Tag Archives: being in the moment

The Pantry.

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My Aunt Ruth’s death almost three months ago has stirred up in me many different emotions. I have deep gratitude for her presence in my life, my entire life. I am also grateful to have her beloved cat, Josh, in our home with us. I feel deep sadness, on and off, when I realize that I will never see her again, in this world. I will never look into her eyes or hold her hands. I feel deep peace when I sense her presence around me, when I talk to her in my car or feel her hand on my shoulder. 

 

Even though I rarely feel regret about aspects of my life, my way of focusing on the past is through longing. It is very common for me to feel a sense of longing about an aspect of past. Either longing for the way things used to be with someone in my life; longing for looking the same as I may have years ago; or longing for a place that brings deep feelings of love and connection for me. One longing that I have deeply in me is for my Aunt Ruth’s house.

 

When I was a very young child, the house that became my Aunt Ruth’s homestead was the home of my grandparents, my father’s mom and dad. My Nana and Grampa. I loved going to their house when I was a kid, to see them, and to spend time there. My Aunt Ruth lived with them throughout their lives, and when they both died, she continued to live there, until her death. It is the house and home that was the constant for me as I was growing up. There were homes that I lived in with my parents that felt special to me, but Ruth’s house was the deepest representation of home that I have ever experienced.  When I would visit there, I would enjoy spending time in various parts of the house. There are short stories living inside of me for each nook and cranny. One of those rooms was the pantry.

 

I had never been in another house, that I remember, that had a pantry. I thought it was so cool, that there was a little room right off of the kitchen, where so many different types of objects were kept:  food; pots and pans; tools; spices. There was plenty of storage space in there, but just enough room for one person to stand in there, turn around a couple of times in a circle depending on what you were looking for. For two people, you couldn’t move around much.

 

When I was very young, around 8 or 9 years old, and I would spend weekends and holiday vacations there, I would love to go in there and look around at everything on the shelves. I liked to look at the variety of spices, and medicines that were there. There was always a pair of scissors hanging by a hook. Coffee mugs that were the favorites of various persons in the house. Cookie jar that almost always had Oreos in it. And, so many other objects that I always remember being there. And, there was a big metal step stool, that had a seat at the top of it, and extra steps that unfolded out of the bottom. That would fit just under the counter top in the pantry. I remember my Nana, who was diabetic, going in there to inject her own insulin. I would often be in there with her, as she pulled out the stool, sat down, pulled up her dress and injected herself in the leg. It fascinated me that it didn’t seem to hurt her at all.

 

When my son and I went to Ruth’s house one last time a couple of weeks ago, I woke up early the morning that we were leaving, unable to sleep. I knew that I most likely, would never be in that house again. I felt a strong longing for time to be turned back, just to have one more day, one more weekend in that house. I walked into the pantry, touching objects, taking some with me, and feeling a deep sense of loss and grief. That room, the memories in it for me seemed almost palpable. They were lingering in the air. I tried to imagine other objects on these shelves, and that seemed impossible to comprehend. This is the only way that it should ever be, like in a museum.  

 

I feel so grateful today for the time that I got to have my Aunt Ruth in my world, and to be in a home that will never leave my heart and mind. And, even with longing, the bigger part of my memories is a deep feeling of love, connection, and peace. The pantry and all parts of that house will always live in me.11202856_1606994312902212_7038100225790313098_n

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Sea of Change.

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My life has been a series of deep changes in the last few months. In the areas of my work, my play, my family, and my home, changes have been everywhere. And, for most of my life, I have made a determination in my mind and my heart of whether a change was good, or bad. Hardly ever have I encountered a change about which I felt completely neutral.

 

There are many reasons of why I feel a sense of judgment about change occurring in my world. One reason is that I believe that if things change, then what I previously believed about a relationship was an illusion or a lie; that if that person no longer speaks to me or is in my life, that maybe all along they didn’t really care about me. If the circumstances of my job change, I immediately feel like maybe this isn’t the right position for me, or I feel betrayed in some way that change has occurred. If a change happens that I label as positive, it is always because things have turned out the way that I wanted in some form. 

 

The main reason that I would ever feel upset or concerned about a change that happens in my life is simply fear:  being afraid for a new circumstance to come in. Afraid of what is going to occur next. Fear of the unknown. When I am coming from fear, it almost certainly means that I am resisting what will come whether I embrace it or not. I want things to stay the same, because in sameness, it seems like there is safety, security, familiarity.  I want my world to stay as it is in those moments.

 

However, whether I want it to occur or not, changes do come in my world, on a daily basis. I am in my little vessel on the ocean of life, floating along, and the ocean doesn’t stay constant. If you spend any time on the coast, the only thing certain about the waves and sea is that it is constantly changing. The tides, the size of the waves, and color and texture of the ocean, is always in motion. It never stops. 

 

When I live my life in the past, through memory, regret or sentimental feeling, then any new circumstance or information that comes in that challenges that feels threatening to me. When I live in the future, in anticipation of what I want to happen, or am planning in my mind, when those plans get changed, I feel threatened and unappreciated or unheard. It may all sound very dramatic, but this is what occurs when I am not living presently, and I judge what happens around me as either good, or bad. 

 

The truth is, I will always be riding the ocean of life, always navigating my way through a sea of constant change. Life is ever changing; that cannot be disputed. How those changes impact me, or don’t, is always my choice, my intent. If I live my life as fully in the present moment as possible, watching life as if it were a movie, and understanding that change occurs whether I want it to or not, then I can be neutral about change. I can embrace that life, in all of its wonder and unique manifestations, can just be something that I watch unfold, and see the opportunities for learning and growth with every change in the waves. I can choose gratitude for every experience, no matter what comes my way.

