Saturday, February 4, 2012

I set today aside as a Mindfulness Day in keeping with Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh's teachings - "to be mindful means to dwell deeply in the present moment, to be aware of what is going on within and around us."  

In that light, I was so grateful to acknowledge the presents/presence of all of you in my life as I am experiencing a bout with vertigo, which I understand many of you have come down with as well. At the onset of this Winds of Change, I felt a communal embrace, and it was comforting. 

As I gazed outside my kitchen window, there were huge flakes descending, an unpredicted freshness added to my day. I finished making my vegan "chicken" salad, searing the tempeh in marinating juices of balsamic vinegar, Braggs liquid aminos, and dijon mustard, as I blended soaked raw cashews, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and a bit of rice milk in my blender for homemade vegan mayonnaise. Once the tempeh had cooled, I toppled it into a mixing bowl, adding the cashew-naise, chopped celery and onion, and a dash of poultry seasoning, stirring it all together, covering the bowl, and placing it in the fridge to set. I then decided to clean up the kitchen at a slow and steady pace, and proceeded into the living room, sitting at my laptop and writing this blog post.

Oftentimes when I'm not feeling well, I check in with my sisters for clarification of possible causes. My sister Anne is usually ready with a reading from the book Heal Your Body by metaphysical lecturer Louise Hay. This "little blue book" as it's referred to, includes an alphabetical chart of physical ailments, the probable causes, and healing affirmations. I've misplaced my copy, and decided to e-mail my sister Mary instead, whose response was, "I don't see you being 'sick," per se...more spiritually 'off.' Does that make any sense?" It most certainly did!

I've been so off-kilter in my day-to-day spiritual practice, I feel like everything in my life is topsy-turvey, and my responses are so unpredictable. As one small example, while at work two days ago, I received a phone call in the middle of my shift. Because employees are only allowed emergency calls, my mind immediately ran through possible disastrous scenarios involving my mother, my daughters and my grandchildren. By the time I reached the phone, all of my flight-or-fight responses had kicked in. As I listened on the phone, it was the hospital calling to update my medical records. I calmly and clearly conveyed that it was not an appropriate time to call, hung up the phone, and returned to my shift, heart still pounding. 

I was angry, coming down from what felt like a near panic attack, and at the same time, surprised at my vehement response. I finished the 20 minutes of my shift before breaking for lunch, still fuming in the break room, preparing my lunch and walking down the stairs to the cafe, where I found a seat in the sun and stared out the window. It wasn't until then that I was able to break through the illusion of the moment, observe the totality of my reactions, acknowledge them, and shift my focus from my reactions to simple beingness. I felt an immediate release. 

Just as Anne wrote in her comment to the previous post, my life is "...taking unexpected turns every day - somehow not playing out the way I imagined or even planned. And it's all okay and often even better than what I thought or at least DIFFERENT." Indeed!

These days, I feel like I'm breaking down old concepts and the new has yet to settle in, so I'm in a temporary limbo. Thoughts and feelings, ideas and no ideas are coursing through this identity called Claire, and yet, there is no Claire, not even clarity. As Tony Parsons says, "It just is." Thank you for the opportunity to share this experience of the great shift that is taking place, and please, if you are moved to, feel free to share your own thoughts here. Namaste.


  1. In anticipation of WoC, I hit the ground running. As I waited for daylight to arrive, I made yogurt, cleaned the bathroom, kitchen sink and stove, then bundled up and headed to the lakes in 8 degree temps. The sky above was blue, but clouds still hugged the mountains. It was a quick and joyful 30 minute or so trudge to a frozen lake, dry fluffy snow higher than my sneaker tops, clouds lifting to expose a fresh blanket of new snow.

    I got home a bit before our official time together began, changed into dry clothes, hugged my husband, called Martha to remind her we were beginning, and sat on my cushion to listen to Tom Kenyon's Crystal Palace, my favorite. Sat for another 15 minutes or so, being in The Field, as Claire calls it. Then continued dusting, straightening, cleaning, picking up throw rugs to make Rod's vacuuming easier. I was mostly conscious of the endorphin rush from my walk, the rightness of cleaning a house in need, and the recognition that I was back home internally as well, after a challenging few weeks.

    I leave you with a haiku, written in my head on a walk earlier this week, before the recent layer of snow~~

    Lake at Dawn.

    Light comes. Wind~roughed ice
    shimmers shades of blue, blue...Blue
    skies for silent fish.

    Until next time~~


  2. Welcome home, Loanne, for it truly is a homecoming, settling back into ourSelves, centering, being energized by Life. Thank you for joining us and sharing your beautiful walk/WoC with us as well as the beauty of your haiku. It truly is the simple things, a most amazing life, yes?