Category Archives: home

Circumnavigating the Heart; A Father’s Day Tribute

The circle is a symbol we can all identify with, an infinitely wise geometric shape.

The heart, a blood-pumping-organ that circulates oxygen and blood through our veins.

The sun, which chases the moon through the night sky, dashing across the universe

And pulling the tides of the sea inhale, exhale.

A ship, sailing the seas, circumnavigating the globe.

Through turbulent waters and calm ones he sailed.

My father, the seafarer.

Some of my earliest memories of my father were imaginations, ruminations.

I sat spinning my globe ’round and round tracing an outline with my delicate pointer finger

Across mountains and seas, desserts and rain forests,

Metropolitan cities and rivers and valleys.

“Where’s Daddy?” Mommy would ask.

“Bangladesh,” or  “Cape Town,” or  “Diego Garcia,” I would reply, pinpointing his location with my finger.

I imagined him on his ship, the master of the seas.

“Daddy always comes home” Mommy would tell me.

And he always did.

—–

It was hard for all of us to function as a family unit sans the captain of our household.

But his first mate and crew managed.

Our hearts were full of joy when Dad came and grief when he left.

And even as we grew older and more accustomed, it never became easier.

Birthdays were missed, Christmases too.

But as Dad sailed he circumnavigated our hearts.

Because it was love for his family that sent him back to the open seas each time.

—-

Don’t be fooled, Dad. This love is not unrequited nor unappreciated.

And it’s this very love, which has had a profound effect on my life.

Sometimes the effects were as indirect as the passage around the Cape of Good Hope,

But they remain a part of me nonetheless.

I too became a traveler, and as the wanderlust surged and swelled within me like a storm raging in the Atlantic, I set off, like my father, to chart my own course.

I wanted to see the world  just like my Dad.

I wanted my passport to be as full and diverse as his.

And most of all I wanted to explore borders and push boundaries.

I wanted to open myself up the world and let my heart soar to heights as high as Kilimanjaro and plunge as low as the ocean’s floor.

From home, my parents worried. But they were steadfast in their love and support.

And what I’ve learned is that no matter how many times we complete a circle, we are infinitely traveling towards home.

Towards the center of our hearts,

And into the arms of those who love us most.

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Dad,

My passport is now filled with stamps, but the most important stamp of all is the influence you’ve had on my life over the past 24 years. Thank you for your love that knows no borders.

And remember, I, too, always come home.

Happy Father’s Day!

Love,

Lizzie

 

 

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Attitude of Gratitude–Day 38: The Labyrinth

Release, receive, return.

sayville

 

I took a deep breath centered myself and walked into the labyrinth. As I snaked around the first corner, I asked for guidance, for clarity, for peace, for answers. No sooner had I wound the second slithery turn did I begin to unleash the truths within.

Walking in, I experienced an emotional release of energy that has been building up within me for months. I let the tears fall as I released my pent up fear of being secluded and alone, which has been amplified to elephantine heights by my recent move to Long Island. You see, although I am a highly independent being with transience pulsing through my veins, being in a new place prods at a very needy shadow that resides within me. This neediness shows itself when I am most vulnerable, and it turns me into a very irrational being. I bcome full of demands and expectations of those close to me, and these demands are impossible to fulfill by anyone except myself.

***

Early this morning, as I wept to my friend about missing home, missing traveling, missing nature and feeling so uncomfortable in so many aspects of my life, she comforted me and asked me what I was going to do to center myself today. I had no real answer to her question, though I placated her by saying I’d be extra kind to myself. Later, when I arrived at the train station in Oakdale, I drove right past my home and into the town of Sayville. I didn’t want to mope in my apartment so I went for a nice lunch at the health food store. There, a goofy looking kid behind the counter chatted me up. I told him I was new here and looking for community. He asked me if I did yoga. When I replied, “Yes?” he said to me, “You’ve moved to the right town!” Unbeknownst to me, there is an amazing community of spiritual beings in Sayville and I needn’t look much farther than Mainstreet to meet a few souls that could support me. He told me of a few yoga studios and some other nice meditation centers in the area.

As today was an incredibly beautiful day, I decided to walk down the street and happened on a store called Guru’s. In the shop a sweet Indian couple greeted me and let me be as they tended to another customer buying crystals for her son and daughter. I noted this mom, who looked so unassuming in her mom jeans and tee-shirt. I was amused by her regularity. No dreadlocks, nothing hippy-dippy at all. Yet there she was, talking crystals with the owner and her little children. That’s kind of awesome. I want to be that kind of mom!

After the mom and her children left, Navi, the owner, turned his attention to me. He asked me if I wanted my aura read. Sure, why not? I held my palm out as he held a copper spiral on a string above my hands. As the spiral began to spin in small clockwise he told me my first chakra, my root chakra, was in balance. As he hovered the object over my ring finger, it began to swing forward and backward and he noted that my sacral chakra was blocked. “You’re giving and not receiving and it’s draining your energy,” he told me.  My heart chakra, unsurprisingly, made the copper object swing in gigantic circles, denoting my very open and emotional heart. We went through each chakra and he gave me a quick run down of what I needed to do to find balance.

