Friday, November 29, 2013

Day 115 of 365

"Have a mind that is open to anything, attached to nothing."  Tilopa

I have walked a considerable distance down this path now, and I have experienced more than I could have possibly imagined when I took that first step over 100 days ago. How could I have known that the simple, straightforward goal of writing of a book would shape and flavor so many aspects of my life?

Or did so many aspects of my life shape and flavor this book?

I am in a much didn’t space than I was 100 days ago. I have never been so clear on what I wanted for my life, for my future, for this novel. It’s like tumblers in the lock of my mind have finally clicked into place and the vault of my vision is finally open! I can see, feel, and experience what I know I want from this journey, and it brings me both peace and a sense of excitement. Every day, every effort is now centered on pursuing these goals, and MJWL is certainly a big piece of that puzzle.

One of the catalysts that helped me change was the quote listed above. I needed to become “open to anything”. For me that meant being receptive to new ways of thinking, while leaving behind the shackles of a structured timeline. “It will happen when it is supposed to happen” is my new mantra, and it has been very freeing. I can still see, in vivid colors, the places I will be in my future (including the vision of being a published author), however, I am now open to new ways of achieving these goals. And I know they will be achieved when they are “supposed to happen”.

I have also embraced the second part of the quote. “attached to nothing.” I have such beautiful, soulful relationships in my life, and I value them with all that I am. I adore my family. I love my job. I will treasure every moment that I spend with the people I love and in the job that I do, however, I cannot attach my happiness to the people, or the job, being what and who I think they should be. In my mind and in my heart they are all free. Free to do what they need to do to pursue their own happiness, their goals. 

I will treasure the moments when we walk on the path together, dream together, and spend time enjoying what this life has to offer. But the clarity of my vision comes from releasing any preconceived notions that certain things have to happen for happiness to be there. I am attached to nothing.

There was a time in the complicated relationship between Alex and Lea when they knew they had to let each other go, to become attached to nothing…at least for the time being. Their souls realized that trying to hang on at that moment would mean struggle and a disastrous end to their relationship. Not an easy chapter for either of our protagonists.

After an hour of torturing her psyche, looking for answers and explanations that would never come, Alex sat up in bed, hoping the elevation change would clear her senses. She was replaying the phone call with Lea over and over again in her mind, unable to connect the dots.

 Oblivious to the dorm room she was sitting in, the scenes played out in front of her, as if on a television screen in her mind’s eye. She saw the soft brown eyes, filled with love and passion, whispering “Love me forever Alex.” Memories of warm embraces, where two bodies fit seamlessly and hearts beat in unison. Soulful promises to “be there for each other, always”.

“What the hell happened? Where did this come from?” She sighed heavily and slumped against the white concrete wall.

Alex had always been a logical person, but she could not force lucidity into this equation. No part of “Honey, I need to let you go. It’s better this way.” made any sense to her. Forever doesn’t let go. Always is, well, always.

“I don’t get it. I just don’t get it.”

As Alex struggled with the overwhelming agony in her heart, a distant, small voice within her soul seemed to be whispering to her. The noise in her head would not, however, be still enough to allow the voice to be heard. For the moment she was content to be alone in her grief.

If Alex could have quieted her mind a bit, if she could have let go and detached herself from the past, maybe she would have heard what her soul was trying to whisper. But Alex had to go through the pain to come out stronger, and more resolved, than ever before. That was her journey. Do not grieve for Alex, though, for at some point on her path, Alex would once again…

Believe in forever.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Day 106 of 365

Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.” Henry David Thoreau

Did you ever notice that when you are doing something you love you feel whole, alive, energized, and timeless

Whether it is painting a beautiful picture, reading a good book on the beach, being around your four-legged friends, or traveling the world with the one you adore, for me those are the moments when the soul is alive.  

"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours." Henry David Thoreau

I love what I do for a living. The diverse, creative people I work with on a daily basis are inspiring. I am surrounded by peace and beauty. And yet, I know the dream that I am advancing confidently towards, the journey that I was meant to take, has only partially to do with life at sea. Yes, I have immersed myself in this lifestyle, and I am blessed beyond words to be here. But my dream is to write. More specifically, it is to write this story.

It has been 5 weeks since I have spent any significant time on MJWL, and spiritually I have felt the absence. You see, dreams don’t always die in spectacular fashion. Many well intentioned goals slip ever so slowly from the spotlight of our attention to a dark, quiet corner of the awareness, waiting patiently for the light to shine again. In some cases the dream is placed neatly in the attic of the mind with empty promises of dusting it off again someday when free time is more abundant.

That will not happen to MJWL. I just have to find a better way to balance my love of writing with the demands of being a seafarer. I knew these days would come when I committed to this journey while working out here. 

Today I have reconnected to my dream, to Rachel, her Leo, Alex, and yes, her Lea. I am once again walking confidently in the direction of THIS dream, and the smile in my heart lets me know that the success of it all is already here. When I write this story I am mentally and spiritually on the top of Leo and Rachel’s precious mountain, at their farm, and with my fine-tuned imagination I can see, smell, and feel the horses, the hay, and the pine trees in the heat of the summer.  

"Logic will get you from A to B.  Imagination will take you everywhere."  - Albert Einstein

Logic did not give Rachel and Leo a life together. She was a cultured city girl. He was a half Indian horse whisperer from the mountains. Imagination, and hearts spilling over with love, blended their fates into one.

Leo took Rachel by the hand, gently weaving his rough, weathered fingers though hers.

“Come with me darlin.”

He led her though the barn, pointing out the new paddock he had built for Talia and the fresh paint he added to the trim of the doors. He described for her the area where he wanted to have an orchard someday, and proudly introduced her to the cherry tree he had planted near the corner of the barn. They walked the property together for over an hour, never breaking the magnetic connection that was sealed by their fingertips.

Finally, after an extended period of heavy silence, Leo stopped, and facing Rachel at the peak of the mountain he grabbed her other hand with his.

“Rachel, I missed you terribly this summer. It’s just not the same here without you. You have captured a part of me that I didn’t know existed, and I never want to lose you again. Rachel, baby, I love you with all that I am.”

Then, placing one knee on the soft summer pasture grass, Leo smiled and looked deeply into his angel’s eyes.

“Will you marry me Rachel Kirkbright? Say you will spend eternity with me and this farm.”

Rachel’s entire body shuddered and her eyes spoke the answer well before her lips did.

“Yes, Leo, yes. I never want to leave you or this place again. You are my family now. You are my life.”

She melted into his waiting arms, knowing that she had found the reason her soul had called her to the green mountains of Tennessee.

Dreams are nothing more than our imagination at play, and this dream gives me the fuel I need to accomplish great things, to live a life unimagined in common hours, and to fill my life with love. For you see, just like Rachel and Leo, I …

Believe in forever.