Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The nourishment of dirt

I love Derek Rydall's wisdom and tree analogies.  This is something I heard a while back and then again this morning and it resonates with me.  I think our culture suffers from this burden of perfectionism.  Some of it is personal drive to overcome perceived wrongness; some of it is societal facade...Everything is always fine with everyone.  
I am, however fortunate or unfortunate it may be, a picker.  I always have been. I like to pick at my wounds and figure out why they are there, what do they mean, and what do I do with them.  My favorite brilliant astrologer Mark Husson used a zit analogy...but I just can't. :)
Anyway, I think periodically I dive under the surface into the dark, purposefully though not always consciously, to browse the dark depths.  I have always judged myself for that on some level.  But this, from Rydall, validates this need for me: 

Our attempts to pray, affirm, or visualize away all the bad, ugly, filthy parts of ourselves and our life are like a seed trying to pray away all the dirt -- which is made of everything that has died and decayed before.If it could, and it succeeded, it would find itself sitting atop a rock, no dirt in sight. And when that sun came out -- the very thing that is meant to activate the life within that seed -- it would burn it to a crisp!Instead, that seed naturally plants itself in the dirt. Buries itself in it. It doesn't reject it, it embraces it. It doesn't see it as a grave, but a womb -- from which it draws rich nourishment and begins to "grow down," not just up.As the roots dig deeper, the shoots reach higher. As it descends into the darkness, it ascends toward the light. If you look at an X-ray of an oak tree, the root system is like a mirror of the branches, showing that what's below is not only as important as what's above -- it's all one.

So here's to your dirt.  It nourishes you. It is part of your humanity and is, therefore, divine. Unraveling the mysteries of ourselves and all our little cogs and wheels and springs and levers and clogs and rusty bits and non moving conveyor belts is part of the blessing of life. 
Granted, it's a pain in the ass. And sometimes the heart.  
Cheers.  Here's to emotional mud pies! 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Ode to pain

It may be that in order for me to write a book, I may have to shun happiness.  I always write and create more when I am in some kind of pain.  But let's assume that won't be necessary and my book will have an utterly happy ending and so will I! 
Creativity often stems from pain.  Many famous writers and artists were in pain most of the time.  I created my best choreography when my life was painful.  

When I had both of my babies, I had extreme pain.  Duh.  That's part of childbirth since the beginning of time.  The ultimate creative process is painful. 
But that's not entirely my point.  

So...when I had my first child I received an epidural.  It took several attempts to get the damn thing placed and that process of trying to receive relief was excruciating.  I had an awful nurse for that birth...another story.  And to receive the giant needle in the spine I had to curl up and contract my knees into my chest. try that when you have a giant baby belly!

Well something else is necessary for them to place the needle- you must be having a contraction. It's kind of barbaric actually but again, that's another blog altogether.  I believe the notion is you'll be distracted from the enormous needle in your back if you're focused on the horrible contraction you're having. 

But something...Um...interesting...happens when you curl up in a ball when your giant uterus is contracting.   It hurts A LOT more.  Like...a lotttttt more.  It's pretty awful. I had to endure that 5 or so times to get my epidural in place.  

I offer this story for a reason here. I was listening to someone deliver some wisdom about life and experiencing pain. Here is the gist of it:

Pain is like a wave. Or let's call it a very very strong wind blowing toward you. You can let the wave or the wind take you and you will get tossed around.  Or you can lean into it and let it roll over you and it will pass.  Emotions are like water.  They are meant to flow.  But when we feel one coming we often grab onto it and assign it a story and a job and try to attach meaning to it and rationalize it.  It's truly not meant to be rationalized.  It's meant to be felt.  

The suggestion was that we open ourselves to the pain and let it roll over us.  He actually said that when he feels an emotion coming, he physically opens his arms and arches his back, opening his chest to the sky in such as way as to offer it up.  Visually you can see how this has almost an aerodynamic aesthetic.  He claims that when he does this the pain leaves him quickly. (Sometimes if will return.  It's not necessarily a one hit wonder). The challenge is that this is completely contrary to our instinct. What is your animal instintive reaction to pain? To protect the heart and belly and curl a the fetal position.  Which brings my visuals full circle.  
Instead of curling up around the pain, we challenge ourselves to just feel it.  That way it passes. It flows.  We don't get tumbled  around by it.  We don't hang onto it.  We just let it blow past.  

Will it still hurt? Hell yes.  

Will it be less horrible than the alternative? Hell yes.  

Don't grab on to it. Let it flow.  

This is me opening my chest to the sky...

And I AM ok.  :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Buy me a drink!

I know I don't write here much anymore.  I have other projects I am trying to birth.  But this morning I visited my old friend the blog and  I'm pretty effing vulnerable up in here!  damn.
I'm kind of impressed with that vulnerability.  Its hard for me, in "real" life. but here where strangers from the Netherlands and people I don't know in FL read this and I'm all opened up and stuff. wild.

you all owe me a drink...that's all I'm sayin'. :) will bring me a print out of some entry in this blog that you liked or hated or that earned me a drink in your eyes, and I will sign it at my book signing party...with much animation and loud redheaded voice-ness

as you were. (I like shiraz, for the record. which is the same grape as syrah. But far more fun to say. Cuz who doesn't love anything Australian, right?)