dreary. rainy. and full of purpose.

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as i click my computer keys, the rain pounds on the pavement outside. it has been doing so for the past 24 hours. it’s cold and dark and dreary. as if spring has gone into hibernation today, just in time for this day of intentional pause.

as you may know, i have been celebrating lent in my own special way – successfully and unsuccessfully. i challenged myself to 40 days of being in a cathedral, but i have not been there every day. what i have committed to, and followed through with, is some time for mediation and prayers for others every day – and i have done that successfully. but, it’s been two weeks since i stepped through the doors of the cathedral downtown. my last day there was during a memorial service for a woman i had never met. (read about it here).

in any case, successful or not, i have learned a lot. and one thing is that, for me, my connection with the divine energy/force/love/god is not found only in a cathedral (which i already knew, but it has become profoundly more apparent to me throughout lent). the days that i was not in the cathedral, i was outside. or with others. or in a time of meditation  by my private altar at home. all that to say, i do not feel guilty for not accomplishing my challenge of 40 days in a cathedral. in fact, i feel more free in a sense. especially after this past week…

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on monday of this week, i started a 21 day meditation series. and, so far, so good. i have intentionally sat down on my amazing pillow (made from a woman’s wedding dress from india), lit candles, and begun a series of meditations on “finding purpose.” to be honest, it was a topic that i didn’t think i needed. but, i did need committed silent meditation time, so figured: “what the heck.” little did i know that this just may be exactly what i need right now.

i realized that i don’t have a specific goal right now, that i’ve been feeling disconnected from myself, ungrounded, undisciplined, and a little bit without direction. i’ve been thinking about money and jobs. and i’ve let my dreams go a little, chalking it up to practicality. i mean, last fall and winter, my life was crazy awesome with all of these amazing dreams coming true. i was making shit happen all over the place.

but, right now, even though there are plenty of beautiful, amazing moments, i’m tired. weary. unmotivated. and, somehow, without purpose it seems.

and then, i started meditating this week… noticing that everyday i was focusing on what i have already within me. security. love. power. happiness. creativity. wisdom. it’s all there. and i’ve known that all along, but i needed to truly meditate on it. experience it, instead of just say it. and, it was these meditations that revealed to me that i am not living in a calm, peaceful state of being right now. and here’s the key thing: that i’ve also been blocking, or holding back, my unique expression of life, of who i have been created to be at this time in this moment. i have failed to live the life that i dream about. 

now, i don’t now why or how this happened. perhaps (most likely) it has been a necessary bit of blah-ness, in order for me to move forward in my journey. all i know, is that this is not me. i am not the person who just sits and wonders what comes next. and i’m tired of being that way. i have a life to live, more dreams to chase. now, it’s time to discover what they are and make some shit happen again.

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today is the day before easter in the western christian church. it’s the last day of lent. to be honest, i just let good friday slide right on by yesterday – without taking part in any death/cross/jesus rituals that have been part of my life for as long as i can remember. and every now and then, for a few moments, i thought about that. but, then i realized that that is not who i am right now. another thing i’ve noticed throughout lent is this move from christianity to an exploration of all religions. now, christianity is and always will be my foundation to spirituality, but right now i need to embrace some other forms of spirituality along with christianity.

in any case, today, unlike yesterday, i have found myself drawn to the christian focus of the day – the day of waiting. of nothingness. jesus is in the tomb. dead. and others are weeping. and we all pause. they journey is on hold. lent is over. but it’s not quite the day of  the celebration of life.

so, this rain that’s falling here in asheville… it’s appropriate. and the fact that i am still in my pjs and in bed writing and reading, as i have been doing all day long… it’s appropriate too.

i soon realized that i was making this day a personal retreat day, which felt perfect. and wouldn’t you know it, i came across a little holy saturday reading this morning that touched me deeply. according to biblical scriptures, joseph of arimathea is the person who took the dead body of jesus to the tomb and laid it there. such a huge task, and this man is only given about 3 sentences in the whole bible. much like a few other biblical characters. he comes, does his thing, and leaves. never to be mentioned anywhere in scripture before, or again.

that got me thinking: just like this man, joseph, who had a specific task and purpose to fulfill in that moment, we do too. and this is exactly what i meditated on this week:

we are each created and living in a particular time, in a particular place, with a particular purpose – to express our unique selves through our true selves. to live an authentic life, expressing our specific passions and gifts and desires.

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and today is the perfect day to reflect on that i realized. in honor of joseph of arimathea who lived out his truth. and jesus, who was willing to die in order to stay true to himself. how am i doing in that department? have i been true to my self? and, if i haven’t could that be the root cause of my unsettledness?

perhaps my disconnected feelings have come from the fact that i have not been rooted in my true self. i talk about it, i write about it, but i haven’t been living it. however, there is no need to worry: meditation has reminded me that everything i need is already within me. the spirit of god dwells within. the universe, the light, the love, everything i could ever need is already with me. it’s just up to me to tap into it and to let it flow freely. because you and i, we are here today, in this specific time in history, to share our lives with one another and to live our lives to the fullest expression of who we are.

