Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wee, whee, wii, I want to go home!

(Title from "This little piggy went to market")

We always seem to buy toys much earlier than Christmas. I'm ok with that. Over a month ago we bought a Nintendo Wii (the special Red edition that includes a copy of Mario Bros.) and a Wii Fitness Plus balance board and program. And of coures the extra doohickies that you need to make it all work, and some games.

Boy, is this thing fun. I'm wishing for snow days to stay home and play. The Wii Fitness Plus program is pretty great. It tracks the different exercises you do, how long you spend on it, it can measure your BMI and weight (if you choose to do that daily test). It really does make 'working out' fun.

Also, I am starting to get hooked on Mario Kart. I'm not very good at it, but it IS fun. I even think Santa might have gotten us some Mario Kart Wii Steering Wheels, but I'm not sure. I can't quite see any presents that look that shape. Maybe it's hidden in one of those larger packages . . .

Wrapping nostalgia

Sunday afternoon I spent some time wrapping presents. As someone with a family background of serious wrapping techniques, it was a bit disconcerting that I only had two different rolls of wrapping paper to choose from, and I was getting low on Scotch tape. But even harder, which I recall from last year, is wrapping presents on a wood floor with static cling problems, compounded by the fact that I haven't swept the hair or dust up in several weeks. Oh well. Happy wrapping!

My family tradition is wrapping presents to completely disguise them. I guess my mom got sick of us kids feeling the presents and guessing that "this feels like a watch with a pencil tucked in to throw me off" and being right about it. This lead to some very special and/or elaborate wrapping sessions. We would plot and ploy how to disguise something so no one would be able to guess what it was. We sometimes had to save boxes (from cereal, crackers, whatever) for months ahead. (Or maybe my memory gets ahead of me. It only seemed that way with all our plotting.) It definitely makes it more fun to watch someone open a present when they have no idea what it is.

I enjoy those memories, and still try to carry on the tradition. Only surprises when opening presents from me! Just don't mind the hair or two that got caught in the tape as I wrapped it on my wood floor. :)

More lessons from October

I realized that the very same day I let go of a voice mail message, and the associated emotional baggage from 3 years earlier, I also went out and bought a pack of crocus bulbs. I love how crocus flowers look, and that they are among the first to blossom even popping through the traces of melting snow come Springtime. I took time to plant these crocus bulbs, setting an intention for growth, healing, and a wonderful surprise of blossoms in the Spring. I still think of them, now covered in a few feet of snow.

Whether or not these crocus bulbs bloom (though of course I hope they DO!) they are still a touchstone or hopeful thought for me. I can look outside, and know that even now, something wonderful is sitting beneath the surface, waiting to be released. I've always got something good to look forward to!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Lessons from October

Yes, this post is months later, but I want to share about an extremely valuable lesson I learned in October. I've wanted to write about this, and Molly's blog post of December 5th rings this lesson even more loudly into my heart.

Molly shared in her blog post that her brother died this past July. This was the brother that had somehow threatened her family, and instigated them completely cutting themselves off from the rest of her family.

Boy does this echo familiarly in my heart. In early October, one Saturday after my yoga class, I came home and checked the caller ID on the phone. I saw the number of a friend, and went to listen to see if there was a message.

My friend had not left a message, but I heard the start of a message that had been saved and saved and resaved. I skipped it as soon as I started to hear it, because whenever I started to hear this particular message, my anger and temper would rise. I listened to old messages and cleaned out the list. I thought about my 'skipped' message, and realized we had saved it through two or three moves, and about 3+ years.

Thanks to yoga, I was feeling calm and centered, and I decided to face this message (demon) and confront it, rather than hide and get mad every time I heard it.

The message was from my aunt. It had to be shortly after I announced that I had left the LDS Church, because I remember the call I had with my aunt that day so many years ago. She was telling me what love really is (and she thought how my spouse treated me was not love). I remember feeling SOOO angry that I was shaking and hung up on her, and then yelled "Fuck you [name]!" because I couldn't say it to her over the phone. (If it were now a days, I'd have the confidence to tell her that personally.) I was just so fed up with everyone telling me what my life SHOULD be like.

Well, she called back, and of course I did NOT answer. Her voicemail is the one that I saved. All that I originally recalled is that she threatened my spouse's life. This is why my family does not know where I live. You don't take death threats as a joke. (I'm sure Molly can relate to that.)

As I listened to the voicemail that October morning, from a calm, centered place, I finally heard what she said. She was concerned. I heard her say that she was afraid for me and her family. She accused my spouse of not being normal, and if spousie ever hurt anyone in her family, then, well then she made her threat.

What I saw this as was a very weak, fearful woman, lashing out and trying to act tough and protect herself in the only way she could--by making threats. I finally realized how powerless she must have felt. I thought about this, and I chose to let it go. I finally heard her message, and I chose to let it go.

I stepped outside and went to find a tree to hug. Trees are very grounding (I've used Molly's "Grounding" flower essence, which has lots of tree essences in it). I went and stood next to our walnut tree and wrapped my arms around it. I hugged it and asked for it to help ground me, to help me let go of the negative emotions and to just let go of this bad experience. As I stood there embracing my beloved walnut tree, I realized I had selected the perfect tree for the task! Our walnut tree was the only tree to already have shed all of its leaves. It truly was my teacher and helper in "letting go" of unneeded and unneccesary baggage. It was time.

I felt a huge weight lift from me.

Granted, I still feel estranged from my family, and I feel bad that my aunt, in her well meaning attempt, was the catalyst that pushed us away from each other. Her actions out of fear probably hurt her sister (my mom) more than it did to help her feel any better or stronger.I still have high hopes for healing the rift with my family.

The next morning, after letting go of this traumatic experience, I instinctively or unconsciously began to clear out my office. I believe I had created space in my mental, emotional and spiritual planes, now I began to work on my physical plane.

October was a great month for letting go. Thank goodness for October! It was definitely a celebratory time of letting go!