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Repeat Offender August 24, 2010

Filed under: From The Heart — heartwriter @ 10:50 pm
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Travelling around the state we live in these last couple of weeks of summer vacation I try something new.  First stop my brother-in-law’s ranch.  One hundred acres of quiet, a great opportunity to hear The Whisper.  That still calm voice deep inside of me. 

I hear my whisper over and over nudging me gently, reminding me of my desire to meditate.  I know meditation is not a quick fix to stress.  I realize it doesn’t change my world immediately.  But I am aware of its power over time. 

So on our first morning at the ranch, I respond to The Whisper and sit under a tree with my cup of coffee.  Barefoot and maintaining a cross legged position? Nope.  Thank you very much.  Instead I sit comfortably in chair. My watch tells me it is 9 am.  Twenty minutes is the goal.  Here I go.

Placing my coffee cup on the grass I look out at the horses, greet the five black newborn calves with a wave, nod at the red barn, smile at the tall grass and close my eyes.  I was going to be like Liz Gilbert in Eat Pray Love and “smile, even in my liver.” 

Wag, wag, ruff, ruff, here come the dogs.  I instinctively grab my coffee saving it from its demise.  I let the dogs settle around me, I close my eyes again.

I let my mind ease into this space, I let the wind be my music and the birds and bugs background, going back to my breath when my mind starts going away from this place.  This tree, this wind, this time for me to be.  Just be.

I open my eyes and smile at the hillside, remind myself to smile, even in my liver. I close my eyes again.

The sun warms my face and just as suddenly the breeze cools it.  I open my eyes, a horse walks by fifty yards in the distance, a magpie whistles.  I take a peek at my watch, 9:14. I pick up my coffee cup and taste the warm bitterness and smile in my liver.  I don’t beat myself up for opening my eyes.  No room for chastising.  No rules for being.  Except one, show up.

So I show up under the tree the next two mornings.  I show up a week later at the ocean.  I listen to the nudge, the desire for I know by doing something over and over will make it part of my day, part of my life, part of who I am.

I carry myself with me across the state on our travels lightly.  Not beating myself up for opening my eyes and peeking at the ocean.  Not thinking myself a failure at meditation if I stop and open my eyes.  Instead I close them again, just like I will do again tomorrow morning. And again the next time.  All so that I can be ever more aware of my world around, and within me.

by J.G. McGlothern

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A Single Moment August 12, 2010

Filed under: From The Heart — heartwriter @ 6:52 pm
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It’s the small things.  The looks, the comments, the exchanges ever so brief but packed with meaning.

Last night I watched Colin Firth’s character, George, in the film A Single Man experience just that, the small connections.  The character struggles to find meaning in his life and determines at the end that it is the small connections with another human being that make life indeed meaningful.

It is so true.  The film was a reminder for me to be more aware and pay more attention to the small, what may at the moment seem small, yet so significant moments in a day.  For these interactions, spots of time add up and fill one’s life with depth, value and great meaning.

A good reminder for me to not be so quick to dismiss these experiences and to not spend so much energy if any on the misconnections in life.  The moments that leave me sad, frustrated and scratching my head.  Save my energy instead on the little moments that leave me awe struck, smiling, grateful, inspired and delighted with life and all its gifts.  The big, the small, the many the few.  The single moments packed with so much life.

by J.G. McGlothern

 

Weather Bound August 11, 2010

Filed under: From The Heart,mom writer — heartwriter @ 5:45 pm
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I grew up with a father whose depression seemed to follow the sun.  He was alive in spring and summer, eating up life, smiling outdoors, sleeves rolled up, farmer’s tan.  Once the sun disappeared behind grey clouds so did dad’s good mood.  It was as if the movement of the grey clouds brought in a sadness for my father.

I know many folks in my life with undiagnosed S.A.D (seasonal affective disorder).  Different people altogether when the sun is hidden behind clouds.  So I know the realness of being affected by the weather and although I like to think grey clouds don’t affect my mood in the slightest and despite my claim of loving the rain I would like to think the weather around me doesn’t affect  what I do or how I feel.  Sometimes there is no getting around it.

Like yesterday.  The calendar says early August, the kids are still on vacation but damn if I don’t know better I would have sworn November was approaching.

