Thursday, February 14, 2019

This isn’t about Valentine’s Day

There are some things in life that are just too painful,  too confusing and too difficult to understand. I just got a reminder of one of those things in my life. And it sucks. My heart flips, my adrenaline kicks in and I go off into all the feels of it. It doesn’t last as long these days but it still sucks. I still ask why me. I still wonder what if. I still wish it could have been different. 

This isn’t about Valentine’s Day. 

No, my particular world, has never been colored very brightly with romantic gestures. I know I longed for them in the early years of marriage but when they didn’t come I was easily consoled by my need to be okay with that more than my need for colorful gestures. My sense of self was more in line with being very good at not upsetting apple carts. In fact, I was quite proud of my skill. It lingers today but more as a nuisance than something I am proud of actually. But no...

This isn’t about Valentine’s Day

And it isn’t that I am against celebrating Valentine’s Day. In fact, I put on my calendar for today “celebrate” so I had every intention of treating myself to a sweetheart of a day. And for this rainy afternoon in the middle of February, the fact that I am still undressed and unshowered and went back to bed after breakfast...means I am celebrating! For most of this day I am not beholding to anyone or anything and planned to celebrate by going with the flow and doing whatever I please. That is the best present I can give to myself. Being present with myself. So, no...

This isn’t about Valentine’s Day

This is just about being human. It is about being human and enjoying beautiful sunsets that make you want to stop time. It is about being human and being reminded that life isn’t always as pretty as a sunset but you aren’t the only one not seeing sunsets today. It is about being a single solitary human in a world of other single solitary humans (and plants and animals and rocks and dirt and all of life). It is about being a human and that whether you are coupled up with other humans or living alone by consequence or choice that we all have an incredible opportunity here. The opportunity to embrace it all...the good, the bad, the ugly. Accept that reminders of the ugly will creep into your sunsets sometimes and that the opposite is always true too...when we feel like we are surrounded by the ugly parts of life the clouds part and the most glorious sunset is there to help us remember that it is all here and that it all belongs. Sometimes that sunset is your partner or a friend telling you how beautiful you are. And those clouds stealing the color from your eyes might be the grief you feel at the loss of a loved one, or a job, or a flat tire. It all belongs. 

This isn’t about Valentine’s Day

It is about all of us. All connected in the web of life here on this amazing planet. About every day and every way we make ourselves and each other feel loved, feel empowered, safe and strong. It is about loving ourselves out of the clouds in a gentle manner so that we don’t lose sight but don’t rush through what is showing up for us in these moments either. It is about enjoying the spectacular sunsets of your life...even on a rainy Valentine’s Day. But then again....

This isn’t about Valentine’s Day    

Monday, October 1, 2018

Autumn comes in the fall

I wanted to write a great blog post today...for the Equinox.
But that was all that got out of me on that day. Today is October 1st and I haven’t written in here since the summer solstice. I wanted to write a timely follow up to that post on the Equinox, over a week ago, but I got stuck. My world has shifted since the Solstice. Change has come yet again, as it will and as it does but these last few months have brought to me changes I would never have predicted and did not see coming.
I have had my heart shattered, my mind blown and my soul that the last 3 months!
The shattered heart is deeply personal and has brought me to my knees. Loss, in any form, can be painful but it can also be a window inside the self. I am still in there, on some level, looking and studying what I find in that view. What these journeys tell me about myself and my path has been evolving while mending the shattered parts. I am trusting the process mostly because I have no other choice.
And with that shattered heart I took myself off to Lyons, Colorado to the Rocky Mountain Song School at a gorgeous place called Planet Bluegrass along the St Vrain river. I went to this songwriting school thinking it a one time fantasy vacay for myself but little did I know. I found my tribe on that planet and THAT was what blew my mind more than anything...that I EVEN had a tribe!! That it would be a songwriting tribe and that I would feel so very connected to these fellow songwriters was not what I expected. Although, to be honest, it is what I wrote in my journal a week before going...that kind of floors me now. I wrote “I want to FEEL like I have something to offer. That my stories are valid, that my songwriting is a gift that I have to give. And not just mine, I want to FEEL, as a participant of the song school, that we ALL have our gifts to give. We all matter. I matter but not more or less than anyone else...but I matter too. Feel that Terri. You matter. You have a writing gift...use it, feel it, give it.”  And then I take my (zero training) self off to this incredible place with incredibly inviting people and felt completely at ease and a part of something bigger than us all. I was welcomed in as if I mattered and as if I had important stories to tell via song...via my songs. And I have so many new and wonderful friends...tribe members actually. That experience has changed my life. I know I am not the first to say that as it was the 25th year of the song school. It was only my first but I will be back...that is a surety.
The instructor to student ratio is incredible. And as any week of workshops goes, you can never take them all so one must go back over and over again just to learn all there is to absorb and digest from these amazing songwriters/instructors. I tended to gravitate towards performance this first year since that has been my weakest link in the chain. I have had pretty bad stage fright since starting this amateur adventure a few short years ago. I either forget lyrics or my hands shake so bad I can hardly play my guitar. I can bring lyrics on stage with me for comfort but shaky fingers are harder to navigate. I thought the performance classes would help with this anxiety. It did help and I have way more tools to help me navigate my nerves. But there was far more to it than that.
It reignited my soul.
To know more about what happens at Song School gotta go...if that is your thing. Otherwise it is too hard to put into words. Except that...I did write a song called When I Was A Cello that sort of sums it up for me. In one class all of the students had to describe each other using only 3 words and there was a process to get there. One of my words was in shape shifter shifty and since I have studied shamanism once upon a time I really resonated with that.
I have been writing songs almost non stop since I got home from Lyons. And I am going to open mics, I am going to see live music and I am considering making my first record.
In September I went to the inaugural Casey Jones folk festival in Colo Springs. It was a blast. I met more song school folks and sang in the open mics and song circles with the pros!! It was magical...simply magical. In one of the workshops I said yes to being the guinea pig and made a complete fool of myself but it reaped rewards. And one of those might turn into a record which has been a dream since I started this crazy side road in my life.
So, here it is October already and my life feels like it is on a new path. October is usually a hard month for me but I don’t think I am going to notice too much. I have all these song ideas that keep coming and I am practicing every day and have started using a pic again so people can actually hear my guitar. I am standing people can hear my voice. I have songs to sing and stories to tell. Autumn comes in the fall every year...without fail. And I am here too. Watching as the leaves fall and the colors change and the smoke from my fire rises.

