Tag Archives: divorce

Broken Open

11 Mar

A couple of years ago, each step I took felt like a plunge from all that I had known, into the dark, irresponsible mist of the unknown.  The loving flow that was supporting me (unseen) gave me little shiny pebble clues to let me know I was walking my path–and these winks gave me enough steady strength to keep taking each, shaky step.

I had an awkward 10 minutes (as often happens during my main gig as chauffeur) as this huge transition was occurring, and I wandered into a library in a city I was leaving behind, had already left behind, and I allowed a book to fall open in my hands.  Here are the words gifted to me that day.  A few days later, my friend used a gift card gifted to her to gift me my own copy of this book.  (thank you, m:)


from Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help us Grow by Elizabeth Lesser

“…you can use anything–everything–as a wake-up call; you can find a treasure trove of information about yourself and the world in the big and the little annoyances of daily life.  If you turn around and face YOURSELF in times of loss and pain, you will be given the key to a more truthful–and therefore a more joyful–life.

Adversity is a natural part of being human.  It is the height of arrogance to prescribe a moral code or health regime or spiritual practice as an amulet to keep things from falling apart.  Things DO fall apart.  It is in their nature to do so.  When we try to protect ourselves from the inevitability of change, we are not listening to the soul.  We are listening to our fear of life and death, our lack of faith, our smaller ego’s will to prevail.  To listen to the soul is to stop fighting with life–to stop fighting when things fall apart; when they don’t go our way, when we get sick, when we are betrayed or mistreated or misunderstood.  To listen to the soul is to slow down, to feel deeply, to see ourselves clearly, to surrender to discomfort and uncertainty, and to wait.

It is in times of brokenness that the soul sings its most wise and eternal song.  I cannot hum you the tune or tell you the lyrics; each person’s soul has its own cadence.  You will recognize its music, though, by the way you feel when you are listening: awake, calm, you’ll sigh and say to yourself, “It’s okay.  Everything’s okay.”  You’ll unfold your arms and lean back, and say to the soul, “Just sing me your song.  Teach me your words.  Tell me what you know”  (270).

The Threat of Silence

26 Feb

Since Caimbeul mentioned his 7 year silent retreat,  just the idea of S I L E N C E has been in my awareness.

What is silence?  Where is it found?  How does it change us and our experiences?

Even just the threat of silence has had life altering force for me.

The words thrown out here on this blog are just the reflection of my MIND making stories.  But the images from my own experiences and the experiences of others found in words gives to me at times illumination.   Our lives are played out before us like the colors of a kaleidoscope – mixing and blending, forming patterns of ever changing beauty.


At the very least, we all watch a cool and mesmorizing show.

So as opposed to the monk’s life, which sounds like pure heaven, my life has been full of activity and people.  Once, while browsing in a New Age bookstore, I came across a book called The Birthday Book, in which horoscopes (of a sort) were cast for those born on each day of the year.  And the forecast for my birthday has stayed in my awareness for years, though I only glanced at the page briefly.  My memory tells me that my horoscope said that in my lifetime I would need to release the idea of order and learn to roll with chaos.

Did the prediction influence the reality?  Or did the prediction reflect a pattern?  Or does an idea overlay random events and make them seem to fit in a neat pattern?

Silence, of course, is powerful.  But learning to find the silence amidst much activity is my practice, pattern, journey, it seems.

Even the threat of true silence for an extended period of time turned my life upside down.  Here’s how.

When my kids were toddlers, I was invited to a talk about Vipasanna Meditation, by S. N. Goenka, who was opening these centers around the country with 10 day silent retreats for free.  Oh, how I wanted to go and experience silence for 10 days but it was not the time; I could not leave my children for 10 days, and couldn’t ever imagine a day when this would be possible.  But, this idea stayed in my mind, the someday idea, for years.

Two years ago, I found out that they had opened a center in Georgia, easy driving distance, and the summer retreat perfectly coincided with my daughter’s sleep away camp.  I signed up.  This commitment to silence and to my path opened my eyes, changed my life entirely, and I didn’t even get to go.

I arranged to leave my older daughter at home with my husband,  on the boat we were residing within in a transitory, unpredictable environment that made me suddenly see my life.  Though she was 15 and old enough to watch herself with minimal guidance, I saw that our lives had deteriorated to the point that she could not be left in his care.  My Eyes Opened to see what was there.  I was living in a situation that made no sense, but I couldn’t see what was so close.  I had been so busy putting out fires for so long, I hadn’t stopped to realize, I did not wish to be a firefighter.  Our created reality of home and family was in a spiral down that I could Stop and Reverse.

So began my journey away from the marriage and on to the hard work of recreating a healthy home environment…which is still ongoing!

As a bonus for signing up for the retreat, I was gifted a friend who made the amazing commitment  to sit with me for a bit every morning of that retreat so that I would know while I was alone, she was with me for that time from her corner wherever that may be.  Amazing, right?  And this friend was also the sort to offer the gentle yet firm aid in recognizing the shift in my path and offer a different kind of support, on the fly of the ever changing patterns.

My unfolding could begin when I answered yes to what the path was demanding of me, and the flow continues on.

But one particular thing has struck me about this WordPress experience of the past few months; I don’t know if I can articulate it, but I feel like I am walking the path of many.  I am walking the path of healers, I am walking the path of painters and photographers, I am walking the path of silence, I am walking a path of those without the soul contract of children, I am walking the path of those in partnership, I am walking the path of my friends on snowy walks, on other continents, in castles and shanties,  and you, perhaps in turn, walk a path with me.  All the naked sharing adds to our collective human experience (without boundaries) of what is most real in this realm.

