I took a little break this weekend, from blogging and writing. Family get-together, long holiday weekend, you know how it is.
I go through jags where I become obsessed with writing, social media, and learning all the tricks. I don't intend to become so hyper-focused, but it just happens sometimes. But in those times, something always forces me out of my spot behind the screen to step back, pause, and live a little.
I spent the weekend in the mountains with family. The ride up was... cumbersome. Lots of traffic; I'm guessing that EVERYONE decided that leaving at 10 a.m. was a good idea. The whining toddler in the back wasn't making it any less stressful. But all told, there was really only a half-hour or so that was difficult. My son is a blessing, he really slept through most of it, so I have nothing to complain about.
But what a great time we had. At first, I felt homesick for my sofa, my writing, my large iced coffee... but after a while I eased up. I remembered why I was there.
I love being a creative person. I love being able to sit with myself, be inspired, and just write. And I'm grateful for that gift. But something I often forget, is that I thrive on interpersonal connections.
Life is meant to be enjoyed with our loved ones. Interactions like this have as much of a place in our lives as quiet introspection does. After all, if we don't venture out and enjoy ourselves, make connections, relate to each other... then what are we doing?
Just as there is a sacred magic and purity in connecting to one's self, there is just as much magic in connecting with others. I think wholeness is found within, to be sure. But to what end if not to share that love and joy we find with others?
I had a blast this weekend, and I didn't write a word. I spent time with cherished family, we ate together, we played games, we laughed, we sang, we tried to solve the world's problems. I met new people, made new friends. Interesting, charming, fun people that I never would have met if I stayed behind the digital screen.
Commitment to goals and dreams is important, but so are our relationships with each other. There is a dangerous line, when working toward your imagined future: and if you live there too often, you miss the present. You miss the joy to be found in simply being with others who make you laugh. In sharing a good meal with family. In watching your toddler explore and discover all the wonders of nature: the sounds, the fresh air, the endless green, the starry night.
I love my writing, but it wouldn't mean half as much without real-life experiences and connections to add flavor and depth to it.
Live your dreams, but live your moments. The ones that pop up, the simple ones, the exciting ones... and find joy in them. Celebrate them. Be grateful for them, learn and grow with them. Hug your parents, play a game, eat the potato salad, throw a Frisbee. Whatever it is. It's your life. Participate. Be present, show up for it.
Work toward your dreams, make good choices, but appreciate the journey... not just the destination.
I am so grateful for the pause, the time away, to breathe in fresh air and share some good old-fashioned fun in the woods. I live in the suburbs, I long for the city, but my soul needs the country. It's all about a healthy balance, I feel, to keep moving forward. Not all focused drive... and not all reckless abandon and play. Human beings are dynamic creatures, and I think we need a nice blend to thrive.
So now, with all that fun and life and connection tucked in my pocket, I roll my shoulders back, breathe in, and am filled up with so much, that I must write. xoxo
Apologies in advance, writing this all on my phone. Typos happen.
Alright. :rubs hands: Up-all-nighters, you're gonna love this. (And please feel free to leave comments, email, and/or start a discussion about anything I write, especially the "deep stuff," I love talking about big ideas, and I love different perspectives. I use it all.)
So... Ana, along her journey, has realized the power and significance of the inner self and a greater connection. There are many ways to go about it or describe it, but in this book, I call it a white screen visualization. Those who know... shut it down and get into your space. We'll go down the rabbit hole in a minute. Those who have no idea what that said?
I will attempt to explain my experience, what I have come to learn about meditation, clearing the mind, and tuning into a universal connection. Some of you may touch on this in your practice with prayer or the Law of Attraction. It's a tricky thing... how do you explain the unexplainable? I will try. I like metaphors. And keep in mind, that in all things, I am no expert. I merely pass on things that inspire me or I share my own experience. For new perspectives. Some things will jive with you, some won't.
Meditation is working toward the absence of thought. It takes practice, patience and time. It is a discipline, as sure as learning physics or how to build boats. There are plenty of resources out there to guide you along if you seek them. I won't pretend that I am a meditation teacher or guru, because I am not. What I am talking about is my experience... once I have disconnected from all the noise in our everyday lives. Noise can mean: social media, your job, chatter, television... even just the presence of others. So to get to a clear space... shut everything off. The physical, tangible things, first. Then...you work on shutting down the negative thoughts, concerns, worries, dramas that play out in your head like movies. All of that needs to go. You get to a place where all you hear is your breath. Your eyes are closed.
Ana has been taught a "white screen visualization" technique, and I will attempt to summarize it. While in your calm state, picture a large movie theater in your mind. No other people, no distractions. Any thoughts you have may show up on that screen as you quiet your mind and things pop up asking for attention. But let them go... fast forward through all of it... until the film ends. And you are left with a white screen. Focus on it, really see it; if thoughts fly in, let them fly right out. Just focus on breathing and that white screen. If you do this enough, the mind clutter fades, and you connect to yourself. You may call it your spirit, your inner voice, your soul. Some call it connecting to God. I prefer not to use a label, but I'll just call it "energy" for now.
When you are in this space, you are clear. You are free. Free from attitudes, perceptions, doubts, fears, pride, ego, envy...all of it. You are simply, and magnificently, you. Unplugged. You are unplugged from the daily momentum of society and expectation. And if you practice this enough, you begin to reconnect not only to yourself, but to something greater. A peace, a knowing, a worldview, a connection so powerful that if we were all tapped into to it, absolutely anything becomes possible. This connection, this realization, is fuel for Ana's journey. Because once you are awake, you can't ever go back to seeing things the way you did. The road is new and different. Each moment and choice pulsates with meaning and magic, because you KNOW that all of it, is a part of your journey. And your journey is your gift.
