The Wisdom of Life’s Immoveable Objects

How to handle life's immoveable objects via theorganicsister.com

(This was originally shared on another lovely blog which has since been taken down. I’m reposting it here, as a reminder to myself as well.)

We all have our paths to walk down in life. As we walk we experience the things we tend to experience – the valleys, the marshes, the darkness of the woods. Sometimes we travel alone. Sometimes we travel with others for a time, and then our paths diverge again. Continue reading “The Wisdom of Life’s Immoveable Objects”

Gratitude Is All That’s Left (when we stop trying so hard)

Very last page of my very first #artjournal.

It’s Thanksgiving week. Our little family of three is planning our dinner and a long weekend, disconnected from the ‘puters and connecting with the tangible world.

We have yet to finish building our table. We’ve yet to find a couch we love. So we’ll be eating our meal in a camping chair. And we’re okay with that. Continue reading “Gratitude Is All That’s Left (when we stop trying so hard)”

The only blog post in which I can talk about Rocky Horror Picture Show and the Ego in one breath (okay, maybe two)

This little piece of fringe culture has been on my Bucket List for like, 87 years. Literally.

Or it was on my Bucket List. Because we went recently and it was beyond epic. We sat out in the cold. We threw rice. We yelled profanities. And Justin even did the Time Warp (happily he has no rhythm, which made it that much better).

This weekend I’m getting my nose re-pierced. Something I’ve been wanting to do for nearly a flipping decade since I took my last one out. Continue reading “The only blog post in which I can talk about Rocky Horror Picture Show and the Ego in one breath (okay, maybe two)”

There is No Such Thing as Square One

I connected with a sweet, beautiful, wonderful client recently who was feeling overwhelmed and set back by life.

It’s a frustrating feeling, to set your heart and soul on a goal, or even just a new perspective…to feel the shifts happening in your life, the forward movement finally taking place. And then to experience an upheaval, a new challenge, a serious trigger, the whole of your world throwing up in your face.

Then to feel yourself losing all that ground.

If you're gonna fall, you may as well fall with pizzazz. #jazzhands
(If you’re going to fall, fall with pizzazz!)

Three steps forward, two back again…or four back it can seem.

We experience that backward slide in our own inner work and then we couple it with stories about What That Means. And the stories we tell ourselves about it SEEM true.

Our big, desperate, self-deprecating emotions like to tell us it’s real, we’ve just lost out again, Life is against us, this is proof we’re not good enough, and all our deep and meaningful (and hard) work has been thwarted by fate or circumstance or someone who just wants to watch us suffer.

And so we cry that we’re back to Square One, and we suffer for it.

But it’s just nonsense, you know?

There is no such thing as Square One.

You can’t get set back to it. You can’t even really start from it.

It’s like eating.

You go to the store, find the perfect ingredients, spend 30-60 minutes making a meal, 15 minutes eating it, 30 minutes cleaning it up…

5 hours later you don’t shake your fist at the sky and yell, “DAAAAAAAMMIIIIIIT! I’m hungry again! All that work for nothing! I’ll never get ahead! I’m going to be hungry forever!

Instead, what do you do? You just eat again.

Maybe you eat better food this time if you got hungry too soon. Maybe you eat different food if you ended up with cramps and as the lovely, Christie Inge recently said to the Sisterhood, “the roaring shits”. Maybe you ask for support if you need help getting good stuff on the table.

But you don’t give up on eating.

That would be suicide by starvation.

Such is the process of Life.

The cyclical nature of growth, of moving forward and seemingly back again, the leaps and bounds and roadblocks, the coming back around to what we want to think is Square One…it’s just your appetite for Life bringing you back to the table.

Offering you more opportunity to grow.

To fill your belly again.

To realign yourself.

So eat it up.

Get better tools. Get support if you need it. But please don’t go hungry today because you’ve just eaten yesterday. And please don’t hate all over yourself because you think you’ve somehow failed at filling your belly.

Because that job will never ever be complete, so long as you wish to truly live.

Hello Life, My How You’ve Grown

Dappled. My #widn is really more of a #wiwdt since I'm driving now and this photo is cooler than the glove compartment.

June 2nd marked the longest we’ve ever been in one place since we’ve traveled. (I’m totally not counting the months we were in Vegas upgrading rigs.) We’ve now been in this spot for two and half months. In this area for 4 and half months. In this state seven and a half.

No, I don’t consider us off the road yet. Yes, I realize I’m being stubborn. 😉

We’re still in the RV. We’re still not making any real plans.

We’re only looking day-by-day. Today, tomorrow, maybe this week, a little into next month. We’re open. Open to the idea that we have no idea. Open to the experience of Whatever This Is. Open to be directed through it all, just flowing with it, a little Lazy River of Life right now.

The synergy has been tremendous. Tree. Men. Duss.

It’s like planting these seeds in our little RV Garden. We pushed them down in the soil, and then we waited. Hours, then days, even weeks went by. We questioned how we planted them, if we were nurturing them properly, even what it was we had planted. And we kept watering and watching and waiting.

