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Posts Tagged ‘clouds’

The other day, I emailed a great rant to a dear friend, Cynthia Morris. I titled it “snarky moment.” I was smiling and feeling mischievous as I wrote. I was removed enough from it all not to be the victim in search of rescue, or the martyr in search of pity. I was having a romping roll with anger in the ranting hayloft and it was fun!

Here’s the story.

We had a series of storms here. The power was out for three full days. We had the advantage of a generator that was on briefly each morning and evening; enough to keep the food from spoiling and enable us to run water and flush toilets. Our water comes from a well. The well requires a pump and that pump requires electricity.

I hunkered down when the power first went out. I figured I could easily be patient with the usual two hours of outage that comes with a big storm. I’d managed to make my coffee just in time. I dressed like I was going skiing; long underwear, turtle neck, hooded sweatshirt and down vest. I checked to be sure the land line phone worked for the day’s client calls.

I spent 60 minutes in the morning and the evening scanning email and other social media using my backup laptop battery and a dial-up internet service.  Slow, v-e-r-y  s-l-o-w. I spent time under the down comforter. I actually read a book. (insert gasp of amazement here)

By day two, I was feeling really pent up. The rain, hail, thunderstorms, and falling tree limbs kept me off the wooded trail. To get to a movie, I’d have to drive the long way around on back roads as the main road was blocked by downed trees and lines. My patience was wearing thin and the lemonade I was making from lemons tasted sickeningly sweet. I was gagging on calling this an adventure, a retreat, a learning experience.

By day three, righting my rant had stopped working for me altogether. I was hardly breathing anymore.  My creative muse had flown the coop. The ways in which I was making positive out of the negative just weren’t telling the whole truth. I wasn’t being patient or positive. I was tolerating. In my hunkering down, I gave lip service to “adventure,” but I was living imprisonment. Of course, I didn’t realize this until the power was restored.

Stormy skies Santa Cruz

Storm Brewing (K J Loh)

The first full day of electrical power was followed by the first full day of sunshine. My own power was returning as well and instead of righting my rant, I wrote it. I wrote it and fired it off to Cynthia. Being the wonderful friend and creative coach she is, she responded:

There is a lot of wisdom and a lot of clues in this rant. I’d go through it and highlight what you want and then, you know, make it happen.

Now rants are kind of funny. They generally don’t have a life beyond their explosive moment in time. So, I had to go back and read what I’d written. It was amazingly clear that there are some changes I need to make in my life and the clues in that email are undeniable. The changes loom ominous like the storm clouds. So, no wonder I didn’t own-up to them. No wonder, I wanted to make lemonade. I didn’t want to admit that a lot of the “lemons” on my tree of doings had pretty much gone rotten.

After reviewing the email, I went mud-stomping with Callie dog in the woods. The hilly terrain got my heart beating and I exclaimed to the trees with delight, “I’m breathing again!” That’s when I realized I was no saint of patience.  I’d been tolerating. I’d hunkered down with the power-outage (no small bit of symbolism there) and decided to wait until circumstances handed me an oxygen mask.

Tolerating is imprisonment. It makes the spirit hover safely beyond the body, makes the mind crazy and the heart numb. Tolerating is not patience.

Tolerating is breath that is just shallow enough to get by.

Patience allows for deep satisfying breaths.

Tolerating is fearful inaction, constriction.

Patience is love and expansiveness.

Tolerating is a wicked ingrown hair of control.

Patience is free flowing surrender.

Tolerating is self-negation and has very little to do with self-love though it may have a lot to do with what appears to be self-preservation.

When I highlighted the key points in my rant, I discovered what I was tolerating. I discovered what I want through what I don’t want. I discovered new possibilities. Now I must also discover my courage.

There’s a huge energetic surge that comes with a rant. That energetic surge can be a wave that trashes us or one we can ride all the way to the joyful shores of our vision. Whereas tolerating leads to utter exhaustion and possible wipeout, patience allows us to become one with the wave.

What are you tolerating?

Next time you feel a rant coming on, write it before you right it.

