A Week of Good Things

Bake Sale for Japan

I'm at my desk this morning, heading to the post office in a bit, and then I'll be away from my studio until next Monday with no trips to the post office in between. (If you need anything urgently, order it now.) This week I'm featuring a week of good things to explore and enjoy in the meantime.

But before I get to that, I'm feeling compelled to share what few words I have about how things are going over here, as a check-in or an explanation for the recent quiet--I'm not quite sure. Over the winter a lot was happening--I was turning a sharp developmental corner and decided at one point to call in all my reinforcements so I didn't keep struggling against that turn alone. I called my therapist, I met with an intuitive counselor, I gathered friends. Around the same time I realized that I needed to attend to some health concerns, as well, and I found an Ayurvedic doctor. I was shocked at how quickly I started to feel better.

I was in a couple weeks ago for some treatments, several days in a row. On the first day, I could feel in my body how many people I'm caring for, in various ways, and I welcomed the opportunity to have someone else take care of me in this particular way. Later, my healer urged me to extend my meditation time each day. It will train your mind to not think so much, and when you think less you will be so much happier.

That stirred up a little hornet's nest in my mind. I was immediately concerned about my contribution and I could see something like a movie trailer for someone else's life:

Jen was always the smart girl. She had a good mind, and convinced that was the best she had to offer, she worked it like an Olympic hopeful, keeping it in overdrive lest it atrophy and lose its edge. But could she ever believe that the world would want anything else from her? Could she love herself and be loved for more?

I started to entertain possibilities of other contributions I could make, other aspects of myself that could hold worth and value. What about presence, humor, joy? It's been over ten years since I first started practicing contemplative ways, but never before have I had such a revelation of how much of my identity I had wrapped up in my thinking, strategizing mind. It was at once alarming and freeing, and I let go of something that I've had my white knuckles around for a very long time.

The day of my last treatment, I thought, This is it. Anything else you're holding onto in your body--here's your chance to let it all go. Disappointments, sorrows, expectations, and a hundred sadnesses made their way out of my system.

On the other side, I feel like I'm building a new relationship with my body and with time. I'm discovering a new kind of patience, what it feels like to swim through spaces of listening and to wait for enfolding instead of powering through on arbitrary timetables. There's a lot of looking out of windows going on, a lot of dwelling in my body and tending to baths and meals and the making of beds. Not so much in the way of thinking, not a lot of words. But it doesn't feel like nothing is happening--it feels like when storm clouds are gathering and building before they unleash a helluva storm. It feels like gathering my most potent power, and it also surprisingly feels a lot like ease and rest.

It's hard to communicate the power and the quiet of sacred times and spaces, but I loved the way this film I saw yesterday did just that. I generally can't stand 3D films (which as a parent of a young child is a bummer), but I was so thankful to have the 3D technology for this experience. It was breathtaking, deeply moving--the kind of thing you want everyone you know to go out and experience for themselves immediately. I'm not usually too hung up on seeing most films in the theater, but if there is ANY way you can see this in the theater, you will not regret it: