Twenty-Seventh: Getting to Know You

If you've never written a letter to yourself when you really needed to listen to the deepest parts of you, I highly recommend it.

I recently did this massive mind-body cleanse that left my brain in a bit of over-focused, power mode. Of course, that meant that I had all sorts of mental energy overflowing in me, and nowhere to direct it. When that happens, I tend to turn in on myself, over-analyzing and questioning every aspect of myself, as is evidenced by my last, meandering journal entry here. So, Monday, I decided to write a letter to myself rather than let my thoughts consume me. I free-wrote, just letting my fingers do the work without really letting my brain interfere at all. I've never been able to do that on paper, but online it was much easier, since my fingers are usually a step or two ahead of my conscious mind anyway. In doing so, I managed to remind myself of a lot of things that I often forget and get lost in, and it's been really wonderful to have that letter to go back and review when I feel like I'm starting to lose sight of the things I want to do and the person I want to be again (which happens, inevitably; I'm human). I'm putting some highlights in here for myself, though if you take anything from them (which I doubt anyone will), then I'm glad. :)

"Let [life] be what it [is]. Be still. Let your mind be quiet... Let yourself be what you are, where you are, who you are. Don't ask questions of what it means every second. The meaning is in the quiet. In the instinct. Just be."

"Allow yourself to remember how it felt, and how much clarity you had, when someone asked you this morning what you took away from the cleanse and you didn't have an analyzed, thought-out answer prepared to give her. The right answer came to you instantly. Energy. The ability to focus your energy where it needs to go. The ability to have clarity and purpose and a sense of self again. That's what you have. That's what you need to continue to foster. That's what you don't need to lose. Please don't lose it. "

"Make the lists that you want to make for yourself about the things that you want to do to better yourself as a person. Keep them growing, and keep working towards them. Belly dance. Rock climb. Take cooking classes. Read more. See more plays. Run an endurance race. Just don't let yourself get so bogged down in the lists and the goals that you forget to just BE YOU and ENJOY YOU. Don't let your lists define or intimidate you."

"You're beautiful. You're loved and lovable and anyone who doesn't want to be in this beautiful life that you're continually fostering for yourself clearly has nothing to bring to it right now. Don't force people to be something they aren't. Don't pull them into a life where they have no purpose to serve and do not belong. Everything will be as it's supposed to be. Be sure of it. "

"Love yourself."

My trend toward self-exploration and thoughtfulness has continued over the past several days, and it's expanding itself into me branching out, getting outside of my bubble, and working to know others again as well. On Tuesday night, I went with Narissa and Danielle and their friend Kristy to Ten Pin Alley in Atlantic Station for a little swanky-bowling. The concept of the place (an 'upscale' bowling alley-slash-dance club-slash-pool hall) seemed a little silly to me, but it was actually really fun. I guess the trick to enjoying bowling is to make it NOT feel like you're in a bowling alley, be that by being with the right people or in the right place. At any rate, I hadn't seen either Danielle or Narissa for a while, and it was great to catch up with them and just laugh at all sorts of things that I hadn't thought about in forever. It reminded me of why it's actually a good thing for me to break out of my little hermit-shell a little more often than I currently do. :) It was refreshing to indulge the social side of myself - a side that's been largely hidden over the past several months as I tried to get to know myself again.

This weekend will include a trip to beautiful St. Augustine, Florida and Sawgrass. I'm excited, though I'm having trouble deciding what to take with me to knit. I don't have any warm-weather projects on the needles right now, so I'm at a loss. I don't want a big mass of wool on my lap while I'm knitting poolside, y'know? I also want to get my hands on some good books on tape for the 7 hour drive. Any recommendations?

