Wednesday, October 28, 2009

DICHOTOMY - a division of two esp. mutually exclusive or contradictory groups.

A friend and neighbour said to me a couple of days ago that I am a dichotomy. On one hand, I create this delicate needlework and other arts and crafts and on the other I get very angry at injustice and take action on it. I gave this some thought and realized that this is what women are - compassionate, kind and gentle and yet very strong and able to withstand enormous pressures and pains. This led me to thinking about Princess Diana who, I think, was an extremely brave and strong woman and yet had a capacity for such love for her children and compassion for the suffering. To stand up to the royal family and leave Prince Charles was an extreme act of courage on her part. Mother Theresa was also a dichotomy of strength and compassion. I mentioned both of these women together because they died within days of each other with a huge out pouring of love and grief for Diana, while Mother Theresa's passing was like a whisper in the background. Quiet and humble as she was in her life.

I believe that their two deaths within days of each other was a message to the world that we need to return to the Mother. We are unbalanced with too much of the Father. There is a loss of compassion, caring and courtesy and we need to find it again. An interviewer asked Maya Angelou what the world needed now, she replied, "courtesy". I so agree, it seems to be lost.

We, as women, have this capacity for deep compassion and caring and enormous strength and courage. I believe that women have lost their way and often try to be like men, when they get into positions of power they act like men. Possibly forced to be that way to get to where they are. Organizations are structured hierarchically and that is not women's innate way. Men are about power and control, women are about co-operation and support. I experienced this way of working for a short time at a women's shelter and it was a wonderful atmosphere to work in. Everyone was supported and encouraged to be who they were and do what they did best.

So we need to "grow down into ourselves", trust our intuition, listen to the whisper of the voice who keeps telling us what we need to do to be healthy and happy. Know thyself.

I am reading a book called A Summer All Her Own by Rosanne Keller. It is about a woman who has been a housewife, mother, her husbands supporter in his career. Her husband dies suddenly of a heart attack. She was very happy in her marriage but, as so many women do when they are left on their own, she realized she doesn't know who she is and she had given up her art because there wasn't time. She goes to Greece (she has lots of money) and spends time there trying to find herself.

She meets a man and he tells the story of a guru: "when the guru sat down to worship each evening, the ashram cat would roam about and distract the worshippers. So the guru ordered that the cat be tied before the evening worship (not a very nice guru). After the guru died, the cat continued to be tied before evening worship. and when that cat expired, another cat was brought to the ashram so that it could be duly tied up during evening worship. Centuries later, learned treatises were written by the guru's scholarly disciples on the liturgical significance of tying up a cat while worship is performed."

And that is what we do, we are tied by cultural and family rules that don't fit us, don't allow us to be who we are, we are squeezed into what family and culture think we should be. So many people are like sheep, afraid to make waves and stay living in impossible ways and/or situations. We need to be brave and stand up for what we believe in.

I have written a letter to try to get some things changed in the building where I live and the caretaker thinks we are not backing him when, in fact, what we are proposing would make his job easier and his living conditions better. He just sees it as an attack on him and gets defensive. I hope he will be able to see it differently. It has been very hard for me to take a stand about these things because we are requesting that three people be evicted, but their behaviour is making life very uncomfortable and unhealthy for the rest of us. The meeting is a four o'clock today so I hope we get a good turn out.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I have been very busy writing a letter to the property manager, photocopying and talking to my neighbours so haven't had much time to be creative. I am still struggling with nausea and feeling generally yucky. Not really ill, I actually have good energy and am getting things done but just enough to feel yuck. I have arranged for another meeting tomorrow afternoon so I hope we get a good turnout so we can get this situation dealt with.

I had another moment of awareness this morning while lying in bed ( a good time for me to contemplate things). I wrote in an earlier post about having a sense of desperation about my art and this morning I realized that is gone. It will just unfold as it is meant to and I will get done what I get done.

I read James Hillman's book The Soul's Code, In Search Of Character And Calling several years ago and have always remembered his acorn theory. He says; "The acorn theory proposes ...that you and I and every single person is born with a defining image". "I want us to envision that what children go through has to do with finding a place in the world for their specific calling. They are trying to live two lives at once, the one they were born with and the one of the place and among the people they were born into. The entire image of a destiny is packed in a tiny acorn, the seed of a huge oak on small shoulders. And its call rings loud and persistent and is as demanding as any scolding voice from the surroundings. The call shows in the tantrums and obstinacies, in the shyness and retreats, they seem to set the child against our world but that may be protections of the world it comes with and comes from." "The acorn theory affirms the child's inherent uniqueness and destiny.......each child is a gifted child, filled with data of all sorts, gifts peculiar to that child which show themselves in peculiar ways, often maladaptive and causing pain."

He goes on to say that we have this notion that growth is upward - to be an adult is to be grown up but this is only one way of maturity. Even tomato plants and the tallest trees send down roots as they rise toward the light. Hillman believes that we grow down into ourselves and to plant a foot firmly on earth - that is the ultimate achievement and a far later stage of growth than anything begun in your head.

