When a shift happens…

I used to be of the opinion that the day ‘the shift’ happens there would be thunderbolts and lightning, the earth would move and my whole world would be re-arranged. There would be debris all over and definitely some casualties left in its wake…

Well, I don’t quite know whether that indeed does happen or if it even has happened in some distant plain,but somehow I haven’t yet noticed any thing particularly different. Except that…

The Shift did happen and I think I may have told myself in my deepest slumbers about it and woke up the next morning unbeknown to me, to the dawn of a new day.

The memory of the realisation may lie somewhere deep in the recesses of my conscience, but indeed I felt that something great had definitely happened. It must have been the softest of all whispers to my ear, and the slightest of touches to my spirit, still it felt so definite.

The change can be so subtle that one may even miss it, until one notices one day, that the things that you held onto so strongly for dear life, are becoming a tad cumbersome to carry along, and the need to shake them off becomes surprising acute. You may start remembering the conversations you have had with others and of course with yourself, where you had declared hand over your heart that you would never do or be a certain thing. Proclaimed this and that and the other, thinking that you somehow had any knowledge of what the future holds and whether you would even be there to witness it.

One day you wake up and realise that your longest sworn enemy, has somewhat become just another person you used to know, and that the biggest grudges have evolved into a deep sense of compassion for the one they were once targeted at.

You look into your wardrobe to discover that some where along the line you traded in your much loved and celebrated stilettos for a pair of comfortable all stars and then you Know that something important has indeed taken place.

When one day you considered yourself a tried and tested technophobe and the next, you find yourself glued to the computer screen, on facebook, twitter, wordpress, google, and the like, then you wonder, what happened.

I haven’t wondered for long, because deep down inside, I have known, I was fully aware of this great change.

I think sometimes as people we hold ourselves hostage to the ideas that we have had about ourselves as well as other people and things in general. It seems like we never quite take the time to check up with ourselves just to find out where we are at this particular present moment.

We take for granted that we know what our favourite colour is, our favourite food, or even our dress size, until one day you wake up and discover that while you thought your favourite colour was red, it now is burnt orange, where Thai food was your idea of heaven, you discover that you actually like Nepalese food,

For some reason these realisations all come as quite a surprise as you ask yourself, ‘when did this happen? Where was I when it happened? And what does it even mean?

Fear no more, for in the questions you find the answers and a deep understanding sets in.

I have finally caught on to the dance that is my life,and I now realise that Life has been living through me as opposed to me living life. I thought I was the dancer, but now I know I am the dance, I am the song. The journey is the destination.

What a revelation!

So when the shift happened I must have woken up, from the dream or nightmare that I had considered to be my life. I opened my eyes and looked lovingly at even the things I had thought unacceptable. I found my self singing an old song that I’d been trying for so long to suppress, AND My goodness, I discovered that I do like the sound of my own singing voice.

So, what happened? I guess I must have lost or changed my mind! Either way, it feels great!

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When death happens…

After what seemed like an eternity of two relentlessly long weeks of having to deal with the passing of two loved ones, it felt as if the universe was telling us something. And when the universe speaks , You listen.

Starting from two Fridays ago, our world started to change, everything seemed to come to a stand still as nothing could be as important as being present for the loved ones remaining, the one’s whose lives would most certainly undergo an incredible transformation. This was no small feat, for what does one say to sister who has lost the love of her life, her promised lifetime partner and the father of her child? What does one indeed say to the childhood dear friend who loses her mother, the rock of her entire family to an illness?

These were the questions I was grappling with as I attempted to show the support and compassion that these wonderful women so deeply needed at this time of such grave calamities. I seemed to forget about everything else that had a minute before hearing of the first death, been of such importance in my own life, I put on hold all those pressing matters that had been needling at me since time immemorial and squared up to stay focused. The next few weeks, I thought, would be one of the most character building weeks of all our lives.

It occurred to me that Now was the time when avoiding the subject of death was not an option, often times we think of death as this unwelcome visitor, who comes bearing bad tidings, whose dark cloud engulfs all in it’s wake. However, as the days went by and the reality sunk in, I came to the great realisation that death is indeed a part of life, on the other side of the life coin, is death, and as said before, next door to happiness could easily lie sorrow. With this realisation I decided that perhaps it was time to rethink death, and in so doing rethink life.

For every birth there is an inevitable death, for every yes there is a no, and for every tear that falls there is a smile waiting to spread. When death happens you have to choose, you have to decide how you will see this event and how it will impact your life, the things you do, and the way you live. It is a time for introspection for all those who are left behind, and as it happens when all falls apart, there in the chaos, lies an opportunity to rebuild. To rebuild consciously and carefully.

So I decided, this time, calls for a rebirth.

What happens after death is a process of a new dawn, a brand new day, and a promise of new things. Often times we yearn for change, and when the spirit is ready for change, there is nothing that can be done to change this fact. How the change comes, sometimes is beyond our control, in this case the change came in the form of loss of two loved ones. In their passing, we are given the opportunity to recreate, to start afresh… one can only hope we can put this to good use and that we can thank them for their lives and at this moment, the beginning of the NEXT.

After the storm had subsided and the process of healing and making peace had started, my family and I put on our gardening gloves and got working. We were finally ready to embark on a mission to create a garden in our back yard. The guys (My hubby and son) began with the weeding while I was still contemplating, but in no time at all I was out there, gloves in hand and ready to be creative.

Unfortunately we only have two sets of gardening gloves in our home and there is three of us, so one of us was bound to go without. I appealed ( or implored) my son to be the ‘bigger’ man here and take it like a man! Allow us to use the gloves!!!

Alas, it was not to be, as with many two year olds, it seems imperative for them to do exactly what they see the adults around them do, particularly the dad, so after all my ministrations to distract him and get him to give in, I had to admit defeat and inturn reluctantly fish out my favourite pair of soft suede beige gloves ( lovingly purchased in Finland last autumn) and hand them over to the then almost hysterical child! Oh the sacrifices we make! It is needles for me to say how painful the next few minutes were to watch as the little man threw himself with such vigour and glee into the effort of pulling weeds, poking mud and touching water WITH MY BEAUTIFUL GLOVES ON…

That’s when it hit me, I had to surrender, this called for me to once again make peace with the fact and to choose, either my gloves would be ruined for ever or to save them I would cause the smile on this little one’s face to vanish. What to do? What to do?

The smile won of course and with my heart warmed up by the sight of my son’s excited face, I made a note to self to invest in a third pair of gardening gloves for future purposes.

So then, what happens after death? We planted new seeds! we got our gardening tools and got to work.

When a seed is planted, it is only a matter of time before the first plant pierces through the soil and you witness the wonder of nature! The miracle of a rebirth.

After planting about four pots of winter flowers and a few of carrots we cleared up and put our tools down and breathed. A deep sigh of satisfaction a job well done and a solid team effort (to quote my husband)

What a therapeutic process this was. And how glad we were that we had finally braved it…

In a few weeks we await with much anticipation, the birth of our new garden… AND our new lease on life! Its the small things that count.

Death reminds us to remember to live.

It reminds us of all the possibilities that await us.

It calls for a moment of silence as you quietly come home to your self.

Death, be not proud!