A whole month of full moons

What can I say? Just when I thought I was back on track, October laughs and says: Mwah, ha, ha, ha. Our family has faced some stormy weather. Every day has felt like a full moon, like we were all at the mercy of much greater forces beyond ourselves.

My sister always says that when life feels crazy and out of  control, you should get as quiet and still as possible. So as the autumn winds blew chaos into our lives, I put the family into love lockdown. We did only the most essential things and I let go of everything else. The blog had to be suspended. As much as I wanted and needed to write, my family was the priority and they needed me more.  And I’ll be honest, I’ve had some dark days. It was not a place I wanted to broadcast from anyway.

Skeleton Crew

I scaled our lives back to the bare bones. All of the unreasonable expectations and demands I usually put on myself were instantly discarded. On a bad day, getting us out for a bikeride and making dinner was enough. It’s funny that the things I do to help the kids really help me as well. The walk we took to burn some energy off the monkees will end up being the best thing I did for myself all day. The bike rides, trips to the park, family swims — they got us all through some rough days. The exercise and fresh air always help a body and it felt great to handle adversity in a positive way.

I really limited our commitments, I knew we just didn’t have it to give. I kept our days open and kept weekend plans to a minimum. I left the computer off for a day. And then a week. And then it broke for a week, which was a strange twist. It was only then, when it was being repaired and I couldn’t access it, that I really began to miss my on-line life. My beloved blog, my facebook buddies, hulu,  craigslist, jezebel and a renewed love affair with netflix instant view. I am a culture vulture, ya’ll. I’ve missed my media but it was the right thing.

Peaceful Warrior

I focused my energy on maintaining a calm and serene living space, which can only happen if I am calm and serene. As prior posts have mentioned, that is not a natural state for me. I am trying to learn better ways. During this crazy month, when I did have a few hours to myself, I used the time to calm and center myself. I took long hot salt baths or went to a yoga class. I had tea with a trusted confidante or watched shows that make me lol. And as the fear, stress and anxiety crept in, I worked to bless it and then release it. Each time, finding my way back to my calm center.

I began to see myself as a peaceful warrior. I always choose love, but sometimes you have to fight for peace. I enjoy the warrior poses in yoga, they are all about strength and stillness. I love to picture myself flying into battle in the noble warrior 1 position feeling strong and calm, ready for anything.

The mightiest warriors know to use the exact amount of force necessary, no more, no less. You do not want to over-react or under-react. Sounds like a mind like water, que no? And I believe a calm mind precedes a calm body. You can’t have one without the other. Thus the many, many hours of unbelievably hot baths coupled with quiet meditation that have helped keep peace in our home, literally and metaphorically.

A life of ease and well being

I have been listening to Sharon Salzberg Lovingkindness meditation. I have used this metta meditation a lot over the last few months. It’s about creating compassion, first for yourself, then for those around you, then for all living things. The meditation is very simple and it really has worked wonders. Any time I feel my brain reeling and my body tightening, I take slow deep breaths and repeat these four phrases:

May I be free from danger.

May I know mental happiness.

May I know physical happiness.

May I live a life of ease and well-being.

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