Does shabbiness matter and what does it really mean? I think I just experienced a time of shabbiness during my current transition from selling my house and moving into a tiny space. There were days, hell even weeks I wore no makeup and my hair was flowing wildly around my face in it’s natural state, or mostly put up during the heat. Could I qualify for shabbiness or was I just answering the call to embrace my natural, au Naturelle self? I don’t know and I guess it depends how you look at it. I don’t really see anything wrong with either or and everything has it’s time and place. And then I came across a little excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams and I couldn’t help but smile. It gave shabbiness a new face and what I gather from it is that it doesn’t matter what face you put on, whether it’s your natural state or beautified with makeup. It doesn’t matter what you wear, whether it be designer clothing or your favorite comfy bargain line. What’s important is that you are the same person underneath it all and nothing changes that. All you have to do is stay true and real to yourself. Do you see something else in this little passage, that Im missing? Take a look…
“Weeks passed, and the little Rabbit grew very old and shabby, but the boy loved him just as much. He loved him so hard that he loved all his whiskers off, and the pink lining to his ears turned grey, and his brown spots faded. He even began to lose his shape, and he scarcely looked like a rabbit anymore, except to the boy. To him he was always beautiful, and that was all that the little Rabbit cared about. He didn’t mind how he looked to other people, because the nursery magic had made him real, and when you are real shabbiness doesn’t matter.”
It’s no secret that oftentimes my blog followers have been one of my greatest inspirations. Through friendships, likes and comments alike we have grown into a tight knit little group that has meant the world to me. Whether it is through personal emails or physical mail that you send me, whether it is by re-blogging my humble posts, or whether it is through your invaluable insight and comments, I often feel guided, supported and cared for in a very special way. Thank you…I love when you point out things to me that become so obvious once they are mentioned, but which I can’t think of myself.
It was my dear friend Mark who always has the right thing to say and who has been monitoring my journey from ages on, who put things into perspective for me and who sees my progress, ever motivating me to keep going. While I thought that I could perhaps benefit from a little Structure, he thought that perhaps a rebound was in order. Gently he reminded me of everything I have faced this year, from separation of a marriage that spanned over decades, to house cleaning, selling off personal belongings including my house of 20 years, while moving and adjusting to a tiny new home, fighting the rheumatoid arthritis and so on. It’s been a year packed with hurdles and challenges, a year I have lost myself to some extend, a year not only I have left people, but people have also walked away from me. When you put it into perspective, I am not surprised and it’s no wonder, because it’s always easier to support someone in good times when the world is rosy. Although in my book you stick with those that mean something to you through thick and thin. You don’t just turn feelings on and off by choice, true love and friendship has to be unconditional, through the good and the bad, otherwise it’s not worth it. True friendship is not always convenient but it should always be worthwhile.
This morning Mark’s words echoed back to me while I was still in bed snuggling with the fur child. Like so many mornings after waking, we stay for awhile and gaze outside the window to look at nature and watch the prayer flags fly in the breeze. It was a chilly morning so we cuddled just a little closer, if that’s even possible. My little girl always has to make contact somewhere to my body and sometimes at night she comes up to my face, puts her little snout on my shoulder and pauses for a moment as if monitoring that I am still breathing, making sure everything is alright. She is something else, I have never known another soul this loving, this caring, this grateful and this protective. Close, but not quite to that extent. We snuggled until it was time to get up, but not before a good round of horsing around amongst the sheets, of hiding and playing, running in circles, crazy eyed, ears back and feisty to the max. And yes, I am talking about the dog, but I am sure my laughter and giggles didn’t help and in reality they only make her feistier.
The pain was minimal today and I thought that maybe that 2.5 mile hike the day before and plain old movement had oiled the old joints a bit. Finally we got up and shortly afterwards I was sipping a hot cup of coffee. A loving email had arrived from my friend Kris which always leaves me feeling fuzzy inside, loved and cared for. Another new soul connection sent the most meaningful message via Facebook Messenger and the day was off to wonderful start. The Tiny Abode felt cool but the energy felt content while the wind was swaying the trees from side to side right in front of my window. We continued our cuddles to the couch, closely snuggled together, drinking coffee and just enjoying the stillness while watching the world outside. It was like there was a bit of turmoil going on but on the inside everything was perfectly calm. And my insides, deep inside my body and how I felt perfectly matched the world outside. I felt calm, relaxed, blissful, and full of gratitude. There was an appreciation for the moment, for having woken up to be gifted another day, there was the “Power of now and something old, but very familiar that was returning back to me. Old virtues and wisdom long learned, integrated into life and then forgotten or taken for granted as a new way of life. I was remembering some of these peace’s as they returned back to me to be appreciated and valued on a new level. The turmoil inside was getting more quiet as well and I have felt this shift within for a few weeks now. It’s almost as if finding my way back to myself. Somehow it took on a new meaning this morning, another step, another notch if you will. Another click in what Mark called a rebound and it’s exactly what is happening right now. While I thought I should structure my existence, what is really needed is to meet myself with the utmost understanding and a love like never before. What is needed is to acknowledge everything that I have been through this year, and everything that my body had to support throughout on a physical and emotional level. I need to give thanks to all the wounds that got triggered that allowed for healing on a trauma level. And I need to have a good talk with my body and ask for support just a little bit more for redemption and a dream fulfilled is waiting just around the bend.
