Ever had that kind of feeling where circumstances seem to line up in a way that a critical message is being delivered? That maybe it's been being delivered for a long time, and it's had to get increasingly amplified, intensely obvious, for you to hear it?

And it's not just you who is hearing it – the people around you hear it too, probably long before you did…

Yeah. Me too.

For me the message is coming through the deaths of family and community members.

It's not an unusual thing for people left in the wake of personal loss to rethink their lives. Some folks go beyond the thoughts and take actions that dramatically alter how they live their lives. It's as though in our moment of shock and grief we recognize for the first time that OUR life is something we get to have for ever so brief a moment.

That's the experience I'm having.

I've long questioned the “reality” I've crafted for myself. What I'd not yet done was let go of that reality that bound me for so long. I'd donned a mantle of unexpressed grief and destructive beliefs at so young an age, and built upon it over so many decades only to arrive at yesterday, at a particular point in time where my former husband asked me four simple questions posed by the wise and wonderful Byron Katie

The “reality” Gary helped me distinguish is this: I have believed for the majority of my life that it is my duty to be completely exposed, to be at the beck and call of my community, to serve that community selflessly and at great sacrifice to my own being.

The questions my dear friend took be through were these…

  1. Is it true?
  2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
  3. How do you react when you think that thought?
  4. Who would you be without the thought?

Initially I could not answer the 4th question. I could not imagine a me that did not adhere to that “Joan of Arc” version of who I knew myself to be. Then he asked me this: “What are three things in your life that no one else has influence or control over?”

The answer came fast: 1) Being Mom; 2) my art; 3) my writing.

It was a powerful moment to be so clear about these things. And I was surprised that no where in my mind was there a thought about the organization I founded and run, or the positions I hold on certain committees, or my role as advocate and knight-in-shining-armor or its polar opposite of damsel-in-distress.
Mom. (Um..for me this is the ultimate expression of love.)
My art. (I truly like and am inspired by my own work.)
My writing. (There is much I want to say.)

I have the extraordinary good fortune to be in communities of people who are master practitioners of loving kindness (even the folks who are not Buddhist). And just as I see and help grow the potential and inclination of the people I've been honored to work with over the years as educator and mentor, I am now the recipient of such attention.

So, today I continue the remodeling of this website and my life with a fresh view about who I am and what I am about.

And as with each step I have taken in the reclamation of my self, I am in awe of the love with which I am surrounded, and filled with joy at being alive in this moment.

I thank the Universe for its mallet, and am ever grateful to the people who continue to love and believe in me even when I have despaired in my own self.

Love,

A.