Friday, August 14, 2015

Finally Friday Week 27: Learning to Ground

I went to the woods to ground myself. Seeing the thick roots of the pine and cedar trees at Llandover Woods near my house reminded me of how important it is to do this. Life moves at such a pace these days and if our roots are not strong and our feet are not firmly planted on the ground, we will sway, bend and even break with even a small gust of wind.

As I walked along, I felt every single step on the soft earth. I smelled pine and stopped to stare at the huge thick trunks of the trees before me. How long had these trees been here? 20 years? 100 years? I could not say for sure, but they looked like great guardians of the earth. They'd been through storms, rain, wind, drought, birds had built their homes in their branches. They'd been pecked by woodpeckers who left deep welts, like battle scars on their trunks. They'd been infested with bugs and some of them had lost their branches, but the roots and trunks were still standing strong.

I need to go to the forest to remind myself to be like a tree. Winds of change can be fierce at times and the tendency is to blow all over the place. Sometimes it's easy to blow so far from where we're meant to go that we're no longer sure who we are.

I have the tendency to want to roam when what I really need to do is ground. I think part to that is a fear of looking deeply at my life. I fear the mundane and I also have a fear of settling.

If I have any free time, I want to travel. However, this will be the first break from teaching where I will not go far from my home. I have a plan to hunker down, clear out the old, organize, write, garden, create a budget and make my home a haven.

This does not mean that I will not travel again. I know travel is in my future for sure, but I'm feeling the need to ground before I take off because eventually I will need to land again and what good is flying around if I can't land. I think it's a skill worth mastering and even being good at.

So I'm getting my lessons from the trees and the earth right now. I don't need to go far to do this. I can start right where I am.

Do you have trouble grounding yourself or are you are very grounded person who could use a bit more adventure and spontaneity in your life?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Finally Friday Week 26: There is a Web that We Cannot See

In light of my leaving Facebook, I pulled this one out from the cob-webbed attic of blog posts. It was Lesson 211 of 365 Lessons I wrote in 2012. Maybe connection does not require us to be hooked up to internet or on Facebook or anything else. Maybe it just requires us to really see. When I'm really tuned in, all the right people and things show up. This has been my experience. Here's the post that fits my feeling these days:  

Something very strange happened today. My husband commented a few days ago about a book he's been reading about a matrix. I didn't think much of it until the subject came back today. We decided to go down to the woods near our house. It was foggy and the air was full of moisture. As we walked through the dense forest, I could feel a dewy film on my face. It made my hair practically wet. It was like we were walking through a cloud. At times, we couldn't see far in front of us. The air was mixed with the smell of salt from nearby Puget Sound. It felt like we were in a mystery book. Like we were about to unearth something no one knew about. And we did, sort of.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw this intricate dome, or matrix if you will. It was glowing white. And then another one and another one and another one. They were everywhere. Intricate webs, even domes like little universes hung in the trees and bushes. They seemed to float there, almost like ghosts. The cloud we were in illuminated all the spider webs in the entire forest. The moisture of the clouds caused a dew to form on the webs which cast them all in a glowing light. How many times had I walked that forest never knowing that hundreds of spider webs were all around me, invisible to my eye? They were intricate web networks, each spider spinning its own universe and there each spider sat, right in the center.

These webs all around us blew us away. It was like we were in a strange Lord of the Rings movie or, more  appropriateley, Land of the Spiders. It made my husband think of a matrix. I, instead, thought of the World Wide Web. I like how those words just glide off my tongue. Those words, of course, refer to the internet, but perhaps they mean something even more than that. Perhaps there is a web we cannot see connecting all of us, just like all the webs in the forest that we were only able to see due to the cloud coverage.

Thousands of tiny spider threads were all connected to one another. They weren't random in their design. They seemed purposeful. There seemed to be a reason for each pattern cast. Like snowflakes, each one was unique and intricate.

I started to think about all the people I have connected to; about how, when I let go, the right people always seem to appear. Was this random? Or was there something I couldn't see going on? Was there a web? Why were we seeing all these webs in the trees? Is there something happening under the surface of what we see?

I don't know the answer, but I was in awe of this beauty in the forest today. My husband and I walked through a wonderland of these webs. It was hard to believe they were for real because I'd never seen them there before.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Finally Friday Week 23: Facebook Burnout

I've got Facebook burnout. Yes, I think it's actually a disease. My name is Katherine Jenkins and I have an addiction. How could I have possibly gotten addicted to a site that sums up the entire world's lives in a status update. A STATUS UPDATE.

What's happened to our lives? I can log into Facebook for 5 minutes and see links on friend's pages to the Bill Cosby debacle, read the top story about a dentist who killed Cecil, the beloved lion, find out the latest on who's given birth, who's died, who is depressed, who had a chocolate cupcake with sprinkles for breakfast. And the things is, I've bought into all this too. Today I posted a pic of my toes...MY TOES...after a trip to the nail salon. Do people really want to see my toes? Well, on Facebook it's all game. It's like a fast, downward spiral into the abyss of too much information.

Fast forward to three days later, after a lovely weekend at my family's lake house with my family sans Facebook, and I've now signed off of Facebook for an undisclosed amount of time. I'm taking it day by day, just as anyone does when they come off of an addiction.

I feel like I just left a country where I had lived for a long time. People said their goodbyes. They all posted notes that read: au revoir, we will miss your posts, hate to see you go, why do you have to leave...

And now,  it's like I've woken up from a long dream and I'm sitting here twiddling my thumbs in real time wondering what to do with all the free time! Wow, a lot of time gets sucked into the vortex of the internet if you let it. I'm choosing to fight back.

I have so many things I want to do in this world. So many moments I don't want to pass me by. I don't have time for an addiction to social media. I've got things to do!

I've been working on a novel recently. I'm 75 pages into the book and I'm excited to get cracking seriously at that project with no interruptions. I'd like to go meditate for 10 days and I'm excited to take a trip to Australia in 2016 for book research. I've got places to see and things to do.

I have promised myself that I won't go back to Facebook until I'm done with book one of my trilogy and an outline and chapter summaries of book two and three.

Social media can wait and it will be worth the wait.

I will, however, continue to blog here and work on my books.

Show up next Friday to see how the progress is going and if I've caved and gone back to Facebook.

I promise you that I will have stuck to my convictions. Once I set my mind to something, there is no turning back.

Are you on Facebook and do you ever feel like pulling the plug? What would you do with all the free time?