This morning at 5:45am two of the other interns and I joined Adonna in a park overlooking Albuquerque to greet the summer sun. We sat in silence until it poked brightly over the mountains. Then we followed yoga and tai chi at our own pace, listened to Adonna read poems and finished by sharing watermelon.
Heels on clover,
Hello, first day of Summer,
Child’s pose, forehead on grass,
Like a thought by the mountains,
A hot air balloon glides past,
Blue sky becomes bluer,
Holding a half moon still,
Four bodies folding to feet,
The robyn stays true to the robyn.
Feeling movement beneath surface,
With that kind of tuning in,
We all long to slip within,
Sensing energy between finger tips,
Lifting hands, gathering to hearts,
Sending a part back out,
Unseen, yet strongly felt,
We stand and melt.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
I am grateful for the very deep conversations I had this week with several dear girl friends from that previous chapter of life in Santa Fe before this chapter at the Center for Action and Contemplation. In all instances, we talked for 2-3 hours at the level of conversation that we are having in the Stillpoint house (intern house) . There was a point in all the conversations where tears were shed and information was shared because it needed to come out and I was listening and holding that uncomfortable space with them with more presence and attention than I have been able to before. The quality of relationship was incredible. I also hiked to Nambe Lake with one of my friends from Santa Fe, along with T, and M. We sat in silence for 20-minutes at the top of the mountain by the lake. The water was still until I threw a stone into it as the dong to start the sit. When I got distracted in thought, I could open my eyes and take it all in. Going down the mountain, I went fast, fast, fast. We were trying to get back in time to meet C for lunch in the plaza. I thought nothing except where to put the next foot on the next stone going down, zigzagging like lightening.
The other thing I am deeply grateful for this week is my one-on-one with Sister Vinney because of what work it is helping to expose. Some part of me wishes I could meet with someone one-on-one like that more often. This was my first experience having any sort of spiritual direction. I appreciate the gentle shake the conversation gave me. The most essential message I have taken from it at this point is that I need to be stretched outside my personal ambition and be stretched to give to others on their time and not mine. What can I do about my remaining time here so that I leave feeling sufficiently stretched? The stretching will only happen if I can allow it and trust the unknown. I ended up rambling on too much I feel, but I guess what was brought to the surface was meant to be brought to the surface - as she said. It was difficult for me to find the words to express what I really wanted to say concretely rather than abstractly. The talk made me feel insecure and sad. I know this insecurity comes because I am used to being validated, when really I need to validate myself and not depend on other people for approval or be affected on the other spectrum by their judgement or criticism. At the same time, I left the conversation grateful and inquisitive about what she’d said. One thing she said that I did not understand was something to do with the personal. I looked up the word personal: – of, relating, or affecting a particular person: private, individual, personal ambition; done in person without intervention of another, also proceeding from a single person; having the qualities of a person rather than a thing or abstraction; intended for private use by one person.
So from that, the message I’m working through is the one that I was feeling when in Santa Fe: the struggle between personal drive and how I’ve learned to use the power of intention and will to attract abundance and giving that up to be lead instead. And that takes me back to the flying birds and the heart.
Than another touching person/spiritual director came into my life two days after meeting sister Vinney, an herbalist/massage therapist/spritiual director/acupuncturist who provides all these services for low income families in Albuquerque. The second I stepped into her office, I felt a sense of peace and release. She - Diane - was with patients most of the time. I'd come with a few other interns because one of the interns was going to help Diane fix a nasty computer virus, and I felt like tagging along and seeing what this lady, and her non-profit called Mother of Mercy, was up to here in Albuquerque.
Since my talk with Sister Vinney, I'd been struggling, feeling a bit guilty that I haven't experienced such pain in my life as some people have (though I have certainly suffered/gone thorugh my own hardships/difficulties as my mom reminded me and I have gone through it mostly with an optomistic attitude of getting on with it toward happy things afterwards). Anyway, I was starting to feel like, well, I better be prepared for rock-bottom experience if I want to transform. Then one of the interns reminded me that transformation comes either through great pain or through great love. The peace started to come back with her words, which I knew were true on a deep level. I have indeed experienced great love in my life and it is through that love that I have grown and unfolded - of course that is not to say that the great love did not cause pain as well. In fact, I'm sure Sister Vinney was giving great love - truth - and that also gives pain.
When Dianne came out from her patient's room to say good bye to us, she hugged us all. Before she hugged me, she looked me in the eyes with such compassion and warmth and said, "I can tell that you are a very sensitive soul. The world needs sensitive souls." She said these words to me as if she'd read my mind and listened to the conversation even though she'd been in the other room. Then she said, "Not all of us need to go through all that to get there" or something to that affect, and then she hugged me. And I left feeling like those words were exactly what I needed to hear right then to restore some peace in my life. She told us we could take any books or c.d.s from her table and I borrowed a book called "Beauty: the invisible embrace" by John O'Donohue. I've listened to some of his words before on c.d.s my dad lent me a few years ago. I am looking forward to reading more. Something inside is percolating now, getting hopeful... desiring to create again - out of beauty, optimism and joy.