Let's talk about feeling safe.
Not necessarily in the physical sense but in that deep emotional way where the thoughts and feelings of the psyche and soul flow uninterrupted and connect to the spirit and that deep sense of peace and well-being is settled in the body.
But let's talk about the physical first.
When we are not physically safe our senses tell us, often times quite quickly. It is what has kept us alive to thrive another day. That sense that something is amiss, that we need to seek cover, seek companionship, seek higher ground. It appears as tingling on our arms or the base of our neck, or a butterfly in our gut, or a not quite right taste in our mouth. These signals that we physically feel - these signs that something is wrong - they are so ingrained in us and we are able to recognize them as catalysts to move. And then we know. Head to safety and do it now.
And when something is not right in our emotional world - when there is turmoil of the mind and of the heart - we experience these same physical manifestations even when we may be quite physically safe.
This is a great thing. Because we are so aware of what these feelings mean, we know to respond as if in physical danger.
We know to act.
Unfortunately, we often times don't. Not right away anyway. Perhaps it's because our society can easily recognize physical ailments and traumas or battle wounds but damage to the heart and spirit - because it can't readily be seen - are not as easily validated. And so we second guess the signals, question our intuition, challenge our feelings.
And we often times stay in a place that hurts our heart much longer than we should.
But finally we see it. Feel it in that deeper way and are unable to ignore the truth that sits in our core. And then we make the move away from whatever it is that is unsettling us, hurting us, taking the "safe" away.
But because, unlike a physical danger that passes once we are removed from the element of harm - the lion that is chasing us while we were out hunting for the deer, the storm that is brewing and we fear until we are under cover again, the deserted street that is a memory now that we are safely in our car and on the road home - the unsafe feeling that hits against our hearts and minds, our soul and our spirit, this feeling is harder to shed. It comes with us when we move away.
And so we need a safe place.
That place - whether it really exists or we create in our minds - where the things we love surround us and the air is still and soft. Where we can linger without worry that our tears will be judged or our worries will appear. Where we don't need to self talk that all will be ok because it is always ok in this safe place we have.
I have always had two safe places.
One was my car. Being in it offered great peace even when I didn't necessarily need that. And so, when I was tasked - by my wise therapist I was blessed to work with many years ago - to create a safe place in my mind, I immediately saw my car filled with boxes of my favorite shoes and all my pets and a huge, never emptying hot and creamy coffee. And when I was worried or anxious or nervous or fragile and I could not settle with deep breath or mindful thought, I would visualize my packed up car welcoming me in.
I chose my car because it moves and part of the appeal was that I could move, too. Get in this shoe closet on wheels and get myself away from the danger that nestled under my skin in much the same way we escape from the the storm or the danger on the street.
My second safe place is my closet. Pretty much my car packed with shoes without the movement. In the real life version that actually exists in the world and not just it my mind's eye, it is lovingly decorated with sconces to hold jewelry and a kitchen witch that never cooked and beautiful clothes that hang orderly on fabric hangers in a soft muslim or pink satin.
It's my sacred sanctuary and I sit on the floor often. Whether to sew a pair of pants into a changed shape and fit, or read a book newly borrowed from the library or transpose this weekly writing from my mind and through the computer onto my blog site, my closet holds my space and grounds me in. Often my cat and my perfect Doberman dog join me in the small space. We all fit well and I am happy.
And so, when I am out and about and suddenly off my game, this space that is real and created by my hand and for my heart, I can bring it forth into wherever I am and can settle into the rug in my mind and picture my back against the white and mother of pearl chest of draws. I can feel, inside my head, my beautiful clothes hanging above me.
And I can imagine the sound of my sweet dog's breath.
I had a busy day today. Walked my brilliant dog. Twice. I walked her twice because I could not play ball with her. She fractured her toe (are dog's toes called toes?) and so needs to be kept calm. Which is pretty much an impossible thing to do. And so I walk her in the morning as is our morning ritual. Then I feed her and then, instead of going to the dog park to play ball, we walk again. On a hiking trail rather than in the orange grove. So the walk is more a hike and hopefully will tire her out. It does not. She is crazy. I am happy her toe is healing fast!
