Reflections from Greece

john-william-waterhouse-miranda-and-the-tempestI feel a little sad that my adventure is over, for now. I’m back home after traveling alone to Greece, finding my way to the island where my friend was staying with her family. I felt nervous about going, knowing that I would be out of my comfort zone for more than two weeks. But my spirit felt happy, it felt like I was expanding and that I was being guided to take this journey alone, my husband being unable to join me.

I like my comforts. I like the known, yet I feel I’m being taught to be more outgoing, a little more daring. On my trip I found a strength that I haven’t felt in a long, long time.

Sometimes in the evenings I would write. I was on my own then and my thoughts flowed more freely. There’s something about the night that inspires creativity. I’m sure you have felt it as well.

Anyway, I felt too vulnerable to publish what I had written. I’m not exactly sure what makes me so afraid. I carry a strange feeling of having done something wrong, even when nothing has happened. I feel guilty all the time.

But here it is, a little something I wrote while being alone in a small cabin I had just moved to.

***

I did not bring a camera, so people won’t be able to see the beauties I’ve seen. They won’t see the view from my bedroom window, the moonlight on the ocean. They won’t see the flowers, the wind in the trees, magnificent sunrises and sunsets.

I did not remember to bring the camera, though I think I forgot it on purpose. Somehow it gets in the way. I don’t like it. Yet I do want to brag to friends and family by showing pictures from distant, exotic places. But that’s not very deep is it? Do you know what my favorite part of the Bible is? It’s only a sentence, and I don’t remember it word for word. Let me look it up…Ah, here it is:

 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

That part stayed with me more than anything else. I feel that’s what I want to do, to treasure up all my impressions and ponder them in my heart. When night comes I long to be alone so that I can reflect, and feel what the day has taught me. Sometimes I listen to music with headphones on and just feel myself sway to the beauty of it. Other times I write, or look at the stars. 

Being here. Just here.

le_ravissement_de_psyche-largeWhen I’m tired, when I feel drained I go outside and put my bare feet on the ground. I sit and look at the trees, watch them move in the wind, listen to the rustling of leaves. It feels like something inside of me is swaying with them, dancing beautifully.

The sounds of nature goes into me, heals me. I used to be so tired of the city. I’m glad we moved to the country.

During the meditation retreats that I used to attend, we would go for long walks and then sit a few moments in the forest. I wanted to stay there forever. I wanted to cry in relief at hearing only nature again. No cars, no shouting, no mechanical sounds of machines working.

I wanted to lie down and hug the earth, to feel it seep into my soul, nourish me, ground me. But I was too shy to do so, and remained sitting until we had to leave.

Now nature is at my doorstep, yet I don’t visit it often enough. There is so much to do and I measure a successful day in how many tasks I have completed.

And yet as I drank my tea this afternoon, my mind and nerves still buzzing with activity, I looked out the window at the trees and everything suddenly fell into perspective. It was as though I had forgotten there was a world beyond my own thoughts and worries.

Going deeper than my anxiety, the need to stay busy and get things accomplished, I was struck with the yearning to keep looking. What if I did that all day? What if all I did was to look at things, notice them fully, take in their beauty?

I knew I would feel guilty for not finishing my list of tasks, at the same time I was moved with the understanding of how valuable it was to take time to look at things, notice life.

And the more I look the more interesting things become. What if I could have the same enjoyment chopping vegetables for dinner?  Just being there, having nothing on my mind, nor being interesting in anything but chopping vegetables. Being present in life, my life, the one that will pass me by if I’m not truly here.

There is a simple peace in being here, right now. What a relief it is to just be here.

Passing Into the Mist

IMG_1856Something happens when it rains. The air gets a freshness to it that clears my mind, brightens my spirit. The last couple of days have been rainy, misty and quite magical. It’s been sunny almost every day since I moved to my new apartment and now I welcome the rain. I like to watch the little raindrops on the branches, being warm and cozy at home while hearing the wind and the torrent of rain in the distance.

Last night I was drawn into the mist. I brought my camera as I wanted to practice taking pictures for Photo Meditations that started last week. There were a lot of moments I wanted to capture. Magic was all around me.

There is something especially mysterious about a misty evening, perhaps because of all the stories about strange, enchanted creatures that hides in the fog. My mom would jokingly warn me to watch out for Tussene (Norwegian name for beings living underground) that would come out at dusk. I don’t think she knew just how wild my imagination got from her saying that. While playing outdoors I would imagine all kinds of creatures in eyeing me from the shadows.

