Saturday, March 24, 2007

{Checking In} Week 5 of Finding Water

I woke up this morning to fog outside my window and, from the perspective of my pillow, it felt as though I had somehow managed to make my way into the clouds. It was a nice way to wake up. Since then, I've shifted my perspective to the first story window of my writing room. The fog is still as thick as when I woke up, but now it's attached to the ground and trees. A squirrel keeps running back and forth on the lawn, but stopping in front of the window; he stands on his hind legs and looks in for several seconds before running off again, then does it again. He makes me laugh.

morning pages
This week I did morning pages 7 out of 7 days. Yay for me! Unfortunately, they seem to have degenerated into glorified to-do lists. However, the best thing to come out of this week's journal pages is that I've been starting each entry with something that I love about the present moment--things like: "I love waking up to fog." or "I love standing next to the heat vent in the morning." or "I love heating pads!" Yes, I'm a geek. And, no, I haven't been doing this on purpose. I guess it's just that this week's exercises have had a good effect on me in this way.

artist's date
In other news, I didn't go on my artist's date this week. GASP!!! What?! Why?! I don't even know why. This week snuck right past me and although I meant to take myself on a date to a nearby playground and swing until I was sick (ha!)...I didn't do it. Damn. I won't give up without a fight though. Maybe I'll go tomorrow. Yes, I think I will.

And the walks...oh, it has been balmy and warm here. It's been in the 50's with a little bit of snow still left on the ground. I feel like I've been experiencing the best of every season this past week and have been walking twice as much as usual. Maybe it's the warm weather but lately I have not been thinking about anything when I walk; it is the only time that my mind has been quiet. It has felt good.

significant discoveries
  • It feels REALLY good to clean and rearrange the house after a long and stressful winter. Last week I rearranged my office. This week I rearranged our bedroom. It feels so spacious! There's something to be said for both the physical AND mental benefits of cleaning. I've been detoxing in this way both inwardly and outwardly (with great benefits!).
  • It works much better for me to concentrate on just one small thing at a time. It helps me to not get overwhelmed. This is probably obvious knowlege...but I'm a slow learner. Lately I've just been giving myself a single small goal within manageable blocks of time, such as: "I'll read X amount of pages between 10 am and noon." I've found that I work well with 2 hour blocks of time.
  • I feel more comfortable with the idea of "God" when I take it OUT of the context of my negative Catholic school experience. Having a conversation with "God" is complicated for me because I associate the word (God) with so many negative connotations. But this week I did the "Write a letter to God exercise" (page 129) and it helped me communicate with "God" in a way that was personal and on my own terms. I wrote in my own language and that in itself was a new experience for me.
*bottom image from my journal
**photo at top taken this morning by my husband, Vinny.


Sophie said...

I am struck by your images today -
Vinny's is so elegant and "godly"
and yours is making me envious it isn't in
my journal...

morning pages - (sigh) i cheat and type'(i know i know)

re - God - ditto on the upbringing - convent
etc - horrid nuns -

you are so CONNECTED Jessie - deeply
spiritual - and full of spirit -

my wonderful "indian" friend!

Riggwelter said...

Jessie, your post is inspiring, I like your idea of starting your morning pages with something specific and positive, a good way to start the day.

I also struggle with the "God" image, I feel it's more an inner "thing" rather than an outside, almighty, well...God.

You have achieved so much and 7 mp's, well done!!

The Dream said...

Jessie - you're so awesome.

We have a squirrel who lives in one of the trees in our yard - whom we have named Mr. Frisky Tail. Nature can be such a riot!

The God thing ... such a personal thing, so I appreciate that you have put out your feelings on the subject. Sometimes, the God of "The Creation" come to mind, sometimes a dove, other times, light. It's all good. I was also Catholic schooled ... and it's weird how I have come full circle with that, and completely unanticipated ... and it's all because of The Blessed Mother. I believe she intervened on my behalf on more than occasion in this life.

And anyone who claims to have never struggled with faith or perception of divinity ... well, I just can't relate.


Olivia said...

Thanks, Jessie, for checking in and thus helping to keep us on track.

I missed my artist date too. So I'm going to treat myself to two this week :)

A wonderful week to you,


bee said...

ooooh, chiquita bannnnaaaaannnnnaaaaa~~~~

i loooooooooove you! and i misssssss you! and i will call you soon.

goddamnit. i've got to come to minneapolis this summer. that does it.

(is that cool? i'm dead serious.)

Elizabeth said...

Hi Jessie, nice post: You are so lovely!

Ditto for me on the Mp's - glorified 'to do' lists. I like that yours have a positive start, and hope mine will evolve soon.

Ditto also on the Convent Schooling but I have eventually made my peace with that. The Nuns helped instilled/awaken the belief in me in the first place, I just had to define the details for myself. I imagine GOD as female and male sometimes; also as a 'great white light', it varies. Always Love.

Have you tried Julia Cameron's "Heart Steps" book - a book of affirmative prayers. (I can give you the ISBN number). Would HIGHLY recommend it - it helped me get rid of SO MUCH of the negative programming from the Catholic faith.. IT IS AMAZING! REALLY!

OK, this comment is going on a bit....! ooppps
Hugs Lizzi

Laura B. said...

My morning pages are becoming "to-do" lists, too---:)

bella said...

Jessie! You totally rocked Week 5! My morning pages are becoming half writings and half doodles! LOL.
You'll have your artist date I'm sure. A nice cafe with your notebook should do the trick. It's just as cleansing and detoxing as cleaning. (Well, not the caffeine but.. who cares, right?)

Wenda said...

Hurray! I've found you again.

HoBess said...

Something pulled me here today to catch up and I'm so glad it did. I've missed your soothing words and energizing art. I'm glad the fuglies passed ... it takes power to see the beauty in the fog. Hugs to you.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't that fog spectacular? Madam and I did a fog dance to it (no, really...lots of fluttering around).

Great check in, as always. And I love your image. Wow!

When can we chat again?

acumamakiki said...

Oh what a delicious post! I love the fog and I love your enthusiasm. Most of all, I love your art work at the end of this post.

tammy vitale said...

Ditto for me on Catholic school (and I left God behind a long time ago. Don't need that concept any more). Funny how many of us are here and struggling with that concept thanks to Catholic school.

Your morning pages sound like mine, except if I'm doing lists, I make them with intention - and they're very very short since if I'm being mindful I can't do a whole lot.

I love the fog thing. We've had fog two mornings - I watch the sun come up through my office window. This morning it was lovely.