Soul Massage

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Spring Free – ISO free spring

In the search for a suitable companion (friend, lover, partner) we are in constant need of both personal reassessment and self promotion.  This is a novel opportunity to conduct a personal inventory of both what we seek and what we bring to the table.  It is one thing to ask that respondents be loving but quite another to show up as loving ourselves.  We search for another who will support us and our efforts, become our personal cheerleader, celebrate our triumphs and commiserate with us in defeat.  Or perhaps you have another definition of love.
My vision of love includes one who can think with me, think outside the box, dream, imagine, and believe with me.  I find little use in great show of emotions and romantic platitudes when what I need is work to be done.  I have no interest in chatting and light banter when there are the weightier matters of transformation and growth to consider.  Pessimist need not apply.
My life is filled with family and home. I enjoy my space and see each event as an opportunity to shift my perspective.  There is little use in lamenting the past.  Let us gather the lessons offered and do something differently this time.  In fact, let’s celebrate all that has brought us to this moment, and bless the path to now.
I am “long-winded” and encourage debate on various topics, my exceptions being religion and politics. I have my own views which govern my life and respect that others have the same.  As I have given up proselytizing, there is little need to engage in the discussion.  I prefer discussions that are based on fact rather than hearsay and innuendo. Expect that I am going to research what is said and verify it independently.  I expect the same of my words.
I love to read – love.  I read paper books, ebooks, online articles, labels, signs, and directions.  I consume information, delightfully and both indulge and separate easily.  I read for understanding and for fun. An ideal relationship is with a reader.  Reading requires one to take time to one’s self, to center, concentrate and focus.  Reading without comprehension defeats the purpose.
I like various styles of music, except pop (meaning pop culture, top 40, radio noise).  I appreciate meaningful rhythms and melodies, along with trance and indigenous sounds.  I enjoy dancing and would be delighted to find a partner who can lead (both on the dance floor and off).
Sex deserves its own page (or book).  Let’s say I am looking for someone who is physically active.  Not an athlete, but one who can walk five miles, continuously; who can breathe, deeply, fully, and completely.  My companion will be comfortable in the body they have, not in the one coming next week or month.  I am in search of one who happily stands in the mirror and admires their handiwork, free of doubt and shame.  That’s a tall order in this day and age of self denigration and fear.  It is confidence rather than pride that encourages one to remain mobile.  I am looking for movement that is fun, playful, and uplifting.  Add a bit of creativity and unique perspective, willingness to experiment and take on adventure.  That sounds like a recipe that will work in and out of bed (or elsewhere). I imagine that when all other elements are present, sex can work itself out.  I imagine.
As spring welcomes the bulbs to open, the sap to rise and the birds to sing, I am turning the pages of my heart and mind in search of what will work better this time around.  We turn the earth in preparation of planting, so too, I revisit what I have known, releasing that which no longer serves me, allowing it to become compost for stronger and healthier relationships to come.
Yours on the journey… Namaste

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Importance of Solitude

“I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.” ~Albert Einstein

I appreciate the quiet – time to think and be with myself.  In the silence, I can hear myself, that distinct voice free of the influence of another’s wants and needs.  I can hear the voices of others as well, even more clearly than when they are present and I find that I understand more of what seems to be required of me in a given circumstance.
The biggest challenge to my space and time for peace and reflection is the demands of others for connection.  When I sleep, I disconnect.  I am away from my computer, cell phone on silent and turned over to block any lights or buried, and ear plugs.  It is my intention to sleep until the appointed time that I awake.  Before I sleep, I use that solitude for reading, writing and thinking.  If I wake early, I stay in this sacred space.
I think we (as a society) have grown so accustomed to being able to contact each other at a moment’s thought that we have forgotten and forsaken what was once basic courtesy and need for privacy.  I remember when we waited until after 9am to call another’s home and if the phone rang after 9pm it must have been an emergency. There was an agreed respect for family time, rest, and renewal.  In a world that operates 24 hours a day, we have opted to apply our needs to others whenever we decide, regardless of importance or urgency. 
I work nights and as such, sleep during the daylight.  Sometimes I sleep mornings, but if I have chores or plans, I sleep evenings.  Either way, those in my life know that my availability varies.  The advantage for them is that I can assist with their lives while they are at work, but that also means that I will sleep as needed, when needed.  The issue arises when someone is out there texting, calling, emailing, or sending notes with no response (in the manner they expect).  I am completely secure in my decision to rest, so attend those contacts when I am ready to be engaged.
Being alone these days is a treat.  It is rare that we see advertisements for vacations that include silent walks in the woods unless it’s a photographer.  We are shown travelers in mass, rarely lone readers, writers, hikers, or swimmers. 
As a child, I loved the few moments I enjoyed alone. I am the eldest sister with five siblings.  I carried a great deal of responsibility for the care and tending of my family and found that school, homework and reading gave me the needed refuge from the constant barrage of demands. 
I need time alone to dream, vision, imagine, and believe. I need space to remember who I am, recover lost ideas, assimilate new concepts.  Time to myself opens the doors to possibilities hidden in the myriad sights and sounds of daily life.  I need time to breathe, and to breathe deeply. In solitude we find the strength to live the decisions we have made, to face the consequences of our lives, and to go on.
All that I am in available in the quiet.  It is here with my heart open I find forgiveness and resolve. There are places and ways that I have been that arise for review.  In these moments, I accept the life I have chosen and with courage go on.  To deny this sacred time with and for ourselves is to forgo daily blessings. 
If ever there was a need for silence, it is now.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Season of Reflection

During this season when there are so many focused on shifting thoughts, ideas and behaviors toward those which are more patient, companionate and understanding, I also commit to focused introspection.  Neale Donald Walsh's Conversations With God says, "If you do not go within,  you  go without."
Generally, the view of Lent is to give up something for the forty day period, but giving up is merely a tool or method for shifting directions in which we take up something different.  Consider giving up something that you think you have a right to have.  Take up being grateful every day.  Find a moment to notice the needs of those around you.  Find a way to support them in getting their needs met.
I have decided to examine the issue of sexuality through the areas of exploitation, dishonesty, indifference, prejudice, contempt, and waste.  Because I feel I need some space to reach introspection, I have decided to practice celibacy, refocusing my energies as cited above.  The decision came to me as I was driving along; questioning the ways we seek to show up for one another and what it is we are asking of each other.  As my decision affects another, I ask that we (my partner and I) share the commitment that our time together will be supportive and without the strain that can accompany such a change, leaving one feeling dismissed or rejected.  I move into this process knowing that lots of feelings  will arise and that learning to refocus on other aspects of being together will be paramount.
In the taking up:
I will write more letters, with stamps and mail them.
I will cook foods that nourish my body.
I will curtain and argument, slow a rant, exhale more deeply.
I will compliment my friends and loved ones for how well they are living their lives.
I will share time my neighbors, celebrating what life offers us all.
I will embrace my gray hair and whatever feelings arise.
I will hug more people, more often.
I will make my list gratitude list.
I will post to my blog, sharing my insights, reflections, and new understanding.
As we shift our perspective, we see things anew.  During this season, I will be conscious of where I focus my attention, for “By beholding, we become changed. “ (2Cor. 3:18)
Yours on the journey…