As a kid myself, sunny weather meant happy dad but personally it meant I had to be outside playing with friends. Sometimes I just wanted to be inside playing in the secrecy of my bedroom all on my own.

Often the weather matches my needs and desires.  Warm and sunny I can mow the lawn, cool and drizzling I can make a pot of soup.  But what happens when the weather doesn’t match my desired motion but instead steers it in another direction?  Or like Tuesday becomes my excuse for not knowing what to do with my day.  I blame my indecision on the color of the sky.

However when you are expecting to do one thing and that is cancelled because of temperature you need to rethink, come up with a new plan.

I want to get to a place where the weather around me doesn’t determine my plans and if it changes them it won’t affect my mood.  How freeing it would be to be at a place where my outer world doesn’t determine my inner world.

How wonderful it would be to teach my children, we don’t need to sing “Rain, rain go away” in August, just adjust our sails for a different course.

by J.G. McGlothern

 

Pjs ’til Noon August 5, 2010

Filed under: From The Heart,mom writer — heartwriter @ 4:30 pm
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On these gray summer mornings I have been hanging in my pjs…until…until I have to get dressed.  I am all about comfort, so why take off soft, baggy totally comfy clothing if I don’t have to?  On these mornings my children are getting fed, we are playing games, reading, engaged in life.  I am taking on projects like closets and drawers and all in the comfort of my pjs.

This morning just at 8 am my daughter asks to speak to me.  My 8 ½ year old is an independent soul, rarely wants to “talk” to me about something.  Her feelings are kept close to her sleeve, she is happy, confident, just doesn’t voice her feelings much like her mother or little brother.  Yep, just like her papa.

So I take it very seriously and am completely thrilled no matter what when she wants to tell me her feelings.  Mama, the other day when you were in your pajamas until noon, it didn’t feel like a day.

Scratch my head. Ask some questions. Ask her to try it again.  She gets all teary, also not a common thing with her, I’m not saying it right, but I don’t like it when you are in your pjs so long in the morning.

I wanted to crawl inside her brain and understand this remark.  Then I wanted to crawl inside her heart and love her closely.

When I was 8 my dad lived in his pjs and never came out of his bedroom.  If I had friends over I would pray he wouldn’t come out of his room.

I am thinking my daughter has a different feeling about me being in her pjs so I ask,  Are you embarrassed about me being in my pajamas, in case someone comes over?

Sort of, she replied.  I don’t know really I just don’t like it.

Right now it doesn’t matter exactly what triggered all of this, but what truly and deeply matters is that my sweet daughter expressed her feelings to me.  She wasn’t sure exactly what her feelings meant but they brought tears to her eyes and she came to me. I could do a back flip!

But first, I shower put on clothes and am writing about it at 9 am.  Tomorrow I might stay in my pjs later than today, but I’ll explain my feelings for wanting to be in them.  I won’t condemn her for her opinions, thoughts and feelings.  I will encourage her with love to explore them deeper.  Or just let it be for now and be grateful my daughter was comfortable enough to tell me her heart.

When I whisper the Reader’s Digest version of this in my husband’s ear he says, Let’s remember this when she’s a teenager.

Oh, yes….she will be in her pajamas way past noon and have lots more on her heart that she may hesitate to want to share with me.

by J.G. McGlothern

 

Shades of Gray August 2, 2010

Filed under: mom writer — heartwriter @ 12:17 am
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As a native Seattleite I am quite aware that summer starts here after July 5th.  We know it is gray and cool until the sky is full of fireworks.  Years of living in this environment has prepared us with what to expect, yet we still yearn for sunshine when the calendar hits June.  We want it here, we want it now.

We are well past July 5th and the last couple of weeks, days have been like the days presiding fireworks.  Each day last week started out gently with gray skies and needing to wear long sleeves then once the clock turned to afternoon, layers had to be peeled off and summer was here.

I have loved the slow, gentle ease into light each day.  No rush in the mornings to get outside.  Lazily moving at the “pace of guidance”, as author Christina Baldwin describes one of the voices of Spirit in her book The Seven Whispers.

Appreciating what can happen in the slow grayness of morning not making things happen, but rather letting them happen. Now if I could just do that more with parenting, right?

Instead of wanting my kids at a certain stage right here right now letting them ease in gently just like the days recently.  For in the gray, there is always room for light.

by J.G. McGlothern