This thing called life

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Weird things trigger periods of sadness in me.  Maybe they aren’t weird but they sure feel like it in the moment.  Random things will happen and I can feel my heart almost catch in my throat as I am reminded in a new way that Russell is gone.  My stomach tightens, my voice catches in my throat and my heart feels like it is weeping.  And then I step back, take a deep breathe and ponder what is going on.  You see I am almost constantly curious about what triggers a wave of emotion moving through me.  And I want to figure it out.

Take for instance the news I just heard a few minutes ago that Prince, the song writer and artist, has died.  I find it weird that the news of his death has me thinking strongly of Russell, missing him more vividly than I was before I heard the news.  It’s as if hearing of Prince’s death somehow opened a door to remembering what the shock was like right after Russell died.  The thoughts of “What?  He was so young? How can this be?” are very similar.  The suddenness and unanswered questions are also similar.

But the connection I had to the two of them is obviously vastly different.  I intimately knew Russell and had an entire life twined up with his.  Almost everywhere I go there are memories of being there with him. Memory after memory overlaps with my daily life in ways that makes me constantly aware of his absence and also the ways I still feel his presence in the ways he is remembered by so many people.

I have none of those things with Prince.  I loved his music and have lots of memories, especially of high school and college, that his music is a part of.  I admired him as an artist and as a person who was willing to be thoroughly unique and authentic.  But he isn’t someone I knew.  Yet his death is still shocking to me and I find myself wanting to curl in upon myself and just weep.

I think a large part of it is that in times like this – Prince dying, Bowie dying, this year’s political happenings or any big news from around the world – I want to call Russell and ask “Did you hear?”, knowing he probably hasn’t heard yet as he tended to not be on social media or listen to the radio as much as I do.   I want to hear his take on things, share memories and stories, and simply talk about what has happened.  Then, I realize that I can’t call him which either hits me like a soft nudge or a ton of bricks falling upon me as I remember again I can’t talk with him.

This experience of wanting to talk with him and then realizing I can’t actually happens quite frequently.  At least once a day there is something I want to tell him and I will start to text or call before I realize that won’t work.  I’ve started either writing these things down in my journal or finding someone else to call or text in those moments.  For the most part it is becoming just a part of my new normal and I am able to move through these moments with ease.

It’s in shocking events like today that I temporarily get knocked off of my balance beam and then it takes me awhile to get rebalanced.  Now awhile these days usually means a few hours rather than the days or weeks it was taking me over the winter so I feel great about that.  It no longer feels like falling or stepping off my balance beam means that I will then go crashing down into the abyss.

So I think I will crank up the music, smile at the memories, and just breathe to “get through this thing called life.”

 

 

Bridging my way back to new life

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Healing in so many ways is a solitary journey.  Even when we are surrounded by loving communities, we walk alone with our inner pain and our own attempts to release and heal our woundedness. No one, even those who have experienced loss with us, can truly understand our unique journey.  Heck, sometimes I barely understand my journey and I’m in my head and heart all of the time.  How could someone else truly know another’s journey.  We each bring our own stories with us.  The multifaceted threads of our life change our grieving and our healing.

If the first year of grieving is mainly about surviving and sifting through the shock of loss, I believe the second year is one of picking up the pieces and beginning to create something new.  As the shock finally begins to wear off, the firsts have been lived through, and the rest of my life stretches before me I am beginning to rediscover who I am and what I want my life to be.

As I moved through the final days of my first year without Russell and gingerly stepped into the second, I felt myself struggling to figure out why it all felt even worse than it did in the very beginning.  The pain was so raw and powerful that I would either curl up in a ball or lash out whenever someone tried to gently lead me back towards the light.  “Leave me alone.  Let me stay here.  It can’t get any better so why try” – all of these came flying out of my mouth many times.  I knew somewhere in my head that the second year would and could be different, possibly even easier, but my heart just kept screaming “it hurts, I can’t do this, what if this is all that is left?”

Somewhere within that transitional time, a couple of things flashed on me. First, there is a clear framework, as clear as there can be in mourning, for the first year after losing someone.  It’s about getting through the firsts.  One event after the other it’s figuring out how to get through the first without them.  Second, the framework for the second year, and all the rest to follow, isn’t quite as clear.  I don’t feel the same sense of tracking month by month the anniversary dates as I did in the first year. So now what do I do?  Creating a new, unique to each person framework for moving through life is necessary. But how do I get there?  Which led me to the third insight – there’s got to be a bridge to move from survival mode to renewal mode.

