panjee

panjee

Aug 152015
 

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They have been everywhere for me lately.

A few weeks ago, she came in the form of a heartfelt text message from a friend I hardly see. Her message said, “I’m feeling you, sister. Is everything ok?” She was an unexpected life raft that day and she didn’t even know it. We decided it was time to make good on our constant “lets-get-togethers”.  She chose a nice place to eat and made me laugh. We had a great time connecting and hugged each other with much appreciation when we parted. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 4:24 pm
Aug 102015
 

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What is it they say about being tested the minute we commit to living out of our spiritual convictions?

Well, I have been committing to many lately, so I suppose I was due. Just when I published a post about finding grace where I am, I had an encounter with a well-meaning friend who chatted with me about the changes in my life, asked pointed questions, listened well, and then mindlessly said he was now adjusting his view of me. He actually made gestures with his hands going diagonally down from an invisible pedestal. I could only be thankful I was never actually on it.  Continue reading »

 Posted by at 5:13 pm
Aug 082015
 

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Weekends. When the rest of the world is out doing, I am home being.

I say a prayer upon rising then amble down to the kitchen to make my coffee concoction. I smile at all the jars of extra nutrition I put into it, amused at the potion it has become. More often than not a wistful memory surfaces around this ritual. I let it come. On other days, I am inclined to discipline myself about certain emotions that sometimes threaten to rule. But on weekends, we have the luxury of sitting together until I can send them gently on their way. Then I throw open the doors and windows, welcome air and light into my home, feeling every part of me finally waking up. I sit on the lanai chair that  gives me the best view of my garden and sip my morning elixir. Already I am in a space of gratitude for this home and life I am so very fortunate to have. I walk barefoot on the grass and stand in the middle of my space on this earth. I take in the ground beneath me, receive the sky above me and feel myself right at the center of their generosity. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 10:47 am
Aug 072015
 

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Is that an oxymoron?

My relationship with Facebook has been love-hate at best. I’ve left it and come back so many times. The last two times had to do with life changes I did not want played out online. I needed new boundaries for this new space I was in that hadn’t quite defined itself. And Facebook is lousy at that. I couldn’t go to it without being pulled in different directions. I left and it was good.

It’s been a little over a month since my last deactivation and I have been enjoying the quiet. But I enrolled in an online course with a Facebook support community that I thought would be worth the return. I was also starting to miss the access I had to writers, poets, and other healers and personalities whom I respect and follow. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 4:23 pm
Jul 262015
 

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My previous post earned a conversation with a concerned friend who thought I might be clinically depressed or suffering from concealed depression (aha, a brand new disease !). Like I said in the post, I am not prone to depression, but this does not mean I have not felt despair, sadness and grief. I have. I am somewhere in that well now, but slowly finding my way back to the surface.

Now, I know myself, but I also like to guard against denial. I went online after we hung up and read several articles on depression, even took a few quizzes, enough to confirm what I already know: I’m just sad, and I know it’s something that comes with my life experiences of late. If I went into detail, you would agree that it is a very sad time, indeed. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 4:32 pm
Jul 182015
 
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photo from flowersavenue.com

I have been underwater lately; it has been a year of tough lessons and unexpected reckoning. I am not prone to depression, not one to wallow, but these days levity and laughter are elsewhere. Humor has always been my fall back, reliable beacon, my go-to-light at the end of all of life’s tunnels. But not this time. Still, I refuse to accept it has abandoned me.

On a morning when I could barely keep my head above water, I noticed a family of three walking–sisters and their father. As my car passed them, he flashed a smile at my tinted window. He didn’t mean to, I think; It was already there. It was relaxed, content, full of quiet joy.

A short distance later I saw a boy of about four aiming his face at the breeze just beyond the family car window. On him I saw radiant joy and certainty, as if he knew it would always be his.

Joy. It is everywhere. There will be moments when it will elude you, when you will feel it has left, but on that day I learned the next best thing–to look outside and find it there. For now it is outside you, and it is enough to know it is within reach.

