eleventhbeatnik

musings of an aquarian age counterculturist


Yesterday’s News: Unsubscribe Me.

The simplification of life is one of the steps to inner peace.  
A persistent simplification will create an inner and
outer well-being that places harmony in one’s life.
Peace Pilgrim

Glancing at the calendar, it feels a touch too early to be pondering spring cleaning.  Still, the need to clean house and organize my surroundings and by extension, my life, nags me with persistence.

Last week I finally finished a painting project that has taken a couple of months to complete.  Okay, fine: more than a couple.  Regardless, it was with a sense of accomplishment that I at long last stripped off the green painter’s tape, finished touch-ups, and packed up the tools – essentially removing the obstacle course that has existed in the living room so long that I somehow stopped seeing it.  I think that is a well-known characteristic of procrastination:  that which we do not wish to deal with is far too easily buried under other distractions.

In any case, I relished the moment when I was finally able to sit down to survey my surroundings and truly see the results of my labour.   Taking in the vibrant new wall colours was indeed a heady business.  (Good-bye and good riddance coma-inducing beige!)  I took pleasure in noticing that the apartment was starting to look like an actual home rather than an abandoned construction zone.  All that remained was to acquire a few pieces of previously-loved furniture in good condition that would suit the place.

Alas, coinciding with Paint Project Finito, it became clear that ever seeing those longed for finishing touches through to fruition would be an unlikely outcome.  Apparently, it will be a moving van rather than a delivery truck on the horizon.  It turns out that departing this place is more a matter of “when” than “if”.  Despite my initial feelings of disappointment, moving is not a new experience in my world and a part of me welcomes the excitement of starting fresh.  Although I am not necessarily thrilled about having to deal with another move so soon after the last one, I understand that the circumstances in this situation truly are completely outside my control.

Taking into account my direct experiences with disruption in general this last couple of years in particular, I’m doing my best to take the view that it is in fact life’s disturbances that open up new pathways and opportunities.  Taking a deep breath and stepping into the fear of the unexpected with as much peace as possible allows for a broader view of previously unseen possibilities to take shape.  It is in those moments of acceptance that an opportunity arises to glimpse something brighter and better waiting, if we move out of resistance and into ease and flow.  Not easy, but worth the effort.

Another major plus about moving is that it provides and excellent chance to de-clutter and identify any and all crap taking up real estate in closet space serving no particular purpose aside from collecting dust.  From that viewpoint, it appears my urge to spring clean is well timed after all, given that there is now really no choice about it.  In the planning of emptying closets and junk drawers, it has also become glaringly obvious that another area of my life is in serious need of paring down:  my email account.

Over the past couple of years while navigating a huge life transition and undergoing some pretty heavy soul searching, I swear I must have signed up for every self-help guru’s newsletter around the globe.  In that time of pain and grief, it was a comfort to pour over advice and opinions from healers and thought leaders I admired; who appeared to have a wellspring of knowledge I couldn’t seem to tap into on my own right then.  There was a time when I read every word and soaked up all the positive thoughts, affirmations, opinions and “how-to’s” like a sponge.  Lately though, I’ve come to realize that it has been many, many months since I’ve read any of those newsletters.  In fact, most of them have gone unopened and often sent straight to the trash.  The insight and guidance that was once so very helpful, no longer seems to fit.

In terms of my personal life, these days I’m far more invested in the support, love and guidance offered by people who know me personally and love me despite my flaws and missteps:  loved ones, my counselor, teachers, herbal studies classmates, my blog community.  That’s not to say I’ll stop reading authors and writings that I enjoy.  It simply means that it is okay to let go of what no longer seems nourishing or applicable right now.  By letting go of voices and messages of the past, I’m making room for new speakers and writers and teachers to emerge in my consciousness, allowing for the the potential to discover different principles and ideas to help me learn and grow in real time.

So as I prepare to purge the abode (yet gain) to start over in a new place, I am also clearing out my inbox.  I am spring cleaning my life.  I am making space.

With a nod of thanks to Yesterday’s News, it is time to say:  Unsubscribe Me.  

photo credit: google images

photo credit: google images


Dear John (or Kathryn) as the case may be

young poetry

Photo credit: eleventhbeatnik

My beautiful friend,

I came across this bit of writing tonight.  Neatly folded into squares.  Written in crazy yellow ink with flower embellishments.  I cannot recall the identity of the Romeo my younger self was so enamored.  What I do remember is that it was not the object of my love, but the opinion of my closest friend that mattered and transcended the passage of time.  I wrote my heart out in silly verses and covertly passed along the words to you for approval.  Likely under the classroom wall divider in Mr. Taylor’s class.

