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Journal

Some Questions to Consider

Some Questions to Consider

Some Questions to Consider

What if it is not your responsibility to change or save anyone else?

What if you’re not a failure if you can’t?

What if trying to save someone would deprive them
of learning essential lessons?

What if it’s not your job to smooth things over and create harmony?

What if all is well even when it doesn’t appear to be?

What if your children have their own path
and aren’t here to serve your image?

What if you ultimately don’t know what is best for them
or what they are here to experience?

What if the relationship doesn’t end when a loved one dies,
and there is still plenty of time for reconciliation and intimacy?

What if nobody who loves you
would want you to feel bad about yourself
or tolerate abuse?

 

What if life is not a race or competition,
and there’s no need to compare yourself to anyone?

What if other people’s opinions of you don’t matter,
and what you believe about yourself and others is everything?

What if the qualities you consider weaknesses are actually strengths?

What if your net worth has nothing to do with your true worth?

What if your true worth has nothing to do with your partner’s infidelity
or the inconsistency of your parents’ love and support?

 

What if you don’t have to be right?

What if the answers you seek live in your heart,
not your head?

What if you don’t require any more credentials, teachers, or training
to offer your talents and services to the world?

What if you don’t have to believe what anyone tells you,
even your guru?

What if you have an inner guru
that offers the best advice and insights?

What if it’s not possible to achieve self-worth
through pleasing someone else,
and you’re better off smashing the pedestal
you’ve used to elevate others?

What if there is no ‘other’?

 

What if you admit you have been traumatized?

What if it wasn’t your fault?

What if trying so hard to see the good in someone
prevents you from realizing how unhealthy it is
to have them in your life?

What if part of you remains untouched
by any kind of suffering and can help you to heal?

What if you are stronger than your deepest wound?

What if you are not a victim?

What if there is no one to blame?

 

What if doing the best you can at the moment is enough?

What if your true nature is inherently good and trustworthy
despite everything you’ve done?

What if you are worthy of forgiveness?

What if you are already forgiven?

What if it’s okay to fail
again and again and again?

What if your pace on the path of enlightenment is exactly right?

What if it is not possible to go off the path?

What if you are lovable just as you are?

What if your body is fabulous exactly as it is?

What if your greatest hindrance is your greatest teacher?

What if you already are good enough?

 

What if these invitations open you to a tenderness
capable of transmuting your worst afflictions
and releasing the beliefs that keep you living small?

What if it’s okay to live small
and be content with the life you have
because you perceive the fullness of the ordinary?

 

Do the possibilities make you feel uncomfortable?

Do you fear they would be yet another falling short
and render you irresponsible, complacent,
destined for damnation,

Or have you touched the realization
that everything you have learned
to loathe and fear about yourself
is rooted in innocence
and serves your evolution?

Have you discovered yet
that when you dissolve the stories
that disconnect you from the Higher Self
something deeper and wiser takes over
and pulls you along?


© 2019 Susan Meyer. All rights reserved. To use any or all of this article, include this exactly: Susan Meyer (SusanTaraMeyer.com) is a photographer, writer, clutter coach, Reiki practitioner, and mindfulness meditation teacher whose work is infused with a deep interest in the nature of mind and appreciation of the natural world. She lives on the Hudson River in Upstate New York.

Rare and Fleeting

Rare and Fleeting

This afternoon, a friendly, older couple came into the library with a little girl about eight years old. They asked me to help them locate a DVD and handed me a piece of paper with only the call number written on it: 792.8 COPP. I didn’t need to know the name and didn’t ask.

It ended up being a DVD of the Coppélia ballet. They were taking their granddaughter to see it later this week at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) and wanted her to know the story ahead of time.

I saw the New York City Ballet perform Coppélia at SPAC many times when I was a little girl. It was my favorite ballet aside from The Nutcracker. I told the girl I loved Coppélia when I was about her age and mentioned that the costumes are beautiful, and I think she will enjoy it. 

The grandparents’ energy was lovely. Their personalities seemed a lot like my parents’. My mom always made sure I knew the story of the ballets before seeing them, and the grandmother’s excitement reminded me of her love for ballet performances at SPAC. And the little girl reminded me of little me. 

My mom worked at SPAC since I was in elementary school and retired a few short years before she died five years ago. When she retired, my parents were given lifetime, complimentary tickets for the ballet and orchestra performances. They always sat in “their” seats in the amphitheater. After my mom died, I accompanied my dad and sat in her seat. Their seats have plaques, and my mom’s bears the inscription: 

Nancy Meyer
“The Heart of Art of SPAC”
From your SPAC Family

My dad’s, on the seat next to hers, reads:

Ed Meyer
Nancy’s Husband
“Partner in the Arts”

I haven’t been to the ballet or orchestra since my dad passed away. However, thanks to a partnership this year between SPAC and the libraries I work at, I’m going tomorrow evening with my family. I would have loved to see Coppélia, but I’m not free that evening. But it makes me happy to think about the little girl and her grandparents going to see it. 

It was a really sweet interaction. However, when I sat back down at the reference desk, my eyes teared up. It was the kind of moment that has become so much rarer than during the early years of bereavement.

Grief is so very, very different now than it was for a few years after my mom (and soon after, my dad) died. It even feels benevolent. There’s still an initial sting, but it subsides swiftly into gentle ripples of gratitude and appreciation. I’m so grateful because grief was intense and overpowering for a while, a flood tide force that knocked me down and threatened to pull me under. There were a few complicating factors that made it downright brutal and certainly the darkest, most challenging years of my life.