In finding myself again, I am starting to notice things and I am making peace with anything that hasn’t felt right yet. This includes big things, powerful things, but also small things such as the lines in my face and a complexion that is clearly showing me the struggles of the past year. I am noticing that half of my hair is darker than the other half which is now mainly silver. It’s the left side of me, the feminine side that has progressed to silver strands and I am not surprised. Intuition, feelings of openness, and unselfishness are all govern by the feminine side. Given that my hair is turning out this way also signals to me a reminder of my spirit animal, the Badger. Coming into it’s power and learning his ways. Shadow dancer between the darkness and the light, I relate my current experiences to him, walking between two realms, finding the light even in the darkest of places. I am taking joy in life again instead of pausing and letting it pass me by. But even here, I really don’t feel that this was the case and a recovery period was needed. A time to be still, a time to adjust, a time to come to terms. I think I have done that and a certain drive is returning back to me to step away from merely existing. I am taking joy in the mundane again. Grateful to be able to wash dishes once more and instead seeing it like a task, enjoy the warm suds, remembering that they help my aching joints. I reassess and value all relationships in my life, even the ones that have left on their own journey to find themselves. I am tending more to myself and self care and it can be as simple as doing my make up and hair, but I plan to expand much beyond that. Even the universe is supporting me and miraculously the wifi has fixed itself and is providing me with a 4 bar signal strengths lately. Strong enough to stream things, strong enough to get back to my online teachings, finishing my herbalist and Reiki Teacher course. I may even have my first student to certify under my own lineage but that will be in the distant future as I am not forgetting my important obligations and Germany that is waiting for me. The point I am trying to make is that I am finding joy again and I am making it a point that I do and that I partake. It is the missing link and it will have to carry me through.
Today I walked another 2.8 miles. Slightly more than yesterday and despite of limping by the time I was done, I felt alive. Sitting on the boat dock with my furry companion, we admired the landscape, a changing season that mirrored the change of season within my heart. We listened to the voice of the wind and it’s heartbeat, beating fast and then being reduced to only a gentle rustle. This week so far has been full with moments of coming home to myself. I even got to craft two keychains yesterday. I am creating from all levels, physically, emotionally and metaphorically. What it takes at this point is letting go, allowing what is, accepting, forgiving, meeting myself with patience and unconditional love, and going with the flow and what feels natural without resisting.
This is Charlie Chaplin at age 26, photographed 100 years ago. Below is a poem he read on his 70th birthday, written by Kim McMillen. Enjoy!
As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is Authenticity.
As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody if I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call this Respect.
As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded was inviting me to grow. Today I call this Maturity.
As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call this Self-Confidence.
As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do why brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call this Simplicity.
As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people; things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is Love of Oneself.
As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is Modesty.
As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future. Now, I only love for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it Fulfillment.
As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection Wisdom of the Heart.
We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing, new worlds are born. Today I know: This is life!
What a wonderful outlook on life and I would like to add one (or two; three) last one’s, based on my own experience that sound a little like this:
As I began to love myself I stopped trying to fit into what I believed people expected me to be. I learned to embrace my uniqueness and all my quirks and I see them as special qualities and attributes that will attract like minded tribe members to share my passions. Today I call this honoring my Self Worth.
As I began to love myself I started to show myself the kindness and forgiveness I had previously denied myself. I began to be much gentler with myself, realizing that I was human too and made mistakes just like everyone else. And most of all that I was deserving of a second chance just like the next person. Today I call this Compassion.
As I began to love myself, my awareness grew and I am more conscious of how I feed and treat my body, my mind and my heart. What foods I consume and what thoughts I entertain. Today I am picky about what I feed my temple with, and how and with whom I spend my time. Today I call this Courage and being brave enough to not only hear but also for answering the call.
