Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Month of Gratitude

During the silent retreat I took with my dear friend last weekend
I thought I'd spend the time deepening my sense of gratitude, accentuating the positive
and generally fortifying this miraculous place I find myself building inside.

Instead, I ended up working through some really difficult issues
centering around being safe in my community
and building the gift of self-reliance.

The mental chatter was deafening, the fantasy enactments of healing
and struggle vivid in my mind's eye...
'this is your brain on silence', I wrote.

There's been a palpable vulnerability since I've returned
which I do not fear per se, but it has made for some tender moments
where I've wondered if it's time to ask for help
to vanquish these dragons.

I rationalized that I've spent too much time with them, trying and failing to shake off the feelings
of guilt and fear, but in 14 hours of silence you are excavating, writing and discovering
your history in order to experience a brighter now, five hours from now.

It's work -

When you dig, expect to dust off a few relics.

Unexpectedly, I am coming to find these struggles not just a pesky background noise anymore, but instead a series of archetypes that make me feel every struggle we know
is as old as the hills of Petaluma;

that person
that place
those things...
everyone throughout time has engaged in the self-same mental acrobatics
to heal the rifts, some with great success, others with a map of failure
well-documented -
a cautionary tale to those who venture later into the same labyrinth.

I am grateful that I do not have to feel alone in my search for betterment,
in this delicious breaking open to grow.

November for me is going to be a month of thanksgiving, never mind that we're already three days in - it's never too late to celebrate the reality of wonder.

For today, I am grateful for Pamela and Renew Yoga
a place where discovery and self-work are encouraged
with tenderness and care.

Thank you for such an amazing opportunity to learn and grow alongside 13 other
like-minded and seriously powerful women on this retreat...
and for the song of Grandmother Oak.

What are you grateful for today?

xoxoxo,
Allison

9 comments:

mairedodd said...

i am grateful that you feel safe enough to share... as much as well pursue the light, it is in the shadows that the lessons lie... i am so happy you have a tender husband and yoga instructor to help you along... soak up the love -

veee said...

every day i transition into "wake-full-ness" and send out huge waves of love and well being into nature...the trees and sea turtles, the octopus and dirt, chlorophyll and worms, the air and crows, water and moose, orca and fox, chipmunk and maple leaf...a whole series of crazy images just flood and flash thru my mind of all the creatures and elements i am so massively grateful for...then i thank the lord for my precious family...keep us moving, keep us laughing, keep us free and limitless...

Sunny Rising Leather said...

Maire- I am so grateful that I have women with whom to share the journey with sensitive hearts of their own: thank you so much.

Veeeeeeeeee - A.Men. This is just a part of why I adore you.

Cat said...

I am grateful for discomfort...
the discomfort of walking it through...
the discomfort of layers pealing off....
the discomfort of feeling....

I am grateful for like-minded, strong women, like you, who are open with their journey
who will not minimize, but embrace
who will call out, instead of wilt away

we are in need of each other
to be reminded that we are not alone on this journey...no matter what age, race, social status, political view, religion...we are on this journey together

when one heals...we all heal

you bless me A
thank you

love and light form one kindred spirit to another...

Sunny Rising Leather said...

Cat, you are so righteous you make my eyes fill, every time.
Thank you for being here.
xoxox

Nialah said...

I am grateful for the amazing journey I am on...ups and downs are all things I can learn and grow from. I am also so grateful to be surrounded by amazing people, such as you Allison, who are on the journey with me, willing to share their wisdom and their presence as we travel together.

bonddi said...

I am grateful for you and your honesty, so lovingly expressed in your words and art. This blog is a restful, regenerating place where I know I will always find the truth. I have struggled with depression and anxiety for 40 years and believe you me I have tried all the help I could find. Recently I discovered an on line course called Soul Restoration by Melody Ross and the Brave Girls Club. I started it after losing my medical insurance and so no more therapy and I am so happy I did. This course has changed my life (and no, they don't even know who I am). Melody Ross is an amazing woman, so inspiring and insightful, who has struggled just like us. She is able to teach us to look deep within ourselves through guided questions, much more effective than the proverbial "how do you feel" or "what are you thinking" "what do you think that means" of traditional therapy. The eight week course is only $99 and you get to create art throughout! The one thing I have learned is how to be kind to myself, how to stop the internal infernal nitpicking and downright abusive self talk. How to walk through my life with both my weak and strong parts together, that I don't have to "fix" my weak parts, just love them. Soooooo, I hope this helps somewhat:)

Kelly said...

once again, a timely post, in this soft space;)...indeed i am grateful for the dust which has recently rose from the digging (as hard as it is) and for what has come to the surface to be healed. grateful to no end for my wee ones who see life so purely and help me to do the same and strive to be better and more present...thank you for your words, sharing and honest warmth allison.
p.s. cannot put into words how absolutely, downright, gleefully happy i am for you avec le bebe and such! don't know if i mentioned that;)

Sofia said...

I just went through something gut wrenching - my second in a row miscarriage, and though I'm not done with crying yet, I'm grateful for the process of healing. It's a miracle how fast the body bounces back, and though the mind takes longer, it's getting just a little easier every day.