 Posted by at 1:43 pm
Feb 162015
 

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I recently had a talk with my godson about marriage. His friends seem to be diving in, left and right, and he’s having to fly to different places to attend weddings and christenings. Part of him was feeling a little odd being one of two in his group who is still single, but it was clear he had many questions about the institution. I told him I had as many and feel marriage to be painfully outdated given our present context.

We are different human beings today, evolving towards becoming more and more ourselves (hopefully), so more and more marriages are ending up torn and frayed, if not completely shattered. Religion certainly has not helped in this area. There is much talk about fidelity, forever, sin, morality, God, but not much about the necessary and spiritual evolution of the self, and how this can happen authentically within the same space. Isn’t this what marriage can be–a conscious spiritual endeavour, the nurturing of shared space that allows each individual freedom and self-actualization over time, the recognition and honoring of each other’s essence, learning to love in truth, first ourselves and then another? I move towards these points each time I think about marriage and all its possibilities. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 7:36 pm
Nov 242014
 

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I’ve been spending a lot of time with mine. I am an introvert, so this is portentous. I seek them out, listen to their often hilarious but wise counsel, and mostly fill myself with abundant gratitude for who they are and all they mean to me.

On a birthday that veered towards abject sadness, they rallied. We buried our hands in clay and made imperfect pottery, all the while making fun of the beautiful mess of our lives. We tormented our teacher with endless inappropriate remarks, laughed even more, sang while we kneaded, and held each other’s stories close. We shared a meal and snickered as the waiters slunk away from our vehement fun.

Shortly after, still on the birthday theme, I travelled with two of them–something I haven’t done since my early twenties. I had the best time chatting, exploring, getting lost, eating with joy and gusto, having our faces made up by strangers who did their best with what we had; We are in our late forties after all. But we laughed even through that and invented jokes about the many undiscovered (until now) uses of our most reliable concealer, all the while acknowledging — if not finding ways to humor — the heartbreak in the room. I chat with these two nearly everyday. We are never far away from each other. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 2:32 pm
Sep 282014
 

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Every Sunday, when my schedule and weather permit, I start the day with a solo walk. I do this not so much for the exercise, but for the peace it brings me. I pause on the bridge to watch the river below, listening to it gush and travel. I remember the river we used to visit in Los Baños as a child, a little longer than a hop and skip away from my grandmother’s farm. I see my poorly made green flip flops again, remember how they made my feet bleed, and smile at my little girl determination to keep going because I did not want to miss my regular “tampisaw”.  I am lost in the memories before I walk again.

On this day, I am accompanied by butterflies, who flit and flutter beside me. They are so close I feel they must be my beloved grandmother, Mamoo, or my dearest friend, Wyngard, already on a different journey. I remember how they were–Mamoo who was my everything when I was very little. She made me laugh like no one else, taught me what I know in the kitchen, gave me so much. Wyngard, who was also mother to me, who listened to every story of heartbreak and was always there. Always. On Sundays, I feel them with me more and more. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 11:42 am
Sep 072014
 

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Almost overnight, everything normal is upended, from an innocuous sms exchange suddenly turned vile and venomous, to a meeting about one topic suddenly being manipulated into something more personal and dishonest.  I’m trying not to shoot the messengers. (Insert chortle.) Instead, I’m seeing the unearthing of deep issues that now demand an honest look.

I recognize the signs; I’ve been through this before. I know I’m being violently kicked out of my complacency because I have been ignoring all the calls for attention, hoping they would all disappear on their own. I should have known better. They never do.

The soul doesn’t like complacency. It doesn’t thrive in half-truths and untruths, so if you choose to coast along, ignoring its need for light and clarity, life will assert itself and create uncomfortable and painful situations that require you to pay greater attention. This may be through illness, the demise of a relationship, or a series of difficult events that, when examined objectively, may carry a theme–a message for your next evolution. Continue reading »

 Posted by at 10:50 am