the three gratitudes…

Spring brings us into the heart chakra, and with that, the practice of gratitude.

My “three” were harvested from a page in my journal from 2012, but they still resonate true and deserve this echo, even if my heart has grown a bit rusty around these gifts…

And you…?

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WORK

I am so grateful for the clear awareness of that which brings me alive. I am so thankful that I now realize that there is path upon which I can meet my need for contribution and connection; a creative outlet and a spirit offering.

YOGA

I am so in love with the gift of my body. I am fortunate to be to use my body as a meditation in motion. My body is my ally, my friend, my lifelong companion. It is such a joy to be able to teach and lead others with my body and my mind. I am so grateful that yoga reminds me that everything, every feeling, every situation, every breath is my yoga–and that the practice is infinitely more important, more relevant than any achievement.

LOVE

I am deeply blessed with lovers in all forms: from my partner, and our children, to my family and friends, to the water, the sun, the light and the scent on the air…

 

The Fire of Love

Hero's Journey, Kelly Salasin, 2003 (visual journaling)
Say your prayers, be they literal or metaphorical. Let today be the day you say yes to the light within & lay down your sorry attempts to stay small. Yes, I will serve & allow my invincible love to blaze past every limit. And so it is.
~Tama Kieves

This week I’ve walked through fires.

Brush fires and infernos and the 5 Alarm kind.

I’m covered in ashes…

and smouldering still…

I can’t get enough of the shower,

and the bath,

and the flannel covers.

This is what we do for Love.

This is how we claim our lives.

This is where the world is made new.

Kelly Salasin, January 2012

(That was bullshit. Here’s why: Just Say No )

The Zen Monk & Me

It’s already day 5, and I’m still dealing with fear.  Unlike the Zen monk in the story of the cabinet for the King, my focus is not as pure or as still.  He was done with fear after the first two days, and then went on to tackle pride and egoism.

My work has been more of a medley–mostly fear–with a little ego sprinkled in here and there–and even a touch of visioning– something which the wise monk waited to do until his 5th day when he had cleared out everything else.

It may be that my fear has more layers than his, or that he is more efficient with his time.  No doubt, he isn’t the mother of two, wife of another; nor a YogaDance instructor or a life coach finishing up with clients. He’s definitely not a blogger or an email checker or Facebook poster or Twitterer. He’s not following the elections or making calls to voters. Perhaps he IS planning dinner.

That said, a commission from the King to a carpenter, even a master, is as demanding a gift as the one I’ve been given–and that makes the Zen monk and me companions across the seas of time and continents and desire.

Although I’ve lagged behind his progress, I can be a quick study, so perhaps by the end of this day, I will be ready to begin my work, just as the master craftsman was after his fifth day of  “preparation.”

visipix.com

In fact, I’ve already dusted off my great-grandmother’s atlas, the one in which she marked all the places to which she and my merchant marine great-grandfather traveled in the early and mid 1900s.

After marveling once again over its pages, like I did as a child on her lap, I decide that this is the first item that I will pack for my new role. This large volume will sit beside my desk as testimony to a lifetime fascinated with the world at large.  Its hard and faded ruby red cover will root me to that desire and to my great-grandmother who fertilized that dream in me.

The thing is, when I examine my fears more closely–the hours, the juggling of work and home, the limited time to soften my soul into writing, the need to get dressed for the public on a daily basis–it’s of little matter.

Somehow, for the first time, the essence of the work transcends. Whether I won the lottery, or got a book deal, or found out that I was sick, I’d still want to be connected to this role.

That itself is terrifying; and I’m not sure why.

The only thing I can liken it to is love.  For despite the literal laundry list of chores and aggravation that parenting brings, it has been my richest endeavor.  And despite the challenges that accompany marriage, I’m equally as enamored. Both of these roles transcend the “work” involved by their connection to the heart.

Perhaps I’m afraid that there isn’t room for another…

Kelly Salasin, November 3, 2010

To see the post at the beginning of this week of “preparation” click here: The Fire of FEAR

Or the ensuing post: Great Expectations.

or to start at beginning of beginnings click here:  Life Purpose Path.

Abandoned

Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.”

~Bertrand Russell

Bouguereau, visipix.com
Bouguereau, visipix.com

Perhaps as humans, our souls are steeped in abandonment having left Heaven for Earth. And perhaps it is also the deeper condition of womanhood throughout the Ages.  And then, the legacy of certain families, like mine, through time.

I ponder this as I fall to sleep in the afternoon sun, waking to my mother’s arms as she hands over the child she has borne.

Two decades later and my sister does the same.

Who is it that is abandoned?  The adopted child? Or the mother, childless now?

My walk with abandonment is distinct from theirs.  At 16, I abandon two pregnancies and approaching 30, two abandon me.

A long-awaited son, born Caesarean, is separated from me after birth.  That single hour– apart– is the longest I’ve ever ached for anything.

But it is only now, at 46, as I glimpse the playground of the Gods, that I realize how tightly I hold the hand of my Restraint, fearing the wild abandon.

I’ve bumped up against this fear before.  Each time my life begins to open.

This morning, as I walk in delight up the road toward my special space and loose my mind within the still waters there, I feel myself squeeze the hand of my Restraint.

Hold on, I chide. Hold on!

And so I ask, Why?  Why, in the depths of such GREAT JOY, do you pick up the hand of Restraint?

And I remember.  The moment.  The one after which I choose Safety over Play. Protection over Expansion. Caution over Delight.

It is my last FULL moment of Innocence.   About to be swept away by the first wave of… Death.

Death.

Strange that we, abandoned to Earth, hold to it so tightly that we miss the opportunity to have Heaven everywhere.

Kelly Salasin

(This is the first–in what is to become a series of pieces on “Lila“~the last excavation of pain from my life.  To see piece II, click here. )