For awhile I was stuck in trying to figure out what the bridge could be.  I was so deep into my feelings of sadness and loss that I could only catch glimpses of possible bridges from living in the ashes to stepping forth into new life.  I would have moments of realizing things that could help me bridge that gap.  I wrote in my journal about new dreams, more activity, clearing out the rest of Russell’s things from my room, spending more time with friends and family outside of my house, new projects and more.  I clearly had a sense that these would help me but finding the energy or the desire to do any of them was simply not something I could tap into.

Searching for the bridge felt a little bit like fishing.  I would throw lines out into the pond of possibility and see what would bit.  More often than not, things would nibble at the line teasing me with hope of renewed energy. I could feel the hook get grabbed and would feel a surge that maybe here I would finally be able to get out of the dark place. But then the line would go slack again and I would reel in an empty hook.  Nothing – not even the things that used to give me great joy – would sink the hook deep enough in to be able to reeled all the way home.  I felt so deeply immersed in the muckity muck of my grieving that nothing could get through. However would I be able to move forward if I couldn’t get unstuck?

Then through a series of interactions I came to some big epiphanies that helped me begin to create my own bridge.   Part of the grieving I was feeling so deeply at the end of the first year was more than missing Russell.  It was also missing knowing who I had been when he was alive.  The first year after his death dissolved me so down to my barest self that I had no idea who I was anymore.  Everything had shifted so much that things that used to come easily to me were now completely foreign.  I still have a hard time remembering things long enough to actually get it done and that was rarely a problem before.  Teaching and facilitating groups has been a strength and passion of mine for years. Yet now, I find myself almost without words at times so I feel like these are very hard to do.   So there is a grieving of me that’s been happening without a real awareness on my part that was a strong piece of my journey.  I believe I was so afraid I would never feel like myself again that I became almost stuck in stone.

“Who am I?” was the question that needed to be asked.  And me saying “I don’t know if I know anymore.” was the important key I needed to begin to unlock my heart.  Instead of wanting to run away from the pain of feeling unable to do or be what I thought I was, I stopped to listen to my authentic self. When I started to ask the question and seek the answers I felt my heart start to open and the dark stranglehold of grief ease its’ grip.  As I allowed myself to just breathe, resting in the question itself I felt new life begin to sprout inside of me.  It was as if the bridge I had been seeking outside of myself started to grow from inside.

I wrote and I wrote and I wrote in my journal.  With each new sprouting of life, energy, and desire my bridge began to grow.  I wrote of all that was swirling around inside of me, the dark places and the light. I wrote of what brings me great joy to do setting these things as intentions for the core activities of my day.  I wrote giving myself permission once again to say no, without explanation to myself or others, to the things that just don’t feel right.  I wrote whatever wanted to pour forth from me.

As my awareness of the fact that the bridge I need to step from survival to renewal is within myself and not something anyone else can give to me, my desire to take back a focus on life has increased every single day.  My bridge is one of energy, new beginnings, picturing who I want to be and then taking daily steps towards that vision, and saying yes to loving life again.  Instead of running from myself in fear, I am loving myself with patience and understanding.  My heart is opening and my soul feels ready to soar.

I have no doubt I will continue to have moments that feel shaky and I will want to crawl under the blankets to hide away from the world.  But my bridge to renewing and rebuilding my life is getting stronger everyday.  It is being anchored with the love I have for myself and the love I abundantly receive from the people in my life.  I am relearning who I am and making choices about who I want to be.

The rest will unfold when it is time.  For now I give myself  permission to let go and just breathe and be.

Before I found my bridge

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I wrote this about a week after the year anniversary of Russell’s death.  This was all before I found the bridge to get me from Year 1 to Year 2.  As I was searching for a bridge, even a stepping stone path, to get me from here to there, I felt so very, very lost.  I was almost frantic and hysterical at times as people would say to me “now it will get easier.”  It sure didn’t feel like that.   Since I wrote this much has shifted and changed but this is an important part of my healing journey that I want to record here.  And it’s important for me to remember where I was as I sought to find the bridge I so desperately wanted to find.  Anything that I’ve added since I originally wrote this I’ve put in between quotes.  Overall I am just leaving it as is.  I am only going to add what I had written in my journal from that time, that moment.

