Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Love and Compassion...

(Cozy scarf and necklace from Liz Elayne I love them both!:-)

(*Disclaimer. The following post was written on almost no sleep and too much coffee. A quick note to parents with little ones...please beware! Your preteens can keep you up more than a newborn!)

So I guess I've been in hiding. Not intentionally...but through two back-to-back illnesses(which is very strange for me) I just found myself knocked right down. You know that feeling when you're sick, and you start to imagine what it would be like if this is the best you ever felt...ever again? I started back-tracking over the past few weeks...how I haven't eaten properly...slept properly...struggling through my yoga practice.(It has been anything but a 'moving meditation'.)I can't even remember the last time I picked up a paintbrush...All of this, in turn, has made me a regular 'Little Suzie Sunshine'.

The very first concept I learned about yoga philosophy was 'ahimsa'...having a sense of love and compassion for all living things...which strangely enough, is supposed to include yourself. This is something that is a constant work in progress for me. So yesterday,as I was really focusing much of my energy on this...and found myself being reminded of a time that seems very far in the distance...

I grew up in a home that was a little unconventional(I know, who didn't?). The best way I guess to describe it, was that things were excessively strict, and ridiculously permissive at the same time. I am the oldest of four children...and I guess I could honestly say, I was born a 'mother'. Due to work and schooling commitments of my parents I grew up very fast. By ten I was cooking dinner, doing laundry, and caring for my three younger siblings on my own quite a bit...all the while being a straight A student. I babysat for my parent's friends quite a bit, and sometimes that money would go to help run the house. I worked very hard at being the perfect daughter...perfect student.Somehow, I would be loved...

This is how it went until I was almost seventeen...when I kind of lost it, and began living two lives. On the surface, nothing was noticed, but it could have been. I followed curfews...and rules...my report cards escaped being checked, so my parents totally missed that my grades went directly in the toilet. I could have given a shit...There were parties...and experimenting...and complete disregard for personal safety...Ya,the exact opposite of 'ahimsa'. But in the blink of one terrified eye one night everything changed...It just hit me that if anyone was going to pull this sliver of a girl onto the right path, it was going to have to be me. Literally overnight, that is what I did. I took that girl's hand and we ran...fast! I retreated from anything unhealthy...I dove headfirst into my studies, and quickly brought my grades back up...I used money from an after school job to put myself through classical guitar (Okay...I honestly suck at this...:-) and classical voice training (Much, much better at this.)I spent my spare time writing, and sketching...practising...singing...studying. I just threw myself headlong into joy with reckless abandon...and then came the best part...tumbling head over heals into the arms of one very, very special person...Someone brave enough to put up with my crap...and so kind that he truly makes my life better everyday...(well...almost everyday...;-)

So, I guess the point of my spouting here, is that I suspect, deep down we do know what is best for ourselves...we do know how to be caring and kind to ourselves...if we just stop and listen. Maybe allowing ourselves to hear it is the hardest part? I know lots of women who don't realize how wonderful they are...So girls, please... feel free to wrap your arms around yourselves...come on...I dare YOU! :)


(...and speaking of love. I just couldn't resist...:-)


Brandi said...

thank you for sharing this story.

you are so right. those times when I was being destructive-I knew I was destructive. I knew what was healthy. I made the conscious choice to be destructive and the conscious choice to stop.

I think we've gotten away from trusting ourselves and this post is a wonderful reminder to do just that.

many blessings-

julochka said...

what a lovely story and a lovely reminder to be kinder and gentler towards ourselves. that that's a beautiful scarf!! i actually HAVE some of those fabrics and i may have to go make myself one today to warm up.

patti said...

Such a great post! You are so right about self love. The same thing happened to me last year - I was pretty sick (turned out to be iron deficiency anaemia) and i just suddenly realised that no-one else could look after me better than I could.

I am back to regular yoga now too, the fatigue has left, i take all my supplements, eat and sleep well.

I hope you are back to your bouncy self soon. Take care of you!

aliceinparis said...

I enjoyed reading this post. A reminder to take care of ourselves is always good to hear:) Hope you are feeling better.
Cheers, Shelagh

daisies said...

oh yes about the self care and self love and definitely the teens keeping you up ;-) tee hee

look at you all beautiful adorned with liz's magic :)

rebecca said...

Oh, Celeste, what a lovely post. I found myself smiling from ear to ear and saying quietly "good girl" when you write how you pulled "the sliver of a girl" towards the right path yourself. That is ahimsa. And that is a wisdom given to someone who was still in the path of self-discovery....yet, that is exactly what you did....you discovered what was right for you. Experimenting, pushing the envelope, living wildly and recklessly is all part of the age-appropriateness of that time in your life. Yet you are one of the lucky few who did it and moved on. Many find it hard to evolve to that second stage.

I'm so glad you're back. I've missed reading your posts....and I do love that scarf and necklace....beautiful.

solsticedreamer~laoi gaul~williams said...

what a great story~thank you :)

yes i can relate to the destructive episodes, when i was younger~but not so young and should have known better!
as for taking care of myself~i do in fits and bursts when i should really maintain the care properly. and i am hard and unforgiving on myself and past mistakes~i am a dweller...trying not to be though!

Anonymous said...

What an empowering story. That young girl in you was so very wise and enlightened at such a perfect time. Such an example of maturity and our own "girl power".
I find it amazing and inspiring that you had enough inside you to turn and face the right direction for your life.
Yay for you! And just look at the wise, creative spirit you evolved into.
I really, really LOVED this post!

smith kaich jones said...

" . . . I just threw myself headlong into joy with reckless abandon. . . " Yes. I think you do know how to take care of yourself. A wonderful, honest post. Thank you for the reminder that we must give ourselves hugs.
Love it.

:) Debi

Jaime said...

Celeste...thank you.
You don't know how much I needed this post right now. I have been putting the focus on self love this week in a deep way, in order to heal physically and emotionally. Louise Hay has become a close friend in dark moments, and so have you.
Thank you, beautiful you.

Deborah Carr said...

Ahh...now I know why I was drawn to your images and words...we share not only a reckless past, but a love for our golden girls.

No person can live a life devoid of love when a golden shares their space...