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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sometimes life is just an 11-month-old border collie giving you the staredown

Has this been a crazy, mixed up, intense year for you? Or is it just me?

I wonder this as I read the news and analyses, people's blogs, and talk to people.

Anyone who says this has been an easy year is either independently wealthy or living with a bag over their head, although I doubt that would really be easy.

In keeping with my normal tell-the-truth-and-it-will-set-you-free attitude, I have to let you know that this has been both the worst possible year and one of the best for me.

I bet you can guess what the best things have been—meeting customers and bloggers, designing malas for people to use throughout the world (thereby hopefully helping to increase positivity EVERYWHERE!), my growing and lovely children, my 20th anniversary with a great man, and my growing and lovely new dharma center.

Among the worst things have been—getting a cuddly, fuzzy border collie puppy that turned out to be Cujo with bad teeth (although she is improving her manners daily), listening to the sad stories of people who've lost jobs and homes, being part of the care team for my mother, whose health has gotten worse and worse this year. Finally, to round out this recent thoroughly miserable part of the year, we lost a brother-in-law, an old friend (Goodbye, Sinesia), my parents' cat, and the partner of a dear friend—all died within two weeks. I'm not even mentioning the additional deaths that affected other people I'm close to.

So lately it's been a real test of faith and patience. I just can't stand it when people suffer, so I try to pray for them, and I know it helps but sometimes you want to SEE the positive results. Only raising the dead and curing the old and sick would be the type of results that would satisfy me, and I'm not there yet. So it's been time to endure, go deep, perhaps to the bottom, and slowly emerge refreshed.

Talk about dark night of the soul.

But refreshed is how I feel now. I have a new feeling of being lighter and accepting all that I can't control. Each day is sacred. I figure if I'm lucky I may have 30 years left and I want to take total advantage of living them Exactly the way I want.

Which means just what I've been doing—a daily practice, creative spiritual work, art, motherhood...

But it means less of the feeling of dread and responsibility. Because none of that helps.

Again, as the post title says, sometimes life is just an 11-month-old border collie staring you down. (You know they're just one step away from being wolves.)


Next exciting stop, The Olivenhain Craft Fair in Olivenhain California on November 14th. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. I don't do many craft fairs—this is the only one in a year, so it's pretty special to get to talk to live customers and friends. Come on by if you're in the area. I'll let you know in pictures how it goes!



Mare said...

This year for me, has absolutely sucked...We lost very dear family members-2 of my Mother's sisters to cancer, my husband had to have emergency surgery and was not feeling well long before and still after son in law is in ICU on life support with Swine Flu and secondary pneumonia...a friends art gallery burned down, my daughter's business is struggling in this economy, my brother in law has been going thru a dark night of the soul...this is only some of what has happened this year. And yet, i choose to be optimistic and peaceful in knowing that i seem to have the strength to get thru all this and keep moving towards the lighter side...whatever that is...Hang in there my friend... This too shall pass...

Karin Grow said...

funny you should ask. My year started off okay, fairly unscathed. And then all of a sudden .......BAM!
Art's out of work, One of my dogs dies, Then Art finds work (after totally depleting our tiny savings). Now I'm just trying to hold down the fort and hope for a great season.
I just try to stay positive and know that things will be fine. That have to.

Laura said...

Mare, I'm praying for your son-in-law. Maybe others on who read this blog would like to also.

Karin, I'm rooting for your continued success, and I'm so sorry about your dog!

I guess I'm not the only one who had a hard year. You know, sometimes I'm leary of putting too much personal stuff on a blog, but really, it just shows how similar we all are, especially this year when we've all had to deal with quite a lot.

This will be a year I will gladly kiss goodbye. But there have been some good things. I couldn't have done it without my meditation time and study group.

Stasia said...

Border Collies are not "pets" for the faint of heart... remember I told you that when she was a baby? Her bad teeth may be a testament to her breeding (not for working; not a good idea for a BC!) She's always welcome here to learn to herd. GGG

Keep joy as your intention and it will manifest.

Dogs require infinite patience. ESPECIALLY BCs. Give her a job. Give her work. TRAIN her to DO something and her behavior will improve exponentially. Without work, they become neurotic and take it out on their humans.

Looks like she has quite the attitude, like my "pibble" mix (who is likely also part BC!)


Mare said...

I thank you so much for your prayers Laura and am grateful to have anyone else join in...I too struggle with where to draw the line with blogging...But one thing i have noticed is that the friendships i have made with my blogging friends are so real and important to me. I read a note from you on my blog and it is as if you just knocked on my door and came in for tea! I hesitated to write about my personal life at first, but the title on my blog includes the word "life" and this is it. The good, the bad and the ugly...If we share our lows as well as our highs, the friendships do become more rounded and real, and that is just a wonderful thing. I think the hard times would be so much harder without friends, don't you? I truly appreciate your support and the support of all of my friends.(I am praying and sending energy to your Mother Laura...) Love, mare