It is windy today outside my studio window. Sun. Cloud. Spring, and the weather can’t make up its mind. I’m voting of course for sun, my favourite. It is warm enough to have the window open. The air smells cool and green.
Fresh air. That is what I am inviting in today. I’ve been thinking about disappointment, what it is, where it comes from, what melts it away. I’m airing out an old belief here on the page.
I woke Saturday morning with the oddest thought, flashing by so quickly I almost missed it. But I didn’t. I caught it.
There, caught in the net of my awareness. I am a very young child, a baby. Baby-me is thinking ‘I am a disappointment’. The adult-me watching this knows this is referring to my parents. This is all feeling, no words, but adult-me is translating the feeling. Accurately.
A feeling that becomes a belief. Baby-me is believing that I am a disappointment to the ones I love and who love me back.
I write this, and now I ask myself, ‘Have I believed this all of my life?’
Is this belief true?
My heart says loudly, lovingly, firmly, No.
I can tell that my head still believes, despite my heart knowing the belief is not true. I trust what my heart says over the belief that sits in my head.
Time to sort this one out.
I was born with crossed eyes, strabismus the doctors call it. Some cultures believe that people with crossed eyes can see both into the future and the past. Cool.
Not so cool for first-time parents, though, who are loving and worrying about their brand new child in equal measure. And then there are all the well-meaning family and friends who are saying……
We’ve had a full week of sunny days, and counting. How delicious!
I am a sunshine girl. Warmth and light. Green growing things reaching their way out of the ground. Songbirds and crows and squirrels noising up the backyard. Bees and hummingbirds burying themselves in the rosemary blooms. My studio window open to catch the clatter and hum and sweet air. I am made for this. This is glory. This is me.
I breathe deeper on sunny days. My body relaxes, releases the armour it wore against the cold weather.
I am a sunshine girl, but how do I stay sunshine? A big question for me because these last few weeks all kinds of things are crashing around me. Not onto me, but onto people around me who I know and love and wish only the best for. My heart wants to stay open and loving for them and me. How do I do this when another’s pain and sorrow comes bumping against me? How do I stay sunshine?
A grandmother’s death. A family member with a virulent cancer, another injured and struggling, another with an untreatable aneurysm, yet another with a tumor ‘mostly’ removed. Two long-time friends with cancer. And household disasters, a broken water pipe, a flash flood, and more.
Life is life. I signed up for all of it. I know I can and do create my life. I know that love is always my answer. Yet my heart’s instinct is to protect itself and close against the sorrow and pain now standing beside it.
A closed heart can’t love, can’t feel love, can’t share love, can’t be love. Closing my heart is an old pattern and not the answer. I know this, too.
I remember holding my son when he cried. I can feel his small warm body curled against me, my arms wrapped round him. Rocking him, and rocking and rocking, slowly, gently. Humming to both him and myself whatever song comes into my head. Always it is a love song, and never the same one twice. I feel his distress as though it is mine, and yet my heart remains open wide as the horizon. My love holding his pain.
This is my answer.
Hold my family, my friends, and my life as though each is my beloved child. Because they are. My love for them is no different than my love for my son. This love, my love, shines like the sun, warming all it touches, them and me.
There is a scene in the movie ‘Shrek’ that I remember. Shrek talks with Donkey about ogres having layers like onions. I’d say that Shrek got it right about the layers, and it applies to people as well as ogres.
I repeatedly learn that my discoveries about myself, my beliefs, and so on, have layers. I have discovered a new layer, so now I have a Part 2 to my post of two weeks ago ‘There is something right with me’.
Every morning I choose that I am perfectly healthy, and I choose that I love myself unconditionally. I use Dee Wallace’s Red Dot Exercise, and I pour all my love into my physical body. I feel love flash and spark its way through me, become a mix of both love and pure brilliant joy. I use this as my meditation, focus on feeling without words, without thought. Just resting here, myself loving myself. And then I get up, put my meditation cushion away, and go about my day. I do this because, even though my body has healed from fibromyalgia, my mind is still healing.
It is while I am doing my going-about-my-day stuff that I discover a new layer to my old belief that there is always something wrong with my body.
I am loving my body, but I am not trusting my body.
I know that, for me, love automatically includes trust. So what is this division I have created? I can love my body, but I cannot trust it. What is it that I am not trusting about my body?
I trust that my body is healthy now. But. I don’t trust my body to stay healthy. I don’t trust that my body will not get sick again. I don’t mean sick like getting a cold. I mean a long sick, like getting fibromyalgia again, or getting cancer.
I know where this is coming from. Whenever I watch TV, I see ads for all kinds of prescription drugs. I always feel like they are whispering fear to me—you might get sick again. I am so new to not taking prescriptions at all (yay me!), that I am still adjusting to knowing I am well, my body is well, I AM HEALTHY. I feel good, but I have to get used to this new pattern of thinking and knowing and believing. It has to become just as much a part of me as the I-am-sick pattern was.
