Saturday, August 7, 2010

Birthing a New Life, While Healing the Old

Making a life change is a process. Just as the creation of anything new, it takes time. Something we humans like to bend, speed up and circumvent only if we could. We can't.

So here I am smack dab in the middle of a mid-life change that is nearly a year in the making. The past is all but faded away, but the new has yet to be. I've been slowed down quite a bit by hip dysplasia and financial flow, but this too has it's benefits. When you can't get around like you used to for whatever reason, you find inner work to do. And if you don't find it, it will find you.

About this time last year, I was finishing up my class on The Four Agreements based on the book with the same name by Don Miguel Ruiz. An amazing book that leads you to your truth, based on four simple principles.

1) Be impeccable with your word.

2) Don't take anything personally.

3) Don't make assumptions.

4) Always do your best.

I had read the book years before, so this was my second go round with these principles. This time I shared my thoughts with others in a classroom setting, which helped. Listening to others speak their truth also helped. I realized I couldn't live the Four Agreements working in Manhattan and that was part of my unhappiness. So I took off for parts in New Mexico and just like the song by the Dixie Chicks Room to Make a Big Mistake, it was to be my Waterloo or as one old friend put it Custer's last stand.

However as mistakes often do, I was led a little closer to my truth. Last fall when I left New York/New Jersey I had no real idea what my truth was. I just knew I wasn't living it and I was miserable. So I wanted to get as far away from city life as I possibly could. Yikes desert life did not suit me and I hated being called a Gringo. And this new life of living with Gay women, who were in a Native American ritualistic group didn't suit me either. Somehow I thought being amongst fellow truth seekers would help me find my own. But it was their truth I found and I found myself the odd man out many times living there. I honored them following their truth, but I was still in search of mine.

Realizing now that was just as far from my truth as Manhattan turned out to be, I picked myself up with the one good hip I had, brushed myself off and am now living with a good friend in Lafayette, Louisiana. Just so happens I am still friends with my ex-husband and that's a truth a lot of people don't live. And there are some ex's of mine I wouldn't call a friend, but fortunately Jim is one I can. His OCD still drives me up the wall, but then my cat's hair drives him even further up the wall. So we are coping with living together enjoying it at times until my surgery is over and I am healed, which should be about one year since I left Montclair, NJ.

It's no coincidence that I have just picked up The Fifth Agreement by the well know author and now his son Don Jose Ruiz, realizing that everything does happen at the right time, even big mistakes. The fifth agreement is about being skeptical, but learning to listen. Something I should have been a little more of before I left for New Mexico, but the book wasn't written yet. Gee thanks Don Miguel Ruiz. Just getting into the book, but basically it's about this concept (weird I was just thinking of this very concept this week) those who seek a deeper meaning in life question everything. Everyone has a truth, listen for it. Everything has a truth, expand your awareness to find it. I believe books find you instead of the other way around and this one came into my life right when I needed it.

I've been able to get lost in the silence of the Deep South and that's the only way truth will find you. It can't find you working a high-stress job that takes your very soul. It can't find you when you are complaining about it. In the silence you shall find me. In the wee hours of the night, the truth starts seeping in. To me it said, "You are a writer. That's your gift use it for good, but write about what your passionate about, not what someone pays you to write." So I started this blog and I realized I had stopped writing for me when I had to write for corporate America. My creative abilities were stifled in New York. I actually broke down at a friend's house while still in New York, saying "I left my husband 12 years ago to find myself and to concentrate on my writing and now look at what I am writing bylines on how to eradicate bed bugs for a property management company." I had some how gotten way off course and it had killed my creative spirit. But one does have to make a living. Even though I was making more money than I had ever made in my professional career, I wasn't living. Not the life I wanted anyway.

A wonderful medium I am using to find my creative voice is a mandala coloring book. It found its way to me through a wonderful new friend in Lincoln, Nebraska. Thank you Sue! Revelations have already come to me. It's the coloring, the shapes and sitting in silence or with music and just doing the work with the intention you aren't just passing time. You are honoring your creative side. Art is art and it helps to heal you and bring about change. If you would give yourself over to the process, you will be transformed.

As I was coloring my second Mandala last weekend, something very interesting broke through, something I had deeply buried and not been able to come to terms with in my life. I was coloring a large portion of the background in red when Jim came out on the patio and said what's that for. I said it's suppose to be a spiritual experience.

"Umm...well, I am going to mow the lawn I hope you are done with it by the time I get to the backyard," he said.

I had tried to talk him out of mowing the lawn that day as the mercury was suppose to creep to over a hundred. But his OCD rarely allows him to change his mind and as I was nearing the end when he rounded the corner of the house with the lawn mower. I was putting the finishing touches on my Mandala and a thought came to me about what my mother said about Jim.

When I would express my deep discontent with my passionless marriage, my mother would say. "You are never going to find anyone who loves you as much as Jim does." If she said it once, she said it a hundred times. And then I realized as the red was streaming out of my pencil that my mother never made a decision that wasn't based on fear or the lack of something. The root Chakra starts at the base of the spine and is depicted by the color red and denotes security in life, providing yourself with the basic necessities. I realized my mother had based all her decisions in life on fear of never having enough. She never celebrated her life with her creativity. She was always unhappy, because she never followed her passion. I don't even know what her passion was, because she was so out of touch with herself. After two husbands died of heart attacks, she turned to alcohol and slowly drank herself to death. She couldn't face herself. She couldn't get out of fear mode.

You were wrong Mom, not only for throwing your life away, but for the advice you gave. I realize you didn't know and I forgive you for not knowing. But I am going to follow my passion, my heart, my writing and there is a man out there that will love for me and be passionate.

I realize I am right where I need to be right this very moment, healing the relationship with my ex-husband, who will be a lifelong friend, but not a lover. Finding my voice, expressing it, enjoying the now time and letting go of the past that held me to a life I found passionless.

Meanwhile, I am still working at the Census and have gotten my resume revamped, pieced together my professional portfolio, and gathered references from past employers and clients. Getting ready for the final push to find my truth, realizing that its the journey that ultimately matters, not the destination.

1 comment:

  1. sounds like a great experience that you had doing something so simple