It’s been an unexpected and busy year for me. Healthwise, there have been no crises for me, but at the same time there has been no relief, either. Chronic pain is very fatiguing and as much as I have a full and meaningful life, I can never forget my physical body and its limitations, which are my limitations: we can talk about the body, mind, spirit, soul, but we are always and every minute one, an integral self. We can’t live by separating ourselves into parts; we might focus on different areas, but as much as I might like, I cannot leave my body in bed while “I” go on with the life I might want.
Last fall I joined a weekly Centering Prayer group at our local retreat center. Though most of our time is spent in silence, I did meet several contemplative and interesting people, and I loved it. I will write more about Centering Prayer and how I find it an entrance into mystery unfolding in a future post.
I also continued in our twice monthly Book Club at the YWCA in town —- I love the women in the group even more than I love the books!
After Christmas, however, an online course that my son was taking conflicted timewise with both of those activities. Since the course was on Euclid, a math and logic course, it was drier and more slowly paced than — well, just about anything else you could imagine. I sat with Liberty as he met with the teacher and other students online, mostly for moral support in this slow and carefully paced experience for him. But doing so kept me at home and occupied, rather than continuing with my own activities.
However, in January I started painting, and later, art journaling. It has brought me so much happiness, and an entirely new language with which to express my inner symbolism. I’ll write about that adventure later this week, as it deserves its own post. The above photo shows my dining room wall (of about a month ago) with my paintings from this year.
So each day I will myself to move, smile, interact with love, and try to move forward just a little bit in my plans. I’ve learned that with my health, as with guiding my son in his education, it’s better not to measure progress in getting things done on or by a certain date, but to have a direction I’m moving into, with “next steps” well thought through and strategized, and then (to try) to be happy with overall forward movement over a week or so rather than counting the “two steps forward, one step back” of individual days.