“Let go of People who aren’t ready to love you yet. This is the hardest thing you’ll have to do in your life and it will also be the most important thing. Stop giving your love to those who aren’t ready to love and appreciate you yet. Stop conversations with people who don’t want to change. Stop showing up for and showing care for people who are indifferent to your presence, who display temperamental emotions, who show disrespect or block you out and keep you at bay, despite your best efforts. I know your instincts attempt everything to win the good mercy of those around you, but it’s also this impulse that will steal your time, energy and mental, physical and spiritual health.
When you start being yourself in your life- completely, with joy, interest and commitment- not everyone will be ready to find you in this place of pure sincerity. That doesn’t mean that you have to change who you are; or play yourself down to suit the judgements projected into you by those who do not care. It just means you have to stop bothering with people who don’t want to love you yet. The truth is that you’re not for everyone, and that not everyone is for you. The most valuable and most important thing you have in your life is your energy. When you realize this, you start to understand why you become impatient with people who don’t suit you, and in activities, places, situations which don’t suit you.
You’re starting to realize that the most important thing you can do for your life, for yourself and for everyone you know, is to protect your energy stronger than anything. Turn your life into a safe sanctuary where only people who are truly compatible with you are allowed. It’s not your job to exist for people and give them your life, little by little, moment after moment. Decide you deserve only true and equitable friendship. Then take a moment to notice how things are beginning to change.”
Something is on my mind, and I’m soliciting your perspective and point of view. Someone reminded me that being a healer, authenticity means everything. Authenticity to what? I can’t come to terms how this comment applies and I have thought back and forth. I struggle to see the point and what it even means in regards to me. It almost feels like an attack, but this is not the point as to why I am writing about it now. I don’t need to be right or be defended, I just want to understand what that truly means.
The authentic healer???
What makes you an authentic healer? Authentic to what, or who? Does it mean you follow certain guidelines, old proven ways, a process, or how else could it apply? What makes something or someone authentic when it comes to energy healing? Is it a process or has it to do with your own personal character traits, giving in to the expectations of society or standing your ground?
When I look back to the beginning of last year, studying to become a Reiki Master, I recall my own experiences. During my study I was taught some of the traditional Reiki Symbols, the hands on and hands off approach, which was left up to your level of comfort, whether you felt ok with touching people or not. With my training I learned of healing sequences and methods. I remember my Reiki Master choosing and drawing a Reiki symbol with her hand during a session demonstration. She mentioned that you could also activate the symbol in your minds eye or by saying it. It was simply up to you to what intensity you wanted to learn the symbols. For myself I learned the name, how the symbol looks like in my minds eye and how to draw it with my hand, line by line. For me it was about a deeper connection and more love that would pour into a Reiki session as well as the activation of the symbol.
What I was taught was what you might expect when you go to a traditional Reiki session. What was even more amazing was that there was room to adjust Reiki to your own teaching and healing style, simply to what felt comfortable to you. The emphasis was that as long as you came from a place of love, there was no wrong that could be done.
Needless to say, I loved and adapted this concept as I was learning several energy healing modalities at the time. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if traditional, perhaps “authentic” was a sure fit for me. I was after a unique experience, something different, something very personal and geared towards my clients individual needs. I didn’t feel people were in need of the same old, what would bring them to me! What would I look for, and believe me when I say that I know what it feels like to be a number, when it’s business as usual and the human element such as compassion and caring is missing. I had my own ideas of what that meant and what I wanted to provide in my personal services. The end result for my healing sessions was authentic to myself, but perhaps not to what you expect at a typical Reiki session or even to someone else’s belief. But who are we to judge what works for someone that might not work for us?
So how does this comment fit in with me. Am I considered not being a authentic healer because of my personal healing style, because I don’t follow a step by step authentic processes? Authenticity to me means staying true to yourself and your beliefs. It means taking core learnings and the foundation, the structure, the outside walls, and making the insight fit to you and what you contribute to the overall outcome and the world. If authenticity means being a cookie cutter version and just another number in a process, then it is not for me. I have never followed the herds and it takes courage to blaze your own trail. However, I think it is exactly that what makes you truly authentic. Authentic to yourself, your identity, true self, and your higher calling. Empowering others to be themselves, unique and different has always been my motto. I know it can be a scary process and many feel the need to act a certain way for acceptance and approval. Believe me when I say that you don’t have to. Stay true and authentic to YOURSELF, because after all, everyone else is already taken anyways. 😉🙏🏼