 

Written March 30 – Well I’ve made it through the first year after Russell’s death.  The relief and easing of my heart that I had hoped to start feeling, somehow magically on the 1 year anniversary, hasn’t happened.  I don’t know what I was expecting but it sure isn’t matching up to reality.

First year – there was a clear framework.  Everything was a first.  Everything was new.  As muddy as life was there was a framework of getting through all of the firsts.  For every new thing we experienced without Russell I tried to find a way for us to find some joy, some peace in our day.  We had all of the birthday celebrations; celebrated all of the holidays with family; created new rituals, honored old traditions we just had to have, tried new things, said yes to new opportunities.  We have tried to take baby step after baby step forward.

Maybe I hoped that in taking all of those baby steps forward, in keeping up with traditions, in trying new things, in saying yes to ourselves first and foremost that we would heal enough that our first steps into the 2nd year would be ones of relief and exhalations of we did it.  Now it will get easier I thought.  We’ve made it through the firsts basically in one piece.  We can only get stronger from here right

I am here to say Pfft, it’s not getting easier yet.  I’m here to say the I don’t think the first year is going to be so radically better than I can say, with any confidence, we have healed.  I can firmly say that I am realizing that our healing is long from over and that we have years ahead of us, not just a few more weeks or months.

Every time I leave more children for more than a few hours it feels like I’ve just blown up a giant hole in my chest.  I am turning inward more and more because I just have no words that I feel I can speak out loud.  I feel more lethargic and unable to feel anything but tired.  I have zero desire to just rally like I did the first year and find some way, any way to find joy in birthdays, holidays, etc.

What I am sensing about the 2nd year is that, in many ways, it will be harder than the first.  It already feels more rudderless and foggy than the first.  I think it’s partly because there is no clear framework for stepping through anything after the first.  The firsts are over, the seconds should be easier right.  Somehow I don’t think that will be true.  Easter was already harder this year than last year.  Partly because we “care less this year to just push through and find joy anywhere we can.  Now, we find joy in new, vastly different ways than  in old traditions.  We don’t just push through but instead recognize that somethings just aren’t what we want to do anymore.”

“There is a new framework needed for the second year.  But to get there feels like more than a simple step from 1 to 2. It feels bigger than that and I must find the bridge.  How do I find it or create it?  I feel panicky as I search for a bridge that I don’t know even exists.  Just as I get used to the dull ache of grief something small happens the waves come roaring back over me.  They come like a tsunami out of nowhere leaving me completely debilitated, unable to do even the most basic tasks.  I feel like I am a shell of who I used to be and I don’t care.”

Coming up out of the ashes

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One month ago today we were honoring and remembering  Russell at a bonfire celebration of him.  So much has happened inside of me since that night.  At that time the strongest feeling within me was the fear that I would never be able to move with any ease again.  The pain of losing him felt stronger and sharper around that time than I had felt much of my first year of living without him.

I’ve filled almost an entire journal since that day as the words have poured from me onto the page. I’ve had so many insights and thoughts swirling around inside of me.  I remember thinking in those days surrounding the year anniversary and directly after “It’s not any better.  In fact, it feels 100x worse.  What if I am stuck in this place forever? How on earth will I ever be able to function with confidence or ease again? ”  I also remember having conversations with several folks that my experience of the entry into the second year was rocky, shaky and showing signs of being just as bad as the first year.

Several things have happened since those very dark days to begin a shift towards deeper healing for me.  I hope to share many of those stories at some point as what was said and what happened were profoundly healing for me and included such startling moments of awakening that I can still feel the ah has rippling through me when I think of them.  Today I write about the overall picture or imagery that has settled into my knowing about the journey of year 1 into year 2, especially what year 1 was for me. My next couple of blogs will be about year 2 and the bridge I am creating between them.

What I have settled upon is this:

Year 1 – is the year of survival. It is the year of living in the ashes.  Francis Weller writes in his book The Wild Edge of Sorrow “The soul in grief feels reduced, brought to the place where all other thoughts or matters dissipate into ash.”  We are reduced to our barest soul, to our rawest self as we move in the world through our grieving.    Focusing on our minimal survival needs is often all that we can do.

In many ancient cultures the first year of mourning was seen as a sacred time.  Those who had experienced a loss were expected to do nothing more than “mourn, live in the ashes of their loss, and to regard this time as holy.”  The community supported them  and their family as the sat near the communal fires tending the ashes.   They weren’t expected to just suck it up and get on with everyday life.  For up to a year or more they were given the space to follow the dark paths of grieving until they were ready to return.  Honoring this time of living in the ashes was key.

