My hands, oh, marvelous hands They are more than an instrument For survival and instinct. They hold what is dear. Protect and grasp. They lovingly clasp hands Overlapping the fingers of another Like a zipper All knit and closed up. They carry more than their weight And sometimes I burden them as I try to hold more than is manageable. They are in tune with the seasons Even when my head and thoughts are not. They reflect time and age. There is no denying the changing Shape and texture over the years. They hold my pen and Create shapes that move Across the page. They allow me to type and Send my stories across The globe. And with a click of a button, My hands reach out to you. My hands, Just for today, I will appreciate all you do, Routinized and mechanical at times, Without much thought You are always there for me. So today, I celebrate and thank you.
I welcome my mortality. It’s scary to share with another Thoughts of the impermanence of life. Perhaps it is too morbid a subject for some And it can really darken another’s mood. Once you hit middle age You begin to realize Half of a lifetime May already have been lived. Maybe one day you notice It takes the body longer to recover than it used to. Like I can’t roller skate as fast as before And my balance is a bit off-kilter. If today was my last day to live How would I want it to go? What would make my final moments Have meaning? Would I feel I’ve lived a well-lived and well-loved life? Or would I deeply feel the shortness of life And the reality that there isn’t enough time To do “all the things;” That there was more in this lifetime for me to experience? Checking things off a list or a life of comparison, wanting what they have even if it doesn’t resonate with you, isn’t the point. Each day I try to embody that life truly is a gift. And I intend to bring that appreciation And gratitude into all my days While I get to roam this earth.
The Cycle of Lack was a huge discovery and life lesson for me. It was the end of 2017 And it was the start of My growth and Feeling mastery in my maturity. I was no longer to blame or at fault for my sense of lack. Is it outside voices, ideals, projected lives Or circumstance that Makes me feel unfulfilled? Always grasping for more Feeling left out, left behind Feeling like I'm missing out And everyone else has their shit together? The grass is always greener over there And I’m stuck over here. It can feel hopeless. I may feel helpless and stuck. It’s hard to find motivation Let alone the momentum Required to create Positive change. When I take a breath, I can step outside of the Hamster wheel of Hurry and challenge And create space, A pause to examine The reverie of lack And ask: What would be enough? What am I craving In this moment? Is it love, companionship or Connection? Am I lonely? Do I crave alone time Or solitude? Do I feel like I’m being pulled In a million directions? Can I be kind to myself And notice one good thing That is going right? I created the cycle of lack in 2017, But it took four years to Find my way out of the center and learn that The magic of reframing lack to one of appreciation Can break the cycle. Will those thoughts creep up again? Of course. Life is full of its ups and downs. It may feel like there’s shortages In supply and energy. I know I can rest. And I can feel gratitude In what is enough Just right now Is all I need to break the cycle.
Jealousy can be a reminder of what I want my life to look like. How I want to spend my days being creative and comfortable, feeling safe to share my story. Of course, when I view others as having the life I’d like to embody, I’m not seeing the details, the work that it takes to get there. I just see the big picture and I want more of that in my life. Jealousy can be a metaphorical kick in the pants to take action toward my dreams. On the negative, jealousy can make me feel lack and blame that they took what was rightfully mine and I can never get it, or it was the only one and there is no other.
Comparison places others as being better or less than me. We are not equals in this game of life. It’s a game of competition, limited resources and the early worm gets rewarded. Yet, I always come up short or get the timing wrong. On the flipside, comparison can make me feel superior to others. I am better because I earned it and they didn’t. Or I feel guilt and cast shadows of doubt on my rewards in life.
Instead of jealousy and comparison, I’d like to feel prosperous, appreciative and at ease.
Prosperous, to me, is accepting all of the gifts that surround me. It is the innate knowing that I have all that I need. It stops the cycle of lack, blame and shame in its tracks. When I appreciate what I have, I’m better able to access the skills and wisdom that is already inside of me. I’d like to feel confident in my skills and abilities. I’d like to be at ease with my current circumstances and stop the inner and outer struggle to change reality.
Perhaps, if I make a daily intention to feel prosperous, to focus on appreciating what I have and be truly comfortable with myself, I will have the confidence to notice that when jealousy and comparison do crop up again, I have a choice. I can project a positive, optimistic outlook and it will come back to me. There really is enough for everyone. And what I have can never be lost or taken from me. I can genuinely feel happy for someone else’s achievements and I, in turn, am able to accept praise and compliments from others with ease and gratitude. Maybe those I may be jealous of today can be tomorrow’s friend or mentor. Our egos will no longer run the show when we show up with love and authenticity.
“What’s the good word?” Anthony, my coworker, asked. I paused a beat. Took a breath and thought: what is good right now; right at this moment?
“The sun is out today,“ I said casually. It had been a rainy stretch of days.
“There you go! I knew you had something good to say instead of the grumpy replies I usually get: same shit different day.“
We then talked about framing our perceptions and choosing. Do we choose to see the positive or the negative?
When we’re caught up in the negative chatter, it can feel hopeless. Like we don’t really have a choice. Life is just happening to us and all around us. And we’re just helplessly bouncing around at whatever life throws at us.
It can be hard to change that framework when you’re in the depths of a hurried life, feeling unfulfilled, and sensing lack at every facet of life. Hearing and seeing it as true and never asking if this is all there really is? Is there really not enough?
Scarcity abounds when the media is filled with images depicting lack.
“The world is on fire,“ Jeff said to me in the evening right before bed.
Is it really?
This year the Colorado River and Hoover Dam is dangerously low. Lack of water. Drought. Too many people tapping into a limited resource. Last year California was literally on fire with the great evergreens near Yosemite ignited and raging.
How do we put out the fire? Why is it either raging or empty? Where is the middle? The balance? It must be here somewhere.
In the end, it all comes back to perception. How will I perceive today?
Today I choose to see abundance as my creative words flow. I appreciate my breath, my A/C during this heat wave, my loves enjoying their summer. There’s enough to go to summer camp and take our vacation.
If we look for the good: What can I appreciate now? What is lovely and beautiful? What is the meaning and lesson without being bogged down with the nitty-gritty cycle of scarcity and lack?
I can see potential. Problem-solving becomes easier. And I don’t feel so alone in my suffering or joy.
I almost lost it all. One moment of self-doubt could have turned to tragedy. It couldn’t really be carbon monoxide. It must be faulty batteries, not a faulty furnace.
How I doubted myself. How it could have ended everything for me, for my life, for my neighbors in the building.
What I could have lost and missed out on: motherhood, adventure, marriage.
All lost in a moment if I didn’t move. If I didn’t follow through. If I didn’t make a phone call. All could have ended.
The earth gone black. Death by choking. Death in my sleep. Death all alone. Death all heartbroken. Leaving everyone I knew’s heart in pieces too.
Luckily, that’s not where my story ended. It was a rebirth. A renewal. A tangible bona fide appreciation of life.
How fragile it can be. How temporary it is. That every day is a gift.
My neighbors survived. My life was given new meaning. I am forever grateful for the lessons and cherish each day.
That basement apartment off of Gano Street? The final verdict: uninhabitable for human life. I called it home for a short three months. And it could have cost me my life!
My first time on my own. Living the dream of being an independent woman.
And I was afraid. I was lonely and heartbroken. Alone for the very first time. Unsure of what to do. Doubting my choices to leave, layering on guilt and remorse.
It could have all ended. But thank the stars it didn’t. My life is amazing these 14 years later. The beauty and gift of this one remarkable life.