What awakening means to me

spt morning     What does awakening mean to me? It has taken a lot of thought to come up with an answer and I am not sure that there really is a definitive answer. It has to be something that is so personal that only the soul knows. Yet, there must be a level of established acknowledgement; there has to be a place of achievement. As I face the blank page and reminisce about the thoughts that I sought to answer this, I hear the birds in my garden. I see the golden sunlight streaming as it pokes its head over my garden fence. I hear a chipmunk scolding my dogs for interrupting its breakfast. I see the golden spots mixed within the dark green of the leaves in my trees. The air is sweet, filled with the dusky smell of damp earth and fall blooms. The dew is still cast on the lawn leaving a gossamer film that shimmers and sparkles in the light. My flowers are radiant in the saturation of colors of pink and red. Even the grain on the wooden deck demonstrates the life force there in. I am one with this all. To me, this is part of being awakened.

I walked through life surrounded in a claustrophobic wrapper that I thought was protecting me from being hurt anymore. I had become something I did not like. I was fearful all the time. I did not trust and I did not love much of anything. My anger and pain was a cloak that never came off but was becoming so heavy I could not move. And so I did not.

Without going into too much history, I reached an apex when one night in the light of the full moon. I stood within the parameters of my garden circle that I had created and cried with my arms out to the Goddess, Mother Moon and all the spirits that could hear me to heal me. My words were, “I do not want to be so afraid anymore.”  full moon

The rest of my life will be spent in healing. I am in such an early stage of being truly receptive to learn and understand my intended purpose. Part of that is awakening. I have spent my lifetime learning. But the learning I am doing now engages not only my brain, but my heart and soul. I feel, therefore I am. I see with my heart as well as my eyes. The compassion within has always been there, but not felt. Sometimes it can be overwhelming and so I progress in stages of release. My vulnerability is apparent to the predator that smells the eagerness in me to serve and love. I am learning to protect myself in a whole new manner that allows the innocent me to be wise. This too is part of awakening.

The decisive moment in awakening for me is that I decided to do any and all of this. I knew as I stood in the garden that night there was a better way. There was something within that I still cannot explain well that said, “stop, look, learn and be whole.” I knew enough to ask to be healed, even after years of attempts in finding salvation from external resources. It has to come from within. All the money and success and credentialing was never going to make me whole and I knew it intrinsically. There was a seed planted that needed to be nurtured and grow. I always had a hollow feeling within my solar plexus. It ached constantly as if something was haunting me. I thought it was because I was alone and scared and that was part of it. But now I know it is the true essence of me needing to be cultivated and cherished. I need to find my real place in this world and do what I am meant to do. But I understand that I need to grow into it because no plant flowers without early intervention. It needs nutrients and energy to reach its full potential.

So awakening to me is this process. It is opening the door and asking for help. It is the inner knowledge that something needs to change. It is the acceptance that there is more to life and that not everyone gets that and that is ok too. Awakening to me is like being in a dark void which is ok because there is no harm or danger, but there are also no feelings of any kind. And then one day, you come upon a door that is closed, but through the crack of the door jamb you see a brilliant light. You want to open it, but you think it is locked and you are not allowed. And then one day, something makes you push that door ajar. You peek through and see the most beautiful place you can imagine. And that vision is different for each person. You want to be of that place but fear holds you back. But something with in you tells you to take the next step, whatever that maybe. There are hands outstretched to guide you and support you. All you need to do is be available and aware. You need to be open and receptive and learn. You know mistakes will be made but it is all part of the process. Awakening is not the final result of anything. It is only the beginning. It is the opening portal and each step, each lesson, each breath taking moment, each sorrow and loss, and the resolve that there is a purpose to your life.Flying heron

August Garden

garden August 2014

Somehow so quickly, the summer has past. It was a cool and wet summer but the flowers loved it. I spent as much time as I could, which is never enough, sitting out and enjoying the beauty. This is my canvas and I paint  in spring with my flowers. Mother Earth fills in and takes over as the summer progresses. It is the first place I retreat to when I come home and I end my day out there. This is my garden at night.