 

Change comes to each one of us. We can enjoy the ride or curse the tide. I want to secure as much joy and peace as possible while I am on this voyage, so I choose this moment, as often as I can remember. 

 

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Love Letter to Myself.

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Dear Vanessa, 

You are Beautiful. You are a radiant Light, and I am so glad that you are finally seeing, and shining that Light fully in the world. Of course, I have known it lived in you all along, but I knew you had to see it for yourself. Now, that you have discovered what was always there, there is no stopping it. Your Light is a beacon, a beam in the darkness when hope seems lost. It is ever present and will never leave you. Welcome to your own Loveliness.

 

You are pure Love. You have known this about yourself in glimpses here and there, yet I sense a major shift in the past months. You now know and understand that pure Love isn’t quantified by how many people you have in your world, in whether or not you are in a romantic relationship, or even if your relationships are going well. Pure Love never ends; it exists and lives within you and pours from you. It needs no reason for existence and it is eternal. You are pure Love.

 

You are Forgiveness in the making. I know that Forgiveness does not always come easily for you, mainly because you struggle with forgiving yourself. You are Perfect as you are, and when you see your own perfection, you are able to see the brilliant perfection in others as well. Forgiveness is easy when we understand that we are not flawed in any way; we are perfect, just as we are. I see you deepening your understanding and acceptance of that, and I see your ability for Forgiveness when you think that you fall short. Keep at it, my Love. It will get easier and easier.

 

You are both Universal and Unique. I know that you have often felt like an oddity in this world, like no one could possibly “get” you. So strange that people were uncomfortable around you. Of course, that was just your story you told yourself, as a way to keep you small and feeling like a victim. You are Unique, beautifully, wonderfully unique, in how you see the world, interact with it, and show your colors to it. And, you are Universal, part of the whole tapestry of this Life force. You are an essential part of it; your uniqueness adds to the radiant beauty of the whole entity. Remember that you are both and keep Being exactly who you are.

 

You are Perfect, Beautiful, Love, Forgiveness, Universal, Unique. You are all of these, and you are Beloved for it. Always remember, in every moment, in every breath that still lives within you, that you are Love, and Loved, beyond any measure.

 

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Doing Nothing.

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Me and my beloved wife (I love saying that!) are on our honeymoon, in a beautiful, tranquil place called Tybee Island, Georgia. It is an amazing find, we feel completely secluded, and we get to have morning coffee seaside, hearing the surf and watching the world awaken. We are in complete bliss.

Before we arrived here, I had scoured websites and even bought a Fodor’s book about Savannah and the local area, thinking excitedly about everything that we could do while we are here. Go on a dolphin watch or river cruise. Take a walking tour through Savannah. Go to the local lighthouse and try out a lot of local food and restaurants. Yesterday morning, our first day of waking up here, I was full of anticipation of what we would do for the day.

Plans and ideas of what to do on a vacation are great, feeling like I don’t want an opportunity to be missed. Yet, when we settled into a beautiful morning yesterday, we decided that to have plans on our beautiful vacation is yet another way to be doing SOMETHING. Planning, living by time, making lists of where to go and what to do. So, we pledged to one another that we would keep reminding ourselves to just live in the moment, go where the spirit moved us, and take it from there.

Once we had decided to do just that, the rest was so easy. We walked on the beach. We sat by the pool with drinks, soaking up the sun. We looked at pictures, made food, and sat by the water. We walked under the night sky after seeing the lighthouse up close. We adventured and had fun without a plan.

It was bliss.

Just being in the moment brings so many opportunities for me to let go, and realized that right now is really all any of us have. It is me allowing myself to be present and available to everything that is happening right now, take it in, and enjoy it fully. It is good practice for what I aspire to bring to my world on a more frequent basis.

I love this moment.

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The Next Thing.

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I have spent much of my life aspiring and seeking. Aspiring to gain a career that I enjoy, that can be lucrative, and help me to take care of myself and my family. Aspiring to be smarter and better at what I do. I have also been seeking, seeking peace, comfort, and knowledge outside of myself in order to feel more spiritually sound. I have sought that through religion, meditation, and yoga. I have sought knowledge through deep study and classes. I have, for much of my life, been working toward the next “thing”. Job. Opportunity. Level of Enlightenment.

What I have been discovering lately about seeking, is that it feels like desperation. Like in order to feel truly happy or fulfilled in my life, I need something else, something more, or the next thing to be satisfied. That to be just in this moment, at those times, feels like not enough.

All of my seeking through my life has come from a place of fear. By reading about what I can do to be more spiritual, or more educated, I cater to a fear that in this space, right now, I am not enough. At those times, I would rather focus on who it is that I think that I should be, rather than who I am right now.

Fear is a strange animal of sorts. Fear keeps us in a fog, a sort of amnesia. Fear keeps us from remembering that we are perfect just as we are. When we are children, before we are domesticated, we know that. We play, and are free with who we are and how we express it. Then, over time of growing up, people and circumstances tell us we are not okay; that we have to do more, be more. And that what we are in that moment, in a phrase, is not enough.

The real truth is that there is no next thing. There is no level to aspire to or become. We are all perfect, just as we are in this moment. Life is as it should be, right now. It doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t change what we don’t like. It just means that in the meantime, we are as we should be. Life is as it should be. There are many things in this moment that we can have gratitude for, and see them as a blessing.

We can awaken from our amnesia, and remember that the only moment of our lives that we ever have, is right now. This IS the next thing.

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