I will try to paint a picture of what I mean by "plugged in" to this energy, and what it means for intuition and interconnectedness:
Imagine that you share an apartment with 3 other people. You all keep wildly different schedules, you never see each other. Yet, you live in the same space. You share food. You breathe the same air, you look at the same moon. So in order to communicate, you set up a large dry erase board in the kitchen. Someone asks you to take out the garbage on Sunday. You leave a note that the milk is running low. Another roommate asks if you want to go to the movies on the weekend. So in between these notes, you text, email, talk on the phone... You leave messages for each other in a neutral, common space, trusting in an outcome, and thanking the others when they come through for you.
It's like that with universal energy, with the connection that I discussed. When you get into your "white space," you are standing in front of that dry erase board. You can focus your intention, your wishes, if you will, and post them on this proverbial board. And then just as you wait for that movie on the weekend, and you know it's coming, and you find joy in it... the same is true with your intentions. You "place your order with the universe," and then you wait. You know that it's coming, you feel joy in that. And you share your gratitude, you pay it forward, you give out to others. You "offer to buy the milk" for the apartment, because you know you will get to see your movie.
There is a powerful current, a positive flow for us, if we only step into it.
When you know that you are working in this energy, it is unmistakable. You know that you are on the right path, you trust in your journey, and you live each moment with a blessed perspective, that everything is brought to you to learn and grow and become the best version of yourself.
The really fun stuff happens when you cross paths with others, who are in a similar place, in their own journey. The connection you feel with yourself, in the quiet peace that you create, can be found in others. Effortlessly, if you trust it. Just as you can place an order with the universe... someone else can maybe, hear your order, in the echoes, and help to deliver it. Someone else can pick up on your "energy" and feel it, and understand things about you, without ever having met you. Because if we work on it, and trust it - our intuition, that inner voice - tells us so much. We are all connected.
Another metaphor? Sure, why not.
Star Trek fans? It's simple. The Borg. The collective. Here's the noodle-baker: when you see that really, we are all part of the same system. A large hive, all the same, yet unique, all originating from the same source. And as you look around the hive...some are asleep. Some are tossing and turning, restless, they hear a commotion. And some...are awake. They see a common purpose. They unite to solve it, together. They feed each other with wisdom, respect, healing and inspiration. Because they know that they need everyone, each part of this hive, to function optimally, toward a greater, peaceful, collective evolution. To wake up...is to participate. To know, to learn, to grow, to heal, to connect...and to keep moving forward. Every being on this planet has a purpose. My wish is that somehow, through my experience and interpretation, and writing, I can point out a few doors that others may choose to go through, maybe find the way toward their own path. I want you to feel the indescribable oneness and joy that comes... when you wake up. Your path, your journey, is seeking you. It's waiting for you.
This book, detailing Ana's journey, is a novel about waking up. In every way that a human being can be awakened. It's fun and quirky, it's deep and introspective, it's a pursuit of truth and passion, in all forms. And writing it, so far, has been such an amazing part of MY journey.
Thank you for reading. And stay tuned!
Breathe deep, dream big, smile with grace, and always choose love and peace, when possible. xoxo
Something dawned on me this morning. It was the undeniable reality that my precious baby boy is growing fast and becoming a little person. I drove him to daycare, like usual, and these days instead of carrying him into his classroom, I let him walk there. Like a big boy.
"Okay, let's go find your friends!" I said.
"Ah hahahahahaaaaa..." he wailed with excitement. He scuttled down the hall and right to his room. Greeted by his teacher:
"Good morning, let's go wash hands!" He smiled back at me and waved, and that was it.
See ya kid. You're just fine now, aren't you? I smiled at how confident he has become, yet I still looked around, as if to make eye contact with someone... "Did you see that? See ya, Ma..."
I think this is something we go through often in life. Not just with children. It can be in any human relationship. We realize that someone who was previously super-reliant on us, deperate for us, at every moment... no longer is. And with that comes an inevitable and necessary letting go.
With my son, I smile inside to know that he is happy and well-adjusted, and growing smarter. That he loves his friends and his day school. And I surrender to letting go of my want for him to clamor for me. He shouldn't, after all, at this age.
Sometimes we think because someone isn't pleading, demanding, pursuing, chasing, begging, crying...whichever the case may be... that we are no longer needed, no longer useful. But I think our mission is to lift up others around us, constantly. Our kids, our families, our friends, and loved ones. The goal is for them NOT to need us and cling. We WANT them to thrive, to grow, to stand up in this world and take their OWN place. To know their hearts, to connect to their souls, and to live independently with joy. And those lessons start young.
And when we release this, this idea that we are at a loss if we aren't needed, we clear a space. We realize that (with the exception of infants of course) it's better not to be needed. It's better and healthier for everyone.
We can say... that's okay now, I don't have to think about that. I don't have to spend energy on that. Now, what can I do for me? Or how else can I expand and grow, myself? Where can I focus my energy instead? We can say without guilt, or fear, or trepidation... that 'this is not a concern anymore.' When releasing ourselves of the need to worry about or control or 'save' others, we get more in tune with ourselves. And those 'others' are free to thrive, naturally. As it should be.
I will say this, though: with my toddler's growing independence and ability to strut out on his own, comes the most beautiful reunion at the end of the day. He enjoys his day, he learns, he plays, but when I come to get him...instant recognition with a smile. As if to say, "what a great day I had!"
"Mommy!" And he runs to me. Simply because he's that happy to see me. No other reason.
And what peace there is in that.