beauty in this space

There is beauty in the space that you are in right now -
in this moment in time.
In the peace and in the struggle,
in the uncertainty, in the shifting,
in the awakening that is happening along the edges of your knowing.
There is beauty to be found in the most ordinary of moments within the gentle folds of your life.
This life,
your life,
is beautiful.
All of it.
Even the parts that seemingly wear you down and challenge your resolve.
Because each moment you have survived
paired with the moments you have thrived,
has led you to this.
To you.
To who you are,
and to all the wisdom that you hold within the container of your being.
Remember that you are a vessel,
encompassing all of the tender, joyful moments that your eyes have been privy to,
while tenderly caressing all of those which felt as if they were chipping away your Self
piece by tenuous piece.
Maybe, just maybe, they weren’t chipping away the pieces,
but in actuality they were peeling away the layers,
exposing you to your truth,
to the person you always were inside,
but were never fully acquainted with.
And in that unveiling,
is the beauty of your own unique perspective that you bring into this world.
Your own flavor of enlightenment,
and you are embodying it for all to see
in this moment.
In this moment of pure beauty.

window

this week has been a kaleidoscope of thoughts and feelings,
emotions that are too big to contain, too real to hide.
this week has been like whiplash for the soul,
as each moment shifts and changes direction before I can even catch my breath.

this week was absorbing stories,
allowing them to consume me so that I could hear their cries
and hold space for their desperation,
and then –
only then,
could I embrace each one so that they felt heard,
loved and accepted
before continuing on without the fear of drowning amongst them,
carrying on in spite of them,
as they now followed my lead.

this week was chocolate cake baked tenderly for my Self,
slicing it, tearing into it piece by piece,
consuming it however I damn well please –
sans icing, knowing the cake is the most delectable part.
It was sliver after sliver of celebration
devoured and enjoyed in a quiet sort of acknowledgement
for a step towards being heard.

snowphoto credit: mamascout 

this week was pulling myself out of the vortex of comparison
before I tripped and fell deeper,
spiraling out of control.
it was feeling and showing genuine gratitude for the experience
exactly as it presented itself,
without compare,
without judgment,
with appreciation for what was -
an expansion, a risk, an allowing.

this week was a little less careful,
a little less perfection,
a little more spontaneous combustion.

 this week was sinking into the season,
streaming lights that twinkle,
brandishing flames of warmth,
mixing, combining, blending ingredients
with the anticipation of nourishment
and delight.
it was creating lists of words to come
that echo this warmth
and are wrapped delicately
with comforting intentions for the days ahead.

tea and bread

this week was not wanting what I want.
of wishing that the ideas, the thoughts, the questions
didn’t pull my attention this way and that,
bending me beyond recognition,
urging me to create,
to design a life.
this week was maddening thoughts,
pulling me further from where I am
so that I am able to construct what I only dream of,
it was the plea to keep all of these thoughts to myself,
not daring to let them out into the light
because they don’t come fast enough,
fast enough to quiet the noise and satiate the desire.

 this week was looking up,
lifting up,
melting into,
and exhaling with relief.
it was being led by the errant wind,
coming face to face with youthful sorrow,
being held
and stumbling forward.

 this week was a gathering,
the rhythm of the earth,
a circle of women,
an unearthing of fire
connection
beckoning my Self to come forward
and once again be seen
as only I can be seen.

drum circle

Ask anyone who knows me, anyone who has paused long enough to allow the stirrings of my soul to stretch upwards and touch my lips, and they will tell you how much I am drawn to the light. They will tell you how much I crave the warmth, the verdant beauty that is present during the summer months – those which I covet with painstaking tenacity.

living in spring

And it’s true. Each year, as summer begins to slip quietly into remission and the first subtle hues of autumn began to appear, I cling desperately to the final days of sunshine and warm breezes. I try to take advantage of each hour filled with quiet beauty and quintessential memories that are inspired by lazy days of basking in the sun.  At the first sign of coolness, ushered in by falling leaves and the anticipation of hay rides, I stubbornly refuse to acknowledge when those slow summer moments are all but gone. I do this because I know what is to come. I know what’s waiting for me just around the corner. Winter.

Winter.

