Not Enough Words & Too Many Words

whenbrave

There is so much rambling inside of my heart and head right now that I find it near impossible to find the words I want to write, no that I need to write.  No words seem adequate and yet there is too much I want to say as well.

For the past 24 hours I’ve been in deep shock, a shock as deep as the night that Russell died.  Rocked to the very depths of my being, I have been curled up in a ball crying and shaking and reminding myself to breathe, Just Breathe!    I stepped back into another rabbit hole last night and have been traveling the twisty paths of Cuckoo Luckoo Land – that place where things just make no sense.

Last night we received word that Ayanna,  my life coach, my mentor, my most trusted confidant, and my lifeline for the past several year died on Wednesday after a battle with cancer.  From the sounds of the information from her husband it was a very brief battle of just a few months.  Considering I hadn’t seen her for about 7 weeks, knew nothing of her cancer, she was younger than me, and last time I saw her she was the epitome of health, the news is beyond shocking to me.    I felt like someone had punched me in the gut and then shoved me head first down a rabbit hole into the darkness again.  As I tumbled down the hole my entire being just kept screaming “What? Why? How? Whhyyyy?”

I’ve texted some with Ayanna’s husband but it has all been supportive messages between us. I’ve withheld from asking the hundreds of questions running through my mind.  He doesn’t need to answer anyone’s questions right now. There will be a celebration of life ceremony for Ayanna sometime soon and perhaps then I will find some answers. Most likely I will never know all of the story.  But then again, I know that none of us ever can really know what the whole story is anyway.  Even if we are there for the acting out of the story there is always some shadow piece, some part of the puzzle that remains unknown to us.

As I have followed the twists and turns of this new journey in Cuckoo Luckoo Land I have slept and eaten very little.  The pain is too raw, both physical and emotional.  Ayanna has known more of my story – every little nuanced piece of it – for 5 years that I cannot imagine her not being part of my ongoing healing and transformation.  With her I was always able to say anything and everything that I needed to say. Plus she could hear the things even I couldn’t speak out loud. She had this amazing ability to read the unspoken words of my heart and heal me in more ways than I can even name.  The tools that she helped me to learn are more valuable to me than anything I ever learned from a book or in a school.

Just being in her presence could provide peace and healing for me.  She would walk into a room like a radiant, light and love filled Amazon Warrior Queen.  When I was with her I believe anything was possible, even the seemingly impossible.  More than any other person she was an advocate for me to write my story – my story of Cuckoo Luckoo Land with Russell and the healing steps I have taken since.  She was going to help me write that book and also a book about healing through grieving. We talked about creating a program to help those who support people who have lost a loved one. She was going to do programs at Avalon Sanctuary – a space she believed was infused with light and love and that is truly a magical space.  When she was there at our anniversary bonfire she said she could feel the room pulsing with healing energy.  There were so many more things I hoped to journey through together.

Part of the powerful light throughout this 24 hour journey has been Ayanna herself, smiling to me and speaking clearly to me. “Dive into the pain Lara. Dive deeper. Keep diving. I am here in the light. Breathe and dive into all. Feel it; scream it; know it.  I’m still here. You can do this. You will do this. You’re not alone.  Love and Light and Peace is all around you. Trust the journey.  You are a warrior of love and it is your time to step forward and stand on your own. You are ready. Dance in the shadow place. Write your story. Heal your heart.”  Throughout all of my crazy dreaming as I’ve tried to sleep she has been in them, smiling and speaking to me.  What a gift that has been.

I honestly do not know what I will do without the presence of this unique, powerful, love filled, healing woman in my life.  Never have I met anyone else like her and never have I entrusted anyone else with as much of my full story as I have with her.  Her presence in my life over these last 5 years has brought me to more understanding about myself and the world than I ever could have imagined. She has helped me transform myself and my relationships in profound ways. And I do not believe I would be anywhere near as far along my healing path since Russell’s death as I am today.     I have a long way to go in many aspects but I credit her with helping me get to where I am today.

Tonight I watch The Matrix, a movie Ayanna and I often talked about as we explored the ways in which we can rethink what reality is.  It’s a favorite movie for both of us. “You are faster (or stronger) than you think. Don’t think you are. Know you are.”  “I’m trying to free your mind Neo. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one who has to walk through it.  You have to let it all go. Fear. Doubt. Disbelief. FREE YOUR MIND!”    Morpheus just spoke these words to Neo as I was writing.  THIS is what Ayanna wanted me to believe.  That I could free my mind. That I am powerful and magical and full of infinite possibility.  She believed in me and this is what I will choose to take with me as I now make my way out of Cuckoo Luckoo Land back into my world.

