Easy to Love.

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I got to meet my co-worker’s new baby yesterday, three months old of beautiful cuteness. He was sweet, smiley and easy to fall all over. And, he got me thinking about how easy it is to love babies. Babies are cute, they smell good, and they just ooze innocence. Their beauty is evident in everything that they do, from smiling to cooing to the way that they move in the world.

So, it got me thinking even bigger and more deeply about how easy it is to love some people in this world. For me, babies are easy. Puppies and kittens, they are really easy. Even small children are way easy for me. And, today I was thinking about why that is, why is it that those cute little creatures are so easy to love?

For me, it is all about their innocence. They are new to the world, or at least, relatively so. They have just arrived, and their slates are clean. They are open, and free, and just expressing themselves all over the place. They are open to learning without a filter. Their innocence shines like the sun.

But, here is the kicker. The innocence for me, of puppies, kittens and babies, is easier for me to see. But the real truth is, we ALL are innocent beings. We all have our core self that is completely clean and clear of the woes and darkness that we may encounter in this world. Amidst the choices that we make and the lives that we lead, we still all are innocent in our nature.

I find it so easy to see the innocence in beings that are new to this world, and not so easy to see the innocence in the faces of those that I see everyday, whether they be close to me in my life or strangers driving by me on the highway. I have many filters through which I view these people, and based on what I think I know about the world, I judge them as good, or bad. And, I rarely see their innocence.

Today, I am working toward, yet again, seeing the true innocence in others. It doesn’t mean that I don’t see actions from others as they are; or even that I am naive to the world around me. It just means that I remember, know and understand that we are all vulnerable being, and able to be seen through the eyes of love and compassion. I remember that I don’t know anyone else’s story, I remember that I don’t know anything about another person’s experience. And yet, I can still see them as whole and full of light.

I can still remember the innocence of all of us.

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Inner Space.

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I love to look at the moon, the stars and the sky. Whether I am taking in an amazing sunrise, a night sky full of stars, or a sunset with brilliant colors, I feel transformed when I pause to notice these beauties in nature. It seems when I am completely present to these aspects of my outer world, it brings about a peace within me that feels endless. A sense of quiet that replaces the endless thoughts running through my head. A connection to all that is around me at the same time that I sense my self.

My current journey on what I will call my spiritual road is definitely focused on realizing my connection to everything in this world. I have found myself remembering with more regularity how each person that I encounter in my day is me. That the man that passes me quickly on the highway is me; that the clerk that seems annoyed with her work is me; the friend that is worried about money is me. It goes on and on, and the world that I see around me, is me.

The other current part of my journey is seeking out the space within myself that is less focused on the form of my life, of this world. Everything that I experience or know of in this world that I call my own is form; not just the objects and persons that are in my life, but also the thoughts and theories I have about things in this life. All ways to quantify or describe what it is that I am experiencing. And, although that seems useful as a way to communicate and be in this world, I am more than just form. I am also spirit, one with the eternal. I don’t just have a life, I am life. I am not just one with the eternal, I am eternal.

When I make those choices to be with that idea, not the form as much as the space in between, my world and inner sense becomes really quiet and open. When I watch the beauty of nature around me, or consciously focus on what I am experiencing right here and right now, I find that the inner space is infinite. It is an experience that cannot be described easily with words. All I know is that at that time, I need do nothing, and I am in the same moment, connected to everything. In the letting go I am experiencing eternity.

The inner space reminds me that I have nothing to fear; that all will be well; that I am perfect right as I am; and that I am spirit, light and love.

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Blessed Impermanence.

Gratitude

I have been reading The New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. What a find! The words and meaning behind them, or the meaning that it has for me at this point in my life, has come along at precisely when it was intended to for me. It is deep and true for this current portion of my life.

It is the second book that I have read by him, and have another one waiting for me when I finish this one. In a very brief summary, what I find in his writings to be so profound to me, is the ways in which he reminds the reader, and to a certain extent, himself, about the transient nature of our lives, the transient nature of everything around us. That we are all here but for a brief time. That any person or thing that we attach ourselves to is simply form, and that all of that is only here for a moment.

I think it is partly due to my aging process, but also, because of where I consider myself to be at this point spiritually and emotionally, that these concepts most appeal to me. I am well aware of the transient nature of my life, whether it be because of the death of a pet or loved one; living far away from those that I love and minding it; or when I think about a future with my beloved, and worry that we might not see as long of a future as I would like for us to have, for one reason or another. I think about how fortunate I am to have the shelter, food, and finances I need to care for myself. Yet, even with those blessings, every single thing and person in my life is here on a temporary basis.

