Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Two houses

I have wanted to live in Boulder all of my adult life and now I do. Not only that but I live in my dream house. Our house was built as if expressly for Gary and I.
Because I tend to focus on what's missing, I have looked hard to find what is missing and haven't yet. It sure messes with that strategy. I still go to Denver on Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday to work and participate in my other activities here. I have even put, " This is my Denver counseling office on my phone message." My Denver house , although I still love and appreciate it doesn't feel like home anymore. My new house in Boulder feels like paradise. I love being up in the hills and the view is so soothing to me. The truth is that even though I feel incredibly blessed to live there, it doesn't feel like home either. It is hard for me to talk about this on my blog because I judge myself, "How can I be whining about not being at home in either of my two houses? Give me a break. Some people would give anything to have one house. What a greedy little brat you are." This is another opportunity to notice how strong my judging mind is and how unkind I can be to myself and to practice conscious kindness with myself.I can soothe myself by saying to myself, "I am here for you with what you are feeling." and go down into my body to feel the emptiness that is underneath the story. Feeling the emptiness lets me know I am moving really fast and have been disconnected from myself. I am even typing this blog really fast because I have been immersed in the sense of not having enough time since I began to live in two houses. It seems so challenging to do all I need to do in both places and to remember what I need to have when I am going from one house to another. My daughter grew up with two houses from the time her father and I split up when she was six and a half. She would leave a piece of clothing she wanted at her other house and all of her feelings of anger and grief would come tumbling out. It gives me a lot more empathy for what she went through. I also know that feeling like a place being home takes time. Maybe it takes a whole year of going through all of the events that occur in a year. Maybe feeling at home developes gradually a little at a time until one day there is a realization of a deeper sense of comfort and safety. It is an adjustment to live with Gary. I am used to only really relaxing when I am by myself. I have been noticing my rules about what I can and can't do when I am around him and bringing awareness to them. Some I am ready to challenge and some I notice and table action on them for later. I have started calling my friends and family around him and I haven't started going to yoga classes when we are together. At least I am no longer picking a fight with him to get alone time. That is progress. I am so used to us seeing each other so infrequently that I need to relax into knowing there is enough time for me to do what I want to do. That is the pervasive theme in my life right now, that I run around acting as if there isn't enough time to relax and do what I want to do. The first step is to notice the urgency and breathe into it. I paused from writing this and took three deep breaths. In the middle I looked at my clock and started to figure out if I could make juice, call Gary at his Mom's and get to my Wings group on time. This slowing down process could takes some serious work. It's not that I wasn't urgent before. It seems like the urgency division of my ego identity has run amuck. Compassion is needed. Conscious kindness would be to notice the urgency and show up for myself lovingly rather than judging myself for it. The urgency police will not help with the sense of urgency. Forgiveness and acceptance will help. I notice that accepting being overwhelmed makes life less overwhelming. I think part of this adjustment is to continue to set clear priorities about what is important to me to do and what is less important. Also having patience with myself as I adjust to my new life will be helpful. I want to remember to say woo hoo to myself each time I notice the urgency and each time I allow myself to breathe deeply, too. Writing this blog is very important and I am very grateful to have this forum to share my process and see it reflected back to me. I appreciate your reading this. I wish you all a New Year filled with conscious kindness, taking care of yourself and showing up for yourself to experience whatever is in your path.
With love,

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Costa Rica

The weather was warm and clear in Montezuma, Costa Rica, where we were renting a lovely vacation home about a fifteen minute walk from town. We had planned to stay there a week and go to Dominical but the weather was cold and rainy there so we opted to spend our entire trip in one place. It was delicious to have almost two weeks to settle in, get comfortable and make connections with warm-hearted people. Every day we walked down the steep dirt road breathing in dust as cars, motorcycles and ATVs, passed by, often at breakneck speeds. We decided not to rent a car because it would be more of an adventure to use public transportation and to walk. Every evening after we walked on the beach and swam at beautiful waterfalls and hung out by the river we would stick out our thumbs and hitch-hike home. Neither of us had hitched for twenty years. Gary was a major hitchhiker in his younger days- hitching from Colorado to California four times. We met interesting people, got a chance to ride in the back of several trucks and had the opportunity to practice Spanish.
We met a zesty Turkish woman who opened up a vegan restaurant called Organico's. She had come to Montezuma four years before for a week long yoga retreat, fell in love with the place, and decided to come back and open up a restaurant. She never had been in the restaurant business before. The week we got there she had changed the format of her restaurant and cut back on her hours of operation and her menu selections. She began to offer her space for people to teach classes on a donation basis. That way she could support her passion for yoga and meditation and ease off on her tendencies toward work-aholism. I was in bliss. There was a different yoga or meditation class every day. I think when people offer classes on a donation basis they tend to experiment more and are often more creative. I got to lead laughter yoga,too. Gary and I had a beginning merenge lesson. It is fun to dance together, even though I have a hard time following. Learning partner dancing supports my intention to let go of control and learn to surrender. We'd both like to do more of it. Two of our friends in Boulder are Salsa devotees and we plan to get some coaching from them.
Gary had been struggling with whether to rebuild his rock cutting business. He lost all of his inventory and machinery in the fire. In Montezuma where the river meets the ocean he found beautiful rocks and reignited his rock cutting passion by bringing a few home. Every day he would sit in the river and peruse the beautiful brightly colored rocks. It was wonderful to see him so engaged and happy. I got into looking at rocks too. It felt like a treasure hunt. I don't think I ever really understood his devotion for rocks and now I do. It helped me to understand who he is because he has spent the last thirty five years cutting rocks. I know what it would be like for me not to be able to do my work because I love it so much. Now I can see Gary's love for his work much more clearly and feel so much more compassion for him for losing his whole business in the fire. Now he is excited about rebuilding his shop in our new garage and cutting rocks again. Woo hoo!
Another high point of the trip was meeting the loving and spiritually committed Canadian couple who were the caretakers of the home we were staying in. We had stimulating talks and shared many common interests and values. It is a blessing to find another couple that Gary and I both resonate with.We hope to continue nurturing our friendship by e-mail. They turned us on to the weekly organic food market. I was craving healthy greens as the only lettuce the stores had was iceberg. The veggies were fresh and plentiful and I stocked up. We had a kitchen so the second week the healthy delicious meals we were cooking got even better. The best part of the trip was having the opportunity to spend so much loving positive time with Gary. We are getting more skilled at resolving conflict and using it to get closer. I feel safer and safer being myself with him. I am grateful to have a partner I can grow with. My next step is to recommitt to being creatively expressive when we are together. I want to sing and dance and laugh and sculpt more. That is my intention for the new year.
I want to thank you for reading my blog this year. It is so important to me to share my life with you in this way. I want to wish you a holiday season of self-awareness and the willingness to be consciously kind to yourself. May we all give ourselves the gifts of acceptance and forgiveness. Thanks for sharing this wondrous adventure called life with me. Feel free to write to me and let me know how my blog is impacting you and how you are doing. Happy Holidays.
With love, Andrea