When I Was A Cello
An original song
For Emily Ann

He said we are family
With that first hello
Found my tribe on the Planet
As I turned into a cello

Writing songs by the bank
Of the lovely St Vrain
The owl asleep now, silent
In this morning rain

It’s about saying yes
When its easier to say no
It’s shape shifting I guess
Like when I was a cello

Seasons change and the night ends
Light shifts into mind blowin’
Colors that transcend
The darkness in my soul

Leap into the next
Brave chapter my dear
Only you will see the gifts
Life has to offer you there

It’s about saying yes
When its easier to say no
It’s shape shifting I guess
Like when I was a cello

You played me as a child
You held me in your arms
The sounds we made together
Emily Ann you are my charm

Dream your dreams
Live your life
Endless possibilities
Yes, there will be strife

If you keep pushing through
Even when you wonder why
Things start to make sense
And you know why your try

It’s about saying yes
When its easier to say no
It’s shapeshifting I guess
Like when I was a cello

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Sweet Summer Solstice Solitude

(Original photo)
The longest day of the year always seems significant to me. So does the shortest. I am drawn to these unbalanced days as opposed to the Equinox which are actually quite balanced in the respect of daylight hours but that isn’t what attracts me...I don’t think. It is hot and bright on this day in the desert southwest mountains so you might have to squint to keep up with me here. I am talking about energy. The energy exchanged by longer days than nights allowing the growing things to grow while kids on summer vacation splash about in pools of delicious water. In winter the long nights take back what those long days gave us. These exchanges of energy pass by as seasons. Today, I am celebrating the beginning of this season, realizing that I am in a season of huge physical demands, that I am not so used to, by giving myself a cool rest under the air conditioning...yay summer!!
Recently I was in a different season of energy exchange. I had a lovely friend and now very dear friend come visit me twice in the last 6 weeks. We had some amazing discussions, deep insights and transforming experiences together. To say nothing of the live music and dancing we got to experience...that should be another blog post I suppose. 
All the wonderful things we both learned are still jelling in each of us but what I can tell you here is that I found someone like me. Not just like me, that would be silly. No, she is like me in that she and I can feel other people’s energy. I am an empath. She is too. Empath is just one word for someone who is sensitive to the feelings/energies of others. So much so that they can easily lose sense of themselves if they don’t develop good boundaries. I’ve been this way my whole life but didn’t have words for it all until recently so we definitely had food for fodder.
 I can also tell you that as an empath, having another empath for a houseguest is super easy. They know exactly what the other feels/needs, etc. So that part was way cool. And, we both saw this, it was absolutely amazing but also exhausting to have such in tune empath to empath discussions, usually over wine, every evening!! We were both having deep personal stuff going on in our periphery so there was that. All of the processing we did and the insights, we had to keep diving into, to get better clarity about, were deep truths for both of us. Did I say it was amazing? Because it was and we will have lots more opportunities for more of the same. I haven’t know very many people that experience people the way I do. But there are a few in my life and I thank you all for being there.
(Original photo)
Do you ever get told “I love your energy” or “thanks for bringing your energy to the party” or “you’ve got such good energy”? This energy can be a blessing and a curse. It is such a blessing to share this energy with others, especially those you love and care about but also to light up that room at the party. Some people have this really good energy and it is kind of like the summer solstice and having very long days...everything and everyone grows around this energy. People LOVE it and they are really blessed by it. I know I am when I am around people with this energy. 
But people with this type of innate energy usually don’t realize how often they share it. They also aren’t aware that because they can feel energy they can also feel lack, or energy vacuums which they try to fill. They usually just give and give and will often deplete their own energy to their detriment. If they have done it all their lives, like me, it gets real unhealthy and patterns are built that even when the light has been turned on, those hardwired patterns are difficult to break. This is the curse of which I speak. If you have read my blog before you may have noticed talk of chronic pain. That is an example of unhealthy depletion of energy. The sun’s energy burns out and we long for the winter season where we can go within and recharge our batteries.