Destined for the smoothie. #green #localfood #rvgarden

I had little idea when we planted ourselves here in FL what the hell we were watering or watching for but it’s just beginning to poke through. At first it looked a little like what we’ve been calling weeds and I had to call about a lot of patience (our monthly Guiding Word in the Sisterhood for June) to not pluck it out of the ground right then and there. But instead, we watered and watched and waited for it to grow, to see what it would become.

And it became clear pretty early on that this space is not really about me (ahoy! what a novel idea!). This space, from what I can see, is Justin’s space. His turn. He’s taking on challenges he only just told me he couldn’t handle 3 months previous, and with an expertise and a hunger and a certainty his quieter nature is not accustomed to. He first took on a job that he knew would be fun and challenging, then received a promotion that would be more challenging than fun. Now he’s got a fancy title, his own business cards, a work van and a voice in a company that is teaching him to embrace his gifts and strengths and sharpen the duller edges of his axe to match. He’s got a roadmap and a stepping stone and bigger things to come.

He was waiting at the door when I got home. #turtle

My role has been to hold space, to support, to ground, to bear witness, to stoke fires, and to send him out into a whole new world with a lunchbox full of affirmations and iced coffee. Life hasn’t ignored me though. It’s sent me spiritual teachers and new friends and the very thing to that will enable me to be patient: community to tend my own fires and reminders of what I get to do myself. His being “at work” has given me more space to do my work here and elsewhere, to delve into creative projects, and tweak and finesse the things that need tweaking and finessing. I’ve had time to do more in less hours (how the hell did that happen?).

It’s not without puzzles. Justin and Zeb still haven’t found their community yet, and that’s something we’re ready for. The dance between home and not home is still resulting in a few bumped toes while we work out the subtler aspects of timing and pace and oh yeah, there’s a grocery store to get to today. And the “stuff” accumulates the longer this RV stays in one spot.

Perhaps the ONLY sane response to a deluge is to go splashing through the puddles it creates. #surrender

But I can’t say there is anything off, anything “bad”, anything that isn’t working. Even the heavy rains…they seem crucial, necessary, a needed part of the operation of whatever this will show itself to be. They seem integral to what is to come. The deluge to infuse the growth. And they keep create these warm puddles of laughter to go stomping through.

It all looks and feels and IS exactly wonderful, even if I’m not quite sure if it’s going to be complete in 2 months or 2 years. I don’t feel like I’ll live here forever, not even for a long time. But the definition of “long time” is slowly morphing in my mind, and my fears are turning into jokes as we laugh about not really living here, even though we kinda do.

How we rock a date night. Wagner style.

We’re just Here for now. And when it’s time for Here to change, we’ll find ourselves in another Here. And until then we’ll keep plucking caterpillars off our tomatoes and having date nights at the water park and surrendering all those ideas that any of this means anything other than All Good. Because it could all change again in an instant, as Life is prone to do, but that doesn’t mean anything more than another Right Here, Right Now.

Don’t get me wrong. All the ingredients are here for a This Sucks recipes. But it’s just not what I’ve been cooking. So it’s good. It’s just all really, really good.

Am I enjoying this ride?

Am I enjoying this ride?, via theorganicsister.com

I dreamt that I was riding a bike. The town was new to me, the road was foreign. And I was faintly aware that I was not familiar with this whole “bike riding” thing.

But I rode anyway.

As the roads went up steep hills, I was only aware of the tension and burning in my thighs. It didn’t hurt, and I didn’t have the thought of walking the bike up the hill instead. I was just aware and steady,  my attention to it like a mindful parent: encouraging, calm, focused, and invested in this uphill-ness.

As the hills went down, I picked up speed and recognized I had no brakes and I quickly realized my expectations of controlling this thing was a joke. But instinctively, I shifted, leaned forward, and found that I could slow things down by leaning heavier, pressing my feet into the pedals themselves. And I marveled at it, just slightly. Like a “Huh. I’m not totally screwed after all.”

The corners were sharp, and often on the downgrade, but I found I flew around them with grace and ease. Aware of the cars or pedestrians or bikers around me, but without paying attention to them.

My mind was only on my body, the feel of my legs, the wind wrapping around me.

Once I got distracted (by a woman with a badass mandala tattoo, I might add) and found myself nearly tangled in the road with a handful of others. But I simply shifted back to myself and found my way easily around the traffic. And once I noticed a middle age man doing some pretty wicked tricks with his own bike. This was about the only time I really connected with another person, as I laughed and admired his Tony Hawk-ness. Celebrating with him, in a way.

What struck me most about this dream was my inattention to the Outside World, and my mindfulness on my own experience. I was fully present in my own body, in my own sensations. My mind wasn’t wandering, wasn’t worrying how I looked as I slowly pedaled up those hills, didn’t feel less awesome than the trickster flipping his ride like a pro, didn’t take it personally or get wrapped up in the traffic jam, but just was simply present in myself.

It came with its “ups and downs, twists and turns”. It challenged me but I didn’t get lost in my ideas of being challenged (“I’m not good enough. This is hard. I’ll never make it.“). I didn’t worry about “the road ahead” either.

