Shine the Divine:

Creativity IS a Spiritual Practice

When we see through our hearts, we recognize that every single one of us is infused with creativity. Divine Sparks are embedded in everyone and everything. It's up to us to be courageous, to look and listen deeply, to find the sparks, gather and release them back into the universe, transformed into something new. Join me as we wake up to the sacred-ordinary blessings waiting to greet us each and every day.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Home Bound-Gnome Mound

Sometimes, the reality of THIS MOMENT...the only one there painful. So far this week has been filled with some of those kinds of moments...the ones where reality is not what I want it to be...but it is what it is...and although this ONE is the only mind wants to link them together and formulate some kind of bridge...back track and fast forward to this particular NOW. Ok are you confused yet? Remember on my blog post about friendship I told you about my dear friend Viv. Well while she was visiting, she held up a mirror for me...and I had no choice but to look and listen...for this reflection was from a mirror being held in the steady abiding love of a true friend. We talked about the fact that yes...for now...I am indeed home bound...and it's time to take pro-active steps to care for myself and my family. So as much as I knew/know that this is my current reality I moved back into that place of grieving again...the place where humility can mean stepping back in order to step forward. I have to get more help...not just from friends, but from the social services available to me through the state and our health insurance coverage (I am so blessed to have that!)

In the past few days I have felt so much anger flaring, my temper has been on the cusp and overflowing onto everyone...I yell at the girls, am short with Gordon, I am muttering and crying to myself, fuming, this the medicine finally kicking in? I know mood swings are a possible side effect...well maybe that's it...or maybe this is simply the act/art of grieving for the loss of independence. I am home bound. I cannot drive my car right now. I am dependent on others to make meals, help with our laundry, even to get out of the bathtub lots of days. WE need more help in our home...I have to face myself in this mirror and see who I am right now. I am a person with disabilities that are immensely challenging. I am lonely. When friends do stop by I talk nonstop with whatever charming accent arises (or shifts through the conversation).

So Viv, my darling friend in an attempt to reframe the situation (with humor of course) suggested we change the phrase from "home bound" to "gnome mound"...I visualize mysef tucked away safe and secure in my gnome mound for the winter. And when visitors (social workers or homehealth aids) come...they will at first be strangers...but with my chattiness...that can't last too long...they will become my friends in a way, or at the very least they will be my little gnome assistants, and the assistance they offer will allow me a new kind of independence.

I can say this, I can reframe...but the feelings are even more intense than getting into my wheelchair in public for the first time...answering the phone and being questioned by a puzzled voice "is this the Hegfield's?", because I sound Belgian or Mexican or Chinese or Irish or like a toddler picking up before my Mommy can get to the phone.

On Thursday I will go to see my neurologist...we will go over my MRI's (remember the Rocky theme? and the 3.5 hours of MRI's?)...we'll talk about a lot of things I how will I know the medicine is working? Somedays I feel a little more energy...other days I'm completely wiped out...somedays my gait is better...other days I feel like I'm walking so slow I'm going backwards...I had my voice for a few hours on two different occasions...but that was around Thanksgiving...somedays I have no problem accessing words (even though I pronounce them oddly)...otherdays they are out of reach-lost somewhere in the recesses of my mind. We will talk about possible social services our family is eligible for. Maybe someone can come evaluate ways to alter things in our home to make me feel safer (like in the bathroom)...maybe we can have someone do light houskeeping and grocery shopping so Gordon doesn't have to do everything and can show up at the office more often (fortunately so far they have been cool about him working from home).

My friend Noreen held up a mirror for me today too..reminding me of my holiness...that my life experiences have similarities to those of Rebbe Nachman (a true Tzadik)...and then reading in Jan Lundy's book Your Truest Self, I read it again...this truth I know, but sometimes hide from myself when I am feeling low...that I am holy...we are all holy...maybe especially when we feel lonely, frustrated and angry...because those feelings (at least for me) inevitabley give way to peace and ease once they move through me...and holy means WHOLEY...all of it...the good the bad the ugly.

And Sandy came today to my home to give me an acupuncture treatment as a gift. She told me about an incredibly holy woman she assisted at an ashram in India...a stiring story in which she; my friend, mentor, healer, Sandy had an active role in helping this fragile 93 year old nun regain her vitality...and again...big reality check for me! Holiness/wholeness is abundant...despite the emotional roller coaster inside my life is so, so good. This helped me regain some peace and clarity.

I read blogs about others who are in far worse situations than me and my family...and my heart aches and breaks for all of them...but still it aches and breaks for my kids, for my husband, for me too...this is also my reality...this week humor has been difficult to find...but in bits and pieces it arises. And I know I am blessed by so many friends, by my family, by Shekhinah (God's indwelling Presence) I'm holding it a bouquet of wildflowers...some are thorny, some smell sweet, all are unique and part of the whole that is my life in this moment...I hold all of these colorful, textured flowers in my shakey hands...gently because wild flowers are hardy when rooted in soil...but fragile once they have been disloged from that mound of earth.

I do think they will bring freshness to my gnome perspective, new ideas and images to ponder...and I can harvest the seeds when they become brittle and dry and plant them in the spring to see what grows.