It’s not like that now, for I’ve become familiar with grief and have learned to co-exist peacefully with it. Although every now and then a “moment” happens, it’s so much more fleeting than it was before. The sea is quieter. More of a gentle splash than a smack-down.

Within seconds of feeling tears welling in my eyes at the library, a familiar patron approached me with a joke that made me smile. Then he showed me a very marked up book of poetry he carries with him that has some of my favorite poet’s work in it. And just like that, the “moment” had passed.

If a distraction hadn’t come along, I probably would have greeted it silently: Hello, Grief. Then I’d generate lots of self-compassion and compassion for others all around the world who are grieving. That’s what Grief seems to ask of me these days. It wouldn’t have stayed long. It comes to connect me with our common humanity and to help me cultivate lovingkindness.

The moment of grief at the library was poignant but very brief. The brevity made me aware of the contrast between the dark years and now. As soon as I got home, I sat down to write this because I want you to know, if you are grieving the loss of someone dear: It’s going to get better. Grief is impermanent. It changes. Your relationship with it will change. It won’t always feel so intense. In time, there’s even a possibility that Grief will be your friend and reveal its silver lining. Perhaps you’ll even learn to dance together.

My heart wants yours to know this is possible.


© 2019 Susan Meyer. All rights reserved. To use any or all of this article, include this exactly: Susan Meyer (SusanTaraMeyer.com) is a photographer, writer, clutter coach, Reiki practitioner, and mindfulness meditation teacher whose work is infused with a deep interest in the nature of mind and appreciation of the natural world. She lives on the Hudson River in Upstate New York.

River Music

River Music

It’s incredible out here on the dock this morning. There’s a refreshing river breeze. It’s even a little cool, which is welcome relief from the heat and humidity of the past few days. The waves are lapping against the shore, the sunlight is sparkling on the water, the warmth of the sun is caressing my skin, and the birds are singing. If the water weren’t so choppy, I’d go out in my kayak. But honestly, I’m glad to have an excuse to indulge in a different pleasure this morning: playing my singing drum on the dock.

I’ve had the drum for less than a week but have wanted one for quite a while. Actually, I wanted a hang drum, but they are very expensive and harder to come by. So I began exploring alternatives and then kind of forgot about it until a couple of weeks ago.

I love to play my singing drum. Especially on the dock on a bright and breezy, summer morning.

There’s road noise to contend with. Always is here on the busy side of the river. I hear the familiar vibration of the steel deck bridge and the cars and trucks only a few yards away from my spot on the dock. But I’m trying to keep my attention on what’s most important: what uplifts me and feels most right in this moment. Just letting all the traffic noise be and not pull me away from my own be-ing.

Making music while all this other stuff goes on is this morning’s meditation practice. Choosing to feel and express my interconnection with the sparkling sunlight on the river, the eagle flying over the island, the wind, the movement and rhythm of the water. Focusing on that. Making music with that.

I can’t control the road noise. But I can control where I put my attention and whether I am in harmony or disharmony with my surroundings. Does my music embody union with the sparkling sunlight on the water or resistance to the rumble of traffic rolling by? Am I expressing wholeness or separation?

The state of your mind and heart is an integral part of the music you offer the world, literally and figuratively.

My advice? Play what you love. Focus on what you love, what brings you joy, meaning, satisfaction, grace. Can you keep your focus on that when all the other stuff is going on around you? Can you tune the other stuff out so you can co-create with life? Or even better, can you incorporate it into the totality of what you are living and embracing this very moment and express unconditional presence?

I sense our music is of a higher quality – less fearful and more authentic – when we play (talk/listen/act/love) from a state of presence and interconnection.

It’s all part of a larger practice of being more improvisational and not relying on notes (of one kind or another) on a page. Expressing from the heart in the moment and trusting that whatever arises is what’s most needed and real and true. That’s the leading edge of my practice these days.

When I hit the record button on my phone, I noticed a subtle shift from expressing to performing. From letting the notes and rhythms flow uninhibited to wanting to sound good and be appealing. But that’s a practice, too. A continuum. My intention is to push the record button and remain in presence, whether I’m communicating through music or words. It’s the same basic practice whether it involves playing music, interacting one-on-one, leading a guided meditation, facilitating a meeting or workshop, addressing a group, or teaching a class of young children. In my case, all my early childhood teaching experience has become a foundation for the rest.

Cultivating deep authenticity and trust…in myself and the wisdom inside me. And also in the magic of connection that happens in the moment, that transcends any stories I create in my head about relationship.

I looked to others for guidance and validation my whole life. But that need comes from the false self, which is a layer I’m in the process of shedding. Because it’s time, and I have a feeling that hormones are finally on my side. Now what I want most of all – more than any kind of worldly success or status – is to trust and follow my own guidance. To be MORE present, improvisational, inner- and inter-connected, and LESS self-conscious, rehearsed, and influenced by others. To express my inner being rather than try to be who I think others want me to be. The latter has had a long enough run! It’s time for a new experiment. It’s kind of scary. But even more, it’s exciting.

So this morning, I brought my singing drum to the dock and allowed the sparkles of sunlight on the water to be the notes I played. They looked like this:

And if you’re curious, they sounded something like this:


© 2019 Susan Meyer. All rights reserved. To use any or all of this article, include this exactly: Susan Meyer (SusanTaraMeyer.com) is a photographer, writer, clutter coach, Reiki practitioner, feng shui consultant, and mindfulness teacher whose work is infused with a deep interest in the nature of mind and appreciation of the natural world. She lives on the Hudson River in Upstate New York.

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