To me, winter signifies the end of my freedom. The end of the abundant opportunities that summer allows. Gone are the peaceful mornings lounging on the porch with my morning tea and journal. Gone are the long walks to nowhere and the evenings that stretch on forever. Saying goodbye to summer means that we will be stranded indoors for months on end while the temperatures dropped steadily and the snow mounts higher and higher wearing out its welcome as it clings rigidly to the brittle grass and barren trees.  To me, these months seem endless, desolate, and confining as I desperately try to search for the light at the end of the tunnel – the light that is to signal the start of spring, when the ground finally begins to thaw.

Each autumn I become filled with dread as I allow this unjustified distaste to deepen, to expand within me as I wallow in despair.  As the temperature drops I want to fling myself to the floor and proceed with a tantrum that would rival that of a three year old.  I wanted to pound my fists to the floor and scream about the injustice of it all because that’s how much I despise the frigid days of gray that are forthcoming, coupled with the frosted mornings that take my breath away.

What am I to do when the first snowflake falls to the ground? How am I to find any joy in the endless months to follow, being stuck inside, nose pressed to ice kissed windowpane? There is no pleasure in the cold, I would argue with anyone who would listen. No silver lining to this season that never knew when it was time to release its hold on the sun.

And then suddenly this year, without warning, things changed. My perspective began to veer off an expected course.  I don’t remember the exact moment that it happened – when the veil of trepidation began to lift. What I do know is that I began feeling small twinges of excitement seep into my body as I awoke and  lit a candle as part of my morning ritual. I noticed the how the atmosphere began to shift from buoyant and playful to grounded and cozy with grateful longing. I realized that the nip in the air brought a new energy into existence, a feeling of welcoming anticipation for nights filled with hot cocoa and snuggling by the fire. These whispers were gentle at first, begging for acceptance as I clung stoically to the seemingly narrow-minded story I’ve told myself {about myself} – the story that nothing good could come from this formidable season.  I held onto it even when I began to feel in my heart that it was no longer true, because it felt familiar, comfortable – familiar not only to me, but to those who know me. After I had some time to introduce myself to this awakening, I decided to give myself permission.  Permission to allow my truth to shift into something unexpected, something more alive.  To allow the truth of who I am to shine more brightly than the fear of letting the story go.

autumn leaves

And so, I began to intentionally loosen my grip and wholeheartedly open myself up to the mystery.  I made a commitment to myself to live each day with tender appreciation of what was, of what may be.  When I relaxed into the surrender of what was happening before me, I began creating the space I needed to see more clearly.  Yes, there are several aspects of the winter that may be seen, through my eyes, as unfavorable, but why bring them to the forefront of my awareness? Why dwell on the limitations that this season may bring? Instead, I am aiming to remind myself of the saying, ““where attention goes, energy flows.” This autumn, as the final leaves make their descent towards the hardening earth, I ask myself, “What do I wish to feel this winter? What do I hope to experience?” And I am allowing these questions to lead me even further into my truth, further into the energy I wish to embody.

 

Intention

This morning, I could feel myself being pulled in a million different directions.  I would begin doing one thing and then I would lose focus and move onto something else.  I was going back and forth, spinning in circles, and never letting a thought come into full fruition. I was beginning to get frustrated, feeling as if I was wasting my time bouncing from one area of the house to another, skipping from one desire to the next, shifting my train of thought from here to there. A thickening fog of discord was settling in, as I deeply longed to change the direction of this day, and I silently hoped to ground myself into the energy that was coursing through my veins.

So I stopped.  I took a deep breath and focused on what I wanted this day to feel like. I wanted it to feel productive.  To be filled with ease and fluid advancement.  I wished for intentional movement and grace in the moment.  Then, I gave myself permission to bring these desires to life.  I set an intention for the rest of the day to help guide me through this journey.

“It is my intention to walk hand in hand with purpose and permission.”

From that moment on, I began to open my eyes and feel my way. Yes, I hoped to accomplish so much in this day, but instead of sinking into the desperate desire to check items off of an ever-growing mental to-do list, instead of hoping to accomplish the impossible, I focused on the present. I zeroed in on the possible.  With each choice that I made, with each activity I began, I paused for a moment and said to myself, “Right now, my purpose is to…”

Right now, my purpose is to put away the laundry.
Right now, my purpose is to make lunch.
Right now, my purpose is to meditate.
Right now, my purpose is to honor my creative space by clearing what is no longer needed.

