It’s a…coffee sipping, internally romantic, I-love-myself moment and have woken to the sweet sounds of my sister-love, Lady Day. We inhale our ordinary surroundings and the quietness, the stillness of this particular moment seems to serve as a reassurance that every wrong decision served it’s humble purpose and every right decision did just the same.
This morning….this type of morning comes only once a month or year or lifetime. It is the universe’s gift of self assurance, independence, and strength…but my mind is so clear and quiet that I am reminded of how easily this gift can slip away from me, through my lips, in the form of a debilitating, yet insignificant insecurity.
So I cradle my oversized coffee cup and smile as it scalds my fingertip. I kiss that same finger and use it to cover my lips. I let Billie Holiday do the talking and hope that this moment lasts long enough for me to remember it.
Here’s to my first post on the Singlestream and to everyone having a happy morning.
So… I don’t need to know the details. I don’t need to know the man, the weakness, the problems, the arrest, the nervous breakdown allegations. With or without the opinions and reports on the life of the leader of the Invisible Children I have come to understand the following FACTS:
- Joseph Kony raped, murdered, disfigured, enslaved, tormented and terrorized for over 26 years in Uganda and other countries in Central Africa.
- Led by Jason Russell, The Invisible Children’s professed purpose has been to create a reality of infamy that would facilitate his capture and justice for his victims.
- The video KONY 2012 went viral and has been viewed by over 32 million people, succeeding in the purpose at #2 above.
- Joseph Kony is now infamous and there is a greater possibility that he will meet his justice as a result of this infamy.
At the end of all this and for these four reasons alone, I would like to shake the hand of the man who founded this movement, even if his hands are none too clean and his own self weak and imperfect – that simply makes him about as human as every other human being I know. In his own video he didn’t profess perfection or strength but only purpose and passion. He did say that a bunch of littles can do something big. And even in his littleness – weakness, unpreparedness, mental illness, WHATEVER – he has made a big impact on this world.
Nothing as small as one man’s failings should change what we know to be wrong and right. What the affected children of Central Africa have suffered is wrong and cannot be justified by any moral system. A few years and a few miles separate you and me from being one of them. For the right and wrong of the historical reality alone the world will be painted red in April.
Praying for Jason and that the work he has done well and imperfectly will meet success in the capture and judgment of one of history’s monsters.
It is a fact that we often mistake for a baseless opinion and shelve behind the important things we need to do. Like run a company, write a book, meet so-and-so for drinks so she can cry on your shoulder about her recent breakup, classes that we Single Women like to fill our time with on the premise of “self-improvement”.
There is no good excuse for running oneself into the ground. Yet we find them and invent them and sell them as though they would gain us commission. Why?
I’m sure the answer for every Single Woman is different in the details but it usually boils down to fear. The fear of losing momentum, the fear of missing something, the fear of silence, of aloneness. Pick one or mix them up, but fear wraps its frozen claws around us subtly at the thought of what our thoughts will say if we gave them the silence in which to speak.
SINGLE WOMAN LOVE THYSELF!
Your SELF is your own precious Ferrari, given to you and designed by God. Let your thoughts speak. Trust the good at the core of your gift to temper your quiet conversation. Take a day, a few afternoons a week, and sit in your own company at rest with your Self. It is a very important relationship to maintain, this relationship with ones Self. It will determine how you live, how fulfilled you will be and the direction in which you will go. How can you have your dreams come true if you can’t take the time to actually find out what they are?
In Eat. Pray. Love., Liz describes the first time she actually meditated. It excited her beyond her expectations and she has made meditation a daily practice in her life. Sure, her New Age beliefs are not for everyone but the concept remains the same. Spend some time letting the quietest of your thoughts do the talking and perhaps you too will discover profound truths within yourself.
It is no secret that regular and quality rest can add years to your life. Sleep studies and stress tests are increasingly coming upon new information on the benefits of rest and the damage that the lack of it can do to your health. Many of today’s most common diseases are stress triggered and avoidable. Certainly we aren’t aiming for a quick race to the grave, are we ladies!
But what is rest? The opposite of labour is the idea given by Jesus (“Come unto me all ye that labour and I will give thee rest”).
noun1. the refreshing quiet or repose of sleep: a good night’s rest.2. refreshing ease or inactivity after exertion or labor: to allow an hour for rest3. relief or freedom, especially from anything that wearies, troubles, or disturbs.4. a period or interval of inactivity, repose, solitude, or tranquillity: to go away for a rest.5. mental or spiritual calm; tranquillity.
That last night as I stood looking over the night sky a sense that this moment would be special came to me. There are defining moments in life that we do not recognize at the outset, so cloaked are they in the veil of the ordinary. But their flavour lingers and their perfume settles on your soul to become a part of you, an enrichment of you, and a turning point for you. This time with Nena sat out over the rain-washed garden and looking up into the stars of La Ceiba with un tragito is one of the memories I treasure most from my short time in Honduras.