Ayanna has reminded me again that there is no time but the one we are in.  I must live my life as authentically, as powerfully, as fully in the moment as I possibly can.  I must live my life out loud, telling people that I love and believe in them.  I must follow my dreams now.  I must do what I can to help heal the world and provide a place of breathing sanctuary because I believe this is part of my life’s purpose.  I must write my stories and share these with the world; it is for my healing and for those who need to hear only the story that I can tell.  I must be the warrior woman of love and light that I want to be. I must seek joy and believe it is okay to do so.

In this time, in this moment I breathe and I am thankful for the light that Ayanna has been for me.  May I continue to share that light with those around me who need it.  As I step out of the dark and back into the light I promise you Ayanna, I won’t forget the journey we’ve had.  Thank you!

 

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.

I’m trying. I really am!

liion'sroar

There are sooooo many curse words that want to come flying out of my mouth right now.  I feel my Kraken swirling around inside of me wanting to protect me from more crazy ass shit flying around us.  I am trying to listen to her while also tapping into my other archetypal wisdom figures (ie Dragon and my Muse) who help balance out the dark, lashing, energy Kraken brings forth in me.

I am trying every single day (oops almost added some curse words in there) to move forward; to clear my energy; to make new choices for life; to find the positive in situations; to believe that no matter what chaotic messiness pops up around me I can find humor in it; to choose gratitude as my primary focus for my day; to not get sucked into the abyss of seeing only misery and wrongness in my world.  I am trying!

But wow, I am worn out by life right now.  Kateri’s horse, Walter, has problems AGAIN in the leg that just received weeks of treatment.  We are looking at another trip to Mizzou for more treatment.  We are looking at another Thanksgiving with some kind of horse emergency or critical care needed.  In the last 4 years every single major holiday family time – Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas – has brought us some crisis connected to the farm; except for maybe 2.

I am tired – emotionally, mentally, physically.  I am trying to tap into all of my healing, coping tools; I really am.  But wowza I am tired to an extent I can’t even explain.  I just keep thinking enough already. What the blankity blank blank do I need to do to get us the blankity blank out of this pattern?  What on earth is the lesson that I need to learn?  What will it take to stop the frickin merry go round I feel trapped on?  Maybe I am trying to hard and I need to just let go; but let go of what?

Pffft, I will find a better, calmer place tomorrow.  But for tonight I just want to curse, throw things and run the blankity blank away to Costa Rica where my phone won’t work.

The fact that I am still here, choosing to write rather than throw things, is proof that I am not only trying but that I am doing it I guess- I am somehow still going.  The warrior woman in me who imagines herself riding Karoly with a blazing sword in hand, her wolves (yes I imagine Willow, Tara and Hinata to be my wolves) at her side, taking on the world is speaking to me.  She says we can do it!  So I will try and listen to her tonight.

Out Loud

speakup

I’ve learned a valuable lesson in the past several weeks. Well let’s just say it’s a lesson that has sunk into my head a little bit deeper.  It’s something I’ve known for a long time but I’ve been given lots of opportunities recently to practice putting it into action.

The lesson is this – People can’t read my mind and if they can’t ready my mind then they can’t possibly help me do the things I need help with.  Just because it maybe screaming inside my head “I can’t do this alone. I need help.” it doesn’t mean anyone but me can hear that screaming.  I know that I am surrounded by lots of people who are more than willing to help me; I just have to ask OUT LOUD.

Another level of this learning is that just saying I need help without clear times, tasks outlined, and tools that are needed isn’t enough for many folks.  Without all of the information requests can feel vague and borderless.  People’s hesitation to say yes isn’t necessarily because they don’t want to it can be they just need more info.

I am learning I need to live my whole life out loud, not just my grieving/healing journey.  Why do I stop the words from tumbling out of my mouth?  Maybe because they can be so jumbled in my mind.  I worry it will come out in such an incoherent way that no one will understand me.  Or I worry that if I start the tumble I won’t be able to stop it.

I (we?) so often feel overwhelmed by all that we need to do. That to-do list gets longer and longer and longer feeling more daunting as it grows.  I wish other would help me. I can even feel resentful as I run around like chickens with my head cut off, wishing others around me would just help me. But the busier I get, the quieter I can become and then no one knows that I need help.

I have to ask for help in specific ways.  When I do it’s amazing the response that I usually get.  Every time I have asked for a specific need for help at specific times with specific parameters, I have received lots of replies of “Yes I can do that.”   Or, I’ve received replies of “No I can’t help with that. Would this help?”

 

My commitment to living out loud in every time, every moment is a habit I am working to entrench deep within my entire being.  When I do I least give myself a fighting chance to get all the help I need. And I give others a chance to be there for me as they can.  It seems so simple when I write it out.

Vague request = Vague or no response

Specific request = Specific answer

Pretty simple equation isn’t it. Then, why is it so hard?