Restless Observations!

Birds chatter.  Parrots close by, crows far away.  A tiny unseen bird, making a loud chirrup.  Mud wasps buzzing to and fro, building their caves.  Occasionally, a gecko barks – the sound too big for its tiny body.  Flies and dragonflies click their wings as they zoom by my pen and notebook – no keyboard for me today, it would seem intrusive somehow.  I clap as a crow approaches.  There is a rustle of wings as it leaves.  I know it will return but for now calm prevails.

A breeze rustles the trees and a pure note sounds from the wind chime hanging by the door.  Once again, I am reminded that especially when I feel far away, God is here, even as the chime announces the unseen breeze.

Unsettled skies of blue and grey.  A storm?  Later maybe.  The dampness of the earth from last nights drenching, rises with the warmth of the sun.  The smell mingles with the strong sweetness of the jasmine growing back behind the fence.  These two combined with another …. the neighbours washing – drying on the line, almost become too much for my nose to take in.

A stark block wall.  Brown.  Foreboding.  But two spots of colour.  Yellow and pink – planted with a hopeful heart and willing hands.  Growing, flowering where I planted them.  Light in a tunnel.  Hope!

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The star jasmine cascades over my neighbour’s wall.  It, too, was once stark and foreboding.  The creamy flowers contrast with the green of the foliage that is peeking over and between the fence.  Bottlebrush red is beginning – maybe tomorrow it will be my turn.  Maybe tomorrow the birds will burst into my yard to feast on the nectar held within those promising buds.

Shadows throw across the lawn making it seem more patchy than it is in truth.  The mixture of grass, weeds and moss surround the bird bath – alone, full, waiting with anticipation.  Be patient, I silently tell myself.  They will return.  They will find their way back to this place of safety and peace.  By removing some palm trees from my yard, I have changed their environment but the birds will return.  They will remember the sanctuary.  It is just change, it takes time.

The previously unseen fence teases with lime green shoots peeking over and through the palings.  Promises of new life and growth.  The fence itself tells its story.  Mismatched boards nailed together.  Some old and worn, some new – all useful, all fence.

In the distance, traffic and school ground happy voices.  High above, an aeroplane approaches and then fades.  Someone’s going home, I think.

Closer, a gardener is mowing and blowing leaves.  Loud, unpleasant, persistent!  A door slams.  Jarring!  Voices disturb. Pungent cigarette smoke reaches over and grabs my nostrils.

Peace is over, time to go!

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Listen To Your Heart.

The last 5 months have been very tough for me.  There has been much interstate travel (which I am getting better at), changes in my work status, more ill-health than is manageable, injury and of course the necessary move of my *MIL out of her home of 30 years, into a Nursing Home and the subsequent declining of her health and finally her death.

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The last time I saw my MIL. Such a happy pic!

Pleasingly, to me, I have not fallen into an immediate heap, as has been the normal pattern of behaviour for me – especially when things stop!  I have, however, felt the desire for a servant in my home; the yearning for a beautiful garden to lift my flagging spirit; the urge to eat everything custard (but not banana custard, Mum) for every meal; and for friends and family to magically appear when I want company and disappear when I don’t!

I spoke to my Psychologist, yesterday, about how I was feeling guilty because I have not yet cried at the death of my much-loved MIL.  I simply feel relief, tinged with just a little anger!

I feel relief because I no longer have to worry that she is being cared for properly.  I feel relief that she is no longer in pain.  I feel relief that I no longer have to put on my crisis mask and manage all the stuff …. I feel relief that I no longer need to feel helpless to make MIL happy and fulfilled with her life.  I feel relief at no longer feeling responsible when myself or my boys didn’t contact her as much as we should.  She was so easily made happy with a phone chat.

And angry …. because MIL is gone to be with God and I am still here wading through the mire that is my life.  I’m angry at  cancer because it took my husband and left me to do all the necessary stuff for his Mum.  F u cancer!  I feel angry because there is one less person who really knew Adrian, that I can talk too.

But I have not fallen in a heap, so that’s good – right?

