Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What if a woman listened to herself?

"What if woman allowed herself to listen once again to her own sensitivities? To listen to the ways in which she is unhappy? What if she allowed herself to trust what her tears are trying to tell her?

No, not this way, No your life has no meaning lived this way. No…No…slow down, rest. Fill the kettle slowly. Listen! as the water in its slender stream flows down to fill the waiting kettle.

A woman age 55 speaks of her struggle:

Oh the time, the endless pressure of time Even when I have a whole day, I still can’t get to my own things – I don’t even know what they are…

I vacuum, do the bookkeeping, always production-oriented…the endless realm of keeping busy…when I was young, my mother always expected us to keep busy…she couldn’t imagine my need to have time for myself…if one of her daughters would be a bit quiet or inward one day, she would right away immediately accuse us of being lazy and gives us a task to do.

In my dreams there is a quiet chamber, an inner corridor for which I’m always searching and can never quite get to…a quiet, dark place…where I’m allowed to just sit…alone …and be still.

What if a woman were to allow herself to trust her own unhappiness and to make life changes – that would allow time and place for her to experience her life as it lives itself out slowly, moment by moment? To allow herself time and place to be present to her own burning fire, the water springing from the rock of her own experience…to allow herself to leave behind the jet plane, the express lane, and simply to be, there, for a moment, present to her own life?

What if a woman trusted her own tears enough to listen to them, to make real changes in her individual schedule, and to see if those changes spread to her office, her committee, her religious group?

What if she trusted her anger, her irritation, her illness, even her depression, as signs that her own life was calling to her?

What if a woman allowed herself to leave a mode of doing that does not nourish her, that actively makes her unhappy? What if it were not so difficult? If her upbringing had not sought to teach her to be dutiful, moral, caring, giving, helpful, productive and loving…at all times...to all others.

….it is often finally a woman’s own pain and sadness that make her change her life. Finally, it is impossible to deny her feelings any longer."

taken from Circle of Stones, Judith Duerk, Woman’s Journey to Herself

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tao Te Ching Wisdom for the day

True perfection seems imperfect,
yet it is perfectly itself.
True fullness seems empty,
yet it is fully present.

True straightness seems crooked.
True wisdom seems foolish.
ture art seems artless.

The Master allows things to happen.
She shapes events as they come.
She steps out of the way
and lets the Tao speak for itself.

another excerpt says,
Rushing into action, you fail.
Trying to grasp things, you lose them.
Forcing a project to completion
you ruin what was almost ripe.
Therefore the Master takes action
by letting things take their course


Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you.

Is it just my imagination, or is everything I'm reading today in the Tao Te Ching aimed at inviting me to let go, let things take their course, stop worrying, controlling, obsessing, striving, pushing too hard, going too fast?

step out of the way.....

So the wisdom of the day would be that. Let yourself go with the flow, and stop paddling up stream. It's a lot easier to let the boat follow the river. Row if you must, but you will advance more quickly when you let go to the river's current.

Life is a current. I can ride the waves of my life, being buoyant, being still in the center, and letting the ups and downs come. It takes a focus on what is real, what is permanent, to allow myself to not get upset by the changes, by what is impermanent.

If I look back a year ago today, I was unsure of the future, I was hoping things would change more quickly. Then boom, a few months later we had heard of a new house on the water, I applied to teach at the women's centre, life and the river kept flowing. Now we are renovating, and I am teaching. If I look towards the future, it is still uncertain, i.e. I have no way of knowing for sure what is coming.

But I am starting to trust the flow.