(Original photo)
There is a balance though. Sort of like that boring equinox although it isn’t boring at all. It’s balanced energy and empaths more than anyone need to have balanced energy in order to not be depleted constantly. What I have found, besides lots of rest and periods of blissful solitude is to feel and detect my own energy levels as often as possible and only give what feels good to give and when it doesn’t, protect my energy at all costs. No one else is going to do this for me. I realize there are bunches and bunches of people that don’t need to be told this. They already know how to detect and monitor their own energy levels intuitively. I admire you. I am not one of those people. Not intuitively anyway but I am learning to reprogram my old patterns. I am learning that if I say yes to you when I really want to say no I am really saying no to my needs and that depletes my energy. If I am in a good mood and you are not and I swoop in to try and make you feel good even though you didn’t ask me to...I deplete my energy.  The only solution I have come to and I got there with the help of my dear empath friend and a course I took by Lee Harris, is to take care of my own energy needs, share when I can and hold back and recharge when I need to AND, if I do this, I will maintain my precious balance, my equinox, and help to balance those around me by not taking care of their energy for them.
(Obviously not my photo)
It isn’t that I don’t want to shine like the Solstice sun shining today because I do and I thrive on shining my light. I am making a vow to myself to take better care of myself and that means taking care of my energy so that I don’t crave winter’s restorative properties so much of the time.  I am doing that today by saying no to an invitation to spend the Solstice with other like minded folks in ceremony that I used to really enjoy. Today I am spending in solitude and I am recharging my energy. I am in a season of physical pursuits to make a little money. Energy traded in the form of hard work for a little cashola. It helps out the neighbors and it helps me. Good exchange. I am also building my first ever fire pit so that I can drum and sing around my own fire this summer (after the rains start of course!).  I am enjoying my life and all that I am learning.
(Original photo of unfinished fire pit)
I will close by wishing you a lovely Sweet Summer Solstice whether you spend it in solitude or not.
Enjoy your summer, take care of yourselves and if you resonate with the empath thing...take real good care of your own energy! It could save your life. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The View

I found this special place near where I live that I can easily walk to overlooking the vast ocean of mountains and plains that I am viewing from a chair I stashed that snuggles neatly into the circling branch of a beautiful dead stag. The walk isn’t really that far and I can easily carry my glass of wine and a blanket to throw over the chair. It is paradise. The setting sun changing the colors every 15 minutes. The birds chirping loudly as I settle in, one by one, quiet for the night. Crickets are about though. It is summer and they are the sound of summer evenings. The wind blowing through the juniper and pines is the most grandest of sounds that stops even the cricket in their little noisy steps. I am amazed that there aren’t any other sounds but these. I saw one car but just one. Not that you can really see a car from this viewpoint but I saw the headlights down there on the plain. Peaceful contentment abounds here. I can see it in the bark of the tree as the sun sets it magical light in just the right spot that it captures the attention of even the most wandering mind. 
Silver linings. Changing colors and points of view. Changing attitudes bring new places to sit and ponder and wonder if life gets any better than this moment. If it does, I’m in. If this is it...I’m good. I am so very good. 

