You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life,
But by realizing who you are at the deepest level.
Tonight I feel at peace. The last ten days have been rather special for me. Not for any one big thing that has happened, but for all of the many small things that have happened. Once again I am reminded, in this moment, of Laureen’s favorite reminder to me, “it is the small things that are the big things.” Indeed, I would have to acknowledge Laureen’s hand in all of this. I know she is behind me, in front of me, and all around me, quietly orchestrating the events… dare I say, the moments, that have been sprinkled across my path these past ten days.
It all commenced on the day before my birthday. It started off simply enough with a one-hour massage. It was a wonderful massage made more meaningful when my new masseuse offered me a hug after I told her that I had come to understand that I would be removing my wedding band on my birthday. The comfort was derived, in part, because this offer had come from someone I had only met one other time before. So it was that simple act of human compassion and kindness that deeply touched my soul. And not only that, but when I mentioned that I was going to be taking off my wedding band she immediately, almost instinctively, said to me, “no one told you that you should take it off, right?” and it was the manner in which she said it, like if I said that some had told me I should take it off she was going to go beat them up or something – like she was coming to my rescue. What a beautiful and touching act of compassion. The massage I paid for – the hug and the sense of protection that she gave to me were pure gifts of the heart.
That segued into my long anticipated, oft given up upon, and then finally manifested date with my former massage therapist. Well, I am calling it a date, she may prefer to think of it as… well, I guess whatever she needs to think of it as. I had finally, after many months, gotten to the point where I just had to ask her to do something… coffee, lunch, anything. And she had said yes. I was beside myself as it had been like 30 years since I’d asked anybody out. That happened in December. Alas, the most brutal winter since Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer had to come along, coupled with a couple of flu viruses and before you knew it, four months had come and gone. And then I heard from her and she wanted to get together. So, that was a magical moment for me.
Now I would only add to this that there have been so many signs around my seeing her and I just cannot read them. I think Laureen has a hand in this one big time but I have no idea where it is going. About the only thing I have figured out so far is that the only way it works is when I completely let go of it in my mind. And by that I mean when I let go of the idea of me being with her. When I let it go, that is always exactly when it comes back to me. Hmm… I wonder… it feels like there is a very deep teaching going on here.
So then, the day of my actual birth was a pretty amazing day too. It started with a very cool reopening of the Organic Angel and an awesome opening meditation with a message of New Beginnings – perfect for a birthday celebration. Laureen always said our birthdays were our true, personal new year. And Laureen showed up in a big way. As the meditation ended, Angela announced to everyone that it was my birthday and I receiving a very loving and heartfelt rendition of the Happy Birthday song. That was Laureen, making sure my birthday was properly celebrated. . . with, of course, huge assistance by Angela and by all the people who joyfully participated. And then the shocker – I was only half paying attention as Angela went over to the closet and then she was talking and I realize that she is talking to me and she is telling me that Laureen told her (Angela) that she needs to make sure that I have my carrot cake – and then Angela is walking towards me with a large slice of carrot cake with a single lit candle and I am just in total shock and awe! Now I am pretty certain that I never mentioned that to Angela – that Laureen always made me a double-layered carrot cake for my birthday. That whole thing was just absolutely stunning! And I got a second round of the Happy Birthday song to boot, and the cake was absolutely delicious. What an absolutely magical acknowledgement of my birthday – by Laureen, by Angela and by everyone who was there.
And during the meditation I got to play my flute and for the first time I actually felt almost completely relaxed and it just flowed out very nicely. A short while after the meditation I had an Angel card reading with Cathy C and that was absolutely amazing too. It was so life affirming and so affirming of the path I have been on. And so very positive about my future too. It was just a beautiful and amazing reading and I just feel very blessed and grateful for all of it.
And to top off my day, I had a wonderful dinner with my two sisters, my brother-in-law and two of my best friends. It was really just amazing and in each moment I was really able to just be in that moment and deeply enjoy its unfolding.
The subsequent work week that followed (last week) was both busy and yet filled with special moments too. I received my new humpback whale flute from JP Gomez. It is truly another stunning creation by JP and I am so blessed to be able to afford his amazing flutes. And one day around mid-week I went off to the post office to mail out a few things and I hopped out of my car and I’m walking towards the entrance and I see an older man coming towards the door too and I can see that he is having difficulty walking. I fear most people would have just proceeded to go into the post office, ignoring his approach and leaving him to fend for himself. And indeed, even I was trying to just get in and out quickly – but once I saw him I could not “unsee“ him so I slowed my pace and held the door open for him as he approached. I could see a gentle look of surprise in his eyes and as he came up to me he patted me on my shoulder and he said, “It used to be me who held the door open for other people” and I quickly thought to myself, “there but for the grace of God go I”, but to him I replied simply, “I know.” I felt a sense of peace in having seen the moment coming and having been present to allow the moment to be what it was meant to be. Like I said, once I had seen him, I could not unsee him and I think it was in that moment of seeing him, that moment when we acknowledge someone other than ourselves, that the moment is born.
