Posts Tagged: Seasons of Life

The Grace of the Sea Stars

Sea Star is the name of a watercolor in my office, painted by a friend years ago when she was traveling in India. She was on the beach in Goa watching the sea when a local woman, arms full of colorful, dancing scarves, swept up to her: “Sea Star, You want to buy? “ It took her a minute to realize that the woman was calling her “sister,” not selling her sea stars or starfish. Sea stars, or “sisters,” my dear women friends, have held me in kindness, given me tea and sympathy and laughter my whole life. The painting is a vivid reminder of the strength of this tribe of love.

And then there are the other Sea Stars, the variegated, orange and purple creatures of the sea that are also called starfish.

Charms, Amulets and a Blessed Life

Charm bracelets were all the rage when I was a teenager. Tiny replicas of the Eiffel tower, new bikes, tiny dog figures, and figure skates tinkled from the wrists of the Popular Girls. I admired the look and the high style, but I never expected that I’d be in the circle of lucky ones who could afford such a wondrous thing. Even if… even if I did get a magical white box from the local jeweler for my birthday. Even if… Even if there was a gold bracelet inside. Even if…. that came to be, what good would it be? What charms would I wear?

Resistance and Freedom: Ebb and Flow

“We change like the weather, we ebb and flow like the tides, we wax and wane like the moon. We do that, and there’s no reason to resist it. If we resist it, the reality and vitality of life become misery, a hell.”

~Pema Chodron.

This past year I’ve been exploring this thing we call Resistance as it shows up in my life and the lives of friends and clients. This general sense of “stuckness” we label and attempt to eradicate is a force field that manifests and shifts its shape and sucks us in.

We can begin to believe the voices that convince us of one of two things: that we will fail at whatever we want most, or that we must fight force with force.

But often there’s a simpler path, the path of least resistance, which can take us into the flow of our best lives. Read More>>

Fall Winnowing: Psyche’s Task & Yours

I’ve spent the last three days in personal retreat with someone who requested time in the old growth to deepen into her soul’s path. Our focus was to listen, to write, to inquire and to listen some more. There was a deep sharing of stories that define us, as we kept ears tuned for how calling shows up in her life. It was a time to harvest what has been and allow inspiration to emerge, to allow her to to move into the next steps of her life’s work.

This is the power of harvest. The power of autumn. This season has more and more meaning for me each year. In the autumn of life, I meet the turning of the leaves, the falling away, with recognition and curiosity. We know each other, autumn and I. This is time to harvest and preserve what is beautiful and useful and to leave the rest behind.

Blessing this Face Through the Years

I once owned a mirror that unfolded into a triptych framed in lights.  They called it a make-up mirror. I put it on a small vanity table and called it my altar. First thing every morning I switched it on before leaving for work. It was the only time of day I was still. For two minutes I was not a teacher, mother, wife, daughter. Lists and complications dropped away and I became a canvas, silently ready for the blessing of line and color. Read More>>

My Life as a Sea Anemone

Sea anemones are among my favorite sea creatures. Fortunately Disney’s crew didn’t make them into a character in Little Mermaid. It would be a grave injustice, They don’t like the press.

They’re lovely just as they are, in their shy beauty. Colorful, vibrant. Content to stay in one place and ingest new nutrients. They stay perched and open and lovely until their space is invaded, and then a quick poke sends them into contraction and protection.

Giving Up Ruthlessness for the New Decade

It’s taken me a while to write my first entry for the new decade because I wanted to come to a clear intention that was deeply true from my core. So instead of giving myself of lists of admirable goals, I looked for something truer to emerge.

Here it is. 2010 is the year I’m giving up on ruthlessness with myself. I’ve looked at the belief that I need to change, and wherever I met it, there was the old demon of self-judgement…and ruthlessness, just over its shoulder.

I’m deeply curious about what Love has in mind for me this year. When I see that, I see a kinder world. A deep curiosity about what would change if I lived this resolution. I like that. What would that look like for you?

Compare this to your first list and revise.

How a Long Marriage is Like the Grand Canyon

As of this week, I’ve been married forty years to the same person.  Okay. Not the same person.  He’s changed.  I’ve changed.  And it’s not the same marriage.  It’s changed and we’ve changed. In many ways, it’s been more like a series of two or three marriages,.

When new friends ask what wisdom we have to share. I ‘m struck dumb. Those of you who know me understand what an unusual occurrence this is.   Looking back there’s the same feeling I had when I first set my eyes on the Grand Canyon. It’s just too big to grasp.

Generalities fly through the air. Kindness, rooted commitment.  Then specific words come to mind:  communication (learning what that means and how to do it better), acceptance, tolerance.  But mostly there’s a parade of images, single frames that become a whole, like flipping a book of line drawings that create animation. Viewing my own mental snapshots of these two young strangers and watching how shared joy and grief and pain has changed them together and separately simply boggles my mind. Read More>>