“be yourself. life is precious as it is. all the elements for your happiness are already here. there is no need to run, strive, search, or struggle. just be.” – thich nhat hanh

yes, today, life is dormant. just like recently, my life has been dormant. but, perhaps, it’s actually just been sleeping; like the winter, simply waiting to give birth to something new.

we pause and wait a little while longer… new life is coming.

namaste.

lina’s life anniversary ♥

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i remember exactly what happened one year ago. in fact i wrote down every single moment in my journal. it was the day that my love decided to take her life back by admitting herself to the hospital for intense treatment of anorexia.

i could not have been prouder. and yet, i was terrified. nervous. sad. and so very scared.

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just 2 years ago, lina was sent to the hospital – committed – because she was dying from this eating disorder that was slowly taking every bit of life from her. but, she somehow managed to fight through those (almost) 3 months in the hospital and came back to life some – though much of it remained a struggle.

last year, exactly one month from today, she and her counselors (and i) decided that it was time for her to go back to the hospital for more intense treatment. she had to get this under control and fight to make her dreams come true – which was to move to asheville and study graphic design. so, we packed her bags and headed over to check her in - knowing what lay ahead for us both. a long, hard fight for lina. and time all alone again for me. even though she did not want to do this, something inside of her was stronger than the disease. and she did it.

we knew that it had to be done. but, neither one of us wanted to be separated. it was so tough to admit her to the hospital, and then leave her there – though i saw her frequently and she was even able to sleep at home some near the end of her treatment. and i can’t even imagine what it was like for her – being stuck there to face her fears and figure out how to live. while she was there, i spent lots of time, sitting with her, watching her do puzzles, and just hanging out with her. but, she did all the work. i suppose i’ll never know the fight that she had to fight – and all that she had to face.

luckily, and amazingly, lina had lots of incredible professional people surrounding her and helping her through it all – challenging her and comforting her. and our dear friend, nicole, flew from ireland to be with me the first few days that lina was gone, so i wasn’t alone. i also relied heavily on this blog as a means to process and help me focus – both last year and two years ago.

it ended up being about two months of treatment in total (from april 12 – sometime in june), just before we moved to asheville, that lina stayed in the hospital. but, she was determined. she fought her demons. she had amazing help. and, with all of that help and pushing, she took her life back.

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so, today i celebrate life – most specifically my love’s life. i cannot imagine living without her – and it came close to that at one point. but, my lina, my amazing lina, kick anorexia’s ass (though she still is recovering and fighting today – it is a lifelong process) and chose to live life. and i’m thinking… if my love can fight her way back to living her dream, and finding happiness and peace within herself, then anyone can do anything.

she is my inspiration. the love of my life. my best friend. and the whole world to me. i am so blessed to be able to share every single moment of living life with her. i’m not sure that i can actually express in words how she makes my life beautiful and meaningful. and i cannot begin to tell you how we have now dedicated our lives to celebrating every single little moment we encounter – i suppose as a way to celebrate how much we now understand about living life to the fullest.

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for us, for me, life has become about those little moments that we find ourselves giggling. about enjoying the simplicity of just sitting together. of soaking up the sun, listening to the radio, riding with the windows down, sipping on a cold beer outside, sharing that first cup of coffee in the morning, dancing around our apartment… just regular, little, amazing moments with lina. that’s all i need to be truly happy.

what an incredible fight. what an amazing person. i am overwhelmed with love and admiration.

congratulations, baby! you have no idea how proud i am of you! xx

you can read lina’s thoughts and reflections on today on her blog…. click here.

wednesday wisdom: rules of living #8

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isn’t it amazing how things just happen serendipitously? like they were meant to be? it’s been a fairly regular occurrence in my life that, when there is one thing on my mind, it surfaces everywhere i look, or comes up in many conversations i have. the one message/idea/thought that i seem to be dealing with most at any given moment, just pops up all over – reinforcing that same message/idea/thought. i suppose it has to be a mystical way of the universe at work, combined with my attentiveness to something, that heightens my awareness…

interestingly enough, it happened today when lina pulled today’s “rule of living” out of my cup. if you don’t know what i’m talking about, i have printed off the dalai lama’s 18 rules of living on 18 separate slips of paper & put them in a cup. every wednesday morning, my love pulls one out, and that is the topic (rule) for the day – what i am going to write about on the blog for this wednesday series i am doing on the 18 rules of living.

so, just as i have been battling with thoughts of a being a bit of failure here & there – work-related, dream-related, and cathedral-related (see my cathedral series here), this was the rule that was randomly chosen for today:

7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

there’s not much more to say than that, i believe. no matter what mistake has occurred, the best thing to do is to reflect on it. learn from it. reconcile with anyone (including ourselves!). make a change. and move on. aaaand, we must never forget… there is no need to be perfect. we are flawed and imperfect and beautiful just as we are. besides, often our mistakes, and the lessons we learn from them, are the things that make life colorful, exciting, adventurous, and amazing.

now, here are a few other little morsels of goodness to consider:

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now, let’s get on with it, friends! take risks, don’t be afraid, give yourself a break, don’t be afraid of failing, and follow your soul. and, if you screw up, well… then just keep on moving! here’s to you and all of your amazingness!

namaste. xx