A leap or a push?

Life moves you forward. That is its nature. The real question is: will you leap or do you need to be pushed?

Maybe a bit of both?

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I don’t know what to say

I have had far too much sad news over the past few weeks. When tragedy strikes it is difficult to know what to say. Being both the receiver and deliverer of condolences, I have noticed a shift within my mind. I used to be stumped for words when difficult times were had by the people around me. I found myself either freezing up or blathering on too much.

So what do you say when you don’t know what to say? Here are some ideas.
• Don’t search for words, search for feelings. Let the person know you are thinking about them and that they matter to you.
• If it is a struggle, keep it simple. The person you are comforting just needs to know you care. Words can’t replace what has been lost, so if it doesn’t flow, no need to force it. Love and support is your message; both are felt rather than heard or read.
• Offer help if you can, but understand that it may not be needed. Everyone is different in how they grieve and work through strong emotions. Empowering the person to choose for themselves allows them the space to find their way through it all. The act of offering is what is important.
• Get support for yourself. You can only help someone else if you are in a relatively stable place yourself. If you are a mess, take a bit of time to work through your own feelings. Sad news has a ripple effect, it makes everybody think twice about their lives. That is perfectly normal. It can also be tough to think of someone you care about being so sad, but that empathy is what brings us all together in times of crisis.

When we are all weak, we lean on each other to be strong.

Phil & Sebastian’s

Swirl of foam
Spirals out
And lands perfectly in my
Heart shaped cup.

Warm brown hands
Scoop white beans
into careful categories.

That tender touch starts my whole day.

Thoughtful white hands
Caress brown beans,
Coaxing out their hidden mysteries.
The stories to
behold & told
in a single sip.

That first sip stops my fast clock
and sets it to the perfect time.

Tell me your name.
Tell me about something good.
And I will tell you how far
these clever beans have travelled to your waiting cup.
And tell you my steamy secrets of
pressed and poured goodness.

And now to
Sip &
Sit &
Write &
Talk &
Wonder at
These magic beans.

His Laugh

When I close my eyes
and open my ears,
I hear a rumbling, deep
soul-shaking, earth-quaking…
Laugh.

I hear his laugh.

That laugh…

I imagine that laugh
starts below his feet and
rumbles up
and out
and Smacks the walls and furniture awake,
so that the whole room
Stops
and asks…

What

was

so funny?

And I imagine that
when he was a little baby,
God whispered in his ear
the perfect, juiciest, raunchiest joke
delivered with perfect timing.

And I imagine that little baby
spent his whole life
searching for the juiciest, raunchiest joke
to deliver with perfect timing for you,
so that you might have one, perfect laugh too.

That laugh…

I know this is a lot to take…

to take in…

But,
won’t you
“take me out to the ball game.”

This game, this old game
we are all living,
This game has Rules.

And if you will open your rulebook
to page five and paragraph three,
You will clearly see,
that Life is not scored by the years that were lived,
but by the love that was shared
and the laughs that were had.

That laugh…

So when I close my eyes and
open
my ears.

I hear his laugh.

And I know
that if you close your eyes and
open
your ears,

You can hear it too.

A life of purpose

Facing mortality has a way of focusing a person pretty quickly. It makes you think about how you are contributing to the world and what kind of legacy you will leave behind. It is all too clear to me that it makes very little sense to spend too much time on things that drain energy. While stopping the activities that are out of alignment is good, an even more effective way of living a purposeful life is to begin activities that make your heart sing.

Too often we wait until conditions are just right to start moving forward with our dreams. We wait until the economy is better, or we can quit our jobs, or we have support, or we won’t upset anyone with a big change. But we can start living our dreams right from where we are right now. Even just five minutes a day of doing something you love can change your life. Even just spending five minutes dreaming of how things could be will start the ball rolling.

Life is just incredibly short and fairly unpredictable. By believing in yourself and your dreams you not only change yourself, you can change the whole world. The world needs your talent, your creativity, your ideas, right now. Share. Please.

Missed

I missed writing a post yesterday. The first one since October, when I started the postaday challenge. I am going to write two posts today to even it all out.

It seems like the string of bad news has just kept rolling and I feel flattened by it. I am going to do what a dear friend of mine said and be gentle with myself.

I keep writing and keep this promise to myself because it nourishes me. I have the feeling of writing myself out of this sadness. It helps me put everything into perspective and keep on living life.

One tiny baby step at a time, I will get through this.

Little hands

Ten strong little fingers hold my hands.
Hands made strong through play.
Fingers are spiders that creep up your spine and toes are for wiggling into small socks.
Two tiny hands.
They hold my whole heart.

Begin!

Women Spinning in Fondi

Image via Wikipedia

Start at the beginning.
Stay focused.

Focused on the good and beautiful people that surround me now.
And… really… have surrounded me always. These strong, feisty women are always around.
My network, my hive. Honey. Honeybees working together in sisterhood to build a sweet, sweet life. To dance, to sing, to rock little babies, and to hold old hands.

We look in each others eyes and see all our beauty and wisdom reflected back to us. These sparkling eyes everywhere I look.
They hold a twinkle, a glimmer of curiosity, creativity… of Life.

We share tea, share our stories, our sorrows and joys.
We lean on our structure, our shelter, and we are supported
through times of great shift and slide.
Change that spins your mind sideways and upside down.

And where it all stops. Spinning, spin, spin, spinning.
When it makes sense again,
we awake to ourselves,
stronger, more beautiful, more loving
than we knew we could be.

A full life

Confronted with mortality at, what seems like, every turn, my life has come into sharp focus. It becomes very clear what is important and what is not. There is just no time to waste in living a full life. Things I used to fear doing because of what others would think no longer scare me. I am no longer concerned with living anything less than my best. I will not hold back on laughing loud, savoring beauty or following my heart. The illusion that life is predictable has been shattered and in that new reality there is no space for being timid. I am me and that is that.

Knit well

I’m knitting some emerald green socks. My aunt who passed away last week gave me a bunch of her knitting needles years ago. It is comforting to hold something she touched. The methodical process of knitting and the concentration required to knit my fancy socks soothes me. With each loop, I feel closer to her and the icy fingers of grief loosen their hold on me.

I like that knitting moves you forward. It keeps you focused on what you are doing right now. Each stitch moves forward in progression; there is no backtracking and staying stuck on a difficult part. You just keep going, like life.

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