Standing in his store, I began to feel better by the minute. He handed me a bracelet made of carnelian and told me it is the stone of the second chakra. It’s also the stone of gratitude, and that whenever I see it I should offer up a thought of gratitude. I liked this VERY much (obviously)! He also told me it would give me confidence and eloquence to speak my mind, which unbeknownst to him, is something I’ve been working on for the past few days. Sold.

Then he pointed me outside and told me that I should go walk the labyrinth.

Oh, my heart did a little flip of joy when it heard the word labyrinth! I’ve been borderline obsessed with them since returning from El Camino and have even decided that my very first tattoo will be of a labyrinth and a the camino shell. I thanked him, took my new purchase and headed directly for the labyrinth.

***

As I released the fear I began to hear my angels speaking to me. They told me I am never alone. And I must say, what a message to receive there in the labyrinth.

As I rounded the last corner and came to the center of the labyrinth my being came to center as well. I stood there breathing for quite some time, and received the message. I wrapped my arms around myself and gave myself a much deserved hug. I received the love and felt a sense of peace and clarity wash over me.

As I returned out the way I came in, I thought about the fact that I now lived in a community that had a labyrinth in the park and goofy kids that work at the health food store and moms that buy their kids healing crystals and a cute little Indian couples who read auras… And for some strange and disturbing reason, my feelings towards this place might best described by Old Gregg….I think I could like you, Sayville.

old gregg

 

And while I know that this place is still very new and foreign, I don’t actually have to fret too much about finding people whose souls are as old as mine. They are here. I just need to remain open and they will come.

I am never alone, and I am so grateful.

carnelian

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Attitude of Gratitude — Day 15: Cleanliness and Order

After a few weeks of what feels like a chaotic shift from my routine schedule, I sensed a glimmer of hope that sometime soon I will have things more organized. Disorder = my least favorite thing–ever. And this week, my life has made very little room for me to do me, leading to complete and utter dysfunction in my personal space.  Leaving for work this morning my bed was left unmade, my sink was sink full of dishes, and my laundry strewn across the floor. I haven’t worked out in weeks, and I’ve had no less than one glass of wine every single day. Let’s just say that I haven’t been feeling at my personal best, as my daily organized routine took the back burner in order for my brain and body to show up and be present as I learn the ropes at work.

However, today I was able to make a small dent in the things that make me feel better put together. I worked in the office long enough to get one of my new projects underway, and then I went to the gym. I came home and ate a nice healthy meal, cleaned my dishes and organized my laundry. Thus, it’s the little things, like cleanliness and order, that I’m feeling grateful for today.

Keeping my personal space clean and organized is also quite metaphorical, as I can work at ridding my mind, body and soul of the clutter that inevitably piles itself on through time and space. According to the yoga sutras, saucha (cleanliness) is the first niyama, or guide for yogic conduct. It is thought that through yoga we work continually to cleanse ourselves until we are nothing but light. While today I’ve made time to cleanse my environment, I also hope to thoroughly purify my body and settle my mind in the coming weeks so that the chaos and clutter in my life can subside.

I’m making small, but valiant steps!

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Attitude of Gratitude — Day 10 : Arriving Home

The last few days have been incredibly social for me. I’ve been spending a lot of time with my staff and my colleague from Boston, and finding the time to write a real post has been challenging. It just goes to show the ebb and flow of life, and inevitably things will slow down significantly come April when I have a full fledged schedule and things are a bit more routine.

The fact that my usual routines such as going to the gym, meditating and doing yoga have fallen by the wayside this past week are not of concern. It is crucial that I take the time to nest and invest. I need to know the area, I need to know my colleagues, I need to buy throw pillows for my couch–all essential in the nesting process.

This evening, I invited my team over for dinner and cooked a hearty vegetarian meal. It was nice to sit around a table and entertain. It made my apartment fill with energy, and it felt natural to cook and chat and share. As I make this place feel more like my own, I realize how important is to me to have a home and to share it with the people around me.

The more I invest in this place, the more successful I will be in this job. Thus, I want to put my heart and soul into making this apartment feel like home as well as making Long Island feel like home. The impending future of my career may actually be tied to the throw pillows on my couch, and the spices in my spice rack and the pictures hanging on my walls. The more I have invested, the more I will give. If I can give as much positive energy as possible, I will manifest a very positive experience for everyone involved.

They say that home is where the heart is, and let’s be real, I’ve left my heart in many homes. My heart lives in Vermont, San Francisco, Burkina Faso, France, Morocco, and Spain. I never could have imagined that my heart would invest itself in this new opportunity here on Long Island, but that’s the beauty of life. We never know, and we can only imagine.

So here in this moment, I am imagining my heart (and my home) being full of positive growing experiences, and I’m truly grateful for this lovely space to call my home.

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