I simply stayed present to my body, my movements, without judging them. And I found myself traveling just fine.

In real life?

I would’ve hopped off that bike at the first sign of even a tiny hill, and complained as I walked it the entire way up.

I would’ve panicked on the way down, likely wiping out (or walked it down as well).

I would’ve done everything in my power to slow down, stop, and avoid the sharp turns, including mapping out my entire route ahead of time to ensure nothing out of my control might happen, and quite possibly not even getting on the bike in the first place.

I wouldn’t have even noticed the badass tattoo, too absorbed in my own BS to pay attention.

If I found myself in a traffic jam, I would be frustrated that I didn’t foresee it, embarrassed that I couldn’t avoid it, profusely apologetic for being a part of it (possibly under the assumption that I may have somehow caused it – because it’s always about me right?), and I would’ve been self-conscious as I tried to move on from it.

And I would’ve seen the flips and tricks, then heard my thoughts criticize for not being able to do the same thing (even though I’d likely have done everything in my power to avoid such risky business in the first place).

And I certainly wouldn’t have enjoyed the ride.

(Care to continue this thread with me? Join in on the Sisterhood.)

Upside Down Makes More Sense

Epic Storms, art journal, www.theorganicsister.com

their story is a cautionary tale
a monsoon thunderstorm dropping a deluge on the desert
bristling with electricity

most storms move fast
this one crept over whispering,
“Some things you learn best in the calm.
No two storms are the same.
No two skies are either, so watch closely.”

so I let go
and found it all upside down
and suddenly making sense

Have you ever had that sense? That everything is upside and off from the ways in which you thought it should be, and yet – without being able to articulate a damn word of it – you knew it all made sense.

This is the fact of Life.

It all makes sense. Always.

But what throws us around is our ideas of what should be. Our thoughts. Our expectations. Our demands. Swirling and upheaving the whole delicate balance of Nature, of our Nature.

It’s terrifying to let go, to find ourselves “without control”, to consider the idea that Life might carry us away – to what? For how long? And what will that mean? Who will I be? And most damagingly, what will others think?

Our thoughts needs to be turned upside down, shaken up, shaken out.

And if we’re holding so tightly to them, we’ll find ourselves turned upside, shaken up, shaken out right along with them. But that’s only when we’re so damn attached to our thoughts that we can’t tell the difference between them and us.

What happened the last time you let go of the thought being shaken up?

Did you, like most of us searching for it, suddenly find yourself in a state of peace?

I’m shutting some things down (and blaming the White Rabbit)

Don't wait for the world to supply you with some magical elements for stillness. Just get still and you'll experience it within any world. - TW

Surrender sounds like what you do on the battlefield when the enemy has you surrounded – like admitting defeat and accepting some impending doom.

And I can’t say this Guiding Word for ’13 has been completely painless. Step-by-step it has taken me through each and every bloody aspect of my life, shaken the death grip of my ideas and sense of control, and changed damn near everything I thought I knew.

But the pain came only from my fighting it.

When I took a deep breathe and exhaled an admission of trust for the process of Life, I was met with nothing but love and ease and utter, synchronistic perfection.

Things I thought I had to do showed themselves for the nothingness they really were. Things I thought I’d never do revealed their wisdom. Things I couldn’t have imagined took me down a rabbit hole of joy.

Down the rabbit hole….

That’s been my prayerful meditation, “Life, take me down this rabbit hole. I’m ready to go – scared outta my ever-loving pants, but ready. Be gentle please, and let’s fall.”

And I have been falling, little by little. For six months, I’ve been shown depths and aspects of this experience we call Life that I’m still working to understand. But the one thing Life knew I wasn’t ready for stayed still – this website. I knew it was coming. I could feel it, sense it, taste it…but I couldn’t describe it, couldn’t see it, and quite honestly wasn’t ready for it. I wasn’t ready to examine what was no longer a fit here on The Organic Sister, and what needed more light and what it was time to evolve or surrender. (Thankfully Life works at our own best pace, so it took its sweet-ass time with me.)

Now I am ready and Life has met me here.

I’ve (we’ve?) made the decision to begin deconstructing and reconstructing this site and what I do here – Digging Deep and replanting if you will.

To start, I’m going to be removing several things by the end of this week.

I’m sending this email to give you a heads up to grab what you might have been thinking about grabbing before it comes down on Friday. Here’s what’s being removed:

Come Friday you’ll only find these things in the Organic Sisterhood, so if you were planning to grab them individually, you still can for a few more days.

In the coming weeks you’ll also start to see other shifts and changes. These are things that Life is showing me to align and release and bring in. They may not even seem like big shifts to you – it’s quite possible it’s only shifting in my own head instead. 😉

But you also could find these shifts may not be your thing, and so if you feel you’ve outgrown this space we’ve shared together, I completely honor that. You can unsubscribe at any time at the top or bottom of each email and I’ll still have the utmost love for you.

In the meantime, if you were planning to grab those offers above, this will be the last week to do so.

With heart and soul and twinges of excitement,
Tara Wagner

P.S. Big, giant (((hugs))) to you.