So I walked my brilliant dog twice then went into LA to have a lunch meeting about a really amazing theater called The Echo. You should check it out. It is an intimate - as in small - theater that presents original and new works. The plays are phenomenal. The caliber of acting is high. Like really good. Like better than most.
So I did that. Then got to see my middle daughter, who lives in LA, and hang out with her for a bit. We got to snuggle in her bed and laugh a lot like we do and also talk deeply and share thoughts and then laugh even more.
And then I drove home - ahead of the traffic leaving LA which makes me very happy. And walked my still not calm dog yet again. And now it is after 6:00 and I am just now writing my Monday morning writing.
My busy day took me away from writing it this morning. So here it is now.
Oh, and the picture has nothing to do with any of this. I just like it. It's looking up at the upstairs porch of my lovely house. It makes me smile.
Ok, I am off to play with my dog some more...because that is what I do.
Thank you for reading my writing today!!
My youngest daughter is home for a visit. A five day, very quick, lots to do visit that has us running (well really driving) up and down the 101 from Oxnard to Santa Barbara this next few days. Looking at graduate school and places to live and places to eat and taking in the beach and some necessary (kinda) shopping, too.
I am so lucky that I get to spend time with this person who was once so small and is now powerful and wise, with a heart that is full and a mind that is ripe and eyes that see into souls. People will stop her on the streets and in restaurants to tell her that her eyes - light blue and shimmering with knowledge and light - have pulled them in and over to her. That they must talk to her. That they feel a connection.
I don't know how she does this each day. This sometimes quite often barrage of people that need something from her. But she opens her heart and speaks with clear words and seems to settle the off-balance energies that seek her guidance.
She has done this since she was small.
It was different back then. Her approach to people was in the form of a soft, child voice that went up to those she knew and those that were new to say I love you or how are you before prattling away to someone or something else that captured her attention. She was quirky and funny and people were drawn in.
Peer group thoughts and teenage angst only made her gifts stronger until she is where she is now. Settled into the oneness that she has with the universe and the spirits that surround us all and also now deeply grounded in the earth and present day, too.
She is powerful, this daughter of mine.
And she is here. In California. Away from a cold, New England Nor'easter that is heading up the east coast to dump even more snow while she is away. Here, in the warm, spring heat that settles into the hills around our home. Here with me.
I am so happy.
Last Thursday night my beautiful daughter and I had this amazing experience dancing with paint for an art piece created by special and wise and oh so talented woman who is having an art show this upcoming Saturday night, March 11th, 2017, at High Tide, 334 Anacapa St in Santa Barbara. Here's the info about it:
The concept was for us, with paint on our hands, to dance together in that deep-love-mother-daughter way as the paint tracks our movements and marks our motions. It was a lovely night. We laughed a lot as we danced - which we always do anyway when we dance - while also falling away from the laughter and into the rhythm of the dance that we also do when we are dancing and when we are living, too.
Our journey as mother and daughter - that is woman to woman and deep friendship, too - this relationship has marked us. We may not see these marks on our body in the way that the paint settled on our skin in pathways of movement, but our lives together - the hours we spend in laughter or the moments of quick sharing, the borrowing of clothing and the enjoyment of a meal, the lying in quiet and the pouring of our breathe, the lyrics of our banter and our deep conversations, and oh so much more, these are permanently on us.
Our souls and hearts and minds, though ever changing are ever changed and always carry the places that we've been in this mother/daughter, woman/woman and deep friendship relationship that we have. And so this art piece, it truly personifies the relationship I have with this daughter of mine.
I am excited to see it. And to see all the other pieces of art and creation that is the work of this talented artist who gave us the space to paint our connection in such a moving way.
I hope you will consider supporting this incredible artist and visiting this show.
Mother, Wife, Friend, Sister, Daughter, Dancer, Rower, Runner, Dog and Cat lover.