Monday, August 30, 2010

How much does a number weigh?

“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” Leroy (Satchel) Page

What’s in a number? In my "former" life I was an accountant surrounded by numbers day and night. Combine a conservative Christian, basically fundamental background with a profession where everything balances neatly and you don't have much room to consider the unknown. Interesting, huh? Now the "new me" finds myself living in a more mysterious, less objective, certainly not as concrete existence with LOTs of space allowed.... and still I find numbers can carry their own weight.

As I mentioned here, I’ve been working with a life coach whose specialty is weight issues. Professionally speaking, however, I must remind myself that the presenting issue is rarely the real issue. Participating via supportive group sessions and online discussions, I quickly found myself feeling fabulous, fit and lighter in every sense of the word. So, one day while at the gym, I decided it was time to step on the scales - fully expecting the number to reflect this supremely satisfied me. As I pushed the little weight counter over to the balance point, I was horrified (and deeply disappointed) to find there was NO movement since the last time I weighed several weeks before. (Gasp!!) What’s a girl to do? Let a piece of metal take away my mellow? I almost let the scales win, but quickly realized I much prefer feeling light & easy rather than heavy-laden with the makings of my own mind. Thanks to the great support of other fabulous women, I rallied and didn’t let myself go into a tail spin. But, oh my, the power of that silly number!!

Now while I could expound for hours on the subject of weight and body image, I wanted to relay another experience with numbers I had today. Per my last post, I spent the majority of two full days in my closets – sorting, pitching, and recycling those things that no longer serve me well. If I don’t love it or have an immediate functional use for it, out the door it went. I saved my personal closet for last as I had cleaned it only a couple of months ago, but this time I was ruthless. I dug into corners that haven’t been seen in MANY years. I found jewelry, I’d forgotten I lost. I tried on pants and skirts that have become too large for my slimmer self. I vacuumed and dusted nooks and crannies – organized necklaces and scarves and earrings – pitching anything without a mate and forgetting my previous motto, ‘Well it might turn up... (or) I might need this...’

In this heroic effort, I saved the cream of the crop to take to the resale shop down in the village. Included in the two bursting bags were jewelry pieces, strappy sandals, a practically new leather coat and a variety of well-made clothes I hate to think how much their original cost. Dressed in a sassy skirt having just come from work, I loaded up the bags and went to make my fortune in resale. I patiently waited as the young twenty-something clerk plucked through my things, making what I thought were two piles and feeling assured the larger pile was definitely the ‘keeper’. She finally finished and with a perky smile and polished tone announced, “We’ve decided to keep three pieces today, so the cash available to you is $9.45.” $9.45?!?!?!? Are you kidding me? I spent two days cleaning and sorting, saved my best stuff for you and all that’s worth $9.45? These last words, of course, spoken only in my mind.

Numbers. What’s a girl to do? Throw a fit? Cry? Devalue the super light feeling I felt after clearing away all that clutter? Tempting, but No Way!! A little convertible time, some good music and a trip to the charity center to drop off my very valuable donations is helping lift the power of this particular number ☺. Oh my, I do continue to learn so much about myself. I noticed that I wanted to drive immediately to the bakery or the smoothie store and sooth my wounded little pride. My inner whiner was sulking big time! “Waaahhh. They didn’t want our stuff.”
“Thanks, kid.” I gently consoled. “But I'm not buying into the whining this time. Numbers are just numbers… and
we get to decide the weight we want to give them.”

So, that’s my current numbers game. Things don't always add up so neatly and the mystery continues. I wonder how much a heavy attitude weighs? Next up in the potentially impacting numbers category? My birthday. Hmmm…. How old would I be if I didn’t know how old I am?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Door #1, #2 and #3

“All truth is one rarefied yet earthly room, but our awareness often is outside. We need to open a particular door and go through its conditioning chamber, gradually preparing ourselves to be able to see and respond in the subtle, awesome, caressing light of that spacious room.” -- Tilden Edwards

As anyone who’s followed this blog for awhile knows, I’ve been stalked by crows, danced with dolphins and stepped into more than a few foreign lands. Today, I’m here to write about mysterious doors - doors (& gates) that have been intensifying their pursuit of me over the last week.

Sunday while preparing for the Eucharist at Camp Cross women’s retreat, I glanced in the chair I had randomly chosen and picked up a blank mandala left there. Curious, I turned over the page and read this mandala is called “Gates of Death”. It speaks of the stages of my own journey and offered these words:

“You may feel compelled to turn your back on your accomplishments, to forgo security, or to let go of the way things have been, and step through a gateway to a mysterious unknown. This commences a journey downward, into the depths of yourself.”

Oh my... when I read those words I began to laugh as my upcoming pilgrimage to the Sinai Desert came to mind. I showed them to my sis sitting to my left and we giggled like little girls who’d been let in on a wonderful secret. Just in case we’d forgotten there’s a mysterious power greater than all of us… the message came through loud and clear! I will call that Door #1.

