Stripping Away

I’m tired of hiding.

I spend so much time covering up.  Thinking and rethinking the words I want to say. Weighing their potential outcome. Measuring whether they’re valuable. Talking myself out of saying anything at all. It’s too much work this not being enough.  What shape am I forcing myself into and for what? For fitting in, for avoiding awkward situations, for looking acceptable to the outside world, so that I am indeed accepted as me.  That’s not me though the filtered facade I put out there.

I hide my wit, my sense of humor, my goofiness.  I hide my deep feelings and sensitivity, playing un-phased all the time.  I hide my fears, faking strong. I hide my worries, to appear to have it all together.

I’m so done with maintaining appearances.  I can’t do it anymore. But why then is it a thing so deeply ingrained in me. I can’t possibly separate from it without ripping out the other vital systems that keep me going.  It’s become such a part of me there will be this gaping hole without.

I hide in the shadows. Out of view, out of judgment. Those who stay in the shadows get judged all the same though.  We end up being judged by what we withhold.

I want to show myself, be myself, just as I am.  Not scared but brave, owning my story, my voice, my self.  Not apologizing for it, just living it.  It’s too fucking tiring to try any other way.

Marriage

Understand, I’ll slip quietly

away from the noisy crowd

when I see the pale stars rising, blooming, over the oaks.

I’ll pursue solitary pathways

through the pale twilit meadows,

with only this one dream:

You come too.

– Pathways by Rainer Maria Rilke

A Prayer for the Home

Mezuzah in Kauai

Mezuzah in Kauai (c) Open Hearted

I became Jewish in the spring of this year.  I’m not an overtly religious person, but I enjoy the spiritual comfort of finding home in a religious framework.  I’d grown up without one and started exploring Judaism after I met my husband.  H is not particularly religious either, but considers himself without a doubt Jewish.

One of my favorite Jewish traditions is the mezuzah a little bit of parchment with prayers written upon it, wrapped up tight inside a small box hung on the doorpost of Jewish homes.  I always feel comforted when I walk by ours, reminded that our home is a blessed one.

The first thing I noticed about this little cottage we’re staying in, in Kauai, was the mezuzah at the door post.  One glance made me feel connected to the people who owned this home and the place.  The words were quite fitting too: “May this home be blessed with peace and tranquility.”

That is exactly what we have found here.

Finding Bliss

Morning View from the Lanai (c) Open Hearted

Morning View from the Lanai (c) Open Hearted

I found pure blissed out heaven this morning. We woke up to this view from the back porch of the tiny cottage we rented in Kauai.  H and I planned this trip with about five days notice deciding on a whim that we needed to get up and out of San Francisco for a while.  H is in between jobs and headed in to a challenging work environment. We’re staring down the last three months of my pregnancy before our family becomes three. Time keeps rushing by us at breathtaking speed.  We needed to create a calm moment for ourselves. I’m hoping we find even greater joy on the other side of this birth, but the uncertainty and total relinquishment of control is stressful.

We came to Kauai for our honeymoon a year and a half ago and it was less than a perfect trip.  The hotel was like a parking lot in the middle of a golf course (stay away from the Westin Kauai).  We hadn’t done much research on the weather and weren’t prepared for the dramatic thunderstorms common on the North Shore.  The emotional overwhelm of the wedding made it really hard for me to relax and enjoy. I was overjoyed to be married to H, but the sheer overload of feelings around the wedding left me a little shell-shocked.  Ever since we finished that trip, I’ve wanted a redo on our honeymoon.  Now became the perfect time.

Coming back I had a completely different attitude, open to whatever experience was in store for us.  This morning I found the peace and stillness that I usually only get for a moment or two at the end of a really great yoga practice.  I wish I could find this kind of joy and stillness in the midst of my every day life in San Francisco – tap into gratitude and find the beauty and joy in the every day.  We’re only on day one of the trip and I know I’ll come home restored, my well filled up again to overflowing.  It will be more than enough to sustain me through this next transition and I’m very grateful for that.

Every Day is a Good Day

Every day is a good day.  I try to remember that as often as I can, but I usually only remember it on the really wonderful days or the really terrible days.  Thankfully today was a wonderful one.  I don’t know exactly what it is, but I feel like I hit my stride today.  I’ve found some level of acceptance with all of the physical changes brought about by the pregnancy – nonexistent energy, an increasingly round body, psychotic hormones, brain fog and more.  With a lot, a lot, a lot of mindful practice I’m doing a better job of staying in the moment too.  If I don’t, I get swept up in all of the uncertainty of not knowing what my life is going to be like in four months when our family of two becomes three.

I have to learn over and over again that worrying doesn’t actually accomplish anything.  I read somewhere (and ha! just remembered where) that worrying is meditating on a bad outcome.  My first thought was well of course. This simple way of framing worrying has changed things for me so much. It helped me get over it by seeing how much energy I pour into things not working out how I want them too.

I think the other big piece of feeling so good lately has been tapping back into gratitude.  I read this woman’s story the other day (be warned it had me in tears).  It’s a really powerful example of finding the gift in a really hard situation and tapping into the gratitude.  When I remember to be thankful, I remember that I have enough of everything I need, that I am enough just as I am. It helps everything.