At dusk

At dusk

The long view from my chair

The corner of the deck

The corner of the deck

View from my chair

View from my chair

View of my chair

View of my chair

During the day I have many visitors. I also have my favorite tree named Elgin in honor of Rising Hawk. Elgin gives me great advice.

Mrs. Bunny                       Elgin in the light

This weekend we leave for Sacred Ground. We are off to The River for a long week.

My meditation spot at the River

My meditation spot at the River

 

The suitcases are packed. However, I had to face this look all day. They know we are going. But they have their Auntie Carolyn to cuddle and smooch them up all day and every night and Uncle John, their favorite is coming over too. So they will be fine. However, I still had this face.

ms attitude

Namaste.

 

Peaceful, easy feeling

wild chives

Summertime and the living is easy. I have been living easy all summer. My blog has been sort of dormant because, and this is a good thing, I am at a place I am calling “in neutral.” I am not stalled out nor am I running my engines at full blast, just I am not in gear. I can be at any moment, but I do not feel the need. I think it is important to take breaks and pause on any effort in hopes to renew interest and vitality to the journey. I am still working on things; just do not feel the need to go into it.

I have been enjoying the wonderful weather and my garden has been fabulous. Everything seems so strange because of the summer shift in so many areas. For example, driving to work in the winter with dry roads can take up to a half hour to forty minutes. In the summer, I am there in fifteen to twenty minutes tops. No significance except that it impacts me by not making me crazy before I am even to work. I have little patience for stupid drivers, people who are texting while driving, or apparent feel they are the only ones on the road. And of course, there are only a handful of school buses and that helps immensely. There is one bus driver who has to pick up kids on every driveway and street intersections on this one road. However, if he sees he has a car behind him, he pulls over. I want to thank him for that.

relaxing with the kids

I wish there was a way to take the easy style of people in the summer and blend it into the frantic craziness that starts to rev up around the end of August. I know “back to school” influences the drama which flows into the air even if you do not have children. The Christmas crap starts with the introduction of Halloween, which around here gets as much decoration attention as Christmas. And then after we all are exposed to the insanity of the holiday BS (sorry for those of you who like it but I am completely turned off by it now) we slam into the winter doldrums. This is an extensive period of time where bitching and complaining about the weather and greyness is an art form. Then after about four months of that, we come to my favorite part of the year where green returns and so does civility.

047

I am not sure where everyone goes. My workplace is pretty empty. I work on the second floor with all the other managers and C suite. There was one day it was so quiet I played nature sounds on my computer out loud for the few of us there. It made the interior bleakness of the overly air-conditioned staleness much easy to take. There used to be a tradition in many manufacturing and other corporate places where they actually shut down for the first two weeks in July. I know many people who live only for those two weeks of vacation instead of incorporating the vacation attitude into their lives year round. One time we were driving around a state park up by the River and it was during a very rainy period of time including that day. As we slowly drove past campsites, people were wet and miserable and the looks on their faces were so telling. There was anger and disappointment. I bet they were fun to be around.

orange moon

Full moon at the River in August 2013

Friday night was full moon. I sat in the radiance of the slightly orange glow as wisps of vapors and feathered rainbow clouds drifted slowly across the sky. I am wishing everyone who reads my blog the peace and tranquility of the summer day and the connection of spirit in the summer night.

all photos jdemeis@2014

June and July garden views

Normally I write inside and I though I would show you where I write. In the summer, I move my laptop outside to the garden. I decided tonight to show pictures of the garden. There is another page I added to this blog which shows pictures of the garden in May. These are June and July shots. I spent a lot of time today giving plants a good trimming and weeding and we worked on the new rose bed. I love roses. For my birthday, my husband gave me a dozen and I had them next to me in my indoor spot.

writing spot

Birthday roses 6-15-14

 

I love to grow roses but I have very little sun. I put in one rose bush last year and it  gave me

eight beautiful roses. open roses  This year I added another one that makes abundant little ones.                                            new roses

Now to the rest of my garden, my paradise.

