Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Grace in the key of life

It's so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and then don't say it."-- Sam Levenson
December 1. My goodness. New month. New day. The last day of the month. Christmas month, parties, festivities and oh, did I mention... it's also my birthday month! And C.C.s too!

I love my birthday. Have never tired of celebrating it -- good thing I like it because if I tire of my birthday it might mean I tire of my life, and then what would I be? Tired out of living.

No. Don't want that.

I want to live in high gear. Soaking up every moment, draining every second of experience, sucking dry the well of life with every breath, breathing into the well of life with every exhalation, all the while exclaiming, Oh Yes! This is Life!

I don't know if it's the running out of the November blahs or just my frame of mind before the advent of December, but yesterday I said to a friend, "Oh oh. I'm feeling 'the bitchy' rumbling. I need to breathe a few moments before I walk into my meeting because if I let 'the bitchy' take hold, there's no telling how I might express myself." Because when 'the bitchy' arises, it's easy to let stupid thinking become the stinkin' expression of my angst-riddled thinkin' .

My friend laughed and told me how he never goes to 'bitchy'. For him, it's dipping down into sadness, which, if left to its own ministrations, turns to depression. he expresses it through dark clouds and stormy exclamations that can wreak havoc in the world around him. "I usually go off and hide when I feel the sadness coming on. I don't trust myself to be around other people. Who knows what might set me off?"

Most of us have them. Those 'moods' that descend seemingly out of nowhere to alter our outlook in the moment passing by with their cloudy dispositions. Those moods that, if left to their own devices, steal our peace of mind and inner balance with their insistence that angst-filled living is the only way to get satisfaction.

Like Mick Jagger and heartburn, "I can't get no satisfaction" from my angst. I just get more angst.

I know they are there, those hazy mood altering shadows that penetrate my well-being when I'm paying the least attention. It's not really all that important why, or what triggered them. Often, the trigger is as inexplicable as the mood. What is important is that I acknowledge its presence, greet it with love and set it free.

Like that poem that broken-hearted lovers espouse, If you love something set it free, if it comes back it's yours, if it doesn't, it never was.

Ill humour is never mine to hold onto.

Which is why, when I identify fissures of discord arising within me, breathing becomes my default mode. Breathe in. Breathe out. Slowly. Quietly. Breathe in. Breathe out. And as I breathe, ask for divine guidance, for sacred intervention to descend and open me up to expansion.

In expansion mode, 'the bitchy' has no room to grow. But when I'm contracted... watch out. She likes to get in there and flex her muscles. She likes to mess things up.

My wise friend Dave at Harmonious Flow recently shared with me his thinking on how to live in grace, "Gratitude and acceptance are states of being, not tools. Rejoice in whatever is occurring rather than attempt to deny or deflect it. Misery arises when I attempt to comprehend or “fit in” to my stories of what “should be”. There are no tools as there is nothing to fix."

The bitchy visited and I welcomed her in love. I am grateful for her presence. Though brief, she reminds me to breathe, to center once again in gratitude. She doesn't need fixing. I don't need changing. In the moment of acknowledging her presence, all I needed was to breathe and adjust my disposition to expand into love, not contract into fear. To be in the moment of grace, I simply needed to acknowledge her shadow and let her flow through me in gratitude into the light of love all around.

It is December. The world outside sleeps beneath a blanket of white downy snow. Inside my warm cozy home, the ones I love sleep. I hold them in my mind's eye and surround them with love.

I turn my sights to the world around me and let go of expectations as I open myself up to expansion and pour love into my day.

All is well in my world. May all be well in yours.



Maureen said...

This post reflects the reason that your blog is so perfectly named. Self-awareness that lets you recover your joy.

We'll have to celebrate your birthday.

Warm hugs.

M.L. Gallagher said...

Ah yes -- the celebration!

It's the 9th -- wink wink :)

Anonymous said...

pray all your days are full of sunshine and happiness. you so deserve them.


Anonymous said...


happy ____ birthday on the 9th .. in advance

your itchy twitchy bitchy is a feature I understand a bit - have some of that too

venting is good

talking out loud in silence helps

talking out loud to/with the other party is even better

I've been doing some of that lately with remarkable results

happy December,


Joyceann Wycoff said...

From one Sagittarian to another ... yay December! (mine's the 17th!)

S. Etole said...

You do make my heart smile ... will be celebrating you, as always.

katdish said...

I fight this, too. You're right... breathe...