Avid Trust Builder

I am learning to be an avid trust builder. It dawns on me the crux of so many healing and empowering modalities is building trust with oneself. In midlife, this means often re-building trust after many regrets or difficult feelings about things we have done or not done. Any practice that connects us to self-trust by showing up for ourselves each day is powerful (meditation, practicing or training to do anything, daily care rituals, daily gratitude jars, etc.).

Letting go of story around a life wounding can be a great relief. It means we are not set in stone. But the wound actually never leaves us. And the wound in my humble opinion is what connects us to all of humanity. If we try to drown the wound, run away from it, kill it in some way, we can destroy ourselves in the process.

I have often felt paralyzed with regret over a decision I made around 20 years ago. In this 15-minute clip anyone can download, it was wonderful to listen to one of my favorite teachers describe the nature of regret and how she has dealt with that powerful feeling.

Recently, I have been rebuilding trust with myself by proving I can lose weight healthfully when I thought I’d already shown myself that was “impossible”. Now zero cravings and constant sense of fulfilled nourishment is happening. So far 11 pounds down, 39 more to go by year’s end. While I can never make a 50-year-old body become a 28-year-old body, I feel intuitively that once I inhabit the weight I was then, I can feel my way into a reboot of the me I was before my most regretted decision, in a wiser way, with less harm and regret moving forward. I don’t need to wait for weight (ha) to move forward, but it is more the trust I am rebuilding in the process than my physical appearance.

I also happened upon something I wrote for an ecopsychology course four years ago on the topic of trust. This feels important now as there is so much discourse around “evidence-based truth” versus opinion. The most profound evidence-based truth is our own that we glean through our sensory connections. The problem is, it is very easy to become disconnected from our own senses. Do we trust what we know anymore?

Ever since encountering the idea of asking permission from a natural area to be there, I have been experimenting with this with profound results.  I find asking permission allows me to experience myself as no more than or less than anything around me, vibrating with all, as if we are one instrument.  I asked before I entered a thick wooded area and soon a bird call caught my attention.

It must have been a warning of my presence, because suddenly a huge flock of small birds lifted off from the tree tops.  This brought my attention upward to the lattice of leafless branches above me forming a black net against the gray sky.  I realized how rarely I look up while hiking/walking, and felt the expansive network of trees communicating.  As I continued to walk, I experienced cedar, alder, fir trees as wise companions, many of them older than me, standing witness to earth time.  I came away with the sense  they had much to teach me.

I trust this “knowing” as much as I trust any other source of knowledge, and I long to live in woods for an extended period of time to see if my intuition is correct that my computer screen myopic eyesight improves, my body restores its intended posture, and my mind restores clarity.

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Harmony Today

There were many people around the world out in harmony today for science, and that gives me hope that people like my daughter with a mind at home in complex math and science will have a place in this world.

Shoutout: SWHS Math Team took 1st and 2nd places in WA State Mathematics Council competition today. Bravo Nerdy Birdies! Endless thanks to this man who has guided for years a weekly after-school group of highly motivated math students, filling a gap, seeking opportunities for these students to demonstrate their nerdy best, and then accompanying them to said opportunities.

My favorite sign from today: “Atoms Are What Make Us Matter

I do not know the words or hymn, but it is harmony in the land of my ancestors.

Jane Hirshfield has long been one of my favorite poets and you can listen to her poem in honor of today being read aloud: On the Fifth Day.

Here is a shorter poem I have loved a long time that I hope she will not mind me posting, as a fan. (I attempt not to lift poets’ works directly for copyright).

Tree

It is foolish
to let a young redwood
grow next to a house.

Even in this
one lifetime,
you will have to choose.

That great calm being,
this clutter of soup pots and books –

Already the first branch-tips brush at the window.
Softly, calmly, immensity taps at your life.

~ Jane Hirshfield

*  *  *

Here is a poem I wrote in 2013 I offer to #PoetsForScience, even though I have no Twitter account.

What We Forget

Look!  The sun spotlights a stage,
pulls light green from dark
along the shoulders of giant firs.
Gold midges flutter in turbo clusters,
daredevil spirals.
Bronze wings plummet flash quick
dizzying ups and downs
along spider hair tinsel.
Hundreds of gleamers spin slivers of light gracing the gap
between the trees.
Take all mechanisms of separation.
Give me more minutes standing watch,
remembering, feeling insects take off and land on my skin
in the dancing spaces where sun pools in the woods.
Poetry lives where we forget to see.

~ Erin Waterman

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Nature Forms

My alter ego wanted to stay in the woods all day where it had not roamed in several days. Alas, the desk and duty calls.

A congregation of curves will soon give way to the sword fern spikes below. Ferns are among the oldest plants on Earth. Their endless forms fascinate me.

Science definition:  Study of structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

A little plug for tomorrow’s Science March. Without scientific advances my daughter would not be alive, and even though her future career is yet unformed, she is on a path to contribute to further understanding. My family includes women and men of science who all have and do contribute to society. Many of us owe our lives to scientists who are mostly hidden. I am with you in spirit.