Being outside I quickly got lost in the mist, the rain. My husband came out with me, but returned back home as I continue my journey down the road with camera in hand. Soon it got too dark to take pictures and I found myself just standing still, listening, feeling. Images from my childhood came to me, of playing outside late into the evening, sometimes with friends and having a blast. I remember being happy, careless. I did not question my right to experience joy, it was just the way things were. I remembered days and nights of rain, and deep puddles that I loved to play in. I had forgotten all about that part of my life.

I began to watch my thoughts, all those doubts and chaotic chatter. I focused in on my heart instead, trying to feel its guidance, asking it what to do. I turned my head upwards towards the rain, feeling the drops on my skin, on my lips. The air felt alive. I felt alive. I considered going home and I started to turn back, only to stop again, unable to leave that wonderful feeling that the night, rain and mist gave me. I wanted to sink into it all the way.

A car came towards me. It was my husband coming to look for me. It’s late he said as I opened the car door, you went out to take pictures and now it’s dark and it’s raining. What were you doing all this time? Feeling the rain I said, smiling and apologizing for making him worry.

 

 

 

Finding my way in life

boreas-largeA lot of times I want to write, but don’t. I want to express myself, but instead keep quiet. Fear takes over, fear of being visible and volnurable. Fear about what others might think of me. Guilt also nags at me, saying I’m never good enough and that I’m taking way too long to find my way in life. What is it that I want?

Herbs give me great joy and it is my dream to learn enough to be able to help people. As the new year began I decided to honor that dream and put new effort into my herbal studies. But my guilt is not happy. It asks me how I can make a living out of it, and how to tell other people that this is my chosen path. Maybe I’m imagining it, but I often feel judged for not having a ‘real’ job or a ‘real’ education. But I think in the end it’s me judging myself, and other people sensing my confusion.

I would like to share more of my feelings and thoughts with those who are coming to this site. I know that’s what I appreciate reading when visiting other people’s blogs.

The truth is that I’ve been struggling to find myself for years. My spirit and inner light has been drowned out by worries, guilt and grief for a long time. I lost my mom, dad and sister at a young age. I still miss them, and there is a pain that sits deep within me that it’s hard to reach, and when I do I break down in tears. Lately I’ve felt stronger, happier…but still confused about who I am, and what to do with myself. I have a husband that I love, and my life is good. I feel it is time to allow myself to express myself without fear, or at least write even when the fear tells me not to.

I want to spend time to listen to my heart. What is it saying? What does it need? What is it that brings me joy, and how can I use it to one day help others?

I would love to hear from you, to know what you think and feel. Do you know what truly brings you joy?

 

 

Listening

It’s interesting how sometimes when I meet total strangers they just start sharing their life with me. This happened to me only a few minutes ago. As I went outside to look at fireworks I ended up standing next to a neighbor that I had never talked to before. She was nice. And she shared a lot of things with me, painful things. I felt grateful that I was allowed to listen and be of that help to her. And I felt ashamed because I often judge people like her, like everyone. I look at them and I judge them terribly, without realizing that everyone has depth and stories to their lives.

Only a few days ago a man shared part of painful things in his life with me. This has happened to me throughout my life. Perhaps it’s normal, but I am wondering if I people feel they can talk to me even if they don’t know me? Maybe it’s a quality I have. I like to be a good listener, especially since I’m a bad talker. I’ve never been good at talking to people. I am shy and insecure of myself when I’m around people. I think that’s why I often judge people, because deep inside I feel hurt and scared that I’m not more easily outgoing. I’ve always wanted to be one of those people that can talk to someone about anything, silly everyday things, without any awkward silences. I’m not like that. I can talk about deep things, like the meaning of life and stuff, but especially in my teen years that was not something you would talk about.

I’ve often been upset with myself for being so “lame”. Now I’m slowly coming to accept that I am. Often quiet, and a deep thinker, but a little more secure of myself than I was. Listening to people stores makes my think of my own life too, of pain I have told myself to swallow and forget, and also about how good my life is. And I wish those people find happiness as well.

Finding space and time to study

I’ve decided to study herbs in the morning and also in the evening before I go to bed. This way I hope to get more focused on it instead of it being something I try to squeeze in here and there which until now has not really gotten me anywhere.

It’s very nice to bring my laptop from my office and have it on the kitchen table next to the bouquet of roses and a candle. I hope to have my little sanctuary here. I have my books open right now and I love reading about Chinese Medicine. I never thought I would to be honest, because in the beginning it seemed so strange and foreign to me. But as I learn more it starts to make sense. It’s actually very poetic.