Sunday, October 27, 2013

Experience. Bitch, or angel in disguise?


“Oh life, it's bigger
It's bigger than you
And you are not me
The lengths that I will go to
The distance in your eyes
Oh no, I've said too much
I've said enough……” 
REM

C.S. Lewis states that “experience is the most brutal of teachers.” 
Perhaps it the vampire that sucks your lifeblood, leaving you wasted and empty;  or the monster under your bed contriving fitful and sleepless nights.   She’s a true bitch sometimes, but it seems that experience may be the only roadway that leads to authentic bliss. 

We fully love, because we have tragically lost.
We cherish, because times are scarce.
We are courageous, because we ate fear for breakfast. 
We make the call, because we are stifled by loneliness
We lift others, because we ourselves are digging out of the quicksand. 

I’m truly awestruck at the many pathways life’s journeys have lead me on.  I look back with adoration for the people that I’ve loved and those that I’ve learned from.  I bask in the easy, and become stronger with each challenge.   I toil through sickness, and dance in my health.  My heart is broken- yet it keeps on pumping life.
Oh, if only I could learn to relish and appreciate each experience without judgment or regret ...but I fear that won't happen until the journey is over.  And so is life.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Just sit down and enjoy the ride

"Back to Life, Back to Reality......"
Soul to Soul

As the plane takes off steadily toward the sky, my stomach aches with a sense of dread.  Back to life, back to reality, back to the here and now....
Anticipated events are often followed by a period of letdown for me.  After the big race or a dreamy vacation, its easy to be blanketed by negative energy.  The apprehension affects not only my mental but also my physical being, and I become moody and tired.
 
But, other than just waiting for time to heal the hurt, how can we escape that post- bliss depression?  I believe the answer is to continuously evoke the FEELING which that incredible event created in our day to day lives.  If the vacation brought you peace and relaxation, then meditate at home.  If it brought you a sense of adventure, take a risk at work.  If it gave you a sense of youthful playfulness, then play tag with your kids.  We must create these situations in our everyday existence, for those are the feelings that our stargazer mind is searching for.  How can we love more?  How can we play more?  How can we become more ALIVE? 

First, I vow to grateful. I shout out how thankful I am for an amazing experience with my best friend who I love dearly.  I breathe in the memory of the dance that uplifted my spirits.  I drink in the laughter and song.    I meditate only on the wonderful feelings those memories gifted me. 

Then I act on that feeling.  I send it to others.  I text someone I care about and send a card.  I give a compliment and extra hugs.  I respond instead of reacting.  I trust instead of giving in to fear. 

Finally, I resolve to embrace the world just as it is. 
Pema Chodron says that "Everything we encounter, good and bad, pleasant and painful, is a means by which we can awaken further."  Life just is.  Let go of the struggle.  When we can relax and have a genuine and passionate relationship with uncertainly, everyday can become filled with the joy of vacation.  What if we decided just to sit down, buckle up and enjoy the ride?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Come on and touch me baby.....


“Yeah! Come on, come on, come on, come on
Now touch me, baby
Can’t you see that I am not afraid?
What was that promise that you made?”

The Doors

I closed my eyes and slid my achy feet into the warm and welcoming water.  He washed them, gently at first.... becoming more brazen with my responsiveness.    His thumbs, awash in a minty mask, tenderly massaged my calves and I moaned slightly with tingly delight. He buffed my calluses, clipped my cuticles and painted my toenails bright pink (even though one was missing). 
I think I’m in love with the short Asian guy at “Perfect 10” nail salon……    

The gift of touch- how often do we take it for granted?  Drooling a little as your skilled hair dresser massages your head with a delectable shampoo.   Sweet Eskimo kisses with your babies or a fist bump from your teenager.  Having your fingers entwined with your love’s, or breathy kisses on the nape of your neck.   Sex so mind blowing that you don’t care if you ever get out of bed again. 
That’s the stuff.  That’s connection.  That’s living.

Research shows that touch increases the relaxation response and lowers blood pressure.  It reduces pain, and promotes the restoration of your immune system. Even snuggling up to a furry friend (like your dog or cat) melts both your heart and stress. 

When I worked for Back on My Feet, I got in the habit of hugging.  Everyone loves a big bear hug and it has been proven that embracing releases oxytocin, the “bonding hormone”.  It was so amazing to watch people of all different classes and races let their guard down and just love.  To this day I will still give a very inappropriate hug the first time I meet someone.    
You miss it don't you?  Seek out contact.  Get a facial or a massage.  Hug your mom.  Squeeze grandma’s hand.   Love the one you’re with.  Life is too short to miss out on the amazing benefits of touch.