As I was working on cataloging my journals yesterday, I made a timeline, to track back when this particular change in me and my life began. I started writing the blog five months ago, and this life-rehab can sometimes feel like it happened just as recently, but THIS exact shift has been happening for at least three years, like water wearing away at a stone–freezing and thawing, dripping, rushing over and past, slowly changing its shape, causing cracks where the light gets in.
Image: Evgeni Dinev, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Some highlights from the timeline:
2007: Therapy. Shambhala Training. Meditation practice.
2008: Yoga. Fitness trainer.
2009: Obi and Kelly diagnosed with cancer the same week. Obi starts chemotherapy. Obi’s cancer goes into remission. Warrior Assembly at Shambhala Mountain Center. Obi’s cancer comes back and we make the decision to stop chemotherapy. Kelly’s cancer comes back too. Obi dies in November.
2010: Major changes to my job, a long and difficult situation finally is resolved. We get Sam. Kelly passes away and I fly to Kentucky for her memorial service. I do a one day writing retreat with a friend that reminds me who I am, what I have always wanted. I restart a daily writing practice. We spend a month in Waldport, Oregon at the beach. I do a weekend online meditation retreat with Pema Chödrön, “Smile at Fear.”
2011: I take a few meditation classes to reestablish my sitting practice. Once a month for four months, I take a day long creative non-fiction writing workshop. Publish an article about Kelly. Join an Artist’s Way group and finally finish the book, having started it the first time ten years ago. 10 years at Colorado State University. WILD writing group starts to meet. Yoga Nidra & Loving-Kindness workshop with Ed & Deb Shapiro, 30 days of unlimited Yoga classes at Old Town Yoga Studio, and Yoga Immersion workshop shift Yoga to a true practice, (no longer just exercise). 25 year high school reunion, (I don’t go). Start a book couple with a friend, reading Gifts of Imperfection by Brene’ Brown. EClasses: Mondo Beyondo, Superhero Photo, and Ordinary Courage. First blog post.
This gradual building, this wave of energy that ripples out into every part of my life, is illustrated by the “bar graph” of my journals–those places where I take notes, record events, vent my feelings, list ideas, doodle, dream and remember and plan.
And this timeline, this review of things reminds me also that true change happens slowly, like water wearing away at a rock, and even then, the basic truth of me–my wisdom and compassion, my calling–doesn’t ever change, it remains constant and the same.