Barn Burning

28 Jan

Barn’s burnt down —
I can see the moon.

-Mizuta Masahide (水田 正秀?, 1657–1723)


(Winter Moon over Farm Field – Jill Battaglia)

My dear friend sent me this quote when one of the slates of my life was being wiped clean.  When I read the words of this tiny poem then, I saw the barn as my marriage and the definition of my life that I had held up to that time.

Now, a year and a half later, I see more.  This poem is actually quite large.

I see now:  I am the barn.  I am blocking the moon.  And I am burning down!

I know I am repeating myself from other blog posts, here,  but  I sense that I am getting this same burning realization over and over again, on finer and finer levels, until there is nothing to talk about anymore.  Do the fingers just go silent at some point?

I’ve been sent such intense, difficult, but perfect fires.  I see now why some call for trials; I see now all the constructs these fires burn away.

The barns of other people may be blocking their moons, too, but really, it’s my own barn that tires me so.

Oh, girl, go away altogether already.

I love the glimpses of the moon no barn gives me.   Imagine no obstructions evermore.

Let’s keep the fires going.  Come on over, but bring your own marshmellows 🙂

It’s Okay.

3 Jan

peace in chaos

Everything is Okay.  It is.

I’ve been here before.  The first time felt like coming home – remembering the place from which everything is okay.

I don’t know why or how I could cloudy up again once I knew this place existed, but that too is…okay!

There are mixtures of okay and not okay all around.  Large thrashings of misery, small whimpering expressions of pain, happy laughter, birds coming to life in the glowing morning, everything is okay – and it always has been.

I think it is coming up on 2 years when a breakthrough of okayness came while we were still living on the boat.  The marriage was in free fall, but something had shifted in me.

There was a fundraiser that my husband had planned to attend.  I mentioned that we could go together, but the time of leaving, the time of coming home, the price, the gas of separate cars, and the destruction of the planet came into the discussion and  I ended up staying on the boat while he went out.

As the light came in through the hatch the next morning, I realized that he had never come home.  And I felt peace.  (One beautiful thing about living on a boat is the way the light comes in through the hatches and wakes you up.)  A week before this peace, I would have been angry, worried, tied in a knot.  The light hit my eyes, his absence was realized and I wished him well where ever he was.

Soon after, I was able to make the steps I needed for moving my life in a more appropriate direction, but the drama was sucked out – a gift of the universe – helping me to come to the place where everything was okay.

A strange aside, I actually can smell the air of this place.  It is sweet, mild, delicious, slightly tropical (even in winter) – The Place of Okay has a tangible smell!  Does anyone else share that sensation?

So, how do I go from that place of peace to an off-kilter, reactive state again with the throws of teenage misery?  I don’t know.  Every time I remember The Place of Okay, I imagine it is for good.  And one of the days, it will be…which seems more than okay.


Life is Just a Ride

31 Dec

Today, I feel like telling a story.  It is MY story, but I also recognize, I am not this story.  I could be watching a movie, and yet some part of me wants to get some  stories out on paper/screen to let them go on down the stream.

Obligation:  The act of binding oneself by a social, legal, or moral tie.

weightof the world

I was happy in the obligation of my marriage, I thought.  The deeper, higher pull of my true self knew that I could never wake up under the obligations I had tied myself too.  This higher plan knew also that I would never walk away in good conscience, so when the heat of unreason, discomfort, bi-polar episodes, insane financial risks, absenteeism, and other deal breakers I fail to remember, grew into a raging fire of destruction, I had to go.  I went along making everything normal until I couldn’t pretend anymore.  Divorce seems unfortunate through many current lenses, but through my lens, I’ve come to see the separation as beautiful and freeing through the space of time, detachment from story, and clear air of my Sovereignty – which I had forgotten.  That was just one stripping in my path – many more masks came  off after the first.

What strikes me today is that my Freedom is from Obligations…not all, but many I lived under for most of my life:  There has been a stripping of the obligations of my childhood religion, the obligations of the religion of my marriage, the social obligations of being part of a couple, the obligations of being part of social groups, the obligations of being part of a social class, the obligations of memberships,  the obligations of home ownership,  the obligations of a “belief” system, the obligations of buying into the mythology of my country, the obligations of consuming  news media, the obligations of caring about pop culture, the obligations of empty interactions…you get the idea.

Community is lovely and something different entirely.   Real community is about love, choice, and resonance.  The choice to help, to accompany, to attend to, to facilitate with others from the heart is not about obligation at all.  This interaction organically arises and expresses our truth, even when we are doing hard work!

What is left?  Emptiness, stillness, undefined moment after moment in the space that smells like vanilla and cream.  Joy!

I just dropped off my daughter at her friend’s house for a New Year’s Eve Party.   This family  is Greek Orthodox and  they derive much joy from a grand, interactive culture.  There was dancing on the beach this morning, guests in from out of town, music, food, family, friends. 🙂   But leaving their house was a relief to me.  Why?   I realized on my drive back home how wonderful it feels for me that through these years of tearing away of identity that I am not obligated…I do what I chose to do, for the most part.

Life is a ride, and we get to choose, and sometimes getting to that freedom comes through the recognition of our freedom from Obligations:  I am just a baby of this understanding.  Recognizing that this marga journey is just a ride is just the beginning!

Also I bow to the higher purpose of HM, my ex, for playing just the role needed at the intensity required to help me shake my sleeping self awake enough to step up to what was required of me.  From a long, zoomed out view, his role was one of love and of the higher purpose, I have no doubt of that!  Here is a bow to him in the higher fields!

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