"The day will come when, after harnessing space, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, humankind will have discovered fire. "
I am off to Paris tomorrow, a city that has always fed my soul in ways no other city can. I don't know what I am going to find or what I will be doing there, but I am just happy to be taking this trip!
I will be posting quotes while I am away and maybe more.....
So stay tuned to TRO and, please, follow YOUR bliss while I am away.
I saw Sonya Renee perform at the Seattle Poetry Slam a couple of weeks ago. If you do not know who she is and have never seen her perform, check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0soC-Dvv1f0. (The sound isn't great, but the poem will blow you away anyway.)
This quote is from a story she told about her dog and its unreliable bowels, but she made the point that it applies to all of us at one time or another.
A few days later was the yoga incident, wherein I tried to hold it all for our family and found that I just couldn't.
So now I am trying to ask myself everyday, what can I let go of today as a gift to myself, to my husband, to my kids, to the world?
A few months ago my husband discovered hot yoga. He picked it up again recently and decided he wanted to go EVERY DAY. So he did.
This was fine until one day he went to a class late in the day and did not come home for dinner, did not call and did not remember that he was supposed to take one of the boys to an activity that night.
By the time he got home dinner was cold, our son was late, and I was FURIOUS.
Now there were lots of reasons I was mad about this:
1) I had run an errand earlier in the day that I just barely had time for, thinking that if worse came to worse, I could ask him to pick up the kids from school at the last minute. Had I known he was not available, I would not have done that;
2) Less than a few weeks earlier I had not gotten dinner on the table in a timely manner and our son was late for the very same activity because of me. At that time I got a lecture about how if we were going to do this particular evening activity, I needed to make sure that the boys were ready to go when it was time;
3) Communication has been an ongoing issue with us. As a male primate my husband needs a certain amount of freedom to come and go as he pleases or he starts to feel caged in. While I understand this, I contest that once you have made a family with someone you owe them a certain amount of communication, especially if you are going to go AWOL for more than a couple of hours. Not asking permission mind you, just LETTING THEM KNOW. It's just common courtesy in my opinion.
So, needless to say we had quite the "discussion" when my husband got home, covering all of the above and much, much more.
But when it came right down to it, I had to admit that none of the above was really the issue for me. The truth was: I was jealous. And tired.
Somehow his going to yoga every day just felt unfair to me. And it felt like the whole weight of the family had been placed on my shoulders, to bear all alone.
Even though I would not want to go every day (I am just not an "every day" person. Every other day, maybe; a couple of times a week, sure, but there are just very few physical things I want to do EVERY DAY.), I was upset that he was ABLE to.
He and I have had this discussion a million times before and we always end up at the same place. As the mother in a family there are just certain things you give up that the father in the family will never understand (and I know the same is true in reverse). "Every day" is one of those things for me.
Even if I wanted to and made a Herculean effort, I am certain that I would not be able to do yoga every day for more than a few days. Inevitably someone would be sick, or have an activity, or a need that pre-empted my "every day" yoga plan. That's just that way it is.
He doesn't understand this. His opinion is that if I REALLY WANTED IT I could make it happen - with his help, with babysitters - somehow I could make it work.
I guess I have to concede that this is true, if I were willing to put whatever I was doing ahead of the family, which I just am not. And, aye, there's the rub.
Whenever my husband starts to do something "every day" I feel like he is putting that thing ahead of us and I start to worry that if he had to choose between that thing and us, he would chose that thing and where would that leave us?
And I start to panic and worry and feel like it's ALL ON ME; and then it's a full-blown fear attack.
Which is pretty much where I ended up on the night of this fight. So we talked and we fought and we came up with a plan which was that I would go to yoga the next morning and he would stay home with the kids until I got back.
It didn't really solve the primary issue, but it was a start.
And, lo and behold, what a start!
Hot yoga is amazing! So hard you think you are going to die, but afterward you feel so....AMAZING. There is no other word for it, you positively GLOW!
As I got up off of my mat to go home and take over for my husband, I felt a surge of love for him so great I could hardly bear it. I wanted to go home and force him to do yoga every day for the rest of his life because I wanted him to feel just like I felt at that moment.
As I walked out of the yoga studio I saw this Nelson Mandela quote hanging on the wall and I froze. I had just been liberated from my own fear of lack and limitation and I was ready to liberate the world, starting with my husband.
If you are interested in trying hot yoga, there is a great new studio in Seattle called Yoga to the People. Check it out!
A couple of weeks ago my supervisor let me know that two
days a week I would be “in charge of” the ATM at our branch of the
credit union. Being “in charge of” the ATM just means processing
the deposits made the previous day. It isn’t a particularly interesting
or difficult job, but it is something I haven’t done very often and he
wants us to take turns doing it so we are all proficient at it.
Since then I have done the ATM exactly once.
Inevitably by the time I arrive in the morning (I am usually
the last one to arrive because I have to drop the kids off at
school before I head into work) one of my co-workers is already working on
it and is not willing to stop.
For some reason, this is MAKING ME SO MAD.
