Letting go

How do we learn to give our children up to the care of the Great Spirit? When they’re born, we know we have to let them go eventually, but we might not realize we have to start doing it sooner than we expected. The first day of preschool, a babysitter/daycare situation, and later, sleepovers that result in a midnight call to pick them up.

How do we relinquish our hopes and expectations for them? What I wanted when I was in high school was a school like the one portrayed in the TV show “Fame”.  When we started discussing where my 14 year old would go for high school, I wanted him to go to the local arts and leadership school.  Much to my dismay, he wanted to do sports, which that school didn’t offer, so my dreams of living vicariously through him were dashed, and I had to let go, again.

As time goes on they grow further and further from the Island of Mom.  Pushing off from the shoreline for a trip to a neighboring island and graduating to day trips, then out for days at a time. My teenager just got back from a five-day river trip.  I had gotten used to texting him during the day, and just the loss of that small bit of connection made me weep, I’m not sorry to say, more than once. Even the days that he spends with his Dad, every other weekend, are opportunities for me to let go. ( I wrote more about that here)

My children rise, I imagine, of their own accord, up toward their own fate, their own path – the one we can’t walk with them. We aren’t privy to where that path will take them.  We can provide access to tools and strategies, as far as our own capacities will allow, but the path itself, is a matter between them and their God.

How do we let them go with grace? Most of us were never taught these skills, although there have been other generations that valued that connection with their children and ultimate letting go enough to learn to do it well.

Where is the best place to learn this letting go, now in this day and age? Who do we even talk to about it?  I know I’ve shed more than one tear over drinks with other moms, but that is commiserating, not learning so much. I don’t know the “best” place to learn these skills, but many people turn to their religion/belief systems, counseling, parenting books, etc. I have engaged with a number of those way, and find that I look to the universal, cosmic even, ways of letting go.  Breathing, noticing how the light moves or doesn’t move in my sons’ eyes, and listening – ever listening.

First, we have to let go of how we were let go.  How we moved into the world, transitioning from youth to adult became our programming. I for one, have had to do a hell of a lot of unlearning to make room for these questions.  And, I’m still unlearning, returning to a Beginners Mind, over and over again. Being reminded of returning to Beginner’s Mind is one of the gifts of Householding.

How do we give our children up to the care of the Great Spirit?  We listen.  Our children are the experts of their own lives, and it is our job to listen to what they say, not only with words, but with their bodies, with their silences.

What I have heard, like a rainstorm I thought would be a virga, but it indeed reached the parched ground of my listening ears, is my sons telling me, sometimes cryptically, sometimes point blank, how to let them go. This teacher becomes the student, over and over again.

 

Painting by A.N. Schuller, 1994

Beginner’s Mind, A.N. Schuller, 1994

 


Rise up or Die: Some questions

We stand helpless before the corporate onslaught. There is no way to vote against corporate power. Citizens have no way to bring about the prosecution of Wall Street bankers and financiers for fraud, military and intelligence officials for torture and war crimes, or security and surveillance officers for human rights abuses.

VIA: Chris Hedges: Rise up or Die – Truthdig.com

Having read Chris Hedges book “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt”, where he and Joe Sacco go to some of the most impoverished parts of the US and report back that yes, what is happening in this country is the same destruction and sickness that we attribute to third world countries, I was happy to see that he is still speaking up and out about our current state of affairs.

What will be the issue(s) that cause you to rise up or die?

Will you wait until your home mortgage is upside down and you have nowhere to go? Or, will you wait to confirm that the cancer you have is definitely caused by GMOs or pesticides, or your shampoo?  Will you wait until, like in Greece, the government that is no longer FOR the people nor BY the people, plan to literally take your money from your accounts?

I ask myself these same questions. I have risen up on occasion, but I think that what we all know is coming is a mass rising. That said, I do not feel that the rising has to be an “against” rising.  I would love for it to be a “for” rising.

What would you rise for? Are you and I wiling to stand and rise for a sustained period of time or just on the weekends to carry signs in front of passing traffic?  What will finally cause us to coalesce into the powerful billions that we are?

What connection does rising up have to householding?  It has complete connection.  Our planet is our home.  We all collectively hold this earth, as it holds us, and have the power to destroy our ability to live on it or to increase, peacefully, our ability to live on it.

As with householding and homemaking, we have choices. Thank the Gods we still have choices!  We CAN disengage from the current paradigm in many meaningful ways. These are not easy ways in this world, though.  Who wants to disconnect from all the electrical input, for starters? No one.  So, how to continue to be connected but not through a controlled system? How can we have control of our own food if we get 98% of it from a manufacturer? How can we even think of doing these things when we don’t have enough money to make any ends meet? I do believe the answers to these questions are individual and collective. We do what we can and then find like-minded, supportive others to learn, grow and celebrate with.

The great news is that people in your community or location have been doing this type of disengagement for a long time.  Go find those people and talk to them.  Use what you can from what they know and rise up to the occasion of living your life for yourself and the good of your community, not for the profit of a few.

The Fifth Sacred Thing film in development, narrated by Olympia Dukakis.


Crashing at the finish line of Birth

English: Lisa J. Patton and her newborn LaVerg...

