Friday, July 08, 2005

The Nature of Becoming

Have you ever worked on a piece and it just doesn’t come out right and you aren’t sure where you failed? Well I began a simple scarf that had a diamond lace pattern in it and I frogged the whole thing six times and tinked back more times then I can remember. It really frustrated me. I had the knowledge, I understood the pattern and this wasn’t rocket science.

Then I read a post by a fellow knitter and it all made sense. This yarn was supposed to become a clapotis and here I was making it into a scarf. I think it was insulted and fought my new choice for it’s design. You can laugh and think I’m crazy but I’ve spoken before on the yarn teaching me and this time is no exception.

This beautiful patterned yarn wanted more then I was offering by my simple scarf. So I explained that in the months ahead my time might be limited by some of my choices and this scarf would be my Red Heart Knit project for Fall Fest. I also explained how the fringe would be beaded with Swarvoski crystals and it would sparkle in a rainbow of colors like the sun hitting new formed ice at dawn.

Suddenly, there was no problem. The four hours I spent agonizing were erased by the ease that I now possessed. The 20 rows pinnacle that I never before reached was achieved in 22 minutes. The yarn had agreed to what it was becoming and together we are creating this scarf.

The teaching of this yarn brought me much as I reviewed the choices in my life that were ones that I had chosen because they rang true vs. the ones that to this day I struggled with. I realized that the ones that I didn’t enjoy were not harmonizing with my nature and my inner knowing self has been trying to show me that this is not me by any means necessary. But I ignored all the signs and plodded on.

In last night’s meditation I took the strands of my life and looked at each one to see if it brought me joy and peace and if it didn’t I no longer let it continue on in the tapestry that is my life. I thanked each strand for the good and bad and let it go. I also lovingly caressed the strands that were now shining like spun silver and invited them to grow. I watched as they filled in the spaces left by the things that I let go and I could feel my heart well up with love and happiness. I left that meditation feeling renewed and vibrant.

Today I continue to carry on that meditation by writing the letters and making the phone calls that will allow me to let go of those areas of my life that are not me. And as I settle into thoughts of the weekend I have created more room for the things that I love and that bring me pure unadulterated joy.

May you find your true joy,


Friday, July 01, 2005

Create a Beautiful Day :)

"Imagine a hot tub for the mind. That is what meditation is; it can bathe your mind in relaxing thoughts."
-- Eknath Easwaran

"Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths, or the turning inwards in prayer for five short minutes."
-- Etty Hillesum

There is a Buddhist practice of focusing on one body part throughout the day to bring you back to yourself. After all we are not a mind with a body we are a body with a mind. But too often the mind runs the show and when you are always thinking it is hard to ever truly be. The monkey mind is always on churning which leaves us little time to be present in the moment.

But it is this never resting mind that brings on stress. Stress is alleviated by the breaths in between the thoughts; the moments that we are actually showing up for our own life. I saw a car ad that stated, “I am not the sum of my errands.” But that is how we sum up our day; I went to the bank, picked up some groceries, swung by daycare, came home, cleaned the house and made dinner. This is a to-do list that doesn’t make one feel alive it makes one feel tired, stressed and ready for bed.

These things have to be done but how can we slow down the pace enough to be present while still getting the to-do list done? Have you noticed when you are rushing that it doesn’t really help? Try slowing down at the bank take time to smile at the teller and relax while they are working on your request.

At the store pick out something for yourself or smell a flower. Take a moment to focus on you and find something in the store that brings you a moment of joy. For me that is a Mocha Light Frappuccino. I slip my coffee decadence while I shop and with each delicious drop the stress melts away.

By the time I pick up my child I am renewed. Since this is when my day truly begins, I need to be fresh and ready for the ball of energy that is my son. Now is our time when I get to be alone with my little boy and he tells me all the wonderful things he learned or experienced and I have found a Mother’s bliss.

When we get home the cleaning and the dinner gets done because I am blessed enough to have a house and a family and both need tending. My whole view has changed and with a little help from my son everything is ready and on the table by the time Daddy gets home.

Did this all happen in a day? The resounding answer is, “No!” Bit by bit I told my husband I was trying something “new” and worked on changing the way I did things. When I used my mind all the time, everything seemed rushed and hurried and I was just happy for the day to be over. Now I can’t wait until my family gets home and I prolong going to bed as long as I can because I have this well of energy that fills up in me and allows me to do more by thinking less.

I guess it is like a new knitting pattern. You read the pattern and it is all mind. You work the pattern and refer back to it often but you aren’t really feeling it yet. Then you get to a moment when you know the pattern and you are knitting and confident and there is a flow, a rhythm to it all.

I’ve discovered that this flow, this feeling of serenity can be felt in everyday moments. There are things that I have done a thousand times before and yet I was putting all this thought into them. But now I enjoy the moment whether it be shopping or giving my child a bath because they are all the beautiful moments that make up my life and how I face them shapes me and who I am becoming.

Create a beautiful day!