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Four more

4 more days. I am retiring from a 31 year Nursing career. There are many feelings in this. I had a great career. I mean, it wasn’t all that glamorous but I seemed to get to do what I wanted in terms of the different fields of Nursing. I set out with 3 goals, I wanted to help others, I wanted to provide a living for my children and myself and I wanted access to healthcare. Little did I know how much of that healthcare I would have to access. None the less, it was a fantastic opportunity to get all those things...and more. Yes, I got some bruises along the way. My back will never be the same but I got a lot of rewards that I couldn't have imagined by connecting with the patients that I cared for and by interacting with other caregivers just like me.  Caregivers helping others for a living. We are likely the caregivers of our personal relationships too. We give and give and give. Sometimes we learn to ask what we need as well. 
You may know that I live next door to my 85 year old parents. They are the most remarkable and awesome set of individuals I could ever ask to be born to. I didn’t always know this nor believe it but I do now and that is really all that matters. I am going to get the awesome opportunity to give care to them soon. It will start with something easy and maybe it will get more difficult...maybe it won’t. I am here and here for the duration. 
I recently went away on a trip to a tropical island. One last trip as an employed citizen. It was gorgeous and magical and wonderfully cloudy. Life is like that sometimes...gorgeous and magical and wonderfully cloudy. 
You may also know that I am fairly newly divorced after a 27 year relationship. It has been just over 18 months since the last of the crumble or the beginning of the beginning. I think I had a breakthrough this weekend. I think that maybe someday, maybe someday I will feel worthy of a relationship that thrives because I am in it and not only for the relationship but for me too. When I feel that worthiness, then it will happen. And until then, damn I am loving my life just the way it is right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Owl

The Owl keeps showing up. I have seen and heard Owl so very many times lately so I decided to  investigate when I found myself communicating with an owl tonight. She or he sang out three Who’s and I answered back with three of my own who’s. It went on like that for about 8-10 rounds of Owl Who and Human Who. One of us finally stopped but there seemed to be a real connection. Maybe I am making it all up but somehow I don’t think that is true. When they first started appearing I wondered was this something to do with death? Isn’t that what owls mean? But, it didn’t really feel that way. They...the few and differing encounters I had, from owl dreams to having them fly in front of me a few times, my cat masquerading as an owl, to tonight, with the singing field we created...he/she and I. Who? Who? Who? Such a longing question. Who? Who? Who? Do we ever get an answer and is that why the question goes on and on and on? I wonder. I wondered and so I googled. I have a deck of Jamie Sam’s Medicine Cards and card # 21 is Owl. Here is what it says:

“Owl is a creature of the night and has been symbolically associated with wisdom because it can see what others cannot. It is the only bird that flies in total silence.
As a power animal, Owl encourages you to develop your intuitive abilities and inner senses, and to seek the knowledge that is hidden from most people. Owl is a protector and will help you to discern more readily the motives and intentions of others, especially those who may attempt to deceive you or take advantage of you in some way. Owl also helps you to recognize that there is a dark side to your nature that should not be ignored or repressed. You need to see that it is there so you can come to terms with it.
Owl is symbolic of discernment and the need to look out for deception. You have to see to know. You have to know to see.
Honor intuition. Use discernment. Outsmart deception. Trust your first impressions.”

So, I am trusting my first impression which is to communicate with Owl, to engage. You have to see to know. You have to know to see. Who? Who? Who? Well, that would be me...and you, and you, and you. That’s Who.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Just one drop

Just one drop
In a sea of billions
Of drops
That is what I am

It has been almost two years since my last blog post. I think this is a perfect time to come back. My last post was about the magical loving place known as a musical festival of the folk variety. It was my first but certainly not my last. I didn’t go to that particular one last year but I am so looking forward to going back this year. 
Music. Festival. Loving. Living. Harmony. Melody
My first music festival was a small private affair in the middle of nowhere somewhere in the desert southwest. I had agonized about going. I was still married then but we were heading for the ending that was coming. I didn’t quite know it then nor did I have the freedom to know what that would feel like so I was still in the frozen place that was my confidence to do/be who I was. But, in spite of the agony of do I go, do I not go, should i invite him to go, do I want him there, no I don’t, am I allowed to feel that way?...I went. I went without him and I had an amazingly relaxing time where I felt free to be where there were happy, music loving, accepting people. People that wanted to be there and wanted to be there with other happy, music loving, accepting people. I had found my people.
I remember laying there in my tent that first night as others were arriving late, car doors opening and closing at least a hundred times and I remember thinking how mad that would have made him had he been there and how it didn’t bother me in the least.
The feeling at that folk music festival (and every one I have been to since) gave me the most connected feeling to a bunch of fellow inhabitors of this planet, I have ever felt. 
Connection. One of the myriad values that I am embracing as mine own. Like drops in the ocean are connected so are we. 
Since my, what now seems inevitable, divorce, I have been to several more folk festivals. They have all been the same amount of amazing. I have met new beautiful, talented Beings and have enriched existing friendships and family relationships so I know I am on to something good for me here. 
This coming May I am going back to that small private affair and there is no agonizing this time. I just say YES to going and to enjoying and being a part of the love that is a folk festival. I don’t agonize about too much these days. At least not like I did then. I still have things being worked out, being worked on and stuff of that nature. I would like to bring this blog back to life so if you like what you read here and havent’t subscribed...maybe try that now. :-) I feel like this is a friend I am writing to so let’s just say that we are. Friends. Connection. Just One Drop.