I am working on it, becoming my new pattern of I-am-healthy. I am playing with it, creating it. I have moved the feeling of love into my body. Now I need to move the feeling of trust in as well.
What do I trust about my body right now?
I love to walk. I know, without thinking, that my feet and legs hold strength and carry me wherever I need and want to walk or run or skip or climb. This knowing is trust.
This is a beginning. I will start here. Feel love in my body for my strong legs. Feel the steady knowing touch of my feet on the earth as I walk. Feel the rhythm and roll of my legs and hips, one step becoming the next, the next, the next without division or stutter, moving me across space and through time. Movement, balance. Breath in my body and the sound of my heart. I sing the body electric. Surely this is what the writer and poet Walt Whitman knew when he wrote those words. This is what trust in my body feels like.
This is the feeling I am looking for.
Love and trust in my walking body, in breath and beat, pleasure in movement, fills all of me without effort. This feeling memory—I choose this. Well, whole, perfectly healthy. I choose this. I know this. I trust this.
My beautiful body, walk with me.
See the December 24th post for ‘The Red Dot Exercise’.
My resources page is now up for anyone who is curious about who I am learning from. Everyone and everything listed on this page has helped me heal and become whole. Some you might connect with, some you might not.
Jennifer McLean’s ‘Healing With the Masters’ webcast series is a great place to start. She talks with healers, teachers, light workers, scientists, business people–all whose work is heart-centered. The series is free and an excellent resource for discovering who and what you connect to, one of the reasons why I say that Jennifer is generosity personified. This is where I started when I began healing the fibromyalgia. Find the series at healingwiththemasters.com. Thanks, Jennifer!
In yesterday’s post ‘Start with joy’, I write about finding joy in my physical connection to an image of beauty, to water and earth, and to a memory of myself at three years old.
For me, the process of finding a healing memory is intuitive. I trust that I can recall all of my life, and that I can use what I recall to bring myself to wholeness and health. The type of emotions in the memory make no difference, whether my head is judging them comfortable or painful. I choose to use all of my life in this healing.
This takes love. In the process of ‘I Remember’, the love I use can be for anything. It can be for a person, an animal, a place, a toy, a pair of shoes. Love is connection, and gives somewhere to begin. The point is the feeling, and the stronger it is, the better. Love includes trust and acceptance. It allows me to trust and accept the process I am doing, my memories, and myself.
This is what I do.
I choose a space where I feel comfortable, safe, and private. Most often, I use my studio where I write and draw. My studio is my heart and my nest. It is filled with things I love, that make me feel happy and inspired—toys from my childhood, favourite books, handmade gifts from family and friends, photographs. These things are play, beauty, and heart.
A quiet atmosphere is necessary. It is vital that I hear only my inner voice during this process. I close the door. My family is used to this now, but initially it took some training for all of us. I learned to know that I am worthy of time alone with myself, and my family learned that my temporary absence would not create disaster. They understand not to interrupt me or disturb my privacy. I use earplugs or relaxing music to mask any noise in the house. This allows me to focus.
Friday morning I wake with an image of butterflies resting all along my open hands, my arms, shoulders, the top of my head. Think yellow, rich, warm, and bright. Think wings, a forest of them, some still, some moving gently.
Even now as I write days later, I see this, and the joy I felt then I feel now. It expands within me, from my heart out to my fingertips, down through the soles of my feet, up through the crown of my head. Such an unexpected gift, this image and the joy that it gives.
The gift is how this makes me feel, body, head, heart, and spirit. It moves me into joy, into love, into peace and balance, without effort. I recall the image and I am changed, now.
It reminds me how there are other gifts in my life that create shifts for me. They are the memories I have, some just a flash of a person or place I love, others long and detailed that fill my senses and draw me whole.
Memories heal me when I allow them that power. It is a memory, one of the long detailed ones, that has brought my body back into healing after fibromyalgia had drained it and flattened my life.
Let me tell you a story about water and earth, body and joy.
I have a new sign on my studio wall. It says ‘I choose I am perfectly healthy’.
I discovered last week that I have this idea in my head that says there is something wrong with me. The something wrong is always health-related.
How did I discover this? I no longer take any prescription medications. The fibromyalgia is healed. And now my blood pressure is normal. This should be cause for celebration. But I realize that this feels very strange to me. Why should it feel wrong to me that I do not need any medications? Why should it feel wrong to me to think that my body is healthy? Why do I think I should be sick in some way all of the time, that sick is my normal?
Very very weird.
Actually, not so weird. In my childhood I learned that there were things wrong with my body, mainly my eyes and my ears, possibly my heart. A childhood punctuated by seeing doctors, being in hospital sometimes, operations on my eyes and ears. Not constant, not even a lot, but frequent enough that it became normal for me to think there is something wrong with my body.
I have been carrying this belief with me under the skin of my life. This belief, like all long beliefs, has shaped me, my choices, my experiences, my life.
It is time to believe that there is something right with me. Thus, the new sign on my studio wall to remind me of what I am choosing to know about myself and my body.
I am perfectly healthy. I choose this. There is something right with me.