Each time that I felt myself veering off course, or felt myself pulled in a different direction, I quickly echoed what my purpose was in that moment.  Little by little, I felt an air of lightness in my step.  I felt myself relax into the day.  I noticed the joy I felt from accomplishing one act of care, one act of love, after another.  As my surroundings began to shift into careful organization, my body began to soften into a feeling of contentment and satisfaction. I gave myself permission to do whatever it was I felt needed my attention and focus in the present moment.  The permission to finish something before running down the path to complete another.

Sometimes we need to put the lofty goals away and simply focus on getting done what we can in the time we are gifted. For me, walking hand in hand with purpose allowed me to slow down, quiet my mind, and trust that I was doing enough. That I was fulfilling my purpose for this day with ease and clarity.  That even though I didn’t move mountains, I made progress in the uphill climb.

And now, as I sit in the quickening darkness of this evening, I can celebrate the fact that the path I followed for this day was sprinkled with commitment and intention, and topped with an acceptance of myself.  That I was enough in this moment.

When was the last time you gave your Self permission?
I mean truly, whole-heatedly granted your Self permission to be who you are, in this moment?
Permission to feel. It all.
Deeply and resolutely -
without fear or embarrassment,
without pushing against the pain or running from the discomfort?
Permission to sit and allow the feelings, whether good or bad,
to fill every inch of your being?

When was the last time you granted your Self permission to say no?
To do nothing but retreat within the confines of your own soul -
to shake your head, stomp your feet
and plant them firmly into the murky soil that surrounds you
all the while lifting your voice high above the crowd,
to expel a resounding “no” from the depths of your belly?

When was the last time you gave your Self permission to fall short of your own expectations?
When have you allowed your Self to do it wrong,
to know without a shadow of a doubt that you are only human,
that you will have a bad day,
that you ARE having a bad day,
that sinking into it and accepting it will allow you to see the truth?
The truth that it is here to propel you and guide you through this life.

 When was the last time you gave your Self permission to come home again?
To allow your Self to circle back at any time,
no matter how inopportune it may be.
To slow down, to feel the allure of comfort,
of tenderness
leading you towards that which makes you feel loved, adored,
accepted by your own heart center -
By the core of your own existence.

Today, grant your Self the permission that you need.
To feel however it is you need feel,
without pretending,
without putting on the mask that will cover it up.
Give your Self permission to be held,
to hear that it will be okay,
that not everyday will grant endless clarity and abounding joy.
Receive this grace,
if by no one else,
than by your own sweet soul.
And give your Self permission to feel it all.
To live.
As you wish,
in this moment.

Today, I invite you to find pause
amid your everyday interactions
with the people
who are dear to you.
While the words are flowing,
and the exchange is being made,
stop.
Allow the person in front of you to fill
your awareness.
Position your gaze so that it may connect with theirs.
Look deeply into their eyes.
Feel the sizzle,
the essence of their being
reach out to touch you,
their humanity,
the vulnerability of you both
as you openly share a piece of yourself with the other.
It is so easy to allow your eyes to sweep past their features,
to overlook who is sitting right in front of you.
Notice them.
Notice it all.
The color.
The light.
The love.
Feel that love as it surges through you.
As it reaches inward and tugs at your heartstrings.
Anchor into that feeling
and bask in its unending light.
Choose to see them
for who they are
in this moment
in time.

choosing

Some days I look at the clock and wonder where the day has gone – especially those that fall on the weekend. Disappointment sets in and I feel as if I’ve wasted precious moments of my time.  That I didn’t get enough accomplished. For me, weekends are for replenishment.  Replenishment of self, of the kitchen and house, of family time.  I try to squeeze in as much as I can, hoping to touch upon all of the areas of lack. To get done what hasn’t during the week.  Our home needs to be cleaned and restocked. Household and creative projects are beckoning to be completed. Downtime and self-care are at the forefront of my mind. Moments for our family to relax and reconnect with each other – to take advantage of the weather and revel in the season – are a must.

Yesterday was one of those days.  I saw time slipping away.  It was almost dinnertime. After that, we would begin our son’s bedtime routine. I felt powerless against the clock as I tried to grasp on for dear life and slow the minutes to a standstill.  Why had I squandered the time away?  Then, I paused.  I took a deep breath and attempted to look at the past couple of days from a different perspective. What are the choices I made this weekend that brought me happiness? What was my weekend filled with?