Door #2 became boldly apparent yesterday afternoon during a group phone call with my life coach when I volunteered to assist with an exercise. I was called upon to describe the room in my house with which I’m least satisfied. For some “kooky” reason, I chose the closet in my office. As I described its contents – a mess of other people’s stuff I can’t get rid of – some good things I can’t get to – a little window that lets light in, but I can’t access it because the door’s usually closed – Tonya patiently repeated my words, took some notes and then posed the question, “What area of your life might this room represent?” I get chills even now and the words again infuse all the way through my body. “My writing,” I announced without hesitation. Again, Oh My!!

Tonya’s charge to me? Not to start writing, but to physically clean out that closet and see what happens next. Whew... that's what I call a step of faith. So, I have a date with my husband for this afternoon and we’re going to turn on some nice music, roll up our sleeves, maybe even dance a little as we clean behind Door #2.

You know there had to be at least one more. Door #3 peaked in on me yesterday, but I didn’t realize it until this morning. I’ve been working with a few new SoulCollage® cards I made last weekend and one more card insisted on coming into the mix. It’s one that’s been around for awhile, but I haven’t spent much time with it. So… after reading Tilden Edwards quote (above) during my morning quiet time, my mouth dropped open & the giggly feeling rose up when I realized what’s on that card – a woman sitting in front of a huge closed gate/door… And believe me when I say, she has a lot to talk about!!

For now, I'll close with these snapshots of doors 1, 2 and 3. It’s a good thing I’ve spent the summer becoming physically solvent, since it looks like there’s a lot of adventure and mystery waiting to be let into the light. I hope you’ll stick around and journey with me!!

How about you? Any doors in your life beckoning for attention? Are there rooms in your ‘house’ awaiting a face-lift? Me? I’m off to de-clutter and see what happens next!

a very scary door #2
'the gatekeeper' © lucy

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Soulful Travel

" If we truly want to know the secret of soulful travel, we need to believe that there is something sacred waiting to be discovered in virtually every journey. "

--Phil Cousineau

As summer slowly draws to a close and the nip of fall enters the Pacific Northwest air, I find myself dreaming of journey. This may seem an odd perspective as the traditional season of summer vacation wanes, however, journey speaks to me of something further reaching than trips.

That said, travel offers a unique opportunity to explore outside our usual surroundings. Personally, I'm preparing for my fall pilgrimage to the Egyptian Sinai Desert which I find both exhilarating and a bit frightening as I step into the unknown mysteries of a faraway and ancient land. However, it is no more exciting to me than what lies ahead as the seasons change - or even as I awaken each new day.

My recent edition of diamonds in the soul is dedicated to new and upcoming opportunities to step into your own "soulful travel" while exploring the depths of your unique presence. I hope you'll consider where your heart may be tugging you this season. Perhaps one of the remaining spots in a Soul Care group or an evening of SoulCollage®. I'm accepting new clients for counseling and spiritual direction and will be offering online and virtual experiences, too.

Your fall travel may sadly have nothing whatsoever to do with me, AND I'd love to hear where your heart moves when you think of journey!!

To stay "in the know" about my upcoming offerings - both live and virtual - be sure to sign up for my
diamonds in the soul monthly newsletter if you haven't done so already. (See the sidebar).

See you soon!!

photo august on the kingston ferry ©lucy

Saturday, August 14, 2010


My thoughts are fleeting. I want to write to capture my essence - my soul - the world reflected in my eyes and mirrored in my heart. I love this time of silence today - a time I haven't easily carved out in these full days of summer. In this moment - gentle fan blowing - ipod softly playing - the monks have joined me again. I am a monk in the world. One who finds beauty and calm in the midst of the chaos.

Life continues to throw hard balls and curves. I duck and dodge like a ninja - feet firmly planted while body bends and turns. I want to stay grounded - to be like the ancient Irish tree - reaching into the earth and stretching toward the heavens. The light in my eyes flickers - when I open the door to an unwelcome message - when I rush around and feel cranky with my husband - when I jump up from bed and hurry to the next thing - when I charge out the door to yoga - something feels very wrong about that...

And so, I settle into my blue-flowered cocoon in this light of morning and I dream I am in Bermuda with the ocean breeze flowing across my skin. I am centered and calm - a prayerful stance - floating above the ground yet still fully connected to the Universe. God is with me - around me - within me. Earth uncovered. Soul recovered and reclaimed. It only takes a moment - less than 10; smaller than 5 - to connect - re-find & re-gather. I have come back to center.

I must be nourished and fed. This feeds me. God. Silence. Gratitude. Slowing down. What can I give up for 10 minutes each day? Sleep. E-mail. A rigid schedule. There's always a few minutes for restoration. I need this. I love this. My ritual is my writing. How could I have forgotten that? My writing is my ritual.

And you? Where do you find nourishment? What might you have forgotten? Is there a piece of you you'd like to reclaim or re-gather? It only takes a moment...

per special request - a new photo of aslan - 're-gathering'

Wednesday, August 04, 2010