2015: My Journey Towards Wholeness

It’s down to the wire. Whereas last year, I’d already chosen my word for 2014, this year is different. The word itself is more than a little elusive. I’ve mulled through and discarded one word after another. It is not that the words are inconsequential, it’s simply that they did not speak to me. I wanted a word that makes my heart leap with excitement in the coming months, eagerly living and immersing myself in a new state of being. One with the potential to positively affect me for the rest of my life. Finally, with the indirect influence of the amazing storyteller, Meghan Genge, I’ve chosen the word “reintegration” as my word for 2015.

Last month, an amazing life coach that I know, Sas Petherick, along with Meghan Genge, created the first “Heart & Hearth.” The idea, as stated here, was to gather an “open-hearted global circle of women, gathered around a virtual hearth fire, to remember the sacred, in the days leading up to December.” No one can deny that the days before Thanksgiving and culminating on New Year’s day is a non-stop flurry of stress-inducing, activity. For many, it is a period of sadness, anxiety and depression. The thought of anything that might introduce calm into that frenetic period was enticing. I’d taken an e-course with Sas, and I was excited to work with her again.

For 18 days, we received a “story, meditation, love letter, or reading,” from eighteen guides from around the world. Each morning, greeted us with a “gift” from one of our guides. Except for Sas, I did not know any of the guides. The guide had free reign, but the topic had to speak to some form of heart and/or hearth. We never knew what to expect, except that it would be meaningful. Although we were blessed with thoughtful and varying selections relating to heart and/or hearth, ranging from tarot card readings, poems, and yoga, all exemplified variants of the sacredness of heart and hearth.

Day 18 brought Meghan Genge, a novelist, teacher and, most compelling to me, a storyteller. Meghan’s story was a mere seven and one-half minute SoundCloud recording, but it captured my soul from beginning to end. In it, I felt a knowing and familiarity that I’ve sought for a long time, and here it was in this short beautiful fairytale (as Meghan refers to it).. (It is unfortunate, that because of my ineptitude with the technical or that the recording is private, I can’t play it for you to enjoy yourself. Although I am not the storyteller that Meghan is, I hope to cover the highlights.)

Perhaps, I am drawn to it because I realize that with my blog, Seeking Querencia, by journeying into my inner world, I, too, have been seeking home. But, not “home” in the literal sense. I mean, that “home” which enfolded me for nine months before my birth, and where I was my pure, unadulterated, whole self, unsullied by life in the outside world. Anyway, I will touch on that later on.

The gist of the ‘fairytale’ (Most importantly, as I interpret it.) is about a woman, Mary, who seeks her figurative “home.” Her search leads her to the place that she knows in her heart is the home that she seeks. Before she can enter, however, she must go through an old woman, a gate-keeper of sorts, whose task it was to ensure that the women who entered were prepared to do so. Instead of welcoming Mary through the entrance, the old woman peered at her, through her and around her, seeing something that was invisible to Mary. Returning to look at her, the old woman surprised Mary by telling her that she had work yet to do, and that she was not ready to enter. She told her that she should “call them home.” Mary, wholly unprepared for the old woman’s words, was understandably confused.

Still perplexed, but with the light cast by the old woman’s lamp, and her persistent prodding, Mary looked about her, as if for the first time. This time, she noticed scores of “gossamer threads” hovering in the air all around her, and extending into the distance. Instead of clarifying the situation, Mary was further confounded. Laughing, the old woman pulled one of the threads and Mary felt a tug originating from within her. It startled her to find that the threads were attached to her. Yet, she still didn’t understand.

Suddenly, she understood. Each thread represented pieces of her that she’d parted with during previous encounters, worries, disappointments, hurts, longings, day-to-day life and more. Retrieving these parts of herself was the work yet to do; they were the missing pieces that prevented her from being whole, and that denied her entrance into her home. (This was the part of the story that brought me to tears, because in it, I recognized myself.) One at a time, she coaxed the precious parts of her self that she left behind over a lifetime, back home, to their rightful place.

The final thread, however, was much longer than the others and proved more of a challenge. It required a more gentle and compassionate hand. It finally responded to Mary’s call. At first, Mary could not clearly see this part of herself. Finally, it was clear. Running towards her, with outstretched arms like a child separated from her mother, was a much younger version of herself. Mary understood, and scooped her up, hugging her tightly. With this Mary completed her work; they were home. Now, the entrance was open to her. She was home.

Mary’s story is mine. From my father’s abandonment at five, to the multiple marriages and divorces, the loss of my beloved brother, shame, guilt, anger, unresolved circumstances, my past is littered with pieces of myself. The purity of that innocent newborn no longer existed. It is like a piece of smooth granite that with each strike of the sculptor’s tools, is chiseled away, piece by piece. Unfortunately, in my case, the process detracted from the beauty within, instead of exposed it. Over time, the void grew larger and larger and more impossible to fill. As I listened to the tale and the details of Mary’s last thread, I visualized little “Lydia,” no longer scared and frightened, smiling and giggling as she bounded towards me, as though we’d been separated for decades. In reality, we had. The tears flowed.

The “fairytale” made me realize that in order for my inner, true, soul home to be complete, I must be whole. My tears were for those missing pieces of myself that I needed to welcome home where they belong, because only then, can the void be filled.

My goal for 2015 is to excavate my life to unearth those pieces of me that, though not gone, were unintentionally left behind. My quest is to call them home. Granted, it may take longer than the year, because this is real life, and not a fairytale. Hell, it may take the rest of my lifetime. Nevertheless, however long it takes, I intend to follow every precious thread back to each innate part of myself. As I find them, I will work to reintegrate them back home, back into me.

