cuz I know it will come straight from the heart, it's the only way you know to do it - lucky us - and I'm sure there won't be a dry eye in the place.

See you soon! Thank you for all that you are. I  love you so much.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

New Beginning

Creativity is hard right now. I feel the black hole pulling at me... and then I opened an email yesterday with this poem. There is no way my own words could have captured so precisely and exquisitely where I am right now. I do know there is big change on the horizon. Maybe dancing with the darkness again is part of the shift.  For me, it's a weird poem in that I can't seem to find its rhythm. Perhaps that's by design... so that its beat does not take away from its words, which frankly, turn me inside out and completely undo me.

For a New Beginning
by John O'Donohue

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling your emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plentitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life's desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

I love even just the last lines together:

Waiting until you were ready to emerge
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown
Wondered would you always live like this
A path of plentitude opening before you
That is at one with your life's desire
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

The line that grieves me the most is about still being unable to leave what you had outgrown. What I have outgrown. There is so much sadness and loss in those words I can't even begin to write about them. Not right now anyway. I know that once again I sit at the crossroads of security and growth. Dancing. Waiting. For what my soul senses is the world that awaits. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Something New

This is my first attempt at photo collaging. There are things I like about it, things that aren't quite working for me, but one thing is for sure, I enjoyed the challenge.

I had a "scary" realization a couple of days before I did this. I was bored creatively. Bored with photos and photoshop. Just sitting and fiddling with a photo wasn't floating my boat anymore. This is how it can be with this double Gemini system. Easily bored. On to the next thing before "I" am ready to give it up. I don't want that to happen here, with something that feels so important to me. I realized that I need to challenge myself more. That I need to dive more deeply in to my creativity. Have more of a focus. Take more risks. The collage above was born of that, and whether I love it or not, I was very much engaged in the process. I need freshness, the stimuli of learning something brand new to invigorate me.

And once again, hmm, surprise, surprise, I see that as it is with art, so it is with life. I realize also that I am deep in a process around being bored with life. In the past few days, I realize that I am living life on hold; waiting... for my house to sell, for my depression to lift, for my boat to come in, so that I can get on with life. It's been brewing under the surface, just out of reach of consciousness until yesterday, when I was sitting with friends and it came bubbling up - out of their mouths, not mine - debby, stop waiting, start living the life you want to live... 

Wow, big pause and holding of breath........... then huge exhale. The hitting of truth somewhere deep inside the belly of my being.

"Coincidentally," I had just put together this next collage for an Unraveling assignment. It's a photo representation of all of the "adventures" I've had since stepping outside the box six years ago when I went to swim with wild dolphins. Right here in beautiful color is the life that I dream of living... the life that was manifesting, the life that now feels on hold. Jeez, no wonder I am bored. NO WONDER I am depressed. Looking at the photos, I am reminded that these trips were all made on faith. On huge slabs of trust that they would come together, that the money would be there, that I would, in fact, be able to jump off the side of the boat and not drown in the warms waters of the Caribbean; that I could in fact fly alone all the way to Europe; could drive a car by myself through France; that I would not die of aloneness on Moloka'i. I realize that I am waiting for it to be easy... that having white-knuckled it through these early experiences, that I could now sit back and it would forevermore flow effortlessly. I am struck with the irony of it... how boring that could actually turn out to be...

I feel the quickening of my breath just thinking about it. Stepping outside the box I once again find myself cramped inside of. Going once more out on a limb. Making plans as if. Hmm... I like it. It's fresh, it's new, it's completely invigorating. Diving more deeply into life. Taking risks once again. Living life as the adventure that it actually is. Like the creative process in art, stepping (or falling) into the unknown, and letting it live itself into being one mysterious moment at a time.

I feel the tingling of possibility.