Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The Next Thing

Last Saturday night, as I was getting ready to go out for the evening, I was breezing through the kitchen when the words of my mind suddenly declared, "I'm ready for the next thing."  It was a joyful and assured declaration.  But still I had to laugh and shake my head.  "Oh, Kristy...you know you failed once again to include an appropriate modifier in your statement," I smiled, with a twinkle in my eye.  Now I'm leaving it wide-open!  Is it going to be a good thing or a bad thing?  But then I realized, in a way, that it didn't really matter.  I was ready for the next "Thing", with a capital T, no matter what it was.  Not that I wished for anything negative, of course, but I was aware that I felt completely armed for whatever it would be that came next. 

When you are in a place where you are ready to be able to embrace engaging the next Thing, regardless of where it falls on the positive or negative end of the spectrum of life events and experiences, I think you're standing on some pretty good, solid ground.  Your core is balanced.  Life feels pretty substantial.

I believe it was that bold statement of intention--saying "I'm ready"--that is leading to new pathways being opened in my life.  Signs suggest that the next Thing, whatever it may be, is going to be a positive thing. Truthfully, there have been a lot of good things unfolding in my life recently.  So many good things that I find myself, at times, so profoundly moved by gratitude that I can hardly bear it.  Even the gratitude itself feels like a gift. 

A lot of hard, hard work is finally paying off.  It's gratifying, humbling, enlivening, and inspiring. 

Today the words of the following hymn were on my heart.  I think I've learned firsthand what they truly mean.

"No storm can shake my inmost calm;
...How can I keep from singing?"

There is a light, a spark, a peace deep inside me that is untouchable by anything but love and grace....and that's why I can't ever stop singing. 

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Love

Sometimes I feel moved to compulsively love all the world around me.

Today I'm crediting the George Winston Holiday station on Pandora with the inspiration.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Why Kindness is Under-Rated

I ran across this poem yesterday, and it moved me.

KINDNESS
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.
~Naomi Shihab Nye

And now today, this poem also brings the following quote to mind:
"How beautiful a day can be when kindness touches it!"
~George Elliston

I believe the ability to embrace sorrow is also the gateway to more authentic joy; for, how can you truly know one without the other? 
"The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain."
~Khalil Gibrahn

Perhaps it is because I'm so unabashedly not afraid to be sad that my life is correspondingly filled so plentifully with joy and kindness. It's all about having an open heart. Sure it hurts sometimes, but do you really want to give up all the GOOD STUFF that you cut cut yourself off from when you start putting up walls around your heart? That seems dumb to me.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Home Sweet Homeostasis

A couple of months or so ago, I was watching an episode of Biggest Loser. I don't really remember what it was in the show that particularly sparked my thought process, but I began to think about the fact that "weight loss" does not always mean the loss of fat. The loss of water weight and/or muscle loss can also contribute to the net number that shows up on the scale. (This is why it's important to lose weight in a healthy manner--to help maximize fat loss, rather than muscle loss, etc.)

I began to consider that perhaps other significant things could be lost as well. What if, over the course of losing 80 pounds, I somehow managed to lose other parts of myself that are generally hidden from the naked eye, but still somehow contribute to our overall self-expression. Think of all the molecules, and neurotransmitters and whatever else we have on our insides that somehow make up our complex being. Surely it doesn't seem illogical that all of that fitness training could knock a few things loose or perhaps throw the system out of whack.

The truth is, I've been worried. I went through a lot of change in my life over the last couple of years--both all at once and then repeatedly. Things were finally settling down, but I still felt like a car that had been taken all apart and put back together. After being reassembled, it looked the same on the outside. (Well, actually that's not true--got body work done and a new paint job, too!) But it just didn't seem to be running the same as I remembered it doing so prior to the dis-assembly. I began to wonder if there was a bucket of spare parts that didn't get reinstalled correctly when the car got put back together. It runs fine...and looks pretty...but I can tell when I sit in the driver seat, that it's just not running the same.

I began to consider that maybe there was a biological reason that it felt like I was missing spare parts. 80 pounds is a lot of weight. You could hide a few spare parts in there, easily!

But I'm happy to say...my worst fears have finally been absolved. I finally got my whole self back from the shop, and she's running beautifully again. I can't tell you how much GRATITUDE I feel as a result. It's a weird thing to outwardly gain your life but inwardly be missing your life. It's kind of like an inverted out of body experience. Now I FINALLY feel back in sync again. I regained a part of myself that had essentially been missing since I departed Columbus...over two years ago now.

When I try to pinpoint exactly what it was that had been missing, this is what I've come up with:  the authority and respect that naturally comes with being me.  It's a lot easier to be myself (and feel like myself!) when the people around me treat me as myself!!  I had felt out of sync for so long because I was perpetually in new situations with people who barely knew me.  Sure, we all experience new situations from time to time, but think about how different one's reality might be altered if this happened on such a grand scale.  In retrospect it's easy to see why I was feeling out of sync, yet unable to fully put my finger on what it was that was still "missing."  Now, instead of everyone relating to me as "a person," many people around me are actually relating to me as "Kristy" again!  About the time I hit the one-year mark at my current job is when this shift started occurring for me. I'm not bad as a generic person, but I prefer being phenomenal--and let's face it, Kristy Rocks!!  ;)

The best metaphor I have for how I'm feeling as a result is that I got my feet back under me again. I've been treading water for so long (I've got great endurance!), that it feels so good to finally get my land legs back again. And standing on firm ground again helped bring all my confidence back. It was harder to trust myself when I didn't quite feel like myself. With my feet back under me I feel in a better place to be more proactive in life again; whereas, before it felt like I was expending so much energy trying to weather a barrage of things life kept throwing at me. I liken it to how the body responds to an infection. So many of the body's natural resources and reserves are taken up trying to fight off the infection that outwardly make the body appear weaker. With my feet back under me again I'm better poised to spring forward and more actively engage life from a more proactive angle.   

Throughout the last couple of years I've felt a certain kind of alienation from "home." At an intuitive level I understood some of the reasons why this was. So often we associate "home" with our external surroundings, and we tend to recognize those places that feel like home by the manner in which they warm our hearts. But now I understand an even deeper meaning to "home is where the heart is," because the feeling of home that has been restored inside me actually has little to do with my external surroundings; rather, it is the restoration of balance within myself. This return to homeostasis culminated in the familiarity of noticing that people around me were finally beginning to relate to me as myself again. Home is relational. It's not solely about our external relations--to people and places and things--but also about our internal relationship with ourselves. 

May you all find home in your hearts...if you are not already there. 

Home sweet home(ostasis). 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Soul Tunes

My life is a symphony
A musical masterpiece
A dance of instruments
Singing together rhythmically

A complex sound
Even deeper than poetry

It makes communication challenging
Because a language of words alone
Speaks only one instrument at a time

I have a story to tell but I'd need five or ten of me
Talking at once
In a round of sounds and cadences

And then maybe you'd get what I'm talking about

But even if you didn't
You'd be so moved by the music
That it wouldn't even matter

Because then we'd be talking soul to soul

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Poetry in motion

Some poems are meant to remain unwritten
For to put them into words
Might speak a truth with such utter and profound clarity
That life itself might be forever changed 

But try as I might
The poetry of my life is forever writing itself
On the walls of my heart
My soul
My mind
Apart from any will of my own

And so it is that my life has been forever changed