Death, Rebirth and Winter

Posted by on Feb 1, 2014 in Blog | Comments Off

Death, Rebirth and Winter

Winter is an interesting season. I confess it is not my favorite time of year and that very well may stem from the fact that it follows on the footsteps of December, a month that ushers in all kinds of rushing, intensity, and darkness, deep darkness. When I was younger I used to stay up late. I was a night owl and I would sleep away the morning sunshine. I was not afraid of the dark back then. I thrived in it. Now as I am middle aged I crave the sunshine. If you had told me that I would be a morning person when I got older, I would have laughed. But nothing is permanent is it? Everything changes.

With the craziness of December, I marked a milestone birthday right before the New Year and found myself relapsing into my autoimmune issues. It had been some time since I physically felt that bad. And feeling all that bad dredged up all kinds of fears. When in fear mode I usually am visited by some pretty intense and sometimes frightening dreams. So, in Buddhist fashion, I have been doing a lot of sitting meditation because I have found that the only way to deal with these fears is to confront them and move through them. I was reading a delightful book from Jack Kornfield called “The Wise Heart” and in it he suggests sitting with the fear of death. The whole thought of such a thing at first seemed quite overwhelming indeed but I was gradually warming up to it. Besides what better time of the year to contemplate death than winter? It is the season of death, is it not?  So, I got up the nerve today because my anxieties were particularly strong.

I sat and focused on the thought, “I am about to die.” I breathed into that thought. I allowed thoughts to come and go as I began to slowing relax into the thought. I was quite surprised by what happened next. Very surprised! All of a sudden, I was intensely experiencing all of my favorite Earthly experiences.

I was on the beach simply running sand through my toes. I was at the pet store whistling to the gorgeous finches and laughing hysterically as they tilted their heads this way and that in order to comprehend the sounds. I was petting and hugging my dog. I was lying down and feeling tremendous appreciation for the exquisite husband that I have. I was singing at the top of my lungs and boy, did it sound heavenly, and even better, I was deliciously drinking in the tones. I was in the woods hugging my favorite tree. My son was with me and I was kissing him on his head where his scar is from his car accident 5 years ago. I was laughing at my daughter’s impersonation of my dog’s anxious face. My hands were deep in clay on a pottery wheel and I was delighted because I had managed to center it right away!

One by one by one, images, feelings, smells, tastes, sounds permeated my very being. It was like I was experiencing these things for the first time. I also realized that, as of lately, I just have not been present in my life and definitely not appreciating the little, wonderful moments that fill us up. In fact, I had been one of those whiners, remember the Saturday Night Live skit, yes, well, that was me. Perhaps this explains the relapse.

Finally, I saw 2 images. One was a cake with Mickey Mouse and the background was black. Cakes for me represent goals one is striving for. Mickey for me means finding humor and acceptance of life’s irritations and difficulties. The black represented all of the negativity I have been wallowing in. Be in the moment, fluff off the irritations and appreciate the interplay of your very being with life is what it said. Then I saw a stadium which, for me, means stop observing and get out there and live your life. Do it with Mickey by your side. Laugh at your predicaments.

OK, message received!! It seems that for the last 2 months, I had already been dead of sorts. I was not here anyway! I made a pact to wake up each morning this February and make note of what I truly love and then catch myself throughout the day making sure that I savor some of these magical things that are very much indeed a part of my life.

I will end this with some loving kindness sent your way.

May you truly see, feel, hear, taste and know the tremendous beauty that surrounds you every day. May you find ways, in spite of life’s challenges, to remember the delicious moments that stir your soul.

And may you have a Healthy and Happy New Year!!

God Bless, Much Love,
Shari