I am overcome with excitement for this upcoming chapter in my life, because while doing so, I will realize one of the purposes for creating this blog, to tell my story about finding my true home. Reintegration is a vital part of my journey, which is indeed “seeking querencia,” the road towards the inner home for which this blog is named. What a fairytale ending it will be!

May your new year be blessed, healthy and happy. Until next year…


Quote Tuesday

“Honor to the earth,” the abbot said, “honor to the dead in the passing of the year; honor to the living, in the coming of the new. A Great Year passes tonight. A new one begins. Let the good that is old continue and let the rest perish….”
~ C.J. Cherryh, Fortress of Owls


The Choice

P question

P question (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This time last year, I had already chosen my word for 2015. In case you missed it, for a couple of years now, instead of the New Year’s resolution, I choose a word that I wish to work on in the new year. Last year’s word was “courage,” and I found that embracing the word as one that I wished to reinforce in my character. The choice of the word, though at times difficult to apply, allowed me to contemplate “courage” in challenging and difficult situations that presented itself.

In fact, I applied it many times in writing this blog. Sometimes, I will write a post that after doing so, I hesitate to post because I fear that it divulges too much about the “true” Lydia, not the masked one that I rely upon regularly. The post raises fears of being vulnerable and doubts about my actions. On those occasions, I asked myself, “What would I do if I were acting from a place of courage?” In almost every case, the answer becomes clear and I hit “publish.”

This year, it has been hard for me to choose a word for 2015. The choice is not merely a cursory affair. No, I tend to meditate on it, review the last year, and to simply listen to those whispers of my heart. Perhaps, it’s because this year has been a challenge from beginning to end, and there are simply more areas of my life that I feel a need to embrace on a deeper level. I have no doubt that the chosen word will soon present itself. There are 10 more days to choose.


Making Peace With 2010

Peace, Victory, Two Fingers - from the origina...Image by \!/_PeacePlusOne via Flickr

As I woke this morning and looked out the window, the puddle of water on the top of our hot tub is evidence that it rained at some point during the night. The rain explains the nagging headache that has bothered me for days, since my migraines are largely attuned to barometric pressure changes. I can only pray that it is now at its peak.

Nevertheless, a migraine is not first and foremost on my mind. No, it is the end of 2010 that is a mere two days away, and I, along with many others in this country, around the world even, are in a race. A race to choose our intentions for the new year to come.  The choice is not taken lightly. Some agonize, and ruminate over the decision to the extent that an outsider looking in would swear that a life or death decision is surely being made.  In reality, what happens year after year is that we look upon this time as another opportunity to get it right; a way to ring out the old and ring in the new, but the fact remains that as Jon Kabat Zinn says “wherever you go, there you are.” A new year is a new beginning of sorts, but  in many instances, our life pre-2011, still haunts us.  How then do we reconcile with 2010 so as not to carry our old issues into the new year. 

Of course, there is no one answer to our dilemma. In perusing the web,  I found an article on the Huffington Post by Dr. Cara Baker. http://goo.gl/OHWwO. In the article, Resolving What Really Matters: 7 Practices For A Fresh New Year, Dr. Baker recognizes our quandary:
The truth is this: We simply do not know where we will be one year from now, much less tomorrow. This being the case, what do you want to make of today so that you feel great about yourself? I’m not talking about adding stress or taking on a mad-dash attitude! The last thing either of us needs is one more thing for the to-do list. No, I’m thinking more about what you’d like to drop from your life that would improve your sense of gratitude. For example, what “accounts” do you need to close in order to live freely? How could you do so simply? Dare I say it: how could you lower the bar to what’s been unrealistic? . . . . What if we were to revise our standards, giving ourselves more slack? 
She goes on to offer 7 practices  that allow us to make peace with 2010 and to go into the new year, and the new decade, with a sense of peace and purpose, as well as an idea of what may be important to us. They are listed below.
  1. Recall the gratitude you have for what others have given. 
  2. Recall the personal challenges that have helped you grow. Find compassion for the simple expressions of good that have come your way.  Tell those who’ve assisted your unfolding.
  3. Recall moments of beauty. Beauty comes out of chaos. (Share the memory with someone you love. Ask them theirs.
  4. Recall the new people, places and things you discovered that touched you most. ( Write a thank-you notes in three sentences or less, and send them.
  5. Recall the dreams that have continued to stir your heart, pressing your spirit to express them while you still can. Ask someone you love about their current dream, and share your own.
  6. Recall the unexpected moments of encouragement you’ve found in nature, in the stillness, or in a glance or look from another living creature that have reminded you that connection lives, and that life is richest when appreciating the simple things.
  7. Recall one favorite moment from this year that touched you deeply.  Thank whomever needs thanking. 
These practices apply as the year, and a decade, come to an end. There is no question that for many of us, 2010 has been a year of change, upheaval and turmoil. (When we factor in the preceding 10 years, it is mind boggling to think of the change, both good and not so good, that we have encountered!) It is little wonder that one would have the “don’t let the door hit you in the back” mentality towards this year. Dr. Baker offers us a way to view the positive aspects of the year, instead of focusing on the negative.  By doing so, we close out 2010 acknowledging its many challenges, but also making peace with it by remembering the joys and blessings that came our way.  I encourage you to read the article for yourself here http://goo.gl/OHWwO

Happy New Year, Happy New Century. 

Blessings, Peace & Joy  to you and your family, Lydia

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