Sunday, January 6, 2013

And what about the days when there is no energy to spare, what then?

I do the best I've can with what I have from where I am...

Dear Ones,

I was reminded today of the beautiful song that moves me so deeply, the one Bette Midler sang, "The Rose."

"... Just remember, in the winter, far beneath the bitter snow,
lies the seed, that with the sun's love, in the spring, 
becomes, the rose..."

And Camus, from his powerful book The Stranger, one of the quotes I have held on to for decades as it has so much meaning for me and is a reminder of what more than one of my therapists has told me over many years when they said, "You're so much stronger than you know." Camus wrote...

"In the midst of winter I finally learned that there 
was in me an invincible summer..."

And so on these days when my spirit flags and the road ahead looks long, and I can see no end of what is a winter of the soul I go outside in the garden where the stalks of the once beautiful cottage garden are bent and drying and brown and I gather the seeds who, with the sun's love, will be hundreds, thousands of flowers, tremendous glory all through the summer and the fall, a flood of color that is breath-taking, and I collect the seeds and close my eyes and, as in The Wizard of Oz, my black and white world comes to life, in full blown technicolor, just where I am, in this moment.

And so what am I doing now? Self care. I said it yesterday, this is a time when self care is one of the most important things that I can do because one of the greatest needs that I have, one of the most important things that I need to learn, is how to re-enter my body. After a childhood of sexual abuse from four to eighteen, and for several years at the hands of two men, I, like so many abused women, exited my body. I not only gained a lot of weight but I have often been injured and sometimes badly. I fell down a flight of stairs and shattered both feet some years ago and couldn't walk for a year, and that was only one among many breaks, sprains, falls, surgeries, and more. The thing is, like so many survivors, the way that I survived led me to a life that I can best describe, as I think about it metaphorically, as my spirit flying ahead with my body bumping along on the ground behind me. 

How do you get to nearly 350 pounds, or for many even more? It is unimaginable to people. But if you have survived so much pain that parts of you have shut down, you don't notice. I know people think, "How could you possibly not notice gaining 200 pounds?" Well, if you don't know there's really no way I can explain it to you. The fat, the padding on my body, has been a safety mechanism, although I never really thought about it in so many words. When your body is unbalanced and your spirit has gone into hiding, and you become a head without a body, thinking, dreaming, but not really doing, and you shrink further and further away from the outside world, you kind of disappear. When I've looked at myself in the mirror I didn't see an overweight woman, well, yes, overweight, but not OVERWEIGHT. And then I see a photograph -- and believe me I don't allow many of those, and isn't that sad, because when recording life with your children and grandchildren is lost you become the ghost in the family, the one people remember but can't quite picture in their minds. I don't want to be a ghost. Oh God help me I really don't want to be a ghost.

And so I'm learning. As I sit here typing this my feet are in an electric foot bath, humming along and vibrating, the water pretty hot with my favorite foot bath powder mixed in. I use this when I'm not just using Epsom salts, Dr. Singh's Mustard Bath, soothing my feet and perfuming the air around me with an earthy fragrant smell, not perfumey or sweet, that my body is kind of sinking into the chair going, "Ahhhhh...." It is detoxifying, soothing, and so fragrant your whole body relaxes. I am having another "foot episode." Having had serious surgeries, breaks, and whatnots as I mentioned above, 2 years in a row I (Pardon me, I know this is gross..) have slammed my toe so badly that I've lost the toenail, broke the toe, and really made a mess of things. This was a bad one. So I am taking care of my feet and loving them and sending them healing energy. It is amazing what these detox footbaths do. You can also use it in the bath tub but I cannot bathe in a tub, another gift of my childhood and common for so many women who have gone through these things, but the feet, when cared for, detoxify the whole body. So I type this to you with my feet soaking and the air redolent with organic mustard powder, and essential oils of rosemary, eucalyptus, wintergreen and thyme. And the combination of aromatherapy and the gift to the feet I am trying to move back into are really helping me integrate body, mind, and spirit.

When there is little energy to spare we look for the little things that we can do, we look for the silver lining, we soak our feet, or make a comforting nutritious meal, and make a cup of tea. I once wrote a book about the spiritual art of tea, and then have longsince gotten away from drinking tea at all. It was coffee in the morning, a huge strong latte, and a glass of wine in the evening, and not every evening. I have never been interested in drinking as a recreational hobby. Now, another gift of the diagnosis I recently received is that I am not drinking alcohol of any kind and I have turned back to my tea ritual and I had forgotten how much more there is to tea than just a cup of tea. Tea is a state of mind, and in this state of mind I realized it was time to revise the tea book, while sipping tea, and publish it in the next year. Yes, so many gifts in this challenging time. Tonight it is lemon ginger green tea, and the ginger has sparked my senses and made me come back to life. It is almost 9 p.m., my feet are wrinkled like prunes, the pugs are jumping up and down because it is past their treats and meds and getting ready for bed time but I committed to writing every day and by gosh and by golly I'm going to. I'm not sure how much I'm helping anyone else by these daily posts, but what is happening for me is rather amazing and I'm so happy to be doing this. 

I wanted to speak about my body and life as an oak tree, and more about the Dragonfly Cottage community that I am dreaming of, and not just dreaming of, creating, but it is time to publish this post and tend to the little ones here. 

No, there has not been much energy to spare, but it has been a good day, a gentle, slow day, and it has been a gift. Be gentle with yourself, very gentle, and know that when I send you love it is genuine and from my heart, and I do, more than you can imagine, I really do...

Good night dear ones, may the night before you yield fruitful dreams that will fill tomorrow with gifts beyond imagine.

Blessings, Love, and Joy... it is possible, it is...


AliMoonGoddess said...

Just wanted to say what a beautiful post this is. So much truth and honesty. Hoping you feel simply decadent & the pugs are giving you lots of love.

Had never thought of the Ghost thing, but you are so very right. So easy to shy away when we aren't what we feel we should be. Sending you lots of healing love in hopes that you soon will be shining brightly comfortable in front of the camera.

Winnie said...

I wanted to say your post was so beautifully written and so heartfelt. I know it will bring comfort to many. I am a tea drinker and find the ritual of tea to be so soothing to me. I have the little nieces over and we have tea together and then do arts and crafts. It is peacful and great for my body and soul. I see you do Reiki, and I used to have this done for me when my hubby was ill and dying to help me rest and calm myself and it worked so well.

Wishing you all the best...

Audrey Humaciu said...

I am forcing myself not to be the ghost. My son and any children he may have won't care that I am ______ (fill in my insecurity of the day) they'll look at my picture and remember things we have done like I do when I look at the few pictures of the camera dodgers from my family.

Nicky Cousins said...

I love your writings, I never guessed from your photo on here that you have had body issues, you look so beautiful and centred and powerful. Much love and admiration for your total honesty. I do so hope you start a dragonfly community
I love drinking tea too, I love the glass teapots and a flower bud so it can be seen as it gently opens :D and, of course, drinking perfumed tea.
I love massaging my feet, using a gorgeous moisturizer from The Body Shop, it feels so good
Much love
Nicky xx

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