What I'm Writing About
© Copyright 2011-2013
All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Bobbi Jean Ewing.
reflections and insight into my healing, transformation, and journey of the heart
The wind is an actor. The wind acts. The wind performs actions. The wind also talks, if you listen.The wind brushes through blades of grass. The wind stirs the boughs of the cedar tree. The wind claps the fan of the palm tree.
I wonder if the wind can clear our energy fields of the “dust” and “debris” that gets stuck in our auras? I like to imagine so. Sometimes I stand in a strong wind, arms wide open, and let it clear my field.I let the wind wash over me and around me. I let it hold me. I let it refresh me.
I am sitting in my office having my Monday morning cup of coffee and two apple-carrot-bran muffins that I made over the weekend. The sun is filtering through colorful fall leaves and is shining through the window. I glance at my calendar – October 14, 2017. Today is the official publication date for my collection of personal essays. Hooray! I am filled with gratitude and joy as I reflect back on the last few very rich and nourishing years of my life.
I finished my master’s degree in counseling at the end of 2016. At the start of this year, I started a therapy practice with my friend and colleague, Jo. I met Jo through NVC (non-violent communication) and we went through the master’s program together. We co-facilitate a grief group. We also co-facilitate a community group for those who long to deepen connection with others. We model this group after the NVC learning community led by our revered mentor and teacher, Karl. I also meet one on one with clients who are going through life transitions, who are healing from emotional trauma and childhood wounds, and families who are working through discord. I am so grateful to have a partner in this work and the support of many dear friends.
I received my yoga teacher certification at the end of 2014. I was invited by my friend and peer, Erin, to teach classes at Awakened Heart Yoga. I have taught weekly yoga classes for nearly three years now. My favorite class to teach is a youth yoga class. I also teach free youth yoga classes at community centers around Seattle. I LOVE teaching youth – I am so passionate about inspiring youth to discover their power and access their well of strength.
As I gaze out the window on the sun filled landscape, my mind travels to the sunny island paradise of Maui where, along with dear friends and fellow yoga teachers, I have co-hosted three New Year’s yoga retreats. Maui is such a magical place. Each New Year we dance under rainbows, we swim in the sacred waters of the re-birthing pools, we moonbathe on the beach, we practice yoga in an open air pavilion, we meditate under a wise looking banyan tree. I send yet another thank you note via cosmic messenger to my beautiful friend Jessica for co-hosting with me that first year. We were so blessed by the outpouring of support from our community of friends and many of our dearest friends retreated with us.
I remain grateful for the cosmic unfolding that led me to my first retreat in Maui where, for the 2014 New Year I reconnected with the beautiful Shayna, a dear soul I met in Costa Rica during my 2012 New Year’s retreat. For seven years now a New Year’s yoga retreat has been a yearly tradition that grew out of my new life. You see, I had been in a long term committed relationship for nearly 10 years that ended in a giant “ka-boom” in 2009. I was devastated, hurt to my very core. Creating new traditions was an important part of my healing.
At my first New Year’s retreat in 2011 (also in Costa Rica), I discovered a new family, my yoga family. At this retreat and so many others, I have made a network of friends and some of my most cherished friendships. I also discovered how meaningful it is to start the year with intention, to plant seeds for qualities I wish to cultivate in my life, to plant seeds for things I long for and desire to grow in my life. Each year I come away with momentum that moves me forward along my path. Each year I see flowers blossom and fruit bearing trees sprout up from the seeds I plant in my heart.
I remember New Year’s Day, 2014. I planted a seed for the family I longed for in my life. At 37, I had a strong desire and calling to be a mom, to create life with someone I loved, and to share the joy of raising a little being together. At the time I didn’t know what would happen, I didn’t know when someone who wore sturdy shoes, who gazed at the new moon, and who had an open heart would skip into my life. But he did. He showed up in my life and he gave me the powerful gift of his presence. Remembering the moment he skipped into my life brings a smile to my face and my heart fills with warmth as I hold him in my awareness. I feel love permeate my being. We had small ceremony in the woods. My sweet friend Katy wrote and read a poem. I remember so very clearly these words: “such bravery to hold out your hand to another person, one Life Line traced by another.”
