This is an email thread that naturally developed over several days amongst a few members of the Joy of Ageing website team. It shows how true friends can express to each other how they feel without fear of judgment or reaction and be open to another’s reflection. When we are held with such understanding we are inspired to take an honest look at our life and it is easier to let go of what is not working for us and move forward.
Sorry I couldn’t make it today. I’ve been surrendering to the world of fevers and night sweats and lost all track of time. Underneath all that there is a delicious sense of being held in space and so why do I need an excuse such as an illness to go there?
That is a great question Sandra. I sometimes feel I get sick or unwell because I so much long for some stillness, some quiet time with only me.
Same old story for me. Not nurturing myself enough. But then I give myself some space from doing and be more in stillness, and then take that into what I am ‘doing’/moving.
Hello lovely friends
This is the phase I have now entered while staying here at the cabin in Montana. The one that you both have written of. After two months of non-stop visitors, I am alone in the cabin, waking when I want, doing everything I want when I want. Eating when I want, what I want. Attending virtual meetings and working on projects - but only as I am impulsed to do so.
And because I don’t have people around or a cell phone ringing and pinging, I am able to really see / feel when the stirring arises within me to ‘go do’. There is an uncomfortableness with all this stillness and quietness surrounding me. The cabin is small so there is only so much cleaning I can do. Haha. Even the windows are clean. The woodpiles are stacked high. Perhaps I should go walk down to the river and see if Judy is home? Perhaps I should call someone? Maybe I should drive over and see my brother? Go. Do. Do something!
But then I tell myself it is okay to be in this space. I don’t have to be doing. I don’t have to be productive. I mean it is okay to be productive, but being productive doesn’t have to be my daily purpose - at the moment. I’m hoping I’ll be able to bring some of this back home to Australia with me - this delicious state of being held in space, as Sandra so eloquently described it.
Hi lovely Gayle –
I feel your delicateness and beauty and what a beautiful opportunity to go deeper with thee and establish a rhythm.
With the blessing of my sickness I too am looking at what impulses me to ‘do’.
I was looking at the petunias and noticing the dead heads that normally I would snip off before too many appeared. But there was nothing in me to do that and I pondered on how many of my actions come from a picture of what completion looks like in the sense of achieving a result according to what I want rather than in the true sense of completion.
I was able to enjoy the flowers and allow them to be just as they were and even accept the dead heads as part of their cycle and not needing to be removed. I wonder how many people I have not allowed to be themselves because of a picture of how I think they should be?
This is huge for me as I have had a whole life of ticking off the list for approval – whose approval? Well basically mine, but not really, for this ‘approval’ has caught up in it the imagined sanction of mum, dad, family, teachers, and community.
I have space at the moment to ‘read’ due to my body not being able to respond to anything I might ‘want’ to do. So there is a gap now between seeing something I might judge as needing to be done and reading whether that is a true impulse or whether it comes from an idea of what I would want or like to have done.
I was impulsed to begin a blog about this and see what unfolds and then I saw your email, which is exploring the same thing. So let’s observe and explore and see what else comes up.
Dear Sandra and Ingrid
I’ve thought about letting the thread end there (with Sandra’s) as I am always conscious of everyone’s overflowing inbox, BUT I found I just couldn’t let it rest without commenting on the constellation of the petunias…because…I have a big pot of petunias sitting on my deck. And often when we were sitting outside over the last few weeks, I would find myself feeling ‘antsy’ - do you know that saying? I have never been one to ‘just sit and visit’. I prefer to be ‘doing’ something - like working a jigsaw puzzle or doing dishes or whatever. So I would pluck the dead heads from the petunias while we were visiting. But I was aware of what I was doing and I wondered if it annoyed my guests. I mean, it wasn’t like I was checking a cell phone, but it was sort of almost the same thing!
So this was a checkpoint for me. Yes, I could pluck dead heads from the petunias in the same energy as checking a cell phone OR I could pluck them in a different energy, one of appreciation and wonder at God’s creative handiwork while I visited. It is so interesting and fun to play with energy in this way where you are doing the same thing but just changing the energy that you are doing it in.
I love our sharing on threads like this. Gayle can I suggest another OR option?
OR you could, like Sandra, enjoy the beauty of the flowers and the wonder of the cycles of life and in-joy your visitors and the stillness in you and the connection. Not saying one is ‘better’ than the other.
Thank you Ingrid.
Let’s explore it all,
Sandra N, Gayle C, Ingrid L, Australia