I began to mentally run through a list of all that had transpired in the past few days. All that I had chosen to fill my time with.  I chose yoga. A solo trip to the bookstore. A simple, healthy meal to share with the family after a long day. I chose to set intentions and allow them to lead me. I bundled up, grabbed my journal, and headed outside one morning to capture the thoughts that were rolling around in my mind. I chose to make my son laugh, to play several games of Go Fish! with the family, to attend a dinner with extended family. The upstair was cleaned, the laundry was done, groceries were purchased, and a pie was baked. I chose a walk in the woods with my husband and son. To notice the colors, the deer, and the gorgeous views that were gifted to us. I photographed some of the moments that took my breath away and shared them with others. I chose to rest, to read, to watch inspiring talks by women who are making a difference. I chose to listen to my Self. To notice the beauty of the everyday. To slow down and simply sit alongside of those that I love.

How could I count this time as wasted? All of the choices that I made brought me joy.  Brought me moments of deep, soulful connection.  Yes, I may not have gotten everything on my “so-called” list completed, but I couldn’t beat myself up for it. I took time for the things that mattered to me at that precise moment in time.  I can look back on these last few days and savor those feelings of peace, of contentment, and of inspiration that came from the choices I did make. We can’t do it all.  We never can.  But we can begin to look at how we spent our time from a different perspective. Instead of asking ourselves what we failed to do, we can ask ourselves to notice what we did do that brought us happiness.

What choices have you made in the past few days that brought you joy?
Notice them and remember to hold them close to your heart as you begin to walk forward into this week. 

found    

At this very moment, I sit surrounded by that which my Self desires. I didn’t plan for this moment. I didn’t seek anything out of the ordinary. I just settled into this day and allowed the soft whispers of routine to guide me. I allowed what was, to unfold.

DSC_0176

After witnessing a breathtaking eclipse from the comfort of my front porch, I reentered the house ready to start my day.As I silently retrace my steps in my mind, I can pinpoint each act that led me – that pulled me – towards living in my pleasure. Connections were made, calls were answered. Once I stepped back through the doorway, I padded upstairs and wrapped my arms around my sweet one who was beckoning me from above. I gently tried to soothe him back to sleep, his warmth and vulnerability washing over me as we connected in the wee morning hours of this day. Making my way back downstairs I lit a candle, plugged in the twinkling lights, and poured a steaming cup of tea to set the mood for putting pen to paper.

And now, as I continue to allow my mind to wash over the path I took of this barely begun day, I hear the faint melody of the birds just outside my window. Nature in its glory. And here I sit alone. With time that has been gifted to me, allowing me to write down my thoughts and sit in gratitude. I am filling my cup and luxuriating in the knowledge that my desires are being met in the ordinary moments of my life. As I take a deep breath and sink into that feeling of utter joy, I linger in the awakening my soul is experiencing.

The realization of that in which I desire can be found in within the careful folds of living.

What I am longing for, is already present in my life, if I only take the time to notice.  And for that I am very grateful.

Look beyond the surface.
Hidden in the depths,
behind the scenes,
woven within the ingredients -
you will find an intricate connection.
A transfer of energy.
Of love.
Familial design.
Artistry.
An opening to pour yourself into
these gifts.
To blanket each movement,
each combination,
with a deep affection for the receiver -
in hopes that every bite articulates
what the heart longs to bestow upon
those gathered
in convergence.

prepc

cupcake

pumpkin cupcakes shared in celebration

zucchini pie

a savory dish bursting with flavor and sustenance for the entire family

kids

hand-selected, the groundwork of independance

mix

an offering, created together of original design

granola bars

Granola Bars

sweet morsels that will come together in meeting

Linking up with Heather at Beauty that Moves for This Week in my Kitchen.

This Week in My Kitchen

Held

By Gina Kimmel

September 15, 2014Noticings2 Comments

Held

Hold me
as I fall
in surrender.
Submerging as I may,
to bathe affectionately in the sanctuary
of your depths.
Your calm waters
soothe me,
calling me back.

Back to your love,
back to you -
completely.
Let us wrap ourselves gently around
this moment,
pulling it close -
breathing in the balm of
our own secluded hideaway
within this dance.

Poeming Write ALM’s: September Prompts