Reflections From My True Self

Remembering Who I Really Am


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Gratitudes

I am grateful that I am here, whole, present, alive… and taking this time. I am grateful that this day that threatened chaos has moved me to center myself, to remember what is important. I am grateful to remember that my only job is to align myself with my Deepest Wisdom.

I am grateful to realize that what is before me is what I must attend to, and that whatever is important and not before me, is also already unfolding. Therefore, I am grateful for the promised scent of toast and coffee.

I am grateful to trust enough to relax, even though I could cringe in fear for one hundred thousand reasons. I am grateful for Reiki, for the warmth it spreads through me, and for the love I can extend through it to others.

I am grateful that I serve. And grateful, too, that I don’t need to understand how I do. I am grateful for the connections I experience each day with the people whose paths I cross.

I am grateful for the awakening that my loved ones open in my chest: my children, Brujo, the friends of my soul. I am grateful for their help in expanding my experiences, my awarenesses.

I am grateful for beauty: in the white sky brushed by naked branches, in the music of laughter, and the stark silhouette of a high rise by the lake. I am grateful for red: in my Oma’s shawl, and the cardinal in the window.

I am grateful that this day holds so many treasures that I cannot sit here and enumerate them, that I must go now and waken my children with soft kisses to warm cheeks, and feed them, and begin again the dance of the day, that wearies me, and enlivens me, all at once!

 

Photo Credit: John Boyer

Photo Credit: John Boyer


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For the Lake

The kids and I go to the lake in the morning. It stretches, vast and shining, beyond the horizon. I am overcome with its stillness and quiet. And yet, it’s waters are in constant, rhythmic movement.

Others arrive, many of them children, with long limbs and bouncy energy; they explore the water’s edge, venture briefly into the cold of it. We gather on the sandy shore and, together, we listen, to what arises from within each of us, for the lake, from it. And we play drums and rattles; one sunny child knocks rocks.

When quiet rises up amongst us again, we build mounds with the rocks, and a bird. The children quibble about the wing: it’s too long, too thin. They move the rocks, bring some sticks, open their minds. The bird is done to our collective satisfaction.

Then we line up where the waves end, and fill our cups with lake water. We hold those waters against our hearts. I think of all that we receive from it. I feel my gratitude radiate out of me, all around me, filling the cup and enveloping the children, the women, the couple sitting on a bench and enjoying their morning, the workmen tearing up the street on the other side of the park, the whole of this sprawling city and the corn fields beyond it, and further, further, where there are no edges, where nothing ends and all is beginnings.

I pour this all back into the lake with the water in my cup. One sprite-child begins a dance, slowly, magically, flinging her cup’s water out in an arc over her head, circling her body that dances and turns. The others follow suit. Everyone at their own pace, pouring water back into the lake, pouring healing and love back into the lake.

When we finish, a child speaks, from her heart, and says that we have made something beautiful, truly, because we brought only ourselves, and used what was given to us by the Lake.

Afterwards, at home, my son remarks that it’s usually girls who think about the Earth, about doing it service. But he thinks of it, too. And my heart is larger than my body on this day.


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Intentions

It is the start of a new year, a time for fulfilling resolutions, which so often are lofty goals that feel almost unattainable.

I prefer to set intentions. With them, I harness my energy to do what I set out to, to build my path as I go.

I did set intentions for this new year, large and, sometimes, daunting, in all that they require of me.

I remind myself now, a few days into the fresh year, that each day is a new opportunity to fortify those intentions, to set new ones. I borrow from Reiki’s principles, and tell myself, “Just for today,” so that if, no, when, I fail to fulfill my intentions for myself, I remember that I can always start again, that it’s not too late, I don’t have to put anything off for many months until another new year’s eve arises.

On this day, my intention is to remain in awareness of my essence, to be faithful to my Truest Self, and allow its energy to flow freely, unhindered by fear and hesitation, to fulfill the potential this day holds, for me, for those I love, for all.


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Always Home

Today I was home again, with my child-heart open and feeling as free as I did when I spent the entire day away from people, wandering in the forests and fields of La Finca without concern about when I’d return or who knew where I was.

I didn’t take an airplane and rush to catch a connection. I let Reiki take me, allowed my consciousness to flow with the energy, and I found myself again in the hidden bower I went to as a child to quiet my mind. I found myself looking up into the sky through the fuzzy leaves and bright fuchsia flowers of my favorite tree there, a tuno roso. I could smell the little brook that runs only a few paces from the tree, and the warm moisture of the earth rose into my body as I lay there, basking in quietude.

