“Home” for the Holidays

What was happening? Describe the circumstances.  During the week between Christmas and New Years I was sitting around the table in the evening after dinner with my husband, our children and their spouses with the young grandchildren playing in the background. Nothing profound was being said, just reliving the same old stories and memories of years gone by.

How did it feel? I felt so complete like the proverbial chicken with her chicks gathered around her. Wholeness. At home. Peaceful. Contentment. The word “happy” is so overused and hardly means anything anymore but I felt truly happy.

What meaning do I give it? Coming from a family where I was the only child I have always longed for a connection with family members–to be a part of something larger. Also, having lost a daughter, I had the feeling that my remaining children and their families were all safe at that moment–I couldn’t ask for more.

What did I choose to do with the energy? What happened? I was so filled with emotion that I wanted to share my feelings with the family gathered around me. I tried to explain to them how happy I felt at that moment and how they were each and every one of them part of that moment. Unfortunately, I think my grateful tears left them uncomfortable and eye rolling at Mom’s mushiness!

–Gathering wisdom. What you learned about yourself.  Nothing really new. The experience just confirmed what I already knew about the importance of family and connection in my life.

–What did you do in response? After gathering my composure, I reminded myself that their response wasn’t important nor did it minimize my feelings. They are young. They’ll get it sometime later in life and hopefully will look back with fondness at that too. What was important was that I tucked that frame in time into my memory, which brought to mind the several times in Scripture where it is said of Mary, “…and she kept these things in her heart,” which also brought the connection I so long for.

Love, Joy, Gratitude

  1. What was happening?  I’m at Weight Watchers picking up a month’s supply of breakfast packages for my wife. The woman on the cash register asks me if I do anything special with all these. I tell her they’re for my wife. She has Rheumatoid Arthritis, a tough corporate job, and I do what I can to support her. The woman looks me right in the eye with a warm look and says, “You are a wonderful person.”
  2. How did it / does it feel in my body (then, and/or now).  I have the impulse to cry.  A warm surge of energy expands from my heart upward, swelling behind my eyes. In hindsight I feel the impulse to hug the woman. My heart is so full.
  3. What meaning did I / do I give to it?  As I sit, breathe and feel the moment, I am filled with love for myself, for my life, with gratitude for all the love I have received that has opened and filled my heart. And I am joyful that I was seen by this woman as a vessel of love.
  4. What did I choose to do with the energy?  … and what happened…  At the time, I warmly meet her eyes, smile, and say thank you so much. I’m also a little embarrassed by the sudden intimacy with a stranger, and gently take my leave.
  5. Gathering Wisdom: What do I learn about myself? How does the learning fit within major themes in my history? How does it relate to my life purpose? What does it tell me about a specific present relationship? What is unfinished?                                     I am devoted to embodying love, and when someone sees this in me, and honors it, I am filled with joy. So much of my life has been dedicated to becoming this person. This woman’s words are a deeply appreciated affirmation.
  6. What do I choose to do now in response to my learning?  In a similar situation in the future, I’d like to acknowledge and let go of the embarrassment, stay with the intimacy of the moment, and see what would happen.

 

Joy

1.  What was happening? Describe the circumstances.

My grandson (1 year old) and I are at opposite ends of a coffee table. We’re shuffling plastic donuts back and forth. Each time a donut comes to him he raises his hands with the donut and says “Ahhh!” I mirror his movements and sound. We do it again and again, and again and again. Laughing and beaming.

 

2.  How did it / does it feel in my body (then, and/or now). Describe specifically or poetically. Include impulse (what I felt like doing).

Joy bubbling up from inside and bursting forth in laughter. I feel like dancing, like taking him and twirling till we’re both dizzy. (I don’t do that!) I feel such a warm, loving connection with him. There is energy flowing between our eyes.

 

 3.  What meaning did I / do I give to it? Includes how it fits in a current relationship, as well as recurring past patterns.

I treasure the growing bond between us. These moments are so precious. The love feels so uncomplicated, free, trustworthy. I miss him as soon as we part. I think about him and look forward to the next time we get to play.

 

4.  What did I choose to do with the energy? … and what happened… Consequences can include how I felt as a result of my choice, as well as implications for others.

I chose to completely give myself to the energy flowing between us. I became completely unconcerned with the others present, what they might be thinking, how they might be judging, how silly I might look. I allowed myself to be completely entranced with what was happening between us. I love myself this way, and I love my grandson for the gift of opening such free flowing energy inside me. We are becoming special to each other. I can only marvel at it.

 

 5.  Gathering Wisdom: What do I learn about myself? How does the learning fit within major themes in my history? How does it relate to my life purpose? What does it tell me about a specific present relationship? What is unfinished?

I love to play! I want to do it more. I am playful with students, and colleagues, family, and friends. I worked hard years ago to regenerate this freedom. And, I would love to do it more!

 

6.  What do I choose to do now in response to my learning?

I will look for opportunities to be playful with others. And I will make time regularly to play with my grandson.