Sometime during the course of this morning – after waking from yet another night-long series of dreams-that-don’t-seem-like-any-kind-of-dreams-I’ve-ever-had-before, and after shoveling a few inches of sparkle-dusted snow; after having a cup of really good coffee with my beloved husband, and settling in to tackle the wealth of emails in my inbox, I had a somewhat unexpected thought. It was:
“Have I somehow become de-railed from my life?”
Admittedly that was a bit dramatic, and part of me wanted to laugh, and yet part of me wonders if it’s true.
Part of me wants to shout to everyone I see, including myself – be grateful for the preciousness of this life; open your eyes and see the wonders; don’t lose a day to complaining or whining or doing things that hurt your heart; love more – extravagantly, wholly, quietly, softly; hold in your heart the gratitude that you are so infinitely resourced and there are so many blessings showering down around you that you can only respond with awe and delight and know you have to DO something that is equal to the gifts that are given.
I have books to write, art to make, light language to transmit, love letters to send, ecstatic dance to express, kisses to deliver, trees to talk to, manifestos to be inspired by. I want the work that I do, the service that I offer to this world, to be meaningful and offer blessings; I want to live as though what I offer others are anointments reminding them of their own beauty, that they carry their own soul-sparked magic. I want us all to consume less, judge less, laugh more; to be, as Rob Brezsny encourages, dissident bodhisattvas joyfully struggling to germinate the seeds of divine love that are packed inside every moment.
I’m not pretending that things aren’t hard; that life doesn’t contain challenges that will break our hearts and test us in ways we can’t imagine. My wanting us to shift our perception to include appreciating the everyday sacred and the magical wonderful doesn’t mean I want us to ignore the woes, the misconstructions, the misalignments, the inequalities, the shameful ways we hurt one another and our beloved planet. I want us to stop feeling entitled to consider only ourselves, only what WE can get, only what we can wrench from the future as though there weren’t a cost to those who come after us. I’m tired of smug and selfish, and turning everything into an opportunity to sell things that are mostly unnecessary; I’m tired of the constant urge to spin things as urgent and overwhelming when in fact that’s just a manufactured convenience that keeps us from feeling like we can address what actually needs our attention.
Life is always a balance, and we’ll never get done all we hope to. We don’t honor the elderly, and in fact, we can’t steamroll over what gets labeled old and outdated fast enough. Our culture is terrified of death. There are so few among us who can sit with the dying and not try to sanitize and rush through our contact with what is a sacred transition we will all go through.
How is it we can be who we are truly meant to be? How do we know what our soul is calling us to, and how do we show up with the courage and dedication to follow such callings?
Today Cynthia Lee, who, too, is a frequent ponderer of what it means to live our lives authentically and fully, wrote something I’m holding close to my heart. She said:
“… When I wrote in that previous paragraph that I had endured a series of life altering events, my fingers misspelled the word as life altaring … What if we approached these inevitable changes as a chance to bow to the sacredness of our lives? In the moment, I think it’s easier said than done.”
Life altaring. Yes! I think that’s how I want to live. What I think my soul is calling and reminding me of. This life is precious. All of it. Let’s not forget.
And yes, things are often easier said than done. But let’s not let that stop us. Let’s listen to the whispers that guide us, and let’s begin again, no matter how many times that may end up being.
Yes! Every moment is Life Altaring! <3 Love it!
It’s a fabulous perspective isn’t it Mary?! I think of you a master of this with your photographs and writing.
I also love the life-altaring! Thanks for this great post. I reckon we all ne d gentle reminders or nudges of how beautiful our planet is
I’m so struck by it Susan – a serendipitous typing error that offers such a remarkable way to hold the world. And yes, I imagine we’ll always be in need of reminders. I’m glad we’re here to offer them to each other.
Thanks, Deborah, for this inspiring post. It resonates within and without! Giving you a big hug for this post.
I have felt like this over the past year, after our move. I now like to remind myself that whenever life feels like ‘derailing’, I still have my wheels beneath me. I needed to find new tracks that they can continue to glide on. It took a little time: It’s a challenging opportunity with a wealth of choices to make and review.
Isn’t it fun to realize that we moved to a “Station street” -which makes this post even more appropriate!
The first thing I did was set up a new altar to ground and connect myself spiritually. Wherever it sits: It is my anchor each day.
Have a wonderful, blessed and grace-filled day!
Thanks for the hug Karin – I greatly appreciate it. And I love how you are navigating this – remembering your wheels and finding your new way. It’s perfectly delightful that you reside on Station Street – makes me smile whenever I see/write it. Wishing you all the best always.
Im sort of crying over here … because I was reading your words slowly, sipping them, savoring these words because my heart is burning with a simple yes. and then i keep reading and you included my words … synchronicity … I love the people in my life who are my mirrors, who remind me of who I am … of how I want to live.
life is weird right now … since my stroke, since my son’s death … I have experienced a level of fear and anxiety that I’ve never known. I’ve never been afraid of death. and I don’t think I am afraid of death now … but I am so afraid of not living. Of not having done ALL that I want to do ( as if that is ever possible)
I am experiencing deep lessons in being in this moment. Most of the time, the mantra that calms me is be here, be now. It’s all I can do. And I want to do that well. To build this life as an altar.
Thank you friend.
I love you.
Oh Cynthia – you are such a gift to so many of us. The way you keep examining, keep unfolding, keep deepening, and inviting us to do the same.
Life-altaring is something I suspect I will hold in my heart and mind for a long time – perhaps always now. I believe in the power of words and the power of naming, and this sparks my soul in very bright and beautiful ways. So thank you.
I’m truly sorry you’re experiencing such anxiety and fear. There’s so much you’ve been navigating, all of it truly wobble-inducing. I think your choice of mantras is a wise one. Sending all manner of love and gentle wishes.
The most crucial thing about this crusade is to never give it up. The world and universe and our neighbors might deflate our bubbles, intentionally or not, but we must stay on track. Kindness, consideration, regard … let them never fade away.
I’m 100% with you on that Eli, and I feel very blessed to have so many demonstrations of this every day.
These words…Deborah…Again, everything happens for a reason. The typo of Cynthia. Me not visiting your blog in a while and just a few moments ago I thought ‘need to visit Deborah’…these words I needed to read today.
Thank you for this insightful post. Warm regards, Patty
I love those experiences Patty – I like to call them cosmic winks. I’m so glad you found your way here to something that spoke to you.
cosmic winks….love that 🙂
Life-altaring! I love it!
I’m totally in love with it as well Kathleen. The more I think about it the more expansive and fabulous it is. Dare I say life-altering?
Hi Deborah – I thought one of your ‘to do’ thngs was to deliver kisses to trees … and yes I thought what a great idea – though being of comfortable disposition, I’d probably wait a couple of months to do it … then of course realised you were referring to something completely life altaring, even life altering as we think and consider our world … but settling and focusing is always tricky til we do it. Cheers Hilary
I love your little “altar-ation” in perception Hilary. But you called it correctly anyway – in fact, I DO have kisses to deliver to trees. I’m likely to wait a couple more months though as well. 🙂