Garden to the left

  Garden to the left

Garden to the right

Garden to the right

This may look like a lot of work to maintain, but it is not.  Having said that, I can hardly move tonight but it is ok….it is a good hurting. I have the mulch put down and the only thing I do is water, mow and prune….. ok, and plant and weed.  The Rhododendron had a tough winter like us all and I did not have the normal blooms. The oldest one suffered freezer burn and I had to whack it back. But it is back completely and blooming. Joe and I  did put work on the lawn and put in new grass as we had nothing after winter. But we had heavy rains and it washed a lot of the seed down the hill. Matter of fact, the drain by our property has wonderful grass growing from it. The new stuff we put in way in back looks great.

Ms. Cookie

Ms. Cookie

The kids love the garden almost as much as Bishop did. I do have a planter in honor of the Bish.

Bishop's planter   Browny and Cooke spend as much time as they can playing and laying in the sun.Browny

This year I skipped growing tomatoes and went for herbs and lettuce. The lettuce is ready to be picked. herbs and dirt for the dogs

basil and catnip   And I am growing all different Basil and catnip for Magoo, our cat.

tiger liliesElgin and friend

                                                                                                          I love my garden.

Summer Transitions

looking ahead

I survived. Not sure what option I had, but I got through my 60th birthday. I had a lovely week of celebration. I think people should be honored at their birthday and I like to have it linger. It is a holdover from childhood that I think is a good one. We went to the River for a long weekend. I took over 260 photos which I will share as time moves on. Today I want to muse about the upcoming summer, the summer solstice and the energy that seems to be currently around a lot. This is my circle that I am reflecting on and it may not be like this elsewhere. Does it not seem lately that the energy seems pinched? It is like so many of us are going through a tiny passage and we are being squeezed as we pass. Some people are not making their way and others are reacting by being snarky or frustrated. I too seem to be in another place where I am dealing with a big issue that I have had all my life. It is so deep that I am not even ready to share it. Just the concept of working on it has been very overwhelming.

Summer to me is a time of doing things outdoors, so I am at my most connected. The garden is gorgeous and I have a series of pictures which somehow I ended up creating a second blog page when I posted it. I enjoy sitting out at night and meditating and this is the time of year where the nights are the longest. When I was a child, I used to hate having to go to bed when it was still light out. I love it now as it is like having a gift of freedom to enjoy even when you work until 5PM. In the winter here, I go to work in the dark and return in the dark and it really gets to me. The solstice is the point where things will start to shift and the light will begin to decrease. The month before the solstice is my favorite time of the year. But it may be that energy of the shift that I am sensing and seeing in others. The energy that we are headed to a new period and the transmission is causing unrest. The solstice is a time to honor the Earth Mother and all her gifts to us. I love the greenness of the area I live in and the beauty of the flowers and plants. It is amazing that every year this gift comes back to us. This year I sense another energy just on the other side and I am not sure what or why. It is making me a bit off center, a little dizzy.

That is what it feels like, unrest. It is not always bad but can be disturbing. People who I talk are describing this feeling in their lives and how unsettled they feel. At work, we have a lot of turmoil and have recently found out our CEO is leaving. When you work in healthcare, there is nothing but change but having your leader leave can be altering. I know people who seem to be normally pretty focused now seem unraveled and disheartened as to their life direction. I am struggling to articulate this well.

To me it seems like many are on a roller coaster ride. You pay to take the ride and then spend most of it trying to get off the ride. I do not feel that off kilter, that I am up and down. I feel more like I am going through a tunnel again with a tiny speck of light just beginning to appear. I have done this before and came through to a wonderful place, so the fear factor is minimal. Actually, there is some excitement about whatever is coming and I feel that for others too. For now, I will hold on and encourage those around me to do the same.