I'll be back soon with pictures (I hope). :)


Twenty-Sixth: Expectation and Attachment

There are so many things floating around in my head right now, due in large part - I’m sure - to the cleanse I’m undergoing and the way that it’s affecting my brain and body. I feel an increase in mental clarity that seems to have brought with it an increase in thought and question. Currently, there’s so much in my head that I’m having trouble paring it down to its basic parts, but I think I’m getting close. Right now, I’m wrestling with expectations, attachment, and acceptance in all areas of my life, and it seems that the more I try to deal with them, the more obstacles arise that challenge just what I’m working on.

My inner wisdom knows that expectancy is powerful, magnetic. It acts at a cellular level to create an outcome for us, and it enables our intentions and beliefs to manifest. That’s why I try so hard to stay positive, because I know that expectation can easily manifest in either direction. I have to check that my thoughts and attitudes serve my highest purpose and that of others, but it becomes hard sometimes to recognize the lines. Where does my highest purpose cease to be of importance in the face of the needs of others? When is it okay to act in the best interests of now without regard for later? Is it ever? I don’t think it is, but waiting for the expectancy of later to manifest can leave us feeling empty or unsatisfied right now, and that’s difficult. I wait and give space in my life to so many people who need time to heal (this seems a pattern for me over the past years - I’m a nurturer; we tend to do that). I expect them to heal and grow and become better, and I deny myself the things that I’d personally like to manifest in order to allow them room to do that. I give space and manifest for others in the hopes that, in time, that will allow something to grow that will benefit everyone involved.

What happens, then, when the person for whom you’re manifesting space and health and growth isn’t manifesting it for himself? This was my constant struggle with Jesse. When someone keeps a negative outlook, my positivity can only penetrate so deeply. I guess that’s ultimately why I had to detach from that situation and work on acceptance of it as what it is. I have to trust the universe, the higher power, always, and know that the outcome - whatever it is - will be what is right and meant for me. I have to remind myself to keep my expectations attuned to a higher purpose, and not get bogged down by the wants and attachments of now.

This brings me to attachment, which I know is my biggest obstacle, always. I become attached to my expectations just as badly as I attach to my wants, my immediate needs. Yet, again, my inner wisdom tries so hard to remind me that attachment, especially to a person or an outcome, has its roots in fear and the need to hold onto or control what’s familiar. We humans are biological animals built to be wary of change, and yet my higher mind constantly wars with my biology, and I guess it should if I seek to be peacefully, truly, deeply happy. Happiness with attachment seems to be a superficial happiness, dependant upon maintaining the status quo. I don’t want that sort of happiness. I want the inner happiness first, and then others who choose to join me in my happiness are welcome in it with me. Detachment is what I need. It’s only then that I can allow others to be themselves (not the person I’ve created - I believe our perceptions of others are always creations, no matter how well we feel we know them - and attached myself to) and appreciate them for that.

The problem is, my wise-mind knowing all of these things doesn’t keep me from faltering in it. Every day is just a step on the journey, and every day I can succeed or fail a thousand times. I just have to do my best to keep myself on the right path with every step I take.


Twenty-Fifth: Spring is Here!

I love Spring this year. Normally, I don't want winter to end. I long to hang on to warm, cozy sweaters and being curled up under blankets with someone lovable, but this time the heralds of Spring are all around me and I'm thrilled about it. The weather these past few days has been gorgeous, highs in the upper 60s with a cloud-free sky that makes me hate the fact that mine is a desk job, and I'm loving watching everything come back to life. Every morning I seem to see another little sliver of beauty that makes me so happy to be right here, exactly where I am in my life.