I feel a kick that brings me out of my reverie and back to the present moment. I put my hand on my belly and feel the movement inside. I am pregnant. In just a few short months, I will give birth to a little bundle of joy, a bundle that I have a feeling is going to crack my heart wide open and out will pour love. I wonder if this baby will be a New Year’s baby. What a lovely thought. I will have to wait and see how the stars in the sky line up. However the stars line up, I already know I am incredibly blessed.
A gal in my NVC (non-violent communication) learning community recently turned me on to “The Book of Qualities” by J. Ruth Gendler. I ordered myself a copy and yesterday I came home to a thin and lite weight package on my door step.
Last night I experienced wonder and intrigue and a good laugh (I work for “Urgency”) as I became acquainted with the many characters in this book. I felt most akin to “Joy” and tonight, as I drank in “Commitment,” a deep and resonant “whoa” traveled through my vocal cords and out my mouth.
Let me share with you my discovery so you can experience the impact for yourself.
Joy drinks pure water. She has sat with the dying and attended many births. She denies nothing. She is in love with life, all of it, the sun and the rain and the rainbow. She rides horses at Half Moon Bay under the October moon. She climbs mountains. She sings in the hills. She jumps from the hot spring to the cold stream without hesitation.
Although Joy is spontaneous, she is immensely patient. She does not need to rush. She knows that there are obstacles on every path and that every moment is the perfect moment. She is not concerned with success or failure or how to make things permanent.
At times Joy is elusive — she seems to disappear even as we approach her. I see her standing on a ridge covered with oak trees, and suddenly the distance between us feels enormous. I am overwhelmed and wonder if the effort to reach her is worth it. Yet, she waits for us. Her desire to walk with us is as great as our longing to accompany her.
Commitment has kind eyes. He wears sturdy shoes. Everything is very vivid when he is around. It is wonderful to sit and have lunch in his gardens around harvest time. You can taste in the vegetables that the soil has been cared for.
Because commitment is so serious, he loves clowns and balloons and fools and limericks. He has four daughters, grown now, but when they were little they always took him to the circus.
There is something special about the way Commitment gazes at the new moon. I wish I knew how to explain it. He is such a simple man, and yet he is mysterious. He is more generous than most people. His heart is open. He is not afraid of life. He is married to Joy.
Today is the birthday of prize winning poet, Mary Oliver. Happy Birthday, Mary Oliver!!
I discovered the words of Mary Oliver in a bathroom of a professional building in Fremont (one of Seattle’s neighborhoods) sometime in the last few years. Someone had printed out the poem, “Wild Geese,” and taped it to the wall by the sinks. This line, perhaps the most famous, resonated deeply: “Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.”
My mindfulness teacher read me the poem, “Summer’s Day,” one evening last summer after I got back from my trip to France. She was inspired to do so after hearing my tales of how I had laid in the grass in Provence watching grasshoppers, contemplating their movements, noticing how they leap forward. Insects, – life’s little teachers.
“Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.”
Nearly a year after my introduction to “Summer’s Day,” I serendipitously stumbled (not a literal stumble, one of those cyber stumbles) across another part of this poem, a beautiful line that spoke to my heart: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” This line became the inspiration for my post, “Vows for the Summer Solstice.”
Mary Oliver. . . prolific in her poetry, offering so much depth and insight in her craft. And she, who was born into this world on the 10th day of September. She, like me.
Let us celebrate Mary Oliver by celebrating some of her wise words.
“Sometimes I need
only to stand
wherever I am
to be blessed.”
“…there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do –
determined to save
the only life you could save.”
“But I also say this: that light is an invitation to happiness, and that happiness, when it’s done right, is a kind of holiness, palpable and redemptive. ”
“So this is how you swim inward. So this is how you flow outwards. So this is how you pray.”
“Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.”
“I believe in kindness. Also in mischief. Also in singing, especially when singing is not necessarily prescribed.”
Let’s sing and dance and CELEBRATE the day, this 10th day of September. Happy Birthday!!
Thank you, Brian, for your inspiration! You are a gift to me and to this world! I remain forever grateful that our paths crossed. Until we meet again……