It’s been over a month since my last post and I am back riding the rails to San Diego this Monday morning. Woo hoo…. UCSD has started it’s Spring Quarter last week and SDSU is coming back from Spring Break this week. So Spring and newness are in the air. My yoga tape uses an expression of “soft eyes” as a way to greet the day. Spring feels like that – gazing with soft eyes. I love the feeling of being viewed with soft eyes, probably because there is no feeling of judgment. I like what I see when I choose to gaze out at the world with soft eyes. This kind of POV goes hand in hand with another phrase I love to live with….the beginner’s mind. Haven’t you been with someone who is very accomplished, and yet who approaches life with this kind of open, new perspective? It’s such a rich view of the world – even playful. And very energizing. So I hope to join with my students and explore our topics with eyes that can see infinite possibilities of newness…so we can spring forth, with lots of joy, to what calls us out to play today!
A friend recently told me about her son Aidan’s art project – designing and then constructing a totem pole. She is amazingly creative – a hair stylist extraordinaire. In telling about the project, she sheepishly admitted to catching herself wanting to commandeer the project. What a gem awareness is!
Aidan’s family totem pole featured himself as a eagle (maybe to soar?), his younger brother as a dog, because he is loyal, his dad as a bear (strong, maybe) and his mother as an owl (wise, I am sure!) His brother really liked being portrayed as a dog. So would I.
Some of the best beings I’ve known are dogs. What amazing creatures! They teach without talking. They love without conditions. Their joy is visceral – from head to tail. And so delightfully contagious. My husband was once healed of a nasty headache when he stopped to watch to dogs playing together. (I imagine the playful bows, tongues lolling out of one side of their mouths, grinning and then racing around each other, taking turns in a back and forth game of tag.)
He was so immersed in their joyful play, the headache just left – evaporated in the presence of good. I am in awe of how powerful good is. In many cultures, it’s a synonym for God. I remember what I was taught as a child – The 5 G’s for God. I taught it to many Sunday School pre-schoolers, too – holding their little hands and gently touching each finger tip saying, ‘God, Good, Guards, Guides , Governs.’ And then having them close that little hand and hold it over their heart, reminding them that this ever-presence, called God, was always with them, in their heart.
In looking in their eyes, I often felt they may have known this, more as a heart-feel than the words I recited – as part of their forever being.
I think my dog knows it as well, without needing the 5 G pointers!
Why is it always so hard to start? Harder still when you think about it for too long. A couple years ago I realized I wanted to live more from my heart, and get out of my head. My academic world is all about the intellect, often at the expense of heart-wisdom. So this blog is one way I feel I can be more expressive, more from the heart. I have journaled for years and feel 2013 is a good year to publish or share some of my musings. This week has given me so many different and yet overlapping perspectives to ponder. Lance Armstrong’s chat with Oprah – hard to watch at times. Gary and I have followed the Tour de France for years, and his fall from grace was hard to see. He told Oprah that his wife believed the truth can make you free. That is the thought Oprah closed the interview with. I have experienced the power of the truth to liberate. He seems to be opening the doors to facing and perhaps owning his truth.
We spent Saturday morning volunteering at Project Understanding, helping straighten, organize and stock the food pantry, for the National Day of Service. The three hours sped by and it was a great feeling to meet so many other people all wanting to help our community. That evening we went to see the film Lincoln and it is certainly award winning, in so many aspects. Makes me want to re-read Team of Rivals. The time of Lincoln and the Civil Was has always seemed so poignant and so close to me, especially after visiting the area and seeing how that war tore apart neighbors and even neighborhoods. And when I was in DC visiting many of the historical places, I felt as if those times were not very far away – almost palpable, when I read some of the letters written by the young solders. You could almost feel them just through the veil of this thing we call time.
My aunt called Sunday, excitedly describing all she was watching of the events leading up to the inauguration and remembering how we had visited her a couple days before we went to the 2009 inauguration. And then today we watched the second inauguration, from our cozy warm town house, comparing today to being there in below zero wind chill in January 2009.