In 300 years, if you were to be named the patron saint of X, what would you like X to be? Places, activities, objects — all are fair game.
I decided to sign up for the Writing101 30 day challenge that Fleur put forward to me as a way of writing more for the blog. I must admit when I first saw day one's topic I thought "ah fuck this it's too hard". But then I started reading some of the already submitted pieces of work and realised that you don't have to take it quite as literally as it's written in black and white.
Reading some of the blogs made me realise that this project, The Soul Medicine Experiment, is already me working towards my patron saint-hood!
I would like to be the patron saint of Orenda and Ostranenie
The first being from a book (that's like WOW because I don't read), Susan Jeffers "The feel the fear guide to Lasting Love". This book was loaned to me by my then housemate Kate J. Given that I don't read I truly believe that I was given this book at the right time for me to read it, I needed to hear what was inside. To be honest I never finished it but I got what I needed out of it. This is the quote I remember the most from the book:
"To "stir the oatmeal" means to find the relatedness, the value, even the beauty, in simple and ordinary things, not to eternally demand a cosmic drama, an entertainment, or an extraordinary intensity in everything. Like the rice hulling of the Zen monks, the spinning wheel of Gandhi, the tent making of Saint Paul, it represents the discovery of the sacred in the midst of the humble and ordinary."
The second was words spoken (not verbatim sorry) by my then psychologist Janet Lowndes:
"Learn to be the willow tree; for it has practiced the art of standing still but flexible, bowing in the wind rather than breaking. A willow tree is strong and graceful, yet flexible enough to weather any storm"
I believe that these are my groundings for learning to love.
Do you stop to notice the smell of rain? The smell in air just before it starts to rain? The smell in the air after it's rained on hot ground or in a garden? Do you ever stop to watch the ducks play in the water? Do you ever stop to consider the history of the building you're walking past? I do. Sometimes Simon thinks I'm crazy, especially with the rain smells!
Shortly before I met my now husband, my sisters then-partner posed this question to me "Do you love yourself first before entering a relationship?" I now truly believe that no one can love themselves in every respect at any given time as life is about improving, growing and evolving every single day. But I do believe that you need to be confident on your own/in your own skin and comprehend that real love is a gift we give to ourselves and our mate.
So much has happened to me in the past five years. I admitted to myself that I had a problem that needed fixing and started seeing a psychologist, I've distanced myself from people who no longer serve me, I became debt free, I met my husband, my parents split and through that I learnt a lot about my parents, my family and myself. I've moved overseas, and now I take daily steps to be kind to myself and live from my heart not my pocket.
I now understand that "commitment/relationship doesn't mean you stop learning to love. It is quite the opposite: commitment is where the really important learning needs to begin," that relationships in all their forms, be they friends, family or lovers serve two purposes. The practical: having a companion, and the higher: learning loving.
This genuine part of my journey is really only just beginning. I love walking around and seeing life with new eyes, taking in the beauty of the simple things, the history that I'm now surrounded by. Learning to live in this new country, with its new and different culture and adapt, be flexible and get through any stormy patches. Lastly and fundamentally learning to be kind, and learning to "improve, grow and evolve myself".
I hope in some way my journey inspires others to live with Orenda and Ostranenie xxoo