I’ve been using a set of affirmations that at first are all about what I want to receive from an imaginary partner. Surprisingly, what’s happening is that I’m the one BECOMING what I want to see in him and realizing that there are things to change in myself to RECEIVE a partner like that!
What do I wish for? People in my life who thrive with transforming Stories. That’s my projection, my vision for myself. Oh sure, my community has its STORYs. We also get right to work on the steps of transforming them – feeling, flipping the switch, reframing, integrating. We laugh together at how good we are at creating situations for noticing our victim stories, then flow right into the 13 steps.
Nice vision, Regina!
Here is an example of one of the tools I use to open up my heart to a New Story. It’s a technique I learned from Colin Tipping in his book, Radical Forgiveness, Chapter 24.
First Letter: VictimLand. Write this with all the angst and emotion you can muster, blaming the other person vehemently. Write out all your feelings in vitriolic language. DO NOT EVER CONSIDER SENDING THIS LETTER!
Second Letter: Willingness. On the next day, write this letter with some openness that perhaps there’s a lesson or blessing or new possibility you can see, BUT don’t let the other person off the hook for perpetrating your pain. DO NOT SEND THIS LETTER EITHER!
When I was completing my Appalachian Trail Walk in 2007, my husband and son came and walked the last mile with me. What an honor! Having them with me to round out the journey validated my accomplishment and helped magnify their contribution to the entire walk. My husband had sent maildrops all along the way. His presence at the end signified that my journey had ended and that I would be going back to my former life. My 7-month walk had been an exploration into another world where my joy as a hiker was reflected in my relationship with a new partner. I believed that my hiking world was separate from my homemaking world.
I’ve been indulging in fields of roses this week in the third week of Journey to YOUR HeartLand: STORIES. Mine are always Pink, a deep “rose” pink. The best part is that they are absolutely free! And I can have as many as I want, fragrance and all!
These are Energy Roses that I create in my imagination to catch any low vibrations or “negative” energy coming from others, from dangerous situations, or even from myself! When I surround myself with Roses, there’s more Light and Love shining.
The journey that I’m on now has a name – Journey to the HeartLand – for its significance in my life. I thought that this one would be different than other trail walks I have done. Wouldn’t an off-trail journey be different than a month on the Benton MacKaye Trail or on the Appalachian Trail?
What I’m discovering is that this journey has the same essentials for success as a walk on a physical trail.
- Know the trail – I’ve got the road map for our class topics
- Consider the timing – Well, 7 a.m. might be a little early for some participants!
- Love my gear – I’ve had technology challenges that I’m stepping through one at a time.
- Have support – Thanks to my friends who are sharing their home, my partner, my sister, and the participants themselves for their understanding and flexibility while we get our journey underway.
- Have tools for shifting emotional energy – Well, that’s what this journey is all about! What I’m teaching in this course are the exact tools I’m using to navigate the journey myself! Perfect!
During our first week, we’ve been looking at our “Stories”. Stories are those emotion-laden, repeating patterns that seem to happen over and over again in our lives. They usually have a consistent disempowering “story line”. In addition, our biggest Stories are ones we have been playing out unconsciously – until now! Now, we’re awake to their insidious repetition and we’re tired of their presence. We want to get rid of them, but don’t know how!!!
That’s what Journey to YOUR HeartLand is all about! We’re taking a loving and safe look at these stories and walking step-by-step into a New Story of vibrance, creativity, and fulfillment.
“Dance” would be a great way to characterize what happened with the piano!
Following on the heels of my heart’s willingness to let the piano go, there appeared not just one, but TWO interested parties! The dance encompassed a group!
Things got a little complicated as my son and I were both taking offers from people, without communicating with each other. I was moving ahead with accepting an offer from a music teacher while he was waiting for his musician friend to make an offer. It came in – higher than mine! OOPS!
Healing Dance with a Piano
I’m sitting at a piano feeling anxious, immobilized, indecisive and deeply sad. Why? What could a piano be doing that has me stopped in my tracks? Haven’t I been writing about how wonderful it is to be out hiking, even in deep snow at low temperatures. Haven’t I been making presentations about what I’m willing to do to be in the presence of overwhelming beauty? Didn’t I declare 10 months ago today that I was now a nomad?
It’s just a piano! I don’t have a house, I can’t have a piano, right? Well, that’s just it! This isn’t just any old piano, it’s the piano that I bought 30 years ago to lighten my heart. It’s where sang songs with my children. It’s the instrument that freed my inner musician while I mastered the first two books in the Suzuki School. It bonded me with my son as he blossomed as a cellist, giving voice to the duets we played together. It was an instrument of healing in the community Shepherd’s Play that softened my heart to forgiving the Waldorf Community for dashing my dream of taking a class through their 8-year schooling journey.
The Real Work — Wendell Berry
It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,
and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings.
~ Wendell Berry ~
My friend, Barbara Hotz, another master of words and rhythms in my life, sent me this poem on the day my hiking partner of 5 years announced that he was going solo for a time. It wasn’t so much that I was surprised with the news, just the timing. Are we ever ready for those changes we intuit or have even secretly wished for? Even though our relationship had been strained with lack of common, heartfelt purpose for the past month, we had kept willing ourselves to be together. He was the brave one to take the bold step of leaving.
I had the delight to see my future daughter-in-law, Teralyn Tanner, perform beautifully as “Shirley Valentine”, in this one-woman play by Willy Russell. The play was surprisingly similar to my own Life!
Trapped in her middle class housewife life, Shirley breaks free, realizing that “There’s so much Unused Life!” She laments that people get bogged down, and live as dead after middle age, “All weighted down by the burden of their Unused Life!” What a poignant metaphor. It’s not that we’re just empty and lifeless if we don’t manifest our dreams, saddened and unmotivated by the fear of going after what we really want, relinquishing our dreams for the safety and comfort of resignation. No, Shirley observes, we are actually weighted down by the Unused Life. I just love that metaphor – Unused Life!