My Psychologist simply said that  it was now time to take care of myself for a little while.  To be kind to my inner person as I had been doing to my MIL.  To find those things that nurture my spirit and soothe my body and mind.

So I visited Madders Brothers Patisserie and bought a red velvet delight topped with a macaron – that surely soothed my body!

Red velvet

On returning home, I lit my Verona candle from Glasshouse Fragrances.

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Later I got my Mindfulness Colouring Book and did some therapeutic colouring in.

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And then there is always this ……

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Fev is the softest, smoochiest, purriest, heart soother I have!!

I also, read blogs that inspire me – check any featured on my list of Blogs to Read (on the right of my page).  I, also have been known to be nourished by words and quotes. So here are a few of my favourite ones –

smile tickle more beautiful cry because

listen

What do you do to nurture yourself?

*MIL = mother-in-law

Terrifyingly Inspirational!

I went to the movies yesterday – alone!  I don’t mind going to the movies alone because then I can immerse myself in the whole experience and formulate my own opinion of the story, without having to think about if the person I went with is enjoying / not enjoying it.  I like to feel the movies I go to – so I cry, laugh out loud, sigh, gasp, sing along and hold my breath.  If I am with someone else, I tend to internalize those feelings and often don’t want to talk afterwards which isn’t very sociable!

I was having a quiet weekend with non stop junk TV and computer games and felt like I needed to get out of the house for a bit.  I actually planned it the night before and bought my ticket online so that I wouldn’t back out! Thanks mind for tricking yourself into doing good things!!

So I went to experience the movie “Wild”.   I came out thinking – terrifyingly inspirational!

In many ways, Wild is my worst  nightmare.  I  struggle with walking along the street and cannot begin to comprehend walking the Pacific Crest Trail in the USA.  But in just as many ways, this is a movie I had to see.  It is about struggle and loss and self-destruction but it is also about healing and self-awareness and discovery and redemption.  These are things I have to think about and be inspired and motivated by!  Cheryl Strayed‘s journey may not be my journey but it certainly encourages me to look at alternative ways to challenge and heal myself by spending time alone without the clutter of life’s busyness.

To let you in on a secret, I had already been well and truly challenged this week!  I had a house guest for a couple of days and she had been at a healing retreat for 5 days, where they only served raw vegan food!!  Ms S arrived with 3 boxes of organic fruit and veg, chick pea flour, chia seeds and coconut milk – with a cheery – I’m here to cook or not cook for you for the next 2 days!

My healthy breakfast of soaked chia, goiji and blueberries, with fresh peaches and pineapple!
My healthy breakfast of soaked chia, goiji and blueberries, with fresh peaches and pineapple!

Her enthusiasm was infectious …. most of the time.  But I did  become concerned when she began to look up similar retreats in all parts of the world – for me to attend!!  So that I too, could really feel fantastic like she was!!  She had also, fairly recently, completed a 6 week healing walk in Europe, with her adult children!!  Her sense of accomplishment was incredible and something that she wished I too, could feel!!

Two massive walk challenges thrown down at me in the one week?  Terrifyingly inspirational!  Were the heavens conspiring against me?  Have you seen my legs and feet?  Finding my OWN challenge is the message I chose!!  For so long, my challenges have been shaped by others.  It is time to uncover my own pathway to accomplishment and most importantly – see it through.  I have no idea what my challenge is – yet.  But as I head into my 56th year, I feel terrifyingly inspired to find something for myself that will challenge, heal and give ME that sense of accomplishment, when completed!  Even writing that down scares me.  Writing it is kinda like a committment!  Saying it out loud!  Others will now be watching.  But as I say to my therapist – if I lie to you, I’m really only lying to myself!

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So I am at the beginning of discovering my thing.  My challenge!  My journey!  In the past I have allowed things to just happen to me.  I have been mindlessly living my life, only making decisions when I need to.  Mindfulness is a concept that I have rejected in the past as too hard.  But it is necessary for me to embrace fully, if I intend to find my thing!

So thank you Cheryl Strayed and Reese Witherspoon and Ms S …. Terrifyingly Inspirational!

“If it’s both terrifying and amazing then you should definitely pursue it.”  – Erada