Sometimes things need to be burned down into the ground, into ash before any new growth can happen.  Like a prairie being choked out by weeds that needs to be burned to the ground to insure renewal, sometimes our lives need to be allowed to burn all the way down. To get rid of the guilt, the confusion, the gut wrenching feelings of loss we must grieve it all the way down before renewal and true healing can happen.

This has been my own experience of the first year of walking my healing journey.  It feels as if my life, my very being was burned into ash when Russell died and in the months that followed. Bit by bit, I felt myself melt away down to my most vulnerable self.   At times I was very conscious of this happening but not always.  It was only as I stood in the days around the year anniversary of his death that I realized how much my life and my very self had been dissolved down to its barest.  In that space I felt every thing with such intensity that it became almost too much to bear.  But bear it I did, hoping that somehow I could find the light at the end of the tunnel.

I am deeply, beyond words grateful that not only do I insist upon giving myself and my kids all the time we need but that we are surrounded by communities who have supported us, loved us and allowed us to live in the ashes of our grief.  When I read Weller talk about ancient communities supporting those who mourn as they travel the inner world of grieving and healing, I was profoundly struck by the acknowledgement that is exactly what my communities have done for me.   Across the board – my family, my friends, ICC, Avalon, and my wider web through face book – have held sacred space for me and my kids as we have sat at the fires, living in the ashes of our own unique healing journeys.

More and more as I listen to or read other people’s stories of having people tell them to “get over it already” early on in their mourning I become aware of the profound gift my communities have given to us in continuing to hold things together for us as we lived in the ashes.   My family has helped us to keep celebrating life’s joys even when it is hard to do so.  My friends keep reaching out even when I don’t return calls or emails for weeks.  Immaculate Conception Church, where Russell worked, has kept open their arms to us.  Avalon not only has survived a year with me flitting in and out of it, it is thriving as a strong community more than ever.

When survivors aren’t allowed sufficient time to grieve and are told to move on too soon, wounds close too soon, remain infected and may never heal.   I’ve met so many people who haven’t been given or taken time to grieve and heal and are now years later searching for ways to sort through the twisty paths of woundedness inside themselves.  I don’t think the loss ever goes away but if there is time given to heal early on there can be a chance of feeling whole again.

Thankfully, my kids and I have been “given” time to allow our wounds to heal.  We are slowly stepping up and away from sitting in the ashes.  We are stretching our bodies and beginning to look around at the world in a new way.   There is still a rawness for me but also renewed possibility.  We are still walking through new places and have much work left to do.  But we are doing it!  We are coming up out of the ashes back into life.

 

Taking my life back!

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Taking my body and my life back! Now is the time!

In January of 2015, 2 years before Russell Peterson went into the hospital and died, he, myself and his sister, Kirsten Peterson, started a personal challenge with each other to get healthier and lose weight. At the end of 3 months whoever had lost the most weight would be treated by the others to dinner out. At least I think that was our reward incentive, though bragging rights was much more important to all of us. During those months before Russell died I lost 12 lbs and was steadily moving forward towards better health habits. All 3 of us were making strides toward being more healthy.

When I stepped into the rabbit hole with Russell, that slide into cuckoo luckoo land also started a year+ of unhealthy eating, inconsistent exercise, goofy sleeping and much more. Not only did I gain back the 12 lbs I had lost I also gained an additional 10lbs. I’ve lost a few of them but I continue to feel winded easily, lethargic much of the time and unable to do all I want to do with my life.

NO MORE! I am ready to break out of the protective shell I’ve been living in for the past year and transform myself – physically, mentally, emotionally, and professionally. Now, RIGHT NOW in this time and in this moment, I am going to start anew and seek to live my life as deeply and as actively as I can. There are many, many things I am dreaming of shifting and moving and playing with this spring as I rediscover who I am and who I want to be.

I’ve weighed in to start my journey with the Spring Health Games Meltdown Challenge. This is just one of the ways that I am going to be motivating myself to get moving! My goals are to get healthier, track my habits, and feel better about me. I’m ready to rock this challenge!

If you’re interested in joining me with this fun, easy way to track your habits, be inspired by others, and push yourself a little bit,
See more at: https://www.meltdownchallenge.com/…/teamprogr…/2062/Mjg0Nzg…

Coming Home

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Reclaiming my home, our first farm, has been an active thread I am weaving into my life this spring.  I’ve felt the stirrings of this reclaiming ever since Russell died but it is becoming more and more of an awakening as we move into spring.  Most of this musing I wrote in my  journal several weeks ago as we prepared for the year anniversary, life celebration of Russell.  Today it calls to me to be written and shared here.

