Archives for Love
My grandmother is a sly sage (as so many of our grandmothers seem to be). On our most recent wander through her backyard, when I casually commented on her magnolia tree, she paused and replied, “Yes, we have a lot to learn from the garden…” And so we do. It’s been a pretty bleak time for me over the last couple of years. (Which is why I took a break from blogging). Lots of changes driven by heartache and pain. As sometimes seems to happen in life… The walls of my internal garden during that time have housed next to nought, as necessity overshadowed nourishment, and everything ended up neglected and parched. And though I kept ‘ploughing-on’ through the days, somehow I forgot to plant new seeds… So the field’s been kind of empty for a while. Do you know that feeling? Perhaps only too well. So many of us do, at some time or other. And as Valentine’s Day approaches, this kind of stuff just seems to get harder, harsher, the contrast highlighted by all the ‘lurve’ and flowers in the air. It seems easier just not to look; at the hype; at the self. And then, walking up my back steps the other day, I saw it anyway. A vine untangling and growing beneath my very house. Right there, in the dark and the dust. Neglected, not watered, but flourishing anyway. A vine of verdant hearts. (That’s it in the photo above). Yes, we have a lot to learn from the garden…
Are you over Mother’s Day yet? And by that I mean, have you recovered from it? Healed again? Found your balance after the stormy emotions it might have rained down on you? Because for many people this single day in the calendar echoes painfully in their hearts for much, much longer – sometimes days, sometimes weeks. It can unleash all kinds of sadness and despair. Why? There are many reasons… Maybe you don’t even know if you’re ‘allowed’ to call yourself a mother just yet.
I was winding my way through the early morning rush hour at the station, past crowds of people blurring by, when this strange little moment of stillness opened up. And then I saw it: a lost sole. (In the picture, above). A visual metaphor, reminding me of the times I’ve felt a bit like a lost soul myself. Or the times I’ve spoken with clients in counselling who felt they’d lost touch with their sense of soul and the things that really mattered to them. Have you ever felt that way? Where maybe some part of you was lost? Disconnected? Maybe covered over by sadness or grief? Or buried alive under a pile of convention or expectation that you felt you “should” live up to? Or maybe you just became so busy you gradually lost sight of it? There are so many ways to lose touch with what really matters in your life – to let the everyday grind take over instead. Or to let habits or old thought patterns get in the way. Sometimes it’s important to take a step back and reconnect with yourself. To remind yourself of what you want this life of yours to be all about. To find yourself again. But how might you do that?
I happened to spy this leaf on the path the other day. I was on my way to somewhere else and had my mind on other things, and could easily have walked right past it. Yet there it was. Torn. Battered. Lost. And now found. (And in the shape of a heart because of all those things, not despite them).
I came across a little piece of eternity the other day (there it is in the photo, above). Or, more precisely, it came across me. Tumbling towards me on the footpath. Blowin’ in the wind*. Ok, so it was also just a loose page of a newspaper, blowing around the street, with an advertisement on it featuring a stone angel pointing towards a single word: “Eternity.” Just a banal moment of dodging some floating flotsam on my way home. And a bit of a wake-up call. What do you do when eternity comes barreling right down the street at you? I picked it up. And could suddenly feel my heart beating. I took it with me. What will you do with yours? (Your eternity). (Your heart).
For many people I know (and for myself at times), 2011 has been quite a hard year. It's held times of real challenge, times of worry, times of loss. Yet there were still beautiful bits that sparkled through it in the light. Has it been that way for you? As we all get ready to farewell 2011 and open a new calendar for 2012, perhaps it's worth reviewing, for a moment, what we're actually leaving behind. And what, if anything, you might like to carry forward with you into your future. For there are clues written into this past year that can help you uncover what's important and fulfilling to you, how to invite more of that in, and how you want to live your life. Let's take a look...
I took a different route to work yesterday. And I saw different things. Suddenly, in a gap between buildings, I spied this view in the photo, above: stairs and a distant clock face above them. A thought struck immediately: "Take the steps to make the time..." And then, a heartbeat later: "... time for the things that matter." I had to stop for a second, to drink it in and let all the bustling commuters around me blur on by. So what are those things for you? The things that matter? Life can change at a moment's notice - we all know this. Profound, unexpected change where the things we previously took for granted become the things we miss, for we can no longer experience them in quite the same way again. At least for now... At the moment, I'm getting lots of reminders of this. Lots of losses, big and small, in my own life, and in the lives of those close to me. I guess it comes back to our fragility. Our mortality. Our passage through the (limited) time we have. And our ability to recognise what really matters to us, so we can live it, love it, while it's here in our hands.
Yep, it’s that time of year already – again. Welcome to the season that packs so much into itself: The “silly season” The season of goodwill Of giving and receiving Of remembering or maybe even trying to forget… Of balancing extra pressure and expectations Of anniversaries and reflections; joy and pain. It’s a complicated time of year… So as you prepare yourself for whatever shades of the seasonal spectrum that you will face this time, maybe it’s work asking: What will you give yourself this year? (And you know I’m not talking about the material stuff here). Or perhaps it’s easier to think about what you might like to receive from yourself?
Written in careful chalk along the the bare brick walls of a house a few streets away from where I live, these words (in the photo) seem to form a kind of urban haiku: "Love is a place" Does that feel true for you? Is that how you could perceive of love? If so, where is this place of love in your life?
Welcome to Part 3 of this interview with Dr Harville Hendrix, co-founder of Imago Relationship Therapy and internationally renowned bestselling author of “Getting the Love You Want.” Here, Dr Hendrix starts out by talking about how neuroscience might impact who you are in relationships, too: For the past two or three years I’ve been reading a lot on brain research, and the brain people seem to agree … that an integrated brain is the function of an integrated context, and that that is the neurophysiological basis for a sense of psychological wellbeing. And no matter what you do to try to shape-up your psychological life, if you don’t have brain integration [and relationships] in the balance, you’re not going to feel good; you’re going to feel anxious.