Very Lucky Momma:  Lisa J. Patton and her newborn LaVergerray (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“A woman faces everyone else’s denial when she attempts to say how a traumatic birth has affected her.  An uncomfortable sense of isolation and a fear of being crazy results, as loved ones, friends, and co-workers do not acknowledge her pain or how her world has changed.  This separation from others in viewpoint and experience is often more difficult to heal than the physical wounds of birth.”  Lynn Madsen, Rebounding From Childbirth

Sometimes I think I value the first time a woman holds her newborn more than I value all the other times she gets to hold them. Let me rephrase.  Sometimes, I disgust myself  for not being able to hold my newborns, more than I appreciate all the other times I’ve held them.

I was steeped in, and steeped myself in, a warm fuzzy cup-o-delusion about that moment when I would finally get to hold their tiny bodies, on the outside of my belly.  You’d  think, that with all I’d been through, that I would have known better – that there are always curve balls and unforeseen circumstances and that I might have entertained the idea, especially during my second birth, that I might not get to experience that moment. You know, that glowing moment that so many happy mammas post all over the internet of them holding their 2-seconds-old baby.

Why is the loss of that moment so deeply devastating to me? Because I put it on a pedestal.  A gilt covered and tall pedestal that was initially constructed when my mother talked of having her 4 children naturally.  She indoctrimnated me into the idea of natural childbirth from 6 years old, onward.  The alternatives to natural childbirth became repugnant to me.  Non-natural childbirth was only for weak women, or women with physical abnormalities, I surmised. After my first son was born, I realized my wrongdoing  – that I hadn’t tried hard enough.  I had given into the c-section because I was weak.  That’s what I internalized. When I became pregnant again, 10 years later, I resolved to not be weak this time. So, when the c-section happened, I was only somewhat relieved to hear the surgeon say that my pelvis was deep and narrow.  So, I wasn’t weak, just physically abnormal. But that didn’t help me feel better about it either because I had also been steeped in the stories of doctors telling their csection patients that they were narrow, or whatever, but that midwives don’t really believe all that.  Midwives have seen all kinds of babies born from all kinds of women. That’s how I filtered what midwives say. I had a midwife for both pregnancies and deliveries.  And still, I failed.

The pain I endured and the hope that I had, didn’t make one bit of difference in getting me that moment that I longed for. My attachment to that imagined moment has stolen many moments since then, from my experience. Just because I crashed at the finish line of the marathon of birth doesn’t mean I didn’t run the WHOLE DAMN THING.

Mourning must commence.  I have been letting it slip slowly out of my eyes for years. I think I’d like to be done with it, at least the bulk of it, so I can finally move on.
Move on to seeing the two amazing humans that have been in my care for years now, with only my one eye on them, and the other looking back to a moment that never happened.


This Homemaker’s Fried Day Prayer – Opening Hear post #6

OPEN HEAR LOGO

Opening Hear

Inspirations that come from anywhere that cause us to listen with our hearts,
unlocking them in the process.

 

Today is Fried Day. The end of the work week for so many. The beginning for some. Either way, I am thinking of all of those who have a J O B, I mean, the paying kind, with taxes taken out, etc. etc. I remember what this was like. Counting the moments until I was released into the wider world, free from The Boss and The Coworkers – however much I may have loved them, at times.

Now, as a Homemaker, I am tied to my Boss at all times. I am yoked to my co-workers eternally. I no longer get weekends off. And, I’m learning to love it. The perpetual vigilance required of a Householder is the same as in any consciousness disciple. As above so below – As in the home, so it is in the wider world. I am grateful today to be intimately connected to my family, the world, the universe, and all connections therein. Amen.


Who Is Hestia to a Householder?

 

“Just as her character was not made visible in many tales, her physical image was not cast in stone, although it appears on some Greek pottery. Consistent with her core values, she became known instead by a certain essential nature, a feeling or a state of being rather than an entity with its own drama. And that essential nature appears to be this: an internal reflection toward wholeness and away from illusion, the clarity and sense of holism that emerges from turning inward through meditation and quiet. It is no wonder then that Hestia has been described as the Goddess of the Deep Center.”  – From The Hestia Retreat

Hestia can serve as a focussing point to bring more Universal Flow into our homes. If we honor the fire of life, as is her realm, we honor that we are dying and being reborn from the flames every day.  We are warmed by the fire.  We can see by it’s light.  We can provide sustenance with fire, both internal and external.

My favorite tidbit about Hestia is that she chose to not become a God, as her brothers and sisters did.  She chose to become the hearth-keeper of Home.  To relinquish her small ego self, to better embody her God Self. Hers was a life of devotion.  She didn’t care about the worldly goings on.

She wanted to provide a grounded place, a Deep Center.
We do the same as Householders.


Common traits of Householders

We all end up asking, “What’s for dinner”.  No matter how much money we have

We all attend to others under our roof – two legged, four legged, and visitors

We ask, “Is what I’m doing, enough?”  Am I caring for my responsibilities adequately?

Especially these days, we are all seeing how the walls of our homes are permeable.  Our communities influence our homes in every growing ways.  Our homes influence what happens in our communities. 

The flow of the universe is found under our roof.

One need not look any further.


poem about householding

As I attend to my children
As I attend to my partner

As I attend to my community
As I attend to my home

I attend to All That Is.

When I get frustrated with child, partner, community or home,

I am not seeing what is Real

I know this and yet, I am given the opportunity many times a day to know it again and again

I am stubborn, and learning

Seeing what is Real
I have all the time in the world
I have all the patience in the world
I am the world

I chose this path
This path chose me
We are on it together

All of us, Householders