Thursday, November 28, 2013
This is my first Thanksgiving with my family in China. It feels a bit odd, diffuse and awkward.The kids had school and Stephen had work, we have no extended family to feast with and, given the time difference, Thanksgiving here will have nearly come and gone before it starts for my family and friends back in the USA.
It is a bit lonely and making my heart a bit achy. I have been feeling that kind of ache and pain for awhile now. Life has been throwing some major curve balls at me and my family, everything from head lice to bullying, missing homework and academic struggles, to witnessing oppression, dealing with culture shock, working in an unsupportive and challenging teaching environment, language barriers and sensory overload. This is aside from the normal adjustments and challenges of moving which are always hard for me, a socially awkward and extremely sensitive type, trying to find friends, places of belonging and a system of support.
All of this brings me to write about what seems to be my theme of the year (or my life), struggle.
I might sound whiny, but hey, I feel like after all this I am allowed. I am allowed to be honest and open, to be vulnerable and share what is on my doorstep and in my heart.
There it is, despite all this I can keep coming back to my doorstep, the experience of what is showing up in this moment right in front of me and then also what is steady and true in my heart.
All these experiences of struggle and turmoil are helping me grow, making me stronger, cracking me open. I feel such deep compassion along with my frustrations. I have been fierce at times and in that warrior stance sometimes skillful and sometimes not. I have been angry and deeply loving. I am growing and in growth there are often growing pains.
For all this amazing, chaotic, soul shaking, heart breaking, emptying out and filling up, in my face and piercing my soul experience I give thanks. I am always blessed, as we all are, by a birthright of breath. No matter what a person's circumstance might be, we all live in this family of breath, this kinship of experience. In this moment of loneliness I feel immense joy and gratitude as I think how every person on this earth is breathing with me now. I am held in every moment by an ocean of infinite breath, by the beating of billions of drumming hearts. We are all in the dance, beautiful, messy and painful. Together.
I give thanks on this day and every day for the miracle of life and love, from China to the USA to Australia and all the places where I have friends and family, as well as all the places where I know no one as of yet. We are all one family of the human spirit. May we all serve to uplift each other, understand one another, and when we lose our way may we light lanterns of forgiveness and compassion for one another.
Bless this beautiful mess! All love and Happy Thanksgiving!
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
I have had to dig deep just to get myself seated here in front of this keyboard.I have felt a pull, a longing, a need to get here, mixed with a dull guilt and sense of failed obligation. I have stayed away because I have felt heavy and sluggish, with words and ideas caught in my throat. I have been stifled.
I want to be creative, active, vital. I want to feel like my days are worthwhile and productive.I want to be a value added being on this planet. I want to give. I want to give something special so I can rest back into the assurance of worthiness, a feeling that I have contributed something useful to the conversation. I know that is selfish, but I am trying to get it out and get real.
I have had so much swirling in and out of my brain these last few challenging weeks, that in the end I have not uttered a single confounded word here. I am simply too congested with it all. I am blocked up. I am so full that I got nothing. I am at an impasse to expression. The words are tangled and tied up. I am reaching in and coming up empty handed.
I have wanted to withdraw, and with cooler weather settling in, I find myself compelled to cocoon in a soft shell of blankets with steaming cups of tea and a mountain of novels. Sweet escape.
The name of this blog is "The Magnificent Mess" and lately I have been keenly aware of and immersed in the mess. I can't quite get a clear view of the magnificence. It is not that I am depressed, well maybe I am a little, but I truly do have a deep felt sense of gratitude down to my very bones and in the bottom of my beating heart for how truly blessed my life is.
I feel all the blessings I have been gifted with and I in turn want to be a blessing. I aspire to be good, kind and clear. I wish to rise to the occasion of this life. I look to find somewhere in the far reaches of my mind or in the depths of my soul, somewhere in me, the words, actions or images to convey the beautiful, breathtaking, sweet and deep aching I feel for this sacred life, for this amazing, terrifying, dizzying, spinning ride we are on, together.
I want to feel a hand holding mine, and another and another. I long to get back my sense of solidarity and connection with myself. I sense it is my own hand I am reaching for , my own hand that I need.
I am considering what is so tragic or awful about having nothing. I have nothing very eloquent, poetic, impressive or brilliant to say. I just don't have it in this moment, and so what? What if I never write another word again after this? What about just letting it go? I could drop this persona of writer like a pebble into a pond and watch it ripple into stillness, and what? I consider resting into the value of my divine worth and the love that I am.
Even if I have nothing to offer now I am still breathing, feeling and evolving. Even telling you about nothing is something.
Nothing to say is something to say.
It may not be interesting or engaging, but I remember my mantra now, "I have nothing to prove."
I am going to get a cup of tea, a blanket or three, and a good read. For now that's all I've got.