There are days I almost wish we had never taken over Avalon; there I said it out loud.  I’ve never, ever been willing to speak that deep hidden truth out loud to the world.  In fact, I don’t know that I’ve ever spoken it quite so clearly out loud to anyone. But I say it now. As much joy and blessings as I receive all the time from Avalon, the business and my attention to growing the community there, have drew me away from my first farm in ways I would never have imagined.  For many years, I poured so much of myself into Avalon that nothing was left tending our home.  It’s been a long journey to find balance in caring for both places.

From the moment our purchase was finalized, we were so happy and pleased with our little farm of 2 3/4 acres. We had our horses here. We had space for growing things. We had woods, a creek, prairies, a lake, and so much more to explore on the hundreds of undeveloped land behind us.  We were very content and barely looking for more land.  Something a little bigger or dreams of buying the places right next to us would have been nice but we weren’t actively looking for lots more.

It’s more like Avalon found us. And as we worked longer and longer hours it slowly changed our connection to our home farm, especially mine.  As I put more and more of my work, energy, focus and dreams into Avalon, less and less was left over for our home.  By the time I got home from Avalon in those early years I was too tired to do anything or even want to.  Days off were about sleeping, schooling, and some catch up on household chores. That’s all I could do.

Our little farm, the land I had loved so very much, began to wilt with neglect.  There was just a chaotic mess in the old pasture area with weeds taking over all of the once pretty grass.  Honeysuckle bushes grew wildly all over.  It was as if the land itself was closing in on itself as I stopped spending anytime walking it or caring for it.

We moved away from our first farm, our home, for a couple of years to live closer to Avalon.  We rented a house within walking distance of Avalon, allowing the kids to have more time at home rather than have to be with me at the farm for 10 or more house each day.  This tiny house’s greatest benefits were it’s closeness to Avalon, it was inexpensive to heat, and we could have good internet.  It served the purpose of convenience but it didn’t really have any heart to connect to.

During this time we rented out our place to a young couple with dreams, horses, dogs, cats, chickens and a passionate energy to garden.  They loved the land as I used to and this place began to awaken again.  I remember how much Russell and I loved talking with Kate and Paul and seeing all they were doing.  It brought back lots of feelings of longing to create and just be at our first farm.

For 3 years we lived like this.  Lots of things shifted and changed in that time.  Avalon continued to grow; Russell changed jobs and started at Immaculate Conception Church; the kids grew older and more independent; and so much more.  Then, our desire (mainly Russell’s and the boys) to return to our home conveniently coincided with our renters purchase of a larger farm.  In January 2014, the day before that winter’s giant snowstorm hit, we moved back to our first farm.

During that 1st year back we mainly settle into enjoying more physical room to breathe again.  All the kids had their own rooms. We could move through the house without banging into things. And the dogs had tons of room to run.  We didn’t do a ton with the land  that year, but Russell and Demetri did start a vegetable garden.  And we began to explore the creek and woods, some of our favorite places, once again.  Wandering with the dogs we were all in heaven to reconnect with our beloved exploring places.

This past year our little farm has been a true gift, a place of peace and quiet healing for us all.  We’ve done little outside, choosing mostly to cave away from the world.  It is has been a great gift to have this little hidden away, safe home for us to heal and just be. When we have gone outside I’ve begun to look around in wonder again at this place that captured my heart 12 years ago.

With spring steadily awakening I am seeing the magic of this property as I did when we first found it. The fruit trees are budding out in an array of pretty flowers; things are greening and the birds are singing joyous, constant songs.  Newly added last summer, the bees are buzzing and blissfully living life.

To honor the year anniversary of Russell’s death and to celebrate his life, we opened this home up to those closest to us to be here at our first farm, the home we both loved. That night was one of magical re-awakenings to the possibility of hosting celebrations here.  The fire, the hours long soccer game, and the potluck meal were all wonderful parts of that night.  But it was the people with their sharing of stories, laughter and tears that truly were the magic of the night.