You kept this piece of paper in your safekeeping for years; and then unearthed it and returned it to me unexpectedly in a moment that turned out to be a remarkable rite of passage.

Yup . All of this from two rebellious young women convinced we’d never see a day past 30.  Cosmic joke, yeah?  And yet, here we are, well past our anticipated expiry date.

A poet I am not.  But here’s what I wrote all those years ago.  On lined paper.  In friggin’ yellow.

Life without love
Is an existence without life.
I love you more
Than words can say.

Life without love
Is not really living.
What I feel for you
Words cannot express.

Life without love
Is a garden without flowers.
I feel so empty
When I cannot hold you near.

Life without love
Is like sorrow without tears.
You can’t have one
Without the other.

And I cannot live
Without you.

***

If that’s not enough nostalgia for ya, check out my spiral perm circa late ’80s.  Oy!  Now there’s some serious entertainment.

Big love to you.  xo


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Lost & Found

“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves”.
Henry David Thoreau

I am “The One” in the family that left “home” for parts unknown at a relatively young age. Having relocated many times in my formative years, I grew more accustomed to a state of transition than to any sense of groundedness.  Aside from NY, I haven’t felt any significant attachment to a particular place in my adult life either.  In fact, even today I am basically living like a college student with sparse furniture and half of my belongings packed in banker’s boxes from my last move.  Which was over three years ago (!)

The apartment I now occupy was always meant to be a temporary space.   A placeholder for my husband and I to plot our future, a spot to share dreams and decide together on our eventual landing place in a home of our choosing where we would buy grown-up furniture, commit to paint colours, adopt another cat and maybe a dog.  Someday, if it was meant to be, we would create a baby.  Possibly a garden.  No white picket fence, but perhaps a row of trees.

Needless to say, all of those hopes and dreams died with the end of our marriage.  And ever since, it seems as though I’m wandering aimlessly lost and in dire need of directions.

This weekend I fly to Manitoba to spend a week with my family in cottage country.  It is a trip I had been putting off until I could bring my husband with me.  I wanted to show him the geographical place I was born, where my parents shared most of their lives together, my father’s resting place, where my sister and brother-in-law and nieces all call “home”.  The intention was to have a second wedding ceremony including my nieces and a lifelong friend that I to this day think of as my other sister.

And now, I acknowledge that all of those plans are gone.  Gone.  GONE.

I must also admit that despite the core sadness I am experiencing around this journey, under the surface, there is also a sense of excitement to see my nieces in the latest versions of themselves (I mean, shit!  Kids really do grow up so fast.)  Returning to a place I no longer consider “home”, but remains a part of my heart.

I’ve felt very lost going through the upheaval that has been my life lately.  But I’m also quite certain that this disorientation will eventually reveal itself to be a map.  An internal GPS that ultimately leads to whoever it is that I’m becoming.

As I regain my bearings, I look forward to discovering the next phase of my life.  Whatever that looks like.

Thoreau


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The Invisibles

So Prince Charming turned out to be a less than charming in the end.

As I move through the varying levels of grief that inevitably accompany a rite of passage; or in this case, the end of a significant relationship, I am forcing myself to address much that I would prefer to bury or ignore.

Before I met my best-friend-then-husband-turned-betrayer, by and large I felt that for the most part I was one of the walking “invisibles” of this world.  Inconsequential.  Insignificant. Unseen.

That perception dissipated as I allowed myself to trust and be free in a relationship with someone I loved.  When that relationship ended in a painful and unexpected way, my sense of trust was stretched and broken.  We’ve all been there, right?  Well maybe.  But collective wrongs don’t make a right.  Right?   Just sayin’.

And now, here I am again, at first blush, seemingly back where I started. Feeling invisible.  Noticing that few will even make eye contact.  Conversations out in the world for the most part feel stilted and limited.  Sanitized of meaning and connection.  I also recognize that this perception is coloured by my current state of confusion and uncertainty of the new ground I find myself standing on.

So now is the time of reckoning.  I am ditching the invisibility cloak.  Kicking judgment to the curb.

Life:  to you, I say:  surprise me!  (or show me how to surprise myself.)   Reveal the unseen, including me.  As the healing continues; please (please!) help me grow courage to understand and accept the lessons offered here.  Show me how to accept what is; so that my eyes and heart will be open to see the infinite possibilities that lie ahead.

I’m ready.  Lead the way.

invisible-man