Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Incomplete

I have been running so sweaty my whole life, urgent for a finish line.
And I have been missing the rapture this whole time 
of being forever incomplete.

Alanis Morissette

I've lost track of time this holiday break as each morning dawns and I can't quite remember what day it is or what I have planned to do until the sun sets.  Usually it's a tea date with a friend, or a walk in the park, or a trip to the library.  In the evening I read or knit or watch episodes of "The Tudors" until I'm sleepy enough to go to bed.  Yes, it's been a relaxing couple of weeks to recycle, review, relax, and renew.  And I almost forgot it was the end of the year until I was reminded by a friend that it is indeed December the 31st.
I've no big plans for this evening, save a quiet night in my yoga room writing in my journal, reading through the ones from the past twelve months.  I'm happy to say another year will soon dawn and I can let go of what has been to embrace what is to become.  Then again, if I've learned anything this year, I realize that I'm never done learning, that I'm never fully complete.
What a blessing in disguise.

When I was younger I thought that my life would begin anew when I had the perfect job.  The relationship I longed for.  A publishing contract.  When none of those came to pass, I shifted my perspective and thought I could begin again every New Year.  That with a single tick of the clock, all the drama of the past would be washed away and I could emerge clean and whole and finished with lessons that were often overwhelming.
But life doesn't work that way.
Yes, we can make resolutions, or in my case, name the year and set my intention to delve more deeply into whatever I'd like to explore over the next 365 days.  When I wrote "You name it," last December, it was my hope to learn more about kindness in 2014.  What I had anticipated was quite different than the reality, and I've learned that it's very difficult to be kind in a world that's often cruel and out of balance.  It's hard to turn the other cheek, to forgive hurtful words or actions, to step out of my anger or fear and into a place where I can see the other person more fully, as both a human being and a teacher.
My journals reveal experiences that have repeated themselves, but in a slightly different package.  Once again I discovered I was living in close proximity to heroin dealers.  Remember the blog, "My imaginary husband?"  Well, let's just say I'm glad I never approached the owner of the house to let him know about his worker's disrespectful behavior because he was recently arrested on a host of federal charges and will be spending the better part of the next decade in prison.  At least this time around I don't have to live in terror, knowing the FBI did their job well.  And I also didn't have to lift a finger to report him as I had for over a year in 2009 when a group of gang bangers were dealing out of the duplex next door. Still, the lessons of vigilance and courage I forged at that time are still with me, honing themselves each time I open the curtains and look into the back yard where a brand new fence is a daily reminder of what might have been.
2014 was also a year to work hard and see the fruits of my labor shine forth in my garden, with my yoga students, and in the books I've published.  But that's nothing new.  I love to work...the more challenging the project, the more I enjoy it.  And yet this year I learned my limits, not only professionally, but personally as well.  I've finally figured out that an endless struggle is often an omen of what is not meant to be...and I need to let it go.  For now.  Or for always.  The tearing apart of the tapestries I've woven has been difficult, but always yields a greater awareness in time.
For more will always be revealed.

I was going to call this blog "Wise women," as I have been surrounded by them lately...ladies who have known me for decades.  Some who have only met me this year.  All who have given me much food for thought, a different perspective, and the emotional support I yearn for as I make my way into a newer life...a more authentic way of being.  But then again, there have been a few wise men as well.  Men who show me another way to experience life.  Who cut to the chase when I'm busy spinning my wheels.  Who allow me to give to them my encouragement and love as they walk through their own life experiences, often barking their shins on the furniture as we all do from time to time.
Through their eyes I see who I used to be and how very far I've come in the past twenty years.  I've softened to the reality that even though I sometimes long for a tradition life, I'm not really cut out for it, that my spirit longs to be an eternal maverick in whatever form it might take.  I've seen reflections of my healing through their words and touch.  Through their own stories that weave effortlessly into mine.   In reflection, I lovingly embrace the fact that I'm never done...that I'm incomplete, and meant to be that way.

My evolution has been like a spiral, an ever-upward moving circle that revisits what I need to learn, but on a higher level each time.  Every new year pulls the thread of the experiences of the past into the present and shines a light on where I may have missed something.  Where I need to practice compassion or patience.  Where I need to expand into wholeness.  Like a spent sunflower, the seeds of what has been plant a new life, an existence that will look similar to the one before it, but always growing in harmony with how well it is nurtured in its new form.

Now I joyfully embrace that which is incomplete within me, knowing that the spiral of my life will lead me into greater understanding, abundant creativity, and the willingness to keep growing, year after year...life after life.
         

To listen to Alanis singing "Incomplete" on NPR, click here....