  1. Hello dear Laura... I want you to know that even though there are many others in worse situations than you right now, that YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO BE FEELING whatever it is that you are feeling. And I encourage you to allow yourself those feelings and this perfect (blog) mode of expressing all of it. We are here for you, we are listening, we are supporting you with love and prayer and blessing from (I suspect) all corners of the globe. Know this: you are loved. I feel also that you are using your unique gifts to teach us about how to live more honestly and authentically and grace-full-ly no matter what happens to us in this life. Love, peace, joy, Anne Marie

  2. Thanks so much Anne are of course right...but as I contemplate more my bursts of anger, I realize that I must dedicate myself more to meditation (no matter how hard it is to be with my mind tangle tango)...this will allow me to notice the shifting sensations in my body/heart/spirit/mind and give me a choice about how to express my feelings as opposed to flying into rage directed at people I love...There are far more constructive ways to express myself than yelling at my kids and husband. That is not to deny the anger, or push it away...I know I can have the feelings and choose to release them in other ways...I need to pay more attention before they become harmful. There are no guarantees that I will accomplish this lofty task...certainly not every time...maybe sometimes? But it gives me a direction, to aim for.


  3. I want to thank you for sharing your experience so beautifully. May you find peaceful moments ~

  4. thanks sharon...I think I am getting out of control with link love, but I just had to add you to the list when I saw the hibiscus blooming in front of the snowy window!

    gentle steps,

  5. C'mere and let me wrap my arms gently all around you, Laura ... holding you in a long, gentle hug. What a wonderful person you must be in person, too, that you have such wonderful friendships and friends who will hold you in love as they help you through these changes. All feelings are valid. You're experiencing profound loss, chaos, confusion ... everything changes from day to day. AND you're experiencing love, friendhips, your own holiness. I'm grateful that fibromyalgia has taught me to slow down, to do only as much as I can, to sit still and notice where my body, my heart and my spirit are each day, just as you do.

    It's good to reach out and ask for help; again, a new learning to allow others the special grace of helping another in need. And I trust that your new gnome assistants will teach you and you will teach them and God's perfect plan will continue to grow here on earth.


  6. Laura,
    There is no book in the Bible that reminds me more about what it is to live with MS than the book of Job. A righteous man beset by uunimagineable tragedy. In the end, he reaches a sort of understanding with God, but I have always wondered whether that was a Deus ex machina moment. Look, what you're going through is not nice. I know that first hand. It's okay to acknowledge that even as one strives to do better. But, honey, you're not dealing with small stuff here, so be kind to yourself first.

  7. Rose, I would love a real hug from you! But you are so far away (and conveniently close energetically!)

    So we'll see what happens tomorrow at the doctor's office...I like this doc...I feel like she and her staff will point us in the right direction to get the help we need...and I promise I won't ask anyone to wear a pointy hat if they come to assist me in my gnome mound.

  8. Believe me Judy the comparison to Job is not at all lost on me! It has occurred to me and my husband many times...but ultimately feels like over kill in the melodrama's hard, but really not that bad! And I do feel a peaceful connection with God...not that I don't get frustrated and angry and all "why me" some days...but that is not constructive and really, kind of outrageous...Why NOT me? a more reasonable question.

    And so compassion, gentleness toward myself, and my loved ones..yes...that is the way...the best way for all of us.

    Thank you so much for your compassion towards me...I return it to you as a flow of energy, circling, cycling through me and you and all of us living beings...for surely everyone is in need of healing in some form...being human is often painful...and this is what teaches us and allows our hearts to grow.

  9. Laura, so glad to see you ruminating and posting your thoughts. You always take us deeper. Of course, you know my stance on wholeness, embracing the all of us is a holy act...that holiness is our true nature. (Thanks for the book blurb, by the way :-). So I love how you are navigating through this with such powerful intention and passion. Even when you are tired, it seems your passion is still high to stay true to your path. I love this about you. Faithfulness, I believe it is called.

    Ok, so here is a meditative practice I'd like to share (sometime I have got to put this into a book) which fosters the notion of self as holy. I imagine myself sitting cross-legged, very aware of all my woes and worries. I hold a bowl or basket in my lap and allow all the stuff I am holding onto to gently drop down into the container, a sacred vessel that holds all of me, and all that I am struggling with. I breathe, and embrace my bowl with everything in it.

    Then I imagine that the Divine One (however you might envision this) very large right behind me. Divine arms reach out and embrace me, all the while I am embracing my bowl of struggles. This feels wonderful to me! I am holding me and I am also being held in sacred embrace. Ahhhhh....Maybe this will help when you are feeling a bit lonely or dismayed.

    I wish you the best tomorrow. You are on my prayer shelf. :-)

    P.s. sorry to go long here, but just can't resist. i just noticed something. when i do this meditation the Divine One feels more like a heavenly father holding me in safekeeping. When I do a similar meditation from the front, it is always the Divine Mother who comes to my mind. She reaches out and meets my gaze and touches my heart center with her palm. Interesting!!!

  10. Jan I love this meditation...I will try it...and also interesting is that for a few years I've been imagining a container that I wish to create...I have been contemplating this for quite sometime...what materials will I use for this vessel that represents me and sacredness...I was thinking fibers-silk paper something to allow light to pass through, but just haven't managed to get the stuff I need to make it happen...AND my friend Barbara has been playing with clay at her house lately and we have talked about her coming over with a ball of clay to do some hand building at my house (can't throw right now...not enough strength and the wheels in her basement so not gonna happen)...she wants to do a firing in January (she has a kiln shed behind her house) maybe it's time for me to make that vessel..that bowl for this gorgeous ritual/meditation you just described...and clay after all is how HaShem formed the you have given me more to contemplate visually in the artist context as well.
    thanks Jan!!!


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