Wednesday, July 14, 2010

give a little bit of my love to you

After a long day at work, I'm sitting on my bed tapping away on the laptop. This is a serious feeling of AHHHH.... I'm in my own room, with my own music on. (It's Old Man Luedecke's new album, "My Hands Are On Fire And Other Love Songs", which I highly recommend. Artsy, indie and beautifully lyrical bluegrass. So, so SO good.) My cat is sitting on the bed next to me, purring to herself. Content to be here next to me, although she can't quite figure out why I'm paying attention to this weird black machine thing and not her.

It's raining out, although I can't actually hear the rain, being in a half-basement. However, it rained all evening, and while I was at work (until eight PM) I could hear the rain outside the open door, falling off the eaves of the marina roof. Any time I had to go outside I had to move quickly, because we practically have a long skinny waterfall coming off the eaves when it rains hard.

Thank you all for your comments on last week's post! After I wrote that post, I went back to sailing and sailed a little pram. It was pretty much fine. No meltdowns, no freak-outs. Sometimes I couldn't really get going, which was frustrating. I'd open up my sail, let out the sheet and push the darn boom outward with my hand so maybe the sail could get some air, but - nothing. One or the other of the teachers would come by in her motor boat and tell me to do this or that, and sometimes it would work and sometimes it wouldn't.

Oh, well. I go back tomorrow night, and then one night after that. I don't LOVE it the way I LOVE yoga, but then again the learning curve is a bit steeper. And, it's not something you can just do whenever you please, you need certain equipment (like a boat!) and then time and commitment, which don't always come together with the expensive equipment.

Anyway - I'm glad that I'm taking these sailing lessons. I don't know if I'd take more lessons or not. I'm feeling a bit fatigued of it, but that might be a few things other than the sport itself. (My knees complaining about how much they hurt from kneeling in the pram, for one.) I find that my favorite sports are ones that:
  • you can FEEL afterward how you used your body (feel like you really worked out)
  • aren't mentally frustrating (lots of confusing rules, etc)
  • you can focus on it and lose yourself in it - so something where you're by yourself or if you're with people, you're each focussed on yourself (like with yoga)
These days, I think about my upcoming post for pretty much the whole week. This is because I don't have a lot of extra time, so I want to be able to sit down and write something pertinent when I actually get the time to sit down. So I kind of let words and ideas roll around in my head during the week, and then when it's time to write the blog post, I pull them out and see what they have to tell me.

I've been thinking about GIVING. I've been reading the book "29 Gifts" by Cami Walker. In order to get beyond her frustrating and debilitating MS diagnosis, the writer goes on a "giving cycle" - give one gift a day for 29 days. It's a really neat little idea. At first, though, I resisted the idea of the book.
I'm always so afraid I'm going to give myself away - give too much of myself. I thought, "This is going to be some mamby-pamby thing about how to acheive sainthood by being selfless - so not the lesson I need!" But I started reading anyway, and it turns out it's not as mamby-pamby as I thought. Walker even talks about how she resisted the giving at first, and about the things that she really didn't want to give. (She says that the things that are hardest for you to give are the things that feel the most scarce in your life. Money, emotional energy, or whatever - if it feels like you really don't want to give it away, it's because you feel like YOU don't have enough of it.)

Although I'm not doing a deliberate 29-day cycle like the author, this little book has definitely made me more aware of any gifts I give - or receive. How giving something as simple as a smile or something small, as long as you do it deliberately, can have quite an impact on you. And, how giving and receiving need each other, how you can't have one without the other. Like Walker says, giving and receiving is "an exchange of energy - a universal transaction that each one of us takes part in over and over, moment to moment."

I'm also GIVING myself permission - to GIVE UP on something. And that something is an expectation of who I need to be with, who I need to find for myself. I'm single these days, and have had a few beginnings and then baby ends of relationships since I broke up with Chris three months ago. And as a real go-getter of a person, I can really start believing the feeling that if I want a relationship, I just have to make it happen! It's a false assumption - that work equals success - and it becomes overpowering. Then I either come on too strong to the next cute fella who walks across my path, or I get disappointed in myself for "not having a boyfriend, already."

But having a relationship and finding someone to have it with are not the same animal as, say, ditch-digging. With a ditch, you know where you stand. You've got a shovel, you dig, you make a ditch. But with a relationship, there are so many factors involved that it's amazing we think we have any control over it at all!

So as a gift to myself - I'm giving myself the permission, the right, the chance, to let go, GIVE UP, the big ol' WANT I carry around with me most of the time. Which is of: A future, a fantasy of a great relationship. "Wouldn't it be SO NICE," I think while driving around a neat place I've never been to before, "To be here with a man? To be with MY MAN, the one who hasn't yet walked into my life?" I spiral off into future-fantasy-thoughts.

What I have to do: bring it back to this moment, to right here, to me, being. I'm good enough as I am, on my own, just like this.

Reminding myself of that, and being gentle with myself as I do it, is actually a gift I that I can give myself. And that myself feels really relieved to receive.

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