The Art of Allowing

Oh my, it feels as though I have so much to say after not writing here for quite some time. I always know it’s time to return–when I’m having conversations with you all in my mind.

I wonder if you feel what I do at just this time–a great shifting in how Life experiences you, and in turn how you experience it–but in the most subtle of ways. Undoubtedly many of us are continuing to move through the spiral of our own journey, unearthing pieces of ourselves, dismantling layers of beliefs and barriers no longer needed. But what has occurred for me over the last couple of months feels quite extraordinary, in the most simple of ways.

Gorgeous Beach Roses, overlooking the marsh at Moody, Maine.
Gorgeous Beach Roses, overlooking the marsh at Moody, Maine.

It’s the first time–EVER–I was on my own for a few weeks this summer, and it was extraordinary. My husband’s father passed away three years ago, and his mother just this January. That leaves my husband as the ‘elder’ in his family, which in itself is quite surreal. There were two properties to be managed – her home to be sorted through, cleaned out and put on the market to sell – and a family cottage on the coast of Maine to be transferred into our ownership and oversight as it’s also a rental property. A friend and I traveled together up to New England and spent a week cleaning, packing, making repairs in the home to be sold. Our time together was filled with laughter, lots of dust and we even managed to get in a few nights out on the town. She then went on to visit family in Canada and I spent the next week by myself at the beach cottage.

I don’t quite have all the words to describe this experience, but I know it changed me in ways I’m not yet aware. When I met my husband nearly 22 years ago, we fell in love and married within less than a year. I moved from my parents’ home to his. So being in this sacred place I love so much and having it all to myself as the energetic shift in ownership occurred was a beautiful gift. I loved every minute. My dear friend Joss unknowingly spoke what’s true in my heart – Moody Beach is a healing space for me. In years past, it has felt very much in my awareness. This year, it was much more as though I was simply allowing myself to love each moment for what it was. There wasn’t anything BIG or earth-shattering that I felt or recognized inwardly. The movement has been subtle, beautiful, gentle. And I feel that is the energy currently settling into our consciousness as the old paradigm of fear and ‘doing the right thing’ march silently out of focus.

There’s so much I could say, but I do tend to write long posts already, so will try to simplify. I have witnessed the delicate grace having a similar impact on several occasions–moving my spirit when I wasn’t even aware it was happening. First, after a week by myself, I was uncertain if I was ready for my family to arrive. We return to Moody Beach each summer – sometimes just my husband and I, other times the kids will go with us; this year everyone journeyed north. They would fly in on Tuesday, but Sunday evening and even a bit on Monday morning I was concerned I might not be so happy to see them. A gentle breeze of grace shifted my feelings as Monday went on – and I felt a bit lonely accompanied by a longing to connect with my family. When they landed on Tuesday, my heart leapt with joy to see these amazing beings who chose me for their wife and mother.  I felt – and still do – quite amazed with how my emotions and heart moved just as was needed in those moments.

On a brilliantly warm and sunny Friday afternoon, I walked to the nearby marsh to find a large flock of geese enjoying the high tide. They reminded me....'you do not have to be good.'
On a brilliantly warm and sunny Friday afternoon, I walked to the nearby marsh to find a large flock of geese enjoying the high tide. They reminded me….’you do not have to be good.’

Similar experiences happened when it was time for the kids to go, for us to come home from the beach and most recently with my work. My husband and I would spend the remaining week together in New England, and although I so looked forward to that, I felt pangs of grief as I watched my children walk towards their gate for the flight home. When we traveled back home to Atlanta over two days’ journey, I wasn’t so sure coming ‘home’ would be welcome. Halfway through day two, I sensed the shift and desire to be in my beautiful Atlanta HOME once again. And with Sacred Circle Retreats – upon leaving closing out our Spring Program in May, I felt burnt out, unsure about continuing this forward. That feeling of uncertainty seemed to increase as my distance from the work and community did. Just a few weeks ago I wondered if I would be canceling the Fall Program because my heart was no longer in it. My friend and mentor Fay Hart is always talking about miracles and how they are everywhere. I’m convinced a miracle occurred because the passion for this work, for our Fall Program and the women with whom I’m so honored to work has only grown immensely over the last few weeks and I’m elated to launch our new series of events this evening.

Two quotes come to me in closing. The first I read just this morning and shared on the Sacred Circle Retreats FB page, which then led me to write this post (finally!):

Nonresistance is the key to the greatest power in the universe. Through it, consciousness (spirit) is freed from its imprisonment in form. ~ Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth

The second seems to sum up my summer retreat (because for me it WAS a retreat, they come in many forms, my friends):

You do not have to be good…..
You have only to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. ~ Mary Oliver, Wild Geese poem

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Simplicity of ‘Allowing’

So much has happened in a short time in my life recently.  Not only from a personal growth and spiritual networking perspective, but also from the standpoint of our family transitioning into another phase of our lives together.  For those who follow these posts, you already know how some of my greatest dreams are being realized, and that movement continues forward.  There is so much to learn, to take in and receive–and I am wide open, welcoming the opportunity to grow and rebirth.  And you’re also aware our oldest daughter is about to go off to college, with her brother and sister not far behind.  So many changes…in just a few months’ time.

As I sat outside contemplating all of this, feeling a very deep desire to be still and connect to the energy Nature just BE-ing, thoughts on giving/receiving came into my awareness.  Certainly I’ve talked here about allowing ourselves to receive and not just always exhausting our ability as Sacred Activists to be servants and givers to our world.  Practicing the art of being penetrated by the loving grace of others supports us in maintaining a balance.

It continued from there, as I looked within to see why there was still something “needed.”  What I found wasn’t a lack of receiving or giving.  In fact, there has been a significant amount of each.  The word that continued to come into my being was “allowing.”  Just allow.  Allow myself.  It’s as though we want to add more, to finish the sentence, add the object of allowing–allow change, allow Spirit to move, allow grace to flow.  But no, there wasn’t more.  No boundaries, no limitations, no necessities, no omissions or indulgences.  Very simply, the message resonated deeply within my soul.  “Allow yourself.” 

There is so much this could mean.  Allow yourself to love, to cry, to sing, to laugh, to shine, to rest, to heal, to eat, to dance, to write, to share, to comfort, to uplift.  On and on we could go, could we not?  But when the sentence is reduced to those two words, the possibilities are limitless.  “Allow yourself.”  Allow yourself THIS moment, in THIS time, in THIS place.  And be one with it.  Whatever it is.  Allow yourself.

The message of these two little words will vary for each of us and for all of us will shift moment by moment.  There is a simplicity in this spiritual practice.  And even to connect to that, we must “allow ourselves” to do so.  I urge each of you to begin the dialogue that will call your soul.  As you “allow yourself” to hear….the whispers of your heart…..