Week 8, Day 5 – Simplicity

The short story I wanted to reflect on was already quite short, but spoke to my spirit this afternoon. It is called Stay in the Desert. The story goes like this, “Why do you live in the desert?” “Because I can’t be what I want to be. When I begin to be myself, people treat me with a reverence that’s false. When I am true to my faith, then they begin to doubt. They all believe they are holier than I, but they pretend they are sinners, afraid to insult my solitude. They try all the time to show that they consider me a saint, and in this way they become emissaries of the devil, tempting me with Pride.” “Your problem isn’t trying to be who you are, but accepting others the way they are. And acting in this way, it’s better to stay in the desert,” said the gentleman, walking off.
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Week 4, Day 7 – Rewarding Yourself, the Spirit Grows

So today was field trip day and I could actually do this. I went to the local nurseryJ. The goal was to pay attention to your sensory reaction as you walked up and down the aisles. Intuitively, what do you know about flowers? What does your spirit say about plants that must be planted annually or those that come back every year? How do you respond to the tiny seedlings compared to the larger plants? What does your reaction to seedlings tell you about how you trust? I might have to email Janelle and tell her that her book is California biased. On a cold January day, I was literally one of only 2 customers in the nursery. The other was my partner who went with me. Not many people go to the nursery on a cold winter day and there was very little to interact with. Never the less it was a powerful experience.
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Week 1, Day 7 – Rewarding Yourself – Gift in Public Places

Well, while I would have loved to have done this as requested, that was not possible for a few reasons. one not being able to drive I would have had to have made my liftline reservations three days ago to do this today. Second, is that the roads and sidewalks are still covered with snow and my wheelchair does not do so well as an all terrain vehicle L. Third, it is cold outside. so I decided to reward myself today by staying in the warmth of my home, holding a hot cup of coffee in my hands periodically and thinking about this statue that I have sitting on my living room table. I was about to say I am not even sure where I got it, but then I remembered that I did. I got it five years ago when zoe and I were shopping for furniture at Value City Furniture. There was something about this sculpture that I just loved. It it this sculpture of two genderless beings sitting back to back and while most of the time they sit still with their backs against each other, the base is curved slightly, so it can rock back and forth.
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Week 1, Day 3 -- Faith Makes It Possible

The whole time I was typing this sentence and saying it in my head, all I could hear was the sound of palms on my djembe. The beat was similar to the sound of a very simple beat on my drum. After a while it becomes like a heartbeat and the separation between you and the drum just seems to fade. Even sitting here, I can still hear the drumbeat in my heart as I type one more time how faith enriches my life. I do not even need to open my eyes to look at the keyboard as I type. It is as if my eyes can see without even being open. The sound of the keyboard feels like a drumbeat as well. I am reminded of how I felt the first time I heard this all women’s drumming troupe, voices of Africa perform in Geneva, New York. I can still hear Nana saying to this primarily white audience how she was going to bring out the inner jungle in us. She did with me and I left there that night with my first drum and have been drumming intermittently ever since. It is one of those things that I do which makes me feel connected to the world and reminds me that I am part of something even bigger then myself.
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Week 1, Day 2 – Hope Holds the Opportunity

One of the things I came to realize after journaling yesterday was that 10 minutes was just not enough time for me to really go as deep in my writing as I wanted to go. I found myself writing about wonder periodically throughout the night and throughout the day today. One of the things I found myself wondering was if I had other biological family members out there in this great big world. Every once in a while someone will tell me they met my twin somewhere. I have always wondered if my biological parents had any other children with or after me. If so, where are they? Would I even recognize them if I were sitting next to them? When I was younger, I used to wonder about this more then I do now, but sometimes I still wonder about this. Sometimes I wonder about my foster parents. I wonder what made them become foster parents. I wonder what they enjoyed most about caring for me. Sometimes I wonder why I am still alive. I wonder how I managed to survive the fetal distress I was born with. Sometimes I wonder how my brother Jess is doing and if he will ever find it within himself to speak to Mark or me again. Sometimes I wonder if I can ever make it through the day without questioning something. But there are so many other things that make me experience wonder then just questions about what I do not know.
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Week 1, Day 1 -- Wondering

What was really interesting for me was that after I typed up these directions, I needed to step away from the computer. My brain seemed to be focused on this logical way of thinking. It seemed as if typing these concrete directions made me feel less connected to what was really going on inside of me. I found myself feeling as if I should be sitting here writing some sort of academic essay. Answer the questions please. I have always hated trying to write for others. it seems as if takes away the freedom and the connection to self and others. it becomes a job, rather then a form of self-expression. Probably the one thing I wonder about the most these days is why I allowed others to neglect, reject and abuse me. I am pretty clear on why I stopped the abuse, but sometimes I wonder why I even allowed them to do it in the first place. why did I choose to believe the criticisms and negativity of others. why did I stop believing I was worthy? Why did I stop believing in my own gifts? In my own intelligence?
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