Earth has many voices. Those who understand that Earth is a living being know this because they have translated themselves to the humble grasses and old trees. They know that Earth is a community that is constantly talking to itself; a communicating universe. And whether we know it or not, we are participating in the web of this community.
~ Joan Halifax
I had the good fortune to experience a second spring over the weekend. M and I went up to Pennsylvania to help family with a yard sale. In the settling of my father-in-law’s estate (“estate” sounds like such a big word, bigger than it actually is), it was suggested that the contents of the house be sold via a yard sale or an auction, and the family opted for a yard sale. It was strange to see everything laid out in the driveway, strangers and neighbors looking over the contents of a man’s home. I was going to add “and life” at the end of that last sentence, but I think most of the contents of our lives are not tangible and not something you could put up for sale in the yard.
The flowering trees in the Harrisburg and Lancaster, Pennsylvania areas were at full peak, beautiful displays of white and pink. The flowering trees here on the Eastern Shore were almost finished when we left on Thursday afternoon. By the time we returned home late yesterday afternoon, the leaves were out in full force and everything is an amazing shade of green. There are no more blossoms on the trees right now. The irises and roses will soon be blooming.
We stayed with my sister-in-law in Lancaster. She lives in a beautiful, older neighborhood with a lot of old trees, including many redbuds and dogwoods, two of my favorite flowering trees. Their branches are graceful, the flowers delicate.
I didn’t have a lot of time to get out and about to photograph all that I would have liked to photograph, but did manage to fit in some short walks so that I could capture a little of my second spring this year.
When fear is present, when the meme of terror is basically seeded into global consciousness by, for example, the corporate world, the news world, when this is on our pre-conscious mind, it produces harm on every level of existence.
~ Joan Halifx
There is something I want to tell you about. Over 300 days ago, I embarked on a journey that I hadn’t planned. I had hit a bottom of sorts. Nothing serious in the grand scheme of things, but serious enough that I spent a visit with my doctor in tears and explaining how absolutely awful I was feeling physically, emotionally, and even spiritually. I am grateful to have a primary care physician who is not only a good listener, but who was able to lecture me in such a way that I would listen and heed what she had to say. Perhaps she sensed I would be open to hear what needed to be said.
I left that day ready, truly ready, to allow myself to change. Not make or force changes, but allow those changes to happen. In order to do that, I had to stop self-medicating. I gave up alcohol. According to CDC (the U.S. Centers for Disease Control) standards, I did not qualify as an alcoholic but according to myself, I had a problem with it, a problem that grew after the last presidential election, a problem that I knew would continue to grow worse if I didn’t stop waving it off with “everyone’s doing it.” The truth is, not everyone is doing it and the other truth is, many of the people I know are doing it, using alcohol (or food or other forms of numbing-out) to help them through these chaotic times. I don’t blame them, and I am certainly not judging.
I have been wanting to write about this, but didn’t know how. Or where to start. I’m still not sure I know how other than to start by telling you that becoming a teetotaler was life-changing for me. After the initial struggles of the first few months, I landed on a pink cloud of sorts where life was good and I coasted along although there were downs to go with the ups in life because that IS life. Maybe I’ll tell you all about the beginning and the middle someday.
Today I want to write about where I am now. Making the choice to give up alcohol is what introduced me to Kundalini Yoga. I read a lot of sobriety blogs and it’s surprising (or maybe not) how many folks turn to yoga when they give up alcohol. 300+ days later, I have a regular yoga and meditation practice. As I delve deeper into both, I find myself more sensitive to the world, and more vulnerable to it. That may also be a consequence of no longer blunting life with alcohol. Some days I’m not sure what to do with all those feelings other than just sit with them and let them flow. Other days I waffle between hope and sadness. I have hope because it seems as though people are waking up, wanting better for themselves, better for others, better for the world, better for the earth itself. I feel sadness over what has already been done, what continues to be done, to others, to the world, to the earth itself. All the feelings, without the numbing effects of alcohol, are strong and vivid.
I am a little like the spring flowers, the feelings ephemeral, my heart delicate, open, vulnerable. It’s a different place to be, and it’s not always easy to stay open. Even here and now, telling a little of my story, feels risky, open, maybe too open.
What am I? What am I now that I am overexposed in natural life? This is the beginning of sobriety for a person who drinks the way that I drank. Really high highs and really low lows, at first, like any exposed cave person. It is an adjustment. After a year now, I feel that most days are level. It is possible to map out our feelings after feeling them all the way for a while. Waves and feelings, as they say, come and go. The longer we stand and face them, the easier it is to know what we are dealing with. They are less likely to knock us over. I know how to say, okay, this is what is happening in my body. Excitement is very similar to anxiousness. I remember this. Jealousy is linked with insecurity. I’ve felt this before. This does not mean that difficult feelings are wonderful now. It just means they have a deeper layer to them. Uncomfortable always comes back.
~ Jacqui @ the OAM blog (you can read the entire post here)
Thank you for stopping by today and meandering along with me. Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 696) Cool breezes, swaying tree branches, dancing leaves. 697) Rosebuds. Our roses will be blooming soon. 698) A quiet day at home. 699) Listening to the prairie warblers sing their other-worldly song. 700) Opening up, a little at a time.