 

 

Floating

roses

New rose bush 2013

I can believe it is Sunday again. This week went by very rapidly. Makes me sad to think we are already at the end of May. My favorite month and time of year is June. Not because it is my birthday month, which it is, but because it is the most beautiful month of the year. The weather is usually perfect. The animals are visible and have babies. There herons are here and at the River. My plants are in and it is primetime for my favorite flower, the rose. A beautiful rose will capture my heart and my breath. I have several bushes, some I just put in last year and some have been here forever, and all are doing terrific.

open roses
I see a lot of growth happening with friends and myself. I have talked about this with my Spiritual Counselor who said this was a real phenomenon. It seems like the heavy stagnant energy that has been with us for a long while seems to be lifting. I know personally, I had a horrible winter which brought on some real moments of angst and fear. I felt lost and angry in all my relationships and felt I had fallen off my path and into a deep muddy gulch. I cannot express how grateful I am for the strong hands of support that helped me out and guided and worked with me to get back on my way. I highly recommend working with a mentor, guide, counselor and being with people who have similar interests to help facilitate growth and healing.

flying geese 1
Now is a great time for many to shake off the dust from their feathers and start to fly in the direction they feel is their path. For myself, I was stuck on having hard concrete path to follow. I have found it does not work that way. It is very difficult for someone like me who has been totally goal oriented and based her life on measurable achievement to refocus. This is a whole different approach for me to let go and float. I equate it to being on the air filled float in a pool or stream and just letting it take you where it wants to go. You do not fight it and you do not control it. I have discovered that when I let go, I automatically drift in a direction that really is amazing and where I wanted to go all along.

1 kid jump
The trick is to be in the right place to start. That takes lots of work to drop off unneeded baggage and things that weigh us down. It takes trust. That is the float or foundation that supports the journey. That has been extremely hard for me. Not so much trusting others, but to trust myself and to believe in myself. When my float is full of trust and confidence I move along but when it is deflated for whatever reason, I slow down.

geese to cove
We have to build at least a body of work to float on. This is figuring out the things you want in life and casting off the things that no longer work. I think of this as finding the right stream or body of water to float in or on. I am still working on this but as part of trusting, it is also forming on its own. I think we discover small rapids and difficult passages our whole life, but when the trust is there and the foundation is strong, the stream flows easily again and we prevail.

Annuals one of many flats

Annuals one of many flats

In upstate New York, this weekend heralds the summer with many traditions. People open their pools. The garden centers are mobbed as people rush to get their annuals and vegetables. Very few people grow from seed here as the season is too short. Farmers are turning their fields and planting. My backyard becomes my sanctuary. Even this space represents the feeling of this period of transition. When the snow finally left the yard, we did not have a lick of grass in most places. It was a mud pit and barren. With a little work and trust, it is now a lush green carpet.

I hope everyone enjoys their weekend.

 

The Garden views 2014

Well folks, it is finally here. Spring. I thought we would never get here. It is time to share my refuge and one of my sacred places. This is where I go in my head when I need to calm. It is so great to physically be able sit in my garden.

Dawn breaks

Dawn breaks

We had a long very cold winter. Some of my plants did not fair well. We had NO grass. We put down seed twice.

The bare yard before seed.

The bare yard before seed

We spent two weekends hand tilling and putting down seed. Mother Earth provided the rain. Boy did she. The canal by our house went over its banks. I have never heard of that happening from rain, but it indicates how much we got.

Rain that cause flooding

Rain that cause flooding

The dogs spend every moment they can outside. It took them a while to get used to the open door and freedom. But they run and play for hours. Their favorite thing is to beat each other up.

The doggies playing

The doggies playing

snarling doggies

The sound so fierce.

But in the end, they love each other. The Black and White one, Cookie, is the mother to Browny.

I still love you

I still love you.

I love to just sit and look. This is the view.

View to the right

View to the right

Neighbors tree

View to the left

I have started to plant my annuals.

Annuals one of many flats

Annuals one of many flats

The best part of my day is to climb into my chair and get quiet. Sometimes a dog will jump into my lap and snuggle. Other times, it is me and my praying tree, Elgin. I sit in the quiet sounds of the birds and wind. The bugs are not out yet. I do have to bring a blanket. Often I will slowly melt into the darkness. I look forward to many nights of thinking, prayer and reflection and meditation and the best: Peace.

Me in my chair: note feet.

Me in my chair: note feet.