We spoke of life, of the love of country, of the power of womanhood. She asked me what was happening in my life and sat waiting as I spoke of my love of work. I do love my job and throw myself in. When that topic was exhausted she sat waiting some more, looking at me gently. Sensing no escape I went on, told her of my troubles, my struggle to recover from a few heavy blows in swift succession. I didn’t belabour or expand and in a few short sentences cut to the core. There was no need to embellish – Nena feels it as I do. “Trraicionera” she swore under her breath and as I finished she spat out “Mentiroso!”
“Aiii m’hija…” her advice to me was priceless and matter of fact. No need for dramatics. The power of her feelings came across without the theatre of flowery words. “Mejor soltera que mal acompañada, m’hija. Hay mujeres tracioneras en esta vida… y hombres mentirosos… interesadas en cada calle… ” She advised me for some time on the management of my friendships, the balance of my personal life and my work, and the part I can play in my family life.
She went on to tell me of her life, of her own deep love and the devastation of betrayal. She told me of her suffering, of her passion for her family and her city. I listened to the beautiful melody of her spanish and felt my own battery recharging as she continued on, great peace in her voice together with the quick-blood of life.
In life there are defining moments brought about by powerful colourful people. Not for my Nena the essence of insipid pastel yellow and baby blue. She is a woman of pulsing blood-red like her ginger lilies, the lush green of the life of her mountains, and the sharp, clear lightning of her intelligent mind.
Across Latin America there are peaks and valleys, love and pain, people of dominance and people of passion. My Nena is a mountain, plain as day. Never again will I apologise for feeling deeply, for speaking powerfully, for being all of me at full intensity. Never will I feel shame at being too much or too scary or too bold or too strong. There is a whole continent of people who feel as deeply as I do and do not fear to show it. It makes us dangerous when we want to be, strong when we need to be, and an ocean-depth full of love when the time comes for us to be.
This is who I am. And thank you Nena for encouraging me to be. To be me.
Many days have passed since my last post. It was the 100th post on this blog. Between 100 and 101 I have made an amazing journey back to the womb.
Finally. I introduced myself to Honduras.
Over the next few days I will share with you the journey made out of my complicated and duplicitous world and into the welcome healing of family, love, food and simplicity.
Several times over the last few days the image of myself in past yoga classes has come unbidden to the front of my mind. The instructor would pour out the invitation to grind down into the ground, feel the pulse of the earth connect with your feet, clear your mind and feel only the intention.
The intention is alive and I have some very special people to thank for the jumper cables they have been. Thank you to my Myce for being the genuine and generous person she is, to my Monkey for being the most darling child, to their family for opening their arms to me, to Nena for being a powerhouse of a woman, full of inspiration, and to La Ceiba for being so honest with me.
What hasn’t yet been written anywhere before is the account of Bushlings and her attempt at a half marathon. The half marathon, some 13.1 miles, was a goal I set to take my mind off weight and get me healthy and fit. Reasonable and objective goals, much like the Hair. In the fall of 2010 I teamed up with a guy I know who planned my training schedule for me, coached me with diet and weight training, and ran up to six miles once a week with me – a true champion. I made it to just under seven miles before all hell broke loose.
Both knees. Busted. Off my feet for days.
The disappointment was tangible. I couldn’t run. I couldn’t take stairs. I couldn’t wear heels for a few months. I have a jagged patella that aggravates and rubs causing a buildup of fluid. So very very very sad. I had finally found an exercise that I enjoyed only to have it ripped from me by my own traitorous body!
I loved it! Running in the rain along the shoreline. Running on the beach. Running before breakfast. Running with an eager mutt. All glorious and burning and fresh and open and in time to the music.
My trainer is still an inspiration. He still believes in me. I started again to run since, just to break a sweat. I’ve made it back up to three miles! So what if the doctors say I can’t? One mile every days won’t kill me right? Pain is weakness leaving the body. My coach tells me all the time.
This week he met me out for a quick catchup. He has just come back from the San Fransisco Marathon – one of the hardest in the known world of marathons. It is super exciting to hold his medal and feel the weight of his accomplishment!
He is also in the best shape of his life. A very bulky guy with big bones and strong features, he is now half the size he was when I met him a few years ago. If you’ve seen that Nationwide Insurance ad on American television or on YouTube you’ll know what I mean – he’s a vanishing deductible!
Congratulations to a man who slowed down to let me keep up for a while and continues to inspired me to stretch to, and then beyond, the edges of my limits. As for me, I’m about to lace up those shoes again. Time to stop talking and thinking and just jump.