Monthly Archives: March 2015

 

angel

On March 12th, I was chasing the last half hour of light through the park trying to get a picture that would pair with the Marianne Williamson quote that was on my mind: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

When I returned home and was scrolling through my photos, I found this angel. I was overtaken with delight. I shared the picture with nearly a dozen friends before making it my Facebook background. Some people immediately saw an angel, others not so much. I continue to be surrounded by the energy and delight of this blessing. I am humbled by the reminder that we never walk alone. We only need to look a little closer to see our own light radiantly reflected back to us. 

 

Today is the one-year anniversary of a major transition in my life. On March 22, 2014, I dropped my now ex-husband off at the airport. He flew to Southern California. I returned to my apartment to take up living alone for the first time in eight years. I am someone who loves people and who also needs a lot of space. However, the space in the first few months of living alone was excruciating. I often didn’t know what to do with myself. So I went to the park. A lot. I’ve climbed this staircase hundreds of times in the last year.

On a snowy day a few weeks ago my friend, Andrea, looked up at me climbing these stairs leaving footprints in the snow and she said, “I am reminded of ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.'” I love this quote by Lao Tzu and this insight from Andrea. The past year has been a journey inward to myself. It’s been beautiful and messy. One of my first steps was getting outside so I could connect with what is inside myself. The park is the place where I go to breathe, delight in the wonder of nature, and pray. I am certain that this place has saved my life over and over this year. No matter what state I arrive in the park in, I always leave renewed and refreshed.

I had a vision to celebrate this place where I feel most free and at home in the world. I call it Park 365: The Coming Alive Journey. Each day, I’ll be sharing pictures and insights from my park adventures. I thought today was the perfect day to begin.

 

Yes, it’s been fourteen months since I last posted on this blog. A lot has unfolded. Let’s catch up.

2014 In Summary: 2014 was a year of transition. I gave up should for New Years and couldn’t have predicted how dramatically my life would change. In mid-January I embarked on an intensive 21-day coaching practice focused on clarifying my relationships guided by Ayanna Mojica. At the conclusion of this practice, I determined it was time to end my marriage. On March 22, my husband moved back to Southern California to pursue his dream of being a writer. It was an amicable parting.

Faced with living alone for the first time in eight years, radical self-care was required. I’d like to tell you this came naturally and I did it gracefully. Not so much. There were two things that sustained me. First, I spend endless hours hiking in the park near my home. I went there several times a week to clear my head, take in the gorgeous scenery, breathe, and connect with friends. Second, I maintained a regular yoga practice at Yoga on the Ridge. I was in the studio 3-4 times a week and participated in a Yoga for Weight Loss workshop in June. By the end of 2014, I’d lost 24 pounds bringing my grand total to 115 pounds to date.

My divorce was finalized on 7/7/14. I was 35 and twice divorced. As you might imagine, it took some time to get my inner dialogue under control so that I could offer “I am” statements about anything else.

I visited Nashville in early August when I took a road trip with one of my nearest and dearest friends to help her relocate for Divinity school. In mid-August I completed facilitator training for OWL Adult/Young Adult Sexuality Education. This had been on my wish list for two and a half years. It was an amazing experience with an open and loving group of trainees and and awesome trainer whose passion and style I admire. My congregation did our first Adult OWL series in February. Participating in both the classes in February and the facilitator training in August were highlights of my year.

In September I trekked home to Southern Maine to visit my family. My favorite part was enjoying Peanut Butter Parfaits at Dairy Queen with my 85 year old grandmother. Upon my return to Philadelphia, I was delighted by a visit from my father and his girlfriend. It was the first time my dad and I had seen each other in person in a decade.

Following the end of an intense love affair in mid-August, I planted my first garden in late September. This was the third thing that helped me to manage the transitions and grief of 2014. There was something absolutely magical to me about tending to my tiny raised bed. It gave me purpose and reminded me of the interconnected nature of all things. In November it was time for my beloved cat, Knuckles, to transition.

I am blessed with many friends that acted as angels during challenging times. One of them captured my heart in early October and another intense love affair followed. By New Years 2015, it ended. Having looked for love everywhere else, I turned by gaze inward. Again, I wish I could tell you it came naturally and I did it gracefully. Not. So. Much. Reading Mastin Kipp’s Daily Love: Growing into Grace in November, I learned an important prayer that would guide me through the end of the year: “Thy will be done.”

There were wins, challenges, fears faced and tears shed. I will say it was the fullest, most expressive year of my life to date. I awoke in January to find myself a stranger in my life. By December, I was awake and conscious that I am a divine creator.

2015 So Far: In January I chose a word to guide the year ahead: whole-hearted. I’m using it to focus my intentions, guide my interactions, and connect with my heart’s desires. I’ve also been exploring my core desired feelings. So far, in addition to whole-hearted, I’m enjoying the energy of vivacious, sensual delight, and grace-fueled.

Whole- hearted mandala

Whole-hearted mandala

I’ve been masterminding The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People with two friends. It’s been powerful already. I committed to one of my dreams. I applied and have been accepted for yoga teacher training to start in September. I’m so excited for the journey ahead.

This February I started co-facilitating two groups of Adult OWL. Our class from last year is reunited and three of us trained as facilitators over the summer. We also have a class of newbies. I’m so grateful and thankful for my friends that encouraged me to put my summer training into practice right away. Start before you’re ready.

I’m itching for spring when I can get back to the park more regularly. I took one of my mastermind partners out for a snowy walk last Sunday. While she was delighting in the wonder of the park, I told her about another one of my dreams. I call it Park 365. I want to capture the magic and wonder of the park and my adventures there throughout the year and share them here on my blog. I’ll start on the spring equinox, March 21st. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed catching up on my goings on and learning a bit about how I managed during a year of transition. I’d love to hear about your joys, sorrows, wins and losses in 2014 as well as what you’re looking forward to in 2015. Let a girl hear from you!