The Trump administration has proposed a nearly 20 percent cut in the NIH budget, along with even deeper cuts for the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — all of which sponsor scientific research. – Seattle Times, 04/21/17

From NPR article on politicizing science:

Hell has no fury like a scientist whose integrity is questioned. These folks aren’t making hundreds of millions of dollars. They’re not billionaires. ~ Kathleen Rogers, President Earth Day Network

I was recently invited to become a Greenwire blogger and am fascinated by how to communicate about science and climate change, both of which SHOULD transcend political values but do not. Food for thought:

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Compensations

“Life has its compensations,” my great-grandmother used to say.

Embracing life as is in the moment does not mean giving up.

Until such day as we humans inhabit an egalitarian system where every individual truly has identical currency, identical opportunity matched to their physical and mental capabilities, certain things will never be, can never be for all of us. This does not mean we failed to try, failed to dream, or live in an enclosure of self-limiting beliefs. Life and possibility shines all around no matter what, no matter who we are.

The older I become, certain things become more likely. I will likely never know what it’s like to raise a young child with a supportive partner.

I will likely never know what it is to parent a healthy child between ages 4 to 6. Yet, I can lend a supportive ear to other parents going through what I did.

I may never own a home in my lifetime or earn enough to travel how I want, financially support others in need or serve others in a way I might like. This does not mean I’ll stop working toward goals.

I do not understand how people who are good for each other find one another and more importantly stay with one another. That does not mean I’ll stop being good to me.

A friendly dog brushes my jacket in greeting on the trail. I forget and later touch my jacket, then later my eye. My eye swells shut for hours and I am reminded again of the grief that my life can never include close companionship of dogs, cats, horses, most legged animals on the planet. Yet, by some magical accident my next-door neighbors are sheep, lambs, deer and rabbits I get to enjoy and not touch.

Life is beautiful. Every day I touch beauty. I am nurtured by the texture of yarn I knit, like animal’s fur. I have kept fish alive for decades. By some happy accident of circumstance I have been able to live surrounded by nature’s wealth with basic needs met.

And I have been gifted responsibility for someone I most admire. I can hardly believe what she understands about self-esteem, hard work, balance, gratitude, not worrying about what is to come, and honoring that small voice that says, “I want to live an extraordinary life.” I tell her, “You already are extraordinary.”

  *    *   *

This post is my way of expressing response to someone who just met me saying, “you must not have wanted it that much,” to many of the things I do not have, and a bit of push-back to all the self-help content about limiting beliefs being the only cause of our life’s circumstances. The way I see it, life is a series of interconnected causes and effects, and we are always one tiny nudge away from going left, right or center, up or down in any moment. Entire careers, joys and sorrows are built on those interconnected nudges with our intuitive flashes, actions and inner work being one piece of that web of circumstance. Life well-lived for me means staying close to authentic center and riding the waves.

(I am taking a day off the Daily Prompt because fry did not speak to me).

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Earth Chuckle

Earth Collage

These images gleaned from past journeys evoke “Earth” to me. Sunsets only blocks away from me remind me to get back to the daily ritual I have let slide. Sky: Best viewing screen on Earth.

Certified Poet, Don’t You Know It

Chuckle today was opening a box and finding proof that I was at one time a certified poet. Many people can say “I am certified.” Many can say “I am a poet.” But how many can say I am a “certified poet” and speak the truth? Even though I did have fabulous teachers, my title remains questionable.

My work was often held up to the group as unique: “Do you see what she’s doing there? She knows the rules enough to break them in a way that makes sense.” In all honesty, I never could figure out the rules and broke them unknowingly. I’m certified all right.

Should anyone want poem and chuckle fodder, check out these collective nouns.
An unkindness of ravens,
a fling of sandpipers,
a mutation of thrushes,
a parcel of linnets.
The poem writes itself.

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New Creations Birthed

Looks a bit opaque

Many thanks to designer Ambah O’Brien for her Xuan wrap, which means “spring” in Vietnamese. Her wonderful designs can be found on Ravelry here. This was my first go at learning mosaic technique for color work. Here is a description of Mosaic, for those interested.

This wrap/shawl will be sold to the highest bidder as a fundraiser for my daughter’s exchange year to Poland. She will model it for her gofundme page soon.

Rust and golden wool is super soft, rich hand-dyed color, and is thanks to Palouse Yarn Company. I had the opportunity to walk into the glorious vortex that is The Yarn Underground in Moscow, Idaho while chaperoning my daughter’s band for the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival last year. Awesome, awesome yarn selection and staff.

Center color is Matrika Sugar Maple from Seven Sisters Arts whose owner has a degree in plant & soil science as well as nursing that she uses to create her amazing dyes. When I win the lottery, I would love to invest in a truckload of her yarns.

The second of three turtle journey shawls to honor my uncle is now blocked. Yipee!  This pattern can be found on Ravelry here. One more to go in forest & cucumber greens, and then photos without the pins will be taken.

Yarns are:

  1. KnitPicks Preciosa, waves from Expression Fiber Arts.
  2.  Wonderland, waves from Expression Fiber Arts.

If anyone would like to request a commission, feel free to contact me on my Knits page. I especially love making shawls, cowls, blankets, sweaters, but am up to give anything a go.

 

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Jolt

Jolted by the thought: “You are perfect.”

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