I know, I know. It's RIDICULOUS.
There is absolutely NO reason to get upset about this and
about a million reasons not to, but my ego has decided to go in the other
direction on this one. (I am still trying to figure out WHY....)
All I can come up with are the following (best said
in a whiney voice):
"Because I am SUPPOSED to."
"Because our supervisor SAID SO."
"Because it’s MY TURN."
None of these responses make ANY sense, especially once you realize that it is a forty-something adult thinking them.
But that's the whole point of the ego I guess. It doesn't matter WHAT it attaches to, just THAT it attaches, and in the process drives us to see our fellow human beings as outside of ourselves, as separate, as OTHER.
A little thing like this is as good a teaching tool as any, maybe even a great one, because with the big things it is easy for us to see how and why and where we are getting worked up, but sometimes the little things can irritate and fester and cause disruptions without us even noticing, just because they are so small.
So I have decided to LET THIS GO. I did a forgiveness worksheet on it and I am going to watch with amusement as my ego tries to make this into something worth getting worked up about.
"We’ve seen each other bleed, cry, and suffer humiliating defeat; we’ve given each other our imperfect best; and we belong to each other. In other words, we’re family."
--Floorpie, one of my favorite bloggers, about her marriage
When choosing our partners for life we select for equal parts attraction and fantasy. Hopefully we also look for shared values, compatible dreams and the ability to speak the truth of who we are.
But inevitably, if you stick together for a number of years, you get to a place I like to call the "I can't believe I married someone who" moment.
At that moment, you just can't imagine carrying on with this person.
One of the funniest moments like that in my marriage was when I realized that my husband was using our dish-washing sponge to wipe the floor. Worse, that he had been doing this for YEARS.
This revelation led to a shrill and shrieky argument and rocked my world for a few moments. Could I carry on being married to someone who thought it was okay to wipe the floor with the same sponge we used to wash the dishes? I just wasn't sure.....
We made it through that "for worse" moment and eventually got back to "better," but it wasn't until the other day that I realized the vow is all wrong. It should be "for better AND for worse" because it's always BOTH, isn't it?
In my younger days I always just assumed that eventually we would work out all the bugs, get to "better" and just hang out there for the rest of our days. That hasn't happened....yet.
The other day we had one of our periodic knock-down-drag-outs about
communication and somewhere in the midst of that fight, I
finally got it. I stopped seeing our "worse" moments as the end of the world, or at least the beginning of the end.
I now know that "worse" will eventually morph back into "better" (and on the flip side, that "better" will once again slide into "worse") - sometimes within days, sometimes within hours, sometimes even within minutes.
"Being absolutely present and engaged with each moment is generally the way to go. However, sometimes it's best for you and all concerned if you can take a step back from the intensity of the present. Ask yourself, 'How will I feel about this in 10 years?' Then channel your decade-older self and speak from his/her perspective. People might think you're crazy because you're laughing instead of furious, or casual instead of intense. But coming from that place will generate a more positive situation...."
Earlier this year we had our kids' parent-teacher-conferences. They went well. Very well.
Our kids are bright, well-adjusted, and well-behaved (for the most part anyway :)
Walking home I felt proud of my kids. Proud of their accomplishments in school thus far. Proud to be their mom.
As I continued to reflect on these feelings of pride I found myself wondering....is this what life is all about?
Smart children. Good meetings. Proud parents.
Or is life about learning and growing and sometimes making a mess?
And I began to wonder....am I going to feel as proud of my kids when they are messing up as I do when they are doing well?
Am I going to feel proud the first time one of them fails a test, or sneaks out of the house, or gets his heart broken, knowing that they are learning as much - if not more - from these experiences as from doing well in school?
The conclusion I came to was: I hope so.
I hope I can remember to view their slips, missteps and failures with as much pride as I view their accomplishments and successes, knowing that BOTH are an integral part of this human life.
"You haven't dared yet lose faith - so how can faith grow in you?
You haven't dared yet risk your heart - so what can you see of reality?
You're obsessed - still! - with the carnal screams of your life.
How do you hope to step into the Mystery of the King?
You are a sea of gnosis hidden in a drop of dew,
You are a whole universe hidden in a sack of blood.
What are all this world's pleasures and joys
That you keep grasping at them to make you alive?
Does the sun borrow light from a mote of dust?
Does Venus look for wine from a cracked jug?"
This quote is a perfect example of why I started this blog. Sometimes a quote just shows up, so perfect, that you want to share it with the world.
Today, a little Rumi for you.
I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this poem. Especially the following lines, "You haven't dared yet lose faith - so how can faith grow in you?" and "You're obsessed - still! - with the carnal screams of your life."
I HAVEN'T yet dared to lose faith and I AM obsessed with the carnal screams of my life. It's that tiny little seed of hope inside of me - for a better life, a different life, an easier life - that keeps me trapped in the past, in the future, in the carnal screams of my life.
I desperately want to step out of the carnal screams and into the present moment, where there is no hope, no fear, just what IS.