I woke with eyes tearing up from the wildfire smoke that is hugging the city and yearn for the cool mornings of autumn. I am tired of the hot, dry summer. But morning news of untamed waters in Texas leave me no room to complain about dry heat.
Last week I was close (99%) to totality for the solar eclipse—close enough for pressure changes to set off a migraine, to feel the temperature drop and chill my skin, to be reminded of the many rhythms and mysteries that are teeming in the Universe. To be in awe.
The week before that, the news was teeming with fresh hate. No, not fresh. Resurfaced. And my eyes teared up from the smoke of violent actions and rhetoric.
Life tumbles around me. I listen. I grieve. I rant. I laugh. I mourn. I plan. I let go. I hate. I love. I move forward. I take a step back. I ignore. I stumble. I am strong. I weep. I wither. I tell my story. I withdraw.
Is this summer different than other summers? More intense? Communities coming together, then pulling apart? Maybe it is just me. Maybe it is the Non-Violent Communication course (http://kathymarchant.com/compassionate-communication/) I am taking that has me focusing on my feelings more deeply than usual. Maybe it is the change that I invited into my own life to leave my secure job and invest more time into Nurture Your Journey. Most likely it is a combination of all the above that has heightened my awareness.
Awareness—I was aware of my own naiveté the other day when out for my morning walk I saw a utility marking for impending road work. Prior to the violence in Charlottesville, I may not have noticed, but because of that my feet slowed and I did a double take—it looked like a swastika. My thoughts, “No, not I'm my neighborhood!” Of course “it” (racism, bigotry, discrimination) could be in my neighborhood. A careful look internally finds it lurking within if I am honest.
Deep dives into awareness about my own shadows are difficult. They are hard to admit, let alone write about. (See blog post from 2/20/17 for another deep dive: http://nurtureyourjourney.net/blog/2017/2/20/m9zzc7tmgrocmi89lz3766tclykjuq.) But, when I am courageous and open the door to reflection, the chill from the shadow masking the light does pass and I become a more compassionate human. At least that is my hope. And if there is one thing we need teeming in the world now, it is hope.
What feelings have been stirred up in you by the events that have unfolded this summer, either personal, national or global? What helps you take time to reflect and care for yourself when you risk “deep dives?” What concerns do you have about looking within? One way to reflect is to use this prompt: “What I don’t want to see reflected when I look in the mirror…” and write for 10 minutes without stopping. No judgment. Just write. Then look over what you wrote with curiosity as something to explore.
- Hidden Beauty of Grief: Growing Through Loss. Weekend retreat, November 3rd 5pm-November 5th, 2pm. Hidden Lake Retreat, Eagle Creek. http://nurtureyourjourney.net/workshop-schedule/2017/11/3/hidden-beauty-of-grief-growing-through-loss. Register early. Space is limited!
- Honoring Grief During the Holidays. Saturday, December 9th, 1-5pm. SW Portland. http://nurtureyourjourney.net/workshop-schedule/2017/12/9/honoring-grief-during-the-holidays. Register early. Space limited to 12 participants.
Watching the eclipse in Lake Oswego 8/21/17 (difficult to take selfies with eclipse glasses on!)
In isolation, this utility marker looked like hate graffiti before I realized there were several and it was part of road work markings.