Completion and creation

9year

I do not know very much about numerology but I do know that this notion of 2016 having been a 9 year with a feeling of endings and completion has rung very, very true for me all year.  The entire year has been one in which I’ve felt like I am shifting ground, walking through minefields or across land in which quick sand pits may pop up at any moment.  There has been much that has risen into consciousness within me that is calling for me to let go of in order to step forward into a new way of thinking, being and living my life.  I don’t think I even know what all has been released inside of me this year.

Basically a 9 year can be explained as follows:   “2016 is a 9 Universal Year, if we reduce the year into a single digit (2+0+1+6=9). The nine represents the end of a cycle. Therefore 2016 is a year of completion, rest and forgiveness. Everything in numerology drives in a 9 year cycle, we have come full circle. It is now the time to finish with the old, and complete the old projects and goals. The year 2016 is the best time to rethink what does not work in our lives, and to begin things differently.”   (excerpt from http://www.thepsychicsforum.com/2016-9-universal-year/)

This rings so amazingly true for me.  I’ve spent the entire year rethinking my life and myself to such an extensive degree that I have needed massive amounts of rest to just process it all.  As I’ve written before, I believe that one of the aspects of grieving is that it lays our entire wide open.  As we grieve we are challenged to deeply explore what matters most to us in the world.  Everything takes on new meaning as we search for any meaning to our lives again.  Some days we hide away from this vulnerability of being opened wide. Others we explore the things within us that no longer remain hidden away behind the stuff of life.  Bottom line for all of us, we are never, ever the same again.

I have experienced 2016 as one of lots of chaos – both for myself and for those around me.  There’s been a spinny, swirly, kind of energy all year.  It’s felt kind of like being the ball in a pin ball machine, being bounced from one loud, bright area of the game to another.  Following a straight line forward hasn’t happened very much.  Just when I’ve thought “okay now it might settle down” I’ve been shot forward to the next flashing, fast-moving event with little sense of being able to direct where I am going.  Putting one step in front of the other, trusting that all will make sense in time has been my most basic hope for each day.

“It is said that life is a balance of holding on and letting go, and this has never been as true as it is right now in the 9 global year of 2016. If we try to move forward and hold on to the past at the same time, all we achieve is stagnation. In order to move forward, we have to release our grip and LET GO of what is holding us back. It is fear of the unknown – fear of the ‘different’ – that keeps us locked inside this cruel self-destructive system. One of the many functions of 9 is to give us a jolt – to wake us up and make us look at what we have been unable or unwilling to see.” (Christine DeLorey, Creativenumerology.com) 

I started 2016 with reading Christine DeLorey’s article about the Universal 9 year.  And all year her writings have inspired me to look more deeply at the things that I am holding onto from the past that are holding me back from moving forward.  The jolts of the year within my own personal life and from the broader world have given me many opportunities to let go and find better balance.  I’m facing fears of the unknown, of being alone, of a vastly different future than I’d been picturing for the past few decades, of figuring out what matters the absolute most to me, and the areas of myself that I still need to wake up. I’ve been invited time and time and time again in 2016 to look deeper and clear away the stagnant parts of myself.

On this final day of 2016 I reflect some more about this 9 year cycle ending and realize that I am not quite sure what all I have learned this year.  I feel like there are things I have let go of and completed,  or that I am very close to doing.  But naming those in a concrete way seems to be just outside of my mental grasp.  Perhaps that alone is one of my new beginnings to thinking differently.  The answers don’t have to always be crystal clear before I start to move in a new direction.  Hmmm!

What I do know for sure is that I feel I am on the very edge of moving forward in brave, bold, new ways.  The beginning of a brand new cycle sounds exciting and inviting.  I want to move forward. I want to have new adventures. I want to try lots of new things.  I want to face the unknown with courage and an openness to new lessons.  I want to create a new life for myself.

I am just about ready. I can feel it rising up inside like a warrior woman’s cry.  Here I come 2017. Here I come!

Gifts

Ahhh, this popped up on my Facebook memory feed this morning. AS I read it I could remember how challenging last year was to feel joy and not just feel bone deep weary with grief. I felt wrapped in a wet, heavy blanket for most of the Christmas season. Everything felt off and challenging to do.

I am very, very grateful that I am no longer stuck under that heavy, wet blanket this year. Oh don’t get me wrong, I am aware everyday of Russell’s absence. But I don’t feel trapped by grief infused throughout my body. And I am enjoying the preparations for Christmas with much more ease and happiness this year. I find myself saying yes to a little bit more and am confident that the gifts I have found for the people in my life.