To some, and to me, that can be a frightening thought. However, I am learning to remain in the present moment more and more in my daily living. When I stay in the moment, and I am not saying that is always easy to do, I am present. I take in what is going on around me with more attentiveness. I breathe a bit more deeply, and drive a bit slower and listen more. When I really am tuned in, I realize that I don’t have any fears when I am in the moment. The fears come when I am living in or reflecting on the past; or worrying and planning for the future. When I remember that all I have is the here and now, my fears cease, and I have a sense of peace and contentment within that is not with me easily at other times.

Now, this doesn’t mean that life always gives us pleasant moments. I am a generally happy person, yet there are some troubled times that have happened in my life and will continue to happen. Being in the moment, happy or troubled, sad or joyful, means that “this too shall pass”; both that which brings us happiness and that which brings us sorrow is fleeting, transient. It will pass.

So, in that frame of mind, I become more deeply aware of not only impermanence, but what I realized for me today is BLESSED impermanence. When I stay in the moment, free of my fears, I feel a deep sense of peace. For, when I remember, moment to moment, what a rare and special being that I am, and how much a part of the whole I am as my unique self, I truly feel blessed.

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Super Mom.

Supergirl

I am raising a seventeen year old teenager, along with two other strong, determined women. And, on most days, I feel pretty competent at how I parent. I feel protective, loving, open, and honest. I am grateful for the conversations that my teen and I share with one another. I feel scared, when it would seem logical to feel that way, and confident most of the rest of the time.

Today however, I felt differently. You see, I walk a very fine line between feeling fully confident in who I am as a parent, and feeling like a complete failure. And, on some days, like today, it only takes a light breeze to blow me off that line into the abyss. When I fall down this self described rabbit hole, even though I have plenty of people in my world to tell me otherwise, I feel like a complete failure.

You see, even when I think I am doing a pretty good job at navigating parenthood throughout adolescence, and beyond, I have self doubt. I wonder if I am royally messing it all up, or if I am hitting the mark. I envision myself as super human as a mom, at the same time that I have no idea what the hell I am doing.

So, tonight, I went down the hole, by thinking that all that I have done so far on behalf of my child is an epic failure, and that the shortcomings in my parenting will certainly bring ruin to the future that lies ahead of this brilliant human being. That if I am not doing it perfectly, by a standard other than my own, than I am failing. That I am never good enough and will never measure up. It is a thought train that I am willingly riding on, until I am not.

I take a long bath, until I am shriveled beyond recognition, I cry, hard and long, and then, I put on my jammies and decide that I have had enough. Decide that if I am going to have any effectiveness in my parenting, I have to trust and believe that I am doing right by my child. For the simple reason that I am only ever doing my best.

We have been facing some pretty challenging days recently. We are in new territory that I didn’t anticipate one year ago. Yet, we are learning, growing, changing and loving one another fiercely through it all. And, today, I learned two big lessons to take forward with me.

First, I need to trust and believe in what it is I am doing to raise a beautiful human being in this world, and that even if others around me might do it differently, it doesn’t mean, I am doing it wrong. It just means, we view it differently. The second, and more profound lesson for me, is that no matter what, I need to keep loving myself, as fiercely, consistently and openly as possible.

For, the truth is, I am only doing my best, in every moment. And, that always has to be enough.

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Triple Layer Chocolate Cake.

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This past weekend, I went home to Massachusetts to visit family. Last weekend, much of my family were together there to celebrate the life of my great aunt Marion, who passed away a few days ago. Since I was not able to be there with them last weekend, I wanted to be near them this past weekend, and so we took a road trip there. We stayed with my Aunt Ruth, visited with my cousin and his wife, and got to go visit my great Aunt Theresa who also lives in town.

Seeing Theresa felt extra special, because usually I find it difficult to visit with her. She can’t hear well, she has a hearing aid that doesn’t help much, so communication is limited to writing messages to her on a white board, and then she answers me. It seems tedious and frustrating that I can’t just talk with her. Yet, it seemed so much easier this time.

I sat on the floor in front of her, and just kept asking her questions on the board. We had some laughs, she shared a lot of information with me, and she even expressed how happy she was for me that we are getting married. It was magical. And, it made me realize yet again what an amazing life that I have.

I would say that I live a triple decker chocolate kind of life, most of the time. It is sweet, delicious, and a favorite way for me to be present. This weekend, being with my family, walking and driving through my old hometown, and enjoying the trip there and back with my beloved, was truly the icing on the triple layer chocolate cake of my life. It only enhanced the sweetness and magic that was already present.

Maybe it is in remembering my loved ones’, and my own, mortality, that makes time with them seem so much more precious and rich. I understand that death will continue to visit my life without end, and so it seems so much more enjoyable for me to be in the moment, whenever I can, in this life that I am living. Savor every bit of it that may not be here again, or for long.

Keep having dessert!

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