Rituals, Connection, and Home

I recently traveled to Arkansas to visit my family over spring break.  I think I managed to lake alma waterfallhold on to good, and bring some good with me as well.  My mom and I had good space together and I just let myself behave as though the relationship we have is one that is grounded in love.  We shopped together, we were silly together, and mostly I ignored the parts that didn’t support the narrative I wanted to craft for our week.  It also helped that I scheduled my time so that I had chunks of quality time with her, but also chunks of time with other people I love and miss too.  

I think I brought a sense of acceptance for where we are and a commitment to craft something positive from our trip home no matter what might unfold there.  I am pleased to say much of the trip was positive.  Now I am back in Florida and the good I am holding on to from the trip is one of rituals, connection, and a sense of home being in Florida.

The rituals included a Passover Seder with chosen family and friends.  We drank wine, we spoke of liberation, we ate matzo, and we laughed.  The connection to the Boston Mountains and the Ozark region is still really strong with me.  I had the opportunity to experience a freak hail storm, to bless my hands, feet, and crown in a waterfall, and to put my feet (and heart) on the rocky soil of my home land.

And home…

Edward Sharpe really nailed it when he sang, “home is whenever I’m with you.”  This trip with my daughter was wonderful and often this song makes me think of her.  This time though it really made me think of the self I have created since my move.  I took her back to Arkansas with me and my experience was better for it.

I missed Florida.  I missed the explosion of green, the buzz of work in my congregation, and the simple act of sitting on my screened porch with my dog and a good cup of organic coffee from my french press.

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Words Create Reality

For the last two years I worked the the mantra “lean into love”. It shaped the way I lived my life. Using this mantra as my anchor, I left a 11 year unhappy marriage, moved out on my own for the first time, had my heart broken, learned about acceptance, presence, and forgiveness, and shaped a new reality for myself that included gifting myself a chosen family which is turning out to be very healing for me.

Choosing those words helped me create a reality here love was the boundary. I was able to lean in to discomfort and change.  I leaned in to love being found in unlikely places.  I leaned in to receiving love from the Universe and let go of my attachment to a specific form I thought it should take.  Words are important – they create our reality.

With this in mind, I have decided it is time to deviate from the mantra of “leaning into love” – the work continues, of course. The mantra for now is “holding on to good.”

So much good has come through my life in the past 2+ years.  Still, I have struggled to learn how to hold it.  I too often let the blessings slip through my hands and soon forget they were ever there. I get twisted around what is truly good and what feels good for the moment, but leads to heartache and sickness later on.

What is good?  Well, I don’t know exactly. I think I am still learning about good.  The journey continues – and I’m holding on to good.