Mountain view

As I lay there, I became aware that Casquito was with me, my horse companion who died so many years ago. She was standing in the shade, not grazing, just looking me over gently. I ran to her and embraced her, my face against her soft red neck. Inhaling her warm, familiar scent, something in my chest loosened and crumbled, fell away and opened new space within me.

A timelessness came over me, a sense of absolute expansiveness, without borders, without edges, just space spreading outward. It was like breathing deeply inward, filling myself, and discovering that my lungs had no end, just more space for more nourishing air.

Then I was simultaneously running through the grass, pushing my shins through its gentle resistance, and floating on the wind, like a feather caught in a breeze, passing over treetops and dropping onto branches.

I understood then, with parts of my Self that are not in my head, that this is home, this place that is there and nowhere at once, that I am always home when I choose to be. I understood that I can be earthbound and flying at once: that I am always free.


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Reiki Flow

Every day, I put my palms together and breathe out, “Reiki flow.” And every day, there is a miracle and I feel the energy, warm, flowing between my hands, powerful like a tempest’s winds, but wrapping a thick blanket of peace around me .

The energy pulsates through my hands, beaming love and gratitude. And I am no longer aware of the borders of my flesh as my hands dissolve in the rhythm of the energy. My hands are Reiki, they are love and gratitude. And my arms, they too, are suddenly dissolved, my body… I am flowing Love, pulsating Gratitude.


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Gifts in the Woods

This afternoon, there was a long discussion in our home, because Chiqui didn’t want go to the woods. We’d been there too often this year, he claimed. He wanted to go to the beach and search for rocks. With the promise of a beach visit next week, he let us convince him and we set off.

We went to a forest preserve I had heard about, but never been to, about a half hour away. It was another one of our adventures, we didn’t know what we would find, only that we would look.

At the preserve, we found no paths, so we walked aimlessly through the woods,  excited that poison ivy was not prevalent. The kids took turns leading through the brush, following a thin deer trail. We were rewarded when we found a marsh full of cattails and a surprise clump of wild iris, blooming along the edge of the water.

My face was eaten by ferocious mosquitoes as we examined mushrooms, wildflowers, and birds. Eventually, we came to a clearing where the forest had obviously been thinned some years ago; there were few older oaks, a number of thinner ones, some saplings… and lots of felled trees. The kids had a field-day climbing, competing against each other as they edged along the high arches the trunks and branches created above the ground.

Then they began to build a play house alongside one thick, fallen tree. Chiqui was the builder, while Golondrina prepared their “meal.”  I sat in the clearing and relished the moment, their play. I observed the woods around me, and appreciated the sacrifices all those fallen trees had made, and I offered my gratitude through Reiki.

I have so often felt grief because my children can’t run free in Nature the way that I did as a child. I grieve that they can’t develop the same kind of intimate relationship. But today I was reminded that this is untrue. In a few hours of play and communion, I got to see them in their own intimate relationship with Nature.

When I said it was time to go because the sun was hiding behind the clouds and I felt chilly, Chiqui said to me, “Come on, move around!” Which is what I always say to him.  So I did, I walked around them in a wide circle, and gave them more time to play. And when I returned, a good while later, they begged me for more time. So we stayed until our stomachs growled with hunger and we could no longer deny them.

And in the car, in rush hour traffic, I overheard Golondrina ask Chiqui, “What do you think is more fun, the lake or the woods?” And my heart just sang, because any answer to that question would be a good one!

 

A tree trunk with mushrooms in the woods


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Slow down, choose

The first thing I had to do today was apologize to my kids for being horrid. They were being rather horrid, themselves, but, being the great kids that they are, that means they were pretty much just being kids.

The next thing is to accept that this ride that started out exciting and fun, with me racing back and forth and up and down, has gotten the best of me.

Maybe I should register the fact that I feel breathless and tight all the time, and accept that I need to take a deep breath. Really deep. Deeper than hurried morning breath-work. Deeper than a flash prayer. How can I open my lungs that much?

I affirm for myself that I am now choosing. Choosing to slow down again, very slow. Choosing to slake my own thirst before pouring water into all the glasses I have invited others to hold out to me. Choosing to listen, inside, about every step I take, one at a time, and see where that takes me.

I have experienced this process enough to know already that this choice I am making is the most crucial step, that thanks to it I will find stepping stones across the stream and feel fresh breezes under the beating sun.

Almost, I am almost tempted to ask that question that holds veiled judgment: Why do I have to learn this, experience it over and over and over again?  But if I do, I will be distracted from my choice and continue running that crazy race.

So I don’t ask, just sit in silence.

Until Golondrina comes up behind me, in her piping voice says, “If you’re exhausted, you need energy, so do you want me to give you Reiki?” and she puts her warm, powerful little hands on my head.