And then this past Thursday was the first night of session two of pottery making class with Lisa D and that was so much fun. Lisa is such a great teacher and it was cool to be back in class with five people from last time, and two new people. I managed to create three pieces on the wheel that night so I really enjoyed that. And then the following morning at work, the art director of our school came into our office with mine and Nancy’s pottery pieces that we’d created back last November. That was very cool and I was very glad to see my Southwest-style bear tile.
And then, another amazing weekend this weekend. I attended two great meditations yesterday including a two-hour sound meditation in the afternoon with Joe. Joe even brought a wonderful gift for me – a book, and that was so very cool and thoughtful of him. I offer deep gratitude for that exchange. As to the sound aspect, it was awesome. Great crystal bowl work, I loved the didgeridoo (especially when it’s being playing right in your face as you are laying on the floor with your eyes closed) and even the shruti box was interesting.
Segue into today and it was off to Rockport with a somewhat unexpected guest. After meditation yesterday we were all sitting around upstairs talking and I happened to mention that I was thinking about going up to Rockport tomorrow (Sunday) and the woman sitting next to me immediately turned to me and said, “Can I come with you?” It was such a quick response that it actually caught me off-guard. But I recuperated quickly enough and said, “sure!”
Now the background to this is that I signed up to one of those online dating services nearly four weeks ago as a kind of experiment. Well, it hasn’t gone well. It is such a weird thing. I have actually sent a few emails, via their system, to a few select people, and then it is like I either don’t hear from them, or they react with a surprised, “Oh, a real person contacted me?” kind of thing. And it’s like, “Yeah, I’m a real person. Who the heck did you think I was? Mr. 50 Shades of Gray or something.” Well, A) – I’m not a bazillionaire, and B) about the only 50 shades of gray I have going are on the top of my head (okay, maybe not so much the top – it’s getting a little sparse up there). Anyhow, the short of it is that I am about to pull the plug on that little experiment because it just isn’t feeling right. It’s like, instead of the Stepford Wives this is like the “I love walking along the beach holding hands” club. Too bizarre. And I do like walking on the beach… but it’s like Zombie beach walkers or something… Okay, so instantly, in letting go of the idea of this online dating thing (I can’t say that I’m even sure that I am quite ready to date yet anyhow), so instantly I am rewarded with a companion to go up to Rockport with and I have to give a nod to Laureen once again for that bit of magic.
I have made two trips up there since she passed away and my last pure memory of a moment of peace and happiness with Laureen, when the cancer seemed like it might be something we could put behind us, was the day we spent in Rockport on her birthday in 2013. So my last few trips up there have been bittersweet and, I think, also a part of my healing process. So now I am thinking that she allowed me two trips up there on my own in order to expunge the grief but it feels like she has decided that is all I get. If I continue to want to go up to Rockport then I am not going to be going alone.
And, truth be told, I had a really great time with my companion today. It was just a really easy-going, fun day. I spent way more than I should have, especially considering that I am leaving for Santa Fe in three days, but it was a blast. And the weather was an absolute 10 out of 10. Picture perfect beautiful! We spent about 6 or 7 hours together today and never lacked for something to talk about. And more than once she said to me that she really could not believe that she had just turned to me in Angela’s shop and asked me if she could come with me. I could only smile each time she said that.
And finally, the final tidbit – we made it back from Rockport in time for me to go to my second-to-last Artist’s Way class / meeting / session – heck, we don’t even know what to call it anymore. What I can say is that when I got home tonight I had already received a text message from our AW facilitator and she was writing to wish me a good trip and I wrote back to her :
Thank you, D. I will be carrying all of you with me. I was really struck, when M was singing for us tonight, about, well, what a beautiful spirit she is (#1) and also by how fleeting everything is. We (all of us) worry so much in life, about all these details of our lives, and so much of it is inconsequential. It is so nice that we can all sit together and have pure moments with each other. I felt that tonight was like watching the theme of my book being enacted right before my eyes. We have all captured a pretty rare moment in our lives where we have shown up to witness each other. It has been a true gift and one which you have manifested for all of us.
And while I did not sign off with it, I would have included “Namaste” in the truest sense of the word.
Somehow, in each moment of this journey since Laureen’s passing, I have managed to find the people who could help me to heal. And it is not only that they could help me, but that they freely choose to do so, with compassion and with love. Loving kindness. Unconditional love. Those things have flowed freely into my life since Laureen’s passing and I know that she is acting as a kind of conduit to assist the process, but there is only so much that she can do. The rest is up to us. We have to be open and willing to follow the path that our invisible guides and loved ones lay out for us and the people around us have to be on similar paths of being able to act compassionately on other people’s behalves, even when perhaps they don’t know you at all, as when my new massage therapist offered, and gave, me a hug, and as when I took the simple step of holding open a door for someone who might very well be myself in some future.
So – wow! What an incredible ten days it has been, and in the longer sense, four hundred days, since Laureen’s passing. I walk in deep, deep gratitude for all of it – for every precious moment.