To make all this even more exciting, I just got my package from my Longing for Spring Swap partner, Tami. Tami hit the nail on the head when it came to buying me stuff I love, and I couldn't be more grateful! She sent me the pattern for Sahara, which I've been wanting for over a year now, some Wintergreen Lifesavers (yum!), a big bag of chocolate Riesens (one of my very favorites!), a Dove chocolate truffle egg, beautiful star-shaped stitch markers, a skein of really cool, peacock-tail colored yarn (can't WAIT to see what I can make from it!), another skein of yarn in every shade of green imaginable (did you know that I'm planning a trip to Ireland, Tami? That yarn is en route to being the PERFECT Ireland hat!) , a great big green mug for tea in the morning (can't wait to show you - it's so cute!), a journal that's almost too pretty to write in, and some cocoa-chai tea. I don't even think I mentioned that chai is my very favorite drink, and yet she got it right! Tami, I can't say enough thank yous. You really really went above and beyond! I couldn't have asked for a better partner! I'll post some pictures when I get my camera charged and read to roll. :)

Unfortunately, I won't get to enjoy any of the candy until next week when I've finished the Ayurvedic cleanse that I'm doing to usher in the new season, but I can't wait until I can! For now, sugar (not to mention meat, caffeine, alcohol, wheat, and dairy) is out of my diet, but I'll surely be returning to normal, gradually, next week. Then, the candy better watch out! I'll post a full explanation of the cleanse and my thoughts on it next week when it's all over.

Thanks again, Tami!


Twenty-Fourth: Forgetful Girl

Leave it to me to come up with a fool-proof way to keep myself from forgetting things I'd like to mention in a blog entry, and then come up with a way to be a more capable fool. I tend to try to make my subject line of each post about what I'm planning to write about, but of course I left my entry for so long last time that I forgot to mention the "bugs from hell" part that so nicely rhymed and contrasted with the sweet wonderfulness of the wedding bells. In short, centipede season has apparently begun again, as my dog, Wesley, went nose to nose scary, nasty, feeler-things with one that morning. These centipedes are not the thick, relatively harmless looking things that one often finds curled at the bottom of an uncleaned pool. No, no. These are fast, nasty, spidery little critters that bite and sting and hurt. I personally haven't been bitten, but I keep a vigilant watch for the little bastards. As non-Zen and Buddhist as it is, I hate bugs.

On a non-forgetful note, I sent my Spring Swap package out (via my student assistant - love having one of those!) on Monday the 10th, and I have to say, I'm proud of the package I put together for my spoilee! I think she's really going to love it. I know I would. I took a few pictures, pre-sending. Check it out! I'm pretty proud of what I got. I wonder if the person this is for will know it's for her? Probably not, since you can't see the patterns in the picture. Anyway, I hope she loves it as much as I loved putting it together for her! Happy spring!


Twenty-Third: Wedding Bells and Bugs from Hell

This week is off to a fun start. The weekend was taken up almost entirely by festivities surrounding my friends Mike & Denise's wedding in Peachtree City. It was a really beautiful ceremony, and the reception was incredibly fun. Darold and I danced our little hearts out, and were so honored to be included in the bride & groom's small guest list. Mike & Denise are really wonderful people, the kind who could ask you for anything and you'd do whatever you could to help them out. I wish them the happiest of marriages. Of course, the wedding weekend meant I barely knit a stitch, since that's one of a very few places that I can think of where knitting is entirely inappropriate.

In other news, I received a package from Holly that she so graciously sent me for winning her most recent de-stashing contest. My digital camera is currently out of commission, but she sent some beautiful, ice blue, lace weight, Super Kydd mohair from elann.com that I'm so excited to try! I've decided to make a beautiful shawl out of it. With all the wedding fever from this weekend, I got it into my head that one day, the shawl I make might end up being my "something blue!" I'm nowhere near there, yet, though. :) The package also included a soothing, scented sachet and some really cool fabric pieces that I'm using to work on a quilt (well, probably more like a lap-blankie) for my year-old nephew Andrew. Black and white is great for developing a baby's vision, and his daddy's a Georgia Bulldogs fan, so I'm sure all of the black, white, and pops of red in the fabric will be much appreciated. I'll try to post a picture when I get done with it, though who knows when that will be?

I'm still working on my spring swap package! I've got 99% of it done, and I can't wait to share it all with you. See you soon!