Monday, August 31, 2015

The Accident

My angels have been around me, sharing important messages!

In June I had a rather challenging scooter accident close to home on a gravel road. Skidding on the pebbles my bike revolved 180% and ended up on the other side of the road in a ditch facing the opposite direction. I immediately picked myself up, grabbed the scooter by the handlebars and attempted to pull it out of the ditch. I was unaware of the blood that covered my left side. I did not feel the pain. I thought nothing of any injuries. I just went into survival mode and attempted to get my self physically back on track. Imagine the scene.

Within minutes on the empty road, two friends drive past. Seeing me in this state they stop, insist I get into their car and drive me to the clinic on the other side of the island. There, the doctor thoroughly cleans the skin on my arms and sides. He carefully covers the abrasion with antiseptic cream and, using oversized bandages, covers the entire area. “Keep this completely covered for two weeks. Keep it out of the water and treat it as if it were a 3rd degree burn. You’ll be okay.”

I did exactly what he said and within 10 days the skin on my arms was healed and I was able to return to my swimming practice in the ocean. Other than some scabbing and dryness, the outer evidence of my trauma disappeared. That’s when the inner pain began to become apparent. My shoulder hurt and it was difficult for me to even lift my left arm.

I knew the pain was severe. I could identify the general area, but, really, I was unable to pinpoint the source. This made it challenging for me to target repair. Xrays finally proved a tear in my rotator cuff. Surgery was discussed, and, having helped my oldest son to recover from the same surgery, I knew that this was something I wanted to avoid.

A local physiotherapist and healer on the island easily tapped into the source of my pain. Discovering that my scapula was slightly askew, she gently moved it back into place and taught me how to reinforce its position gently and securely. Since that hour spent in her office, I have felt no pain.

I am convinced that my accident was a message from the angels in my life, and I have been working through this message all summer. As I get closer to the answer I feel a sense of ease and I surrender to confronting the obvious as it presents itself.

Recently, a friend of mine asked me, "Were you happy as a child?”

The short answer is yes. And upon reflection I ask myself how happy could I have been? I left home when I was 14 and finished high school in Israel. I never went back to the U.S. Instead I married a boy I met in Israel and moved with him to Canada. I’ve been here ever since.

I truly believe in the purposefulness of my angels and the profound connections between spiritual and emotional (and physical) energies. The Hebrew word for angel is malach. It is also the word for messenger. The idea that “things happen for a reason’ opens me up to the receptivity of the guidance made available to me through the events and experiences I have. What, then, is the message being offered by my accident?

Having reached this older age, I am no longer living in trauma. I have the luxury and the desire to settle into a peaceful existence. My surface injuries are healed completely with some evidence of scars, and the deep pain has subsided. I no longer need bandages, nor am I in ‘survival mode’ pulling my crashed motor scooter out of the ditch.

Instead, I am at a stage in my life where I have the time and clarity to devote my attention to me. I can embrace the childhood trauma and begin to put pieces together. I can clearly identify the source of the pain so that I concentrate on those areas, attending to them openly, addressing any soreness I might feel there, and grow the love for the child in me with unconditional affection and compassion.
Yoga, meditation, deep conversations with friends, and understanding my own development, have all contributed to my growth. Being a part of a meaningful, supportive and loving relationship for the past 25 years helps too! At 60 years old, the surface abrasion is cleaned up and healed. The inner pain is targeted and manageable. I am strong enough now to confront it with confidence, clarity and authenticity.  Only now am I really ready!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Little Girl Inside

My little girl
There’s a little girl deep inside of me. I know her well though we’ve not really spoken until now. I’ve seen her photograph periodically. I’ve never seen her smile. I recognize her though we’ve never met. I’ve heard her voice whispering to me over the years. She’s mostly afraid, demure and very lonely.

I am just now beginning to seek out the little girl inside of me and reassure her. It is important to let her know she is loved and cared about notwithstanding any imperfections she might have. I can do that. I’m the only one who can. She stays back still, unsure and insecure. But I persevere and continue to reassure her.

My dear friend, Naomi recently turned me on to the Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi, the culturally acceptable idea that beauty is imperfect, impermanent, and ultimately incomplete. In essence, Wabi-Sabi is the art of imperfection.

Teenager me
Aren’t we all like that? Those of us who search below the surface of our daily lives digging into deeper territory, making sense of our existence, thinking (sometimes too much) about ways to improve our world, can only remain happy if we embrace the ‘Wabi-Sabi ness of life. We are each…every one of us on a journey of exploration, inquiry, self-reflection, and growth. And satisfaction can be realized once we accept our limitations. We remain…always…seeking!

For me, right now, appreciating wabi-sabi in my life simply means quieting my mind, becoming more present in my natural surroundings and opening up to accept things as they are instead of trying to change them. This depends on my ability to slow down, allow my self to ‘be’ rather than ‘do’, and lovingly embrace my fears with openness and compassion.

Years ago I participated in a workshop for “Landscape Design”. I saw various photos of garden beauty, heard about examples of what to do to create an accessible and practical garden, and was inspired about the abundant possibilities of how to make our land, in her natural essence, more beautiful and workable. And…the most important lesson I learned during that workshop is to remember how valuable it is to know when to sit back and enjoy your garden! I envision sitting back on a comfortable chair, at the end of the day, the sun is setting and the air is cool. I’m happy, and the weeds I see are part of the beauty. I don’t need to get up to pull them. Things are just the way they are…and that’s good!

At sixty I am meeting that imperfect child. I am realizing the losses that she felt and the mistakes that she made, as a child and even as a young adult and mother. I have to say, the journey, so far, has been adventurous and wild and I love the person who she has become. It’s wabi-sabi…loving the uniqueness and exceptionality of the life she has created. Now it’s time to enjoy her in all her imperfect beauty.