I share this today for those I know who are in their first year of grieving as a way to say “You are not alone. And you will, baby step by baby step, make it through.”

Even more deeply I am seeking to live in this time, this moment embracing the simple joys of this magical time.

This time, this moment

gift

I love getting gifts for people, especially at Christmas.  I love trying to find just the right gift, something I know each person will love.  I love the shopping for them, wrapping them, and putting them under the tree.  I love watching them open it.  It’s all just a wonderful part of the holiday season for me.

This year things are off.  Oh I’ve had fun shopping for gifts and wrapping them.  I think I’ve found some gifts that are ones people will like.  A few are even ones that I know will be huge hits.  But it is all just off.

As I check in with myself each day I notice the following thoughts running through my mind several times a day:

*What if I got all the wrong gifts?

*I can’t possibly have gotten enough yet.

*Maybe I should start over.

*What was it they really wanted?

*What…

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Inhale, Exhale

justbreathe2

To breathe – inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale.  Sometimes, oftentimes, that is all I am confident I can do. It’s what got me through Russell’s traumatic illness and death. It’s what got me through the days, weeks, months of shock that followed. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale – over and over and over again. Standing still, eyes often closed to picture my breath, letting go of any and all expectations upon myself but to focus on my breath.  Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale.

I find myself turning to this again as I prepare myself for Kateri to move to her new job in Hampshire, IL which is about 5 hours from home. She will be working at a horse farm with a talented rider and trainer who she greatly respects.  It is a wonderfully grand adventure for her first move away from home.    Just writing those few words took longer than it normally would as I had to stop and breathe – inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale.

As thrilled as I am for this new opportunity for Kateri, an opportunity that fills her with confident excitement, the thought of not seeing her everyday threatens to drop me to my knees.  Being with my children everyday, being able to hug them and talk with them everyday, has been one of the key pieces of my healing journey.  To not have one of them here is almost unfathomable to me.  Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale.

The moving out of a child is hard for all parents I am sure. We want them to grow and fly free. But we also want them to be close by, able to be hugged at a moment’s notice. We want to see them become strong, confident adults while also wistfully longing for the days we could still hold their hand in public.  Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale.

I am experiencing a rawness, a view through a darker lens as I am poignantly reminded that I alone am the parent helping launch Kateri into the adult world and will be doing the same with Soren and Demetri in the next several years.  I am reminded more deeply, more singularly that as my children leave I will soon be alone. All of the dreams that Russell and I shared for “when the kids are grown” are no longer a possibility. They shattered into a million pieces when he died.  And in the preparations for Kateri’s move I am made vividly aware that all dreams are now just my own. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale.

Layers upon layers upon layers of emotions I’ve been feeling these past weeks have left me near mute.  I haven’t been able to write about it much less talk about it.  And I haven’t even wanted to – for my own sake as well as Kateri’s I have chosen to stay in the moment, embracing and loving every precious one as the gift that it is.  I’ve chosen to wait to share my story so as not to draw away from Kateri’s joy.  I have chosen to see the awesomeness of this new path for her and help her find her way through her own fears, worries and questions. I have chosen to love this time for all that it is – the joy and the sorrow, the looking forward and the looking back, the mystery and the known, the tears and the laughter.  All of it is part of one magical whole. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale.

As the words bubble up inside of me, ready to spoken, I focus again on my breath, the most powerful tool I have to stay balanced and grounded.  With tears flowing down my cheeks and a smile on my face I trust the path I am on and the one that Kateri steps onto today.  Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale.

Project Seeking JOY

 karolyjoy
There is much swirling around inside of me this week and many musings that I am writing in my journal to be shared on my blog soon.  But this one that I started on Thanksgiving in the early morning hours, reflecting upon the trip to Mizzou with Walter, my daughter’s horse, the day before and all of the crashing into the dark places I went that day.    Since much of this musing is connected in with things I want to and need to reclaim for myself at Avalon I wanted to share it with all of you first.
THIS – Project Seeking JOY! This is one of the bits of wisdom that flitted into my being last night as I drove home from the farm after getting Walter settled back in. In the quiet of my truck I heard this quiet, yet very confident whisper “Your next focus is to reclaim JOY – joy of horses, joy of the land of Avalon you’ve been entrusted with, joy of play, joy of living. This will be your new fight song, your reclaiming of a power that is unique to you alone. Joy in all of the little ways it can lighten our hearts; seek this again.”
 
I felt my body breathe a sigh of relief as I imagined just sitting with the horses again, grooming them, breathing in their smell that I love so much, remembering the joyfulness of horses not just the heartaches, taking Karoly or Magic for walks to the pond, walking with my Tara, Willow, and Hinata through the woods, sitting under our Magic tree to just be (and now in the Sanctuary room), playing with the kids and teens in my life in all the silly ways I used to do; and profoundly playing my way back to a joy for life that I miss.  Choosing ways to play first!
I can feel the YESNESS of this welling up inside of me as I write.  The picture I shared here is one of those wonderful moments of JOY – barefoot, bareheaded, riding bareback on Karoly with one of my wonderful dogs by my side.  Ah yes and the sun is shining, and I had just finished swimming with Karoly in the pond.   JOY!
I’ve become so very bogged down in the tasks of my life – chores, work, business planning, helping the kids find their way forward on new paths – that it’s become easy for me to forget the great JOY available to me everyday. This is especially true at Avalon.  As has always been and always will be true there is way more to do each day than any of could ever possibly get done. Projects, events, coordinating lessons, teaching, farm work, problem solving, on and on and on.   Yes all of these things are important things but it is easy to lose the joy, the pure, unadulterated JOY for the horses I’ve known all my life in this.
So I am taking steps forward to SEEK JOY.  All of the extra horsey things at Avalon – sunrise rides, parades, full moon rides, drill team, just hanging with my horses, finger painting Karoly, brushing a horse – these are the things that bring that sweet, innocent, playful joy of horses to me.  I think this is probably true for most of us and that each of us could stand to remember that doing the playful things together and with our horses helps us remember why we want to do what we do.
Saturday we will ride at sunrise. Yes it will be EARLY and it will probably feel cold too.  But it is one of the most magical things to ride a horse as the sun comes up, feeling the heat of their bodies warming your legs.  And wow does the hot chocolate taste even better after we’re done.
I will be seeking many, many ways to play more paying attention to the kids in my life to help remind me of what I want to bring forth into my life.  I will be inviting anyone and everyone to come along with me as I seek ways to play again and experience joy in my life.  I will be seeking ways at Avalon and outside of it to just be silly and have fun.  It sure can make all of the work a whole lot easier to deal with if I play first.
So if you’re ready to play more, to lighten your heart and breathe a little easier join me in Project Seeking JOY!  It might make winter a whole lot more fun.

One of those days and I still won!

treesanctuary2

Today was one of those days on top of several of those days on top of several of those weeks.  You know what “those” are right? The days that you just seem to be a swirling ball of emotional chaos.  The days that no matter how much you use your special, self care tools you just can’t seem to get yourself balanced. The days that feel like one land mine of challenges pops up and explodes every other step you make. The days that  you really want to hide under your covers and have someone bring you hot chocolate and soup throughout the day.  The days that you should probably wear a large, flashing sign around you neck that loudly warns people to steer clear or risk being drawn into the cesspool of emotions.  Yeah, one of those days.

I’ve been struggling with insomnia again for the past couple of weeks.  I’m awake from around 2:00am to 5:00 or 5:30 am every night.  It makes waking up at 6:30 for the day a real struggle.  This morning was even more challenging.  My dreams right before waking, of which I remember none, left me crying, full on bawling as I awoke.  Not a great motivator to want to get up to face the day when I am already sleep deprived and can’t stop crying.

I somehow forced myself to get up, get dressed, have some tea and toast, and get myself out of the house to go to work.  A little voice inside kept whispering – don’t give in and quit today; at least get yourself to Avalon even if it means working with tears streaming down your face all day.  So I listened to that quiet little voice and made it to Avalon.

The day was a roller coaster of a day with lots of conversations (many of which I cried through just because), silliness with the young people, snuggling with my pups, trying to figure out winter layering (coats on and off and on and off), horses being spazzes, vet visits, and on and on.  The hour I spent quietly enjoying Avalon’s new Sanctuary room with the sunlight streaming in helped start some rebalancing.  Hugs from several folks has helped too. Laughing about the goofiness of life and dreaming of running away to warm places helped too.

I feel tons better tonight than I did this morning and am also ready to just curl up under my lovely covers and go to sleep soon. Yes I know it’s still early in the evening, but hey sleep is a good, good thing for me.

More than anything I am just glad I pushed through today. I didn’t say anything to anyone that was awful. I didn’t quit anything. I was able to work and puzzle solve and tell stories and plan new things and laugh and cry and just be me today.  I’m feeling pretty good about that right now.  It’s nice to end my day feeling like it’s been far better than I imagined it would be when I started.