 

I’ve realized in looking back at the pictures it’s the first time I’d invited Avalon folks to a gathering here.  It’s as if I began to weave a new web that night; a web connecting all the pieces of my life – our family, our friends, my work – into a more seamless whole.  I think for so long I’ve done all our gatherings at Avalon that I forgot I could do them here.  It is with great joy that I am realizing I can change that and that the things I’ve kept apart no longer need to be.  Balance is coming as I learn how to care for both farms, my first and Avalon.  I feel hopeful that this balance will continue to deepen as I find new ways to love and tend them both.

For the first time in probably 7 years I can hear this property singing to me again.  The song it sings is “Welcome home. Be still. Rest. Play. Remember. Heal. Breathe. Dream anew. Live in joy and love.”  I feel myself, and hopefully my kids, slowly and steadily reclaiming this space as more than just a place for our stuff and to sleep. As we declutter and rearrange each room we are saying yes to new beginnings. As parts of this land are cleared, I hear this little farm say thank you to creating  more room to breathe.

As we are truly coming back home, I feel things inside me shifting, transforming and awakening to new possibility. I feel the opportunity and the space to breathe, to be, and to dream open up before me like the next book in a beloved series. I am filled with joy to feel myself not only  coming back home to my first farm that magically captured my heart, but also coming back home to myself.  Joy and love abound in this magical awakening.

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Almost time?

butterflyI’ve started several blog posts and none of them quite seem to be ready to share.  This one is feeling ready though as the words seem to fly from my fingers.

We are our own worst enemy.  At least I know I am.  I get myself twisted up, insecure, anxious and more all on my very own.  In fact, no one can do these things to me better than me.  For I know the secret places of insecurity and fear inside myself that no one else can find.  I know the red hot buttons that can trigger a spin out almost before the button is fully pushed. I focus my energy on other people’s words and wisdom to such a degree that I start to doubt my own.    Doubt about everything twines through me. I sabotage myself without even knowing what’s happening over and over again.

As I slide into the 2nd year of this new life I am living there is so much that is jumbling around inside of me.  I think that’s part of the reason I have so many musings started but not quite ready to be finished.  The words start to flow out of me but then they stop mid writing.  It’s kind of the feeling I have about so very many things right now.  Things get started and then stop before completion.  I know my own healing is one of those things and it is the place  I find I sabotage myself most consistently.

Although even as I write this I don’t know if sabotage is the right word or even the right way to look at what I am experiencing with my journey right now. Sabotage feels like something much more intentional and conscious than what I think is happening within me.  I do think that I allow myself to travel down mental rabbit holes that leave me feeling ickier at the end of the day.    I don’t believe I intentionally drop down into these though. It’s more that I step into some negative spin out and can’t quite find the energy or desire to pull myself out of that first step before sliding down into a twisted journey in my mind. I try to shove myself deeper into my cocoon rather than coming all the way and stretching my wings to fly.

I know lots and lots of things that would probably help me feel a whole lot better about myself and would help me feel like I was healing rather than just sitting in a cesspool of sadness.  Riding my horses, hiking, dancing at NIA, turning the t.v. off (I admit this is a biggie for me), cleaning my room, practicing my new learnings in equine experiential facilitation, talking with family and friends, getting active, playing a game with my kids, cooking, and so much more are stepping stones to healing.  I know that getting more active is almost always a good thing.  And yet time after time right now I find the focus and energy needed to get more active just a little beyond my reach.  So I choose the less active things; I leave things cluttered; I just don’t care enough to change things; I try to push myself back into the cozy cocoon; and I stay feeling stuck.  In these ways I do sabotage (or limit) myself and my healing.

I am hopeful, so very hopeful, that as spring continues to settle into the land that it settles into me as well.  As the flowers slowly open up I look at them and hope that my heart will open itself up a little bit more each day.  As the birds start to sing earlier each morning I hope that their song can be a call luring me outside into movement.  As the days warm I hope that I can shed the cloak of grieving wrapped around me as I am shedding the layers of winter clothing.  I am hopeful that I will steadily and with increasing consistency choose activity and new opportunities more than choosing to settle into the lethargy of hiding under my covers in my cozy house.  The sun beaming through my windows feels like a lure to lead me out into nature where I always experience healing.

More and more each day I am wanting to stop sabotaging myself and instead start setting myself up for healing success.  I want to choose joy and feel myself breathe deeper.  I want to be gentle with myself and yet also push myself to really figure out who I am and who I want to become.  As clearly as spring transforms the land I want to transform myself.  Maybe soon, hopefully soon, my wanting will catch up with my actions and then I will begin to fly again.