“Opportunities and Choices… Every day, every person makes a hundred small choices. Most of them are not so clear-cut as choosing between Light and Dark. There is so much room in the gray spaces of the world. But when weighed at the end of the day, that heart leans a little more toward the Light or the Dark – and then resonates a little closer with the Light or the Dark. Make enough choices, one way or the other, and the day comes you have grown beyond who you were and it’s time to take the next step in your life’s journey.” – Glorianna from the book “Belladonna” by Anne Bishop
For the past several weeks I have re-reading the Ephemera series by Anne Bishop, one of my favorite authors. Anne creates worlds of mystery, magic, light and dark, love, power, the earth, fascinating worlds that draw me in and leave me pondering my own. Anne has a magical way of weaving a story that entertains and inspires all at the same time. For me, her writings are very mystical and influence my own approaches to life.
There is much that leaves me thinking “Hmmm” as I read this particular series again. My journal is filled with passages and notes about what I am reading. I find myself throughout my day thinking of things a little differently and adding just a little more intention to all that I do. I have no doubt that more of my musings will be prompted by what I am reading right now.
My life and my kids’ lives are filled right now with opportunities and choices. Every single day we are faced with opportunities to either stay where we are, thinking of the past; standing in the deep confusion of all that has happened; hiding away from the world that seems a little darker and less unsafe; living in anger, fear and sadness; OR taking baby steps forward into a new, unknown life, imagining new possibilities and adventures; opening our arms and hearts to those who would love and support us; saying yes to being with folks even if we are quieter than normal; going outside and doing things; living in hope, trust and simple joys for each other and the little pleasures in life.
Each day we are making choices about the paths we will walk that day. Some days we choose the darker paths. On the darker days we give ourselves permission to “tap out” of others’ expectations of what we should be doing. We listen to our own deep needs for quiet attention to our sadness. Those are usually the days that the threads of grieving wrap around us with memories that only bring tears to our eyes. Those days we cocoon inside our house with one another watching silly shows, playing games, snuggling with puppies and each other, being very quiet, sit in one place for as long as possible, eat a lot of comfort foods (not all very healthy), take naps, write in our journals, and stay in our pajamas and keep the curtains closed.
Other days we choose lighter paths. On these brighter days the sun can pour in and through us lightening our hearts and our minds enough that our bodies awaken and feel ready to move. Lighter days mean “tapping into” the wellspring of love that surrounds us from all of you and the world as a whole. The light often means tapping into something more than just ourselves and so we can feel less alone in the world. The lighter days find us outside more, able to get dishes and laundry done, excitedly talking about new things to do, dancing, working out, breathing deeply, riding, gardening, eating more healthy, drumming, walking, working, being with other people, and basically just move a whole lot more.
Most of the time, we have moments of both throughout our days. I find that most often right now I am standing in the center holding two threads of light and dark, sadness and joy, wonder and confusion, anger and acceptance, hope and despair together. Within the light I can see the threads of darkness and within the dark I can the threads of light. It is standing in this center that keeps me sane and helps me continue to step forward on whatever path I choose in each moment. Standing in the center is the place where I can breathe and think and that is less foggy than any other place. Opportunities and choices for both the light and the dark can be seen from the center. In the center I can see the ways the dark and the light weave together into a necessary, cohesive whole. If I stand in the center I can see the glimmers of hope in even my darkest of times.
It is slowly feeling easier to make more choices to step onto a light path. For weeks the darkness was so comforting, so safe, so all consuming that the very thought of getting out of my robe each morning was too much. Leaving the house to do anything even fun, joy infused things was almost impossible. Somehow things got done but the exhaustion after even minimal movement was kind of mind boggling. But now, in this time and in this moment, it’s easier to fathom getting ready and doing things. Each of us have added in new things for ourselves this past week – healthier food choices, reading a new book, NIA, yoga, having more than one extra event scheduled in a day and working more days/hours are just a few of the choices we have made. The kids even handled me going out with friends on Saturday night until after 10 pm. Opportunities and choices.
I honor (and help my kids honor) the gifts – the opportunities and choices – I am being presented with every single day. I am striving to acknowledge and respect all that I am feeling on this journey of mine. I allow myself to feel and think whatever comes pouring over and into me. I listen to the truths that these feelings are pointing the way to for me. I know that even the darkest of feelings and thoughts resonating through me must be honored and acknowledged. The darkness helps me reflect and regroup and go deeper into myself. And in some times and in some moments the darkness wants to swallow me whole. In these moments I cry, I scream, I stomp around, I close my ears to hearing anything from anyone. And then I stop, I listen, I say yes to the right to feel it all, I ground myself deep into the earth, and I take a deep breath, imagining the wind flow through me as I let it all go. Opportunities and choices.
As I have stated many times before, I am verbalizing for the kids and I that the 6 month period we are in (and will last until mid September) is one of honoring both the dark and the light threads as we experience them. This is not a time for us to make decisions about what we will do next. It is profoundly a time to feel and think and be as authentic to what we are experiencing in every moment of every day. It is a time to allow our inner selves to speak what is most needed in any given moment and to say yes to our inner selves first. If things don’t feel right and just feel off kilter I am saying no without expecting myself to explain my actions to anyone. I know what is right for myself and I know what is right to help my kids move forward as authentic to their own true selves. We are opening ourselves to all the opportunities before us and making choices based on feeling, not on logic. When it feels true and right and resonates with our inner voice we say yes. When it feels off kilter and somehow wrong and is in dissonance with our inner voice we say yes. We give ourselves permission to say yes to things that make us happy and feel lighter and we give ourselves permission to say no the things that leave us feeling sad and trapped. We are making choices for what we need and not what others need or expect from us. There is a great opportunity for freedom within this and when we can stay true to ourselves that freedom is a lovely, lovely thing to feel.
Opportunities and choices – what will you see today?