Suggested steps for writing, and thus, righting your rant:

  1. Create a safe space for you and others when you rant. It’s not about blame. It’s about what you are no longer willing to tolerate. It’s about your own discovery of what has to change and gathering the courage to create that change.
  2. Write your rant.
  3. Put it away for a bit and go for a walk, dance…get your body moving.
  4. Do something kind to/for you. Receive love, nurturance and warmth.
  5. Go back and review your rant. Underline or highlight the clues. They may be things you don’t want anymore, something that needs to be said, a new creative outlet that wants to be born.
  6. Re-form those clues into powerful intentions and write them out as such.
  7. Chart your plan of action.
  8. Gather your courage and your allies.
  9. Begin – one small step is all it takes, one small action. It may be a powerful request you make of another. It may be resigning a position. It may be clearing a space in the home for creative activities. It may be asking for help. Whatever it is, your power will be restored with each step.
Copyright © January 2010, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved
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(W)in(D)formation

Today, I’m letting the wind inform me. It’s wildly gusty up here in the hills. Leaves are riding the wind waves to the shore of my driveway (though a few pirouette in skyward spirals on updrafts). Anything that’s not tied down, is going to blow away, blow down or mercilessly get tossed around. From this side of the double-paned windows, it sounds like a parade of jets departing SFO. Nothing knows stillness on a day like today.

I’ve known big winds in my own life, the kind that knock you sideways. A few years ago, one of those winds cut me loose. I can’t say whether it was losing or finding my center that set me adrift. Maybe it was switching my notion of center, from an external to an internal point, that had this boat I call “me” slip away from its dock.

The old anchors of home, marriage, and career had, all three, changed at the same time. I came to know many harbors as I let the winds of change blow me around. I began to know myself without the old anchors. I began to know myself as a center among many centers in the whole of life. I built a relationship with the Divine through meditation, ritual and nature. Now, the wind, the trees, the blowing leaves, all speak to me and they pose a lot of questions.

Windswept (Kathy Loh)

Windswept (Kathy Loh)

Today, I am asked and asking:

What needs to be released?

Am I meeting the winds of change with rigidity or giving them room to move through me?

Do I hunker down, ride it in exhilaration or let it snap me in two?

How sound are my roots?

Where have I chosen to plant myself and how secure and nurturing is the ground beneath me?

Am I clinging precipitously to a hillside or have I chosen more solid conditions?

Will I offer welcome sanctuary to other windswept creatures?

When the wind roars at me, will I roar back? Will I laugh as loudly?

Am I willing to dance, glide and dive in rapturous joy?

All these little leaf-boats setting sail upon this wind…do they know their center?

Do they know they are loved?

I have a Brian Andreas StoryPeople® print that says “I spent a long time trying to find my center until I looked closely one night and found it had wheels and moved easily in the slightest breeze, so now I spend less time sitting and more time sailing.”

When I bought that print, I could only dream of a center with wheels. Over these last few years, I developed a sturdy set of wheels and I am no longer adrift. I’m sailing. Sometimes skillfully and all too often flailing, but I’m sailing.

Today, I am grateful for in-formation from the wind.

all words and images copyright (c) April 2009, Kathy Loh, all rights reserved
header photo by Kathy Loh

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7 am – Morning sky blushes with the dawning of a new day

8 am – Deep in meditation

9 am – Clouds thicken, thunder rumbles in the distance

10 am – First raindrops dance on the foxglove’s leaves

11 am – Rain plays snare drum on the skylights

Noon – Quiet now, air fresh and sweet

1 pm – Weather? Whether?

2 pm – Sun wonders how much to show

3 pm – Wind kicks up a frenzy in the forest canopy

3:30 pm – Warm massage table welcomes me

4 pm –  surrender

4:30 pm – Tears flow, open heart, no story

5:30 pm – Sun blesses the shoreline, clouds retreat to the hills

Got my mud boots and my sunglasses on

Singing my spirit home again

Blushing Dawn (photo: Kathy Loh)

Blushing Dawn (photo: Kathy Loh)

(Thanks  to Jennifer Eisele in Santa Cruz for a great massage and cranial sacral therapy)

copyright (c) April 2009 Kathy Loh, all rights reserved

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