Ever since I read the book, I have remembered the phrase "growing down into yourself". We are all striving, reaching, trying when what we need to do is settle down and go into ourselves. Listen to that voice that is constantly calling us. Be still enough to hear. I was always reaching and searching, looking outside of myself for answers and now I understand what growing down into yourself means. I haven't really changed, I have just healed the pain of the things that have happened to me on my journey. Of course, I am not perfect. Of course, there are a lot of things that are still an issue but I feel more peaceful and accepting than I have ever been - even as a child.

Something has definitely changed and it is good. Here's to continuing to grown down into myself.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Jazmine has gone back to my daughter's and I really miss her!

A couple of mornings ago, I was lying in bed trying to talk myself into getting up. I don't know what started the train of thought but it was about how bad I have felt for the past fifteen years, the fear, anger, bitterness, pain, etc. All of a sudden, I realized I'm not that person any more. And then today, after organizing and facilitating a meeting of 30 people last Friday, I realized that I really am healed. After the things that happened to me, I could not be in a group/meeting setting or facilitate a group/meeting without panicking and just wanting to leave. As I facilitated the meeting I was calm and centered and kept everything on track, had to deal with a resident who didn't agree with what we want to do with regards to him and I did so effectively. This, to me, is absolutely amazing. I had so much great feedback about how I conducted the meeting, I was like my old self only better. I have finally turned a corner!
On Thursday, I made a huge pot of vegetable soup and a large bowl of fruit salad and that is what I have been eating ever since. I haven't done that for so long and it feels really good. I gave some to my neighbour and while I was giving it to her my neighbour on the other side came out of his door and said, "It smells really good out here." so I gave him some too.
Yesterday, a friend from Kelowna was in town and just happened to be walking in this area, she has never been to my place before, and when she saw the street name she came and buzzed me. It was so nice to see her. She didn't have much time but I really enjoyed the little visit we had.
I was a little embarrassed because I haven't been looking after my apartment the way I usually do. It was clean but kind of neglected and messy so that motivated me to put things in order today. I got out my duvet and put the cover on, got out an Indian cushion cover and cushion and put that on my bed, reorganized my ornaments and pictures cleared all the clutter from the top of my fridge, put away some purchases of ribbon that were lying about, put my bathmat back(I had put it away because Jazmine's litter box was in the bathroom). It always feels so good to do things like that.
All in all it has been a good week.
I hope the coming week unfolds in wonderful, rewarding way and I wish the same for all my bloggy friends.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I finally completed my second crazy quilt faerie bag. It has my first attempts at silk ribbon embroidery and some stitches I haven't done before, so I have learned a lot. I have found this to be a very relaxing pasttime. I have started on my next one and have had fun shopping for threads and fringes and ribbon. Getting quite a collection. Love shopping for goodies.

I am happy to be back blogging and have visited everyone every day just haven't always felt like commenting or blogging. Still having issues with toxic sprays but don't want to talk about that. I may have a rant about it another day.

I have a new blog I hope you will visit me there.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Five days since I've posted and I am feeling angry and frustrated. I am living in building that is toxic to me. New carpets being layed in two apartments with toxic glue, oil paint with a really strong smell and pesticide spray. It just goes on and on. The manager is very kind and tries to minimize the effects for me but I have been having headaches and nausea and having to go out for several hours every day just to get away from it. I wish I wasn't so senstive to smells and foods, it sure makes for a frustrating time when I don't feel well because of the toxic stuff we are subjected to. Pretty hard to avoid it.

On the up side I have been doing some crazy quilting, starting to get the hang of it and I have written a three Haikus

Yesterday I went to Duderave which is a small area in West Vancouver. I went there for a weeks holiday when I was about thirteen years old. There is a pier there and it's a quiet little sort of English village and is only about a block long. There is a hardware store, a bakery, coffee shops, restaurants, a grocery store, a couple of funky little store and a needlework shop which is what I went t there for. I sat out on the pier in the sunshine, with a nice breeze cooling me and watched the waves crashing as the tide came in. Although, I live by the ocean, so to speak, there are no waves. It was so restful, I could feel all the tension draining out of me. I sat there and did "nothing". I am going to go back again, it takes a bit to get there, three buses and the seabus but it is worth it. I would love to live there but it is a very expensive, high end area, so it's not likely.

When I was on the seabus there were two ladies from Scotland and I offered to take a picture of them together, their camera wasn't taking them very well so I offered to take one with my camera and send it to them. They gave me their address and it is in West Lothian where Susan Boyle comes from and one of the women's brother worked with Susan. Small world. In case you haven't heard of Susan Boyle she was on Britain's Got Talent. Check her out on Susan Boyle Episode l. She has a lovely voice and sings I Dreamed A Dream from Les Miserables. Anyway, I had a nice chat with the two women, they were going to do all the touristy spots.

We are having a beautiful Indian Summer, what a wonderful few months we've had.