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Ah, dear Mary, such a perfect poem for you. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear . . .

I so appreciate, admire and respect your searching, searching, searching to better understand your own process.

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Thank you, Marty. I read recently someone's purpose in life (can't recall now who it was now) but it reads:

I am here to serve others and wake up.

That about says it for me. But I am learning again and again, slowly but surely, what I forgot over all the years of care giving and grief... that both of those purposes demand self compassion...

Peace and love

Mary

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Oh wow Mary. That poem is good. See my other posting about filling my head with stuff. I've always been a rushing about sort of person. Now? I don't know. I rushed about doing stuff and came happily back to my centre, Pete. Now?

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When the student is ready, the teacher will appear . . .

Reminds me of "When you build it, they will come"...another profound thought!

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I have always loved both of those quotes....

The "build it" one is from the Field of Dreams and part of that film was done in Galena, IL where Bill and I lived at the time. The Field of Dreams is about 20 miles from there so we drove over one day...the field was still there and people were watching a game on bleachers...anyone could play. I do love the message of that film.

As for the teacher coming when needed....I do believe that. Sometimes the teachers are not exactly what we would welcome but those are the ones that teach me (us) patience, acceptance, and more. We all know that. In the case of this poem...it is a huge teacher for me....and voila, there it was right on time. :) It dawned on me last night that it has been a minimum of 8 years, maybe 9 or so, since life was "normal". Bill's journey started in about 2003 and by late 2004 we were dealing with hip replacement and the damage the drugs did coupled with increasing cognitive symptoms. So trying to find my way back to me has been and is a challenge but I am winning.

Mary

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:) It dawned on me last night that it has been a minimum of 8 years, maybe 9 or so, since life was "normal". Bill's journey started in about 2003 and by late 2004 we were dealing with hip replacement and the damage the drugs did coupled with increasing cognitive symptoms. So trying to find my way back to me has been and is a challenge but I am winning.

Mary

Oh, Mary, you put that so well. I think we often forget that our grieving did not begin, nor did our lives change, only when our beloved left. For so many of us, the shift happened years before. I wonder if any of us will truly find our way back. Maybe parts of us are still there, where they have been perhaps free-floating all these years.

But I think I am so remarkably changed by these years that the best I can do right now is take it one day at a time, encourage my Self to blossom, and bring in the pieces of the past life that still feel comfortable.

And I am still sorting through what is comfortable, and what is presently comforting, but shifting in my awareness. Familiar things are comforting, but not constant. Comfortable is being able to write a little bit again. That is comforting. Doing decorating. Doing sketches. I am very unsure about almost everything. It is easy for me to get confused right now. I am only starting to feel that I am making any headway in sorting even small things out.

This has been a very long journey for you. All those years. I hope you are taking time to sit and let compassion flow through you every day, even if only for a couple of minutes. We are all still on this journey. It is an adventure, even if not one we would choose.

Here we are, and I feel as though I have on a heavy backpack, that ropes are dragging up the trail behind me, slowing me down, and that the pack is entirely uncomfortable. But I do hope to get to some better vistas soon. I guess we can hope for that.

Blessings to you. Thank you for your words.

*<twinkles>*

fae

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fae

For some reason when you talked about the backpack and new vistas, I remember when Bill and I hiked the Tetons near Jenny Lake. Talk about vistas...one of our favorite places to hike though we did not get there often. And yes, I relate to dragging weights behind as the Tetons are rather steep in most places and the thought of dragging weights there does well describe the trek through grief. And yes, there are better vistas ahead and yes, in order to see them we must go through those places on the trek where all one can see if the footpath beneath them and know it must be carefully walked as loose rocks are underfoot. We are all doing that slowly but surely. And yet there are switchbacks...that is the only way to those vistas.

I do think we who were caregivers previous to our beloved's death tend to forget those years or months when life took a turn and when hopes and dreams were slowly disappearing with each day and sometimes each moment. We came to death's door exhausted and traumatized to some degree.

Many, if not most, clients I have seen over the years early in the process ask how long "it" will take. There is no definite answer to a question like that but they want one understandably. Eventually as they get into the journey, they see why I could not give them a definite time. Now I am saying that to myself....who knows how long? In so many ways this journey never ends as it is our life now. ...and that is NOW just fine with me. We rise each day, do our best, create and look for meaning, and do it again the next day. Just like everyone on this planet...but we have had a teacher many have not had...gut wrenching loss. That makes us stronger and also more compassionate as we move along our paths. Mary

Mary

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Oh the Tetons, I am jealous! They are so beautiful! Years ago I had a print of them custom framed and matted for a friend who loved the Tetons. What a wonderful memory you must have!

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Yes, Kay, they were Bill's favorite range AFTER Mt. Sneffles in Ouray, CO where we lived. We never made it to the top of Sneffles as it was well over 14,000 ft but we got as far as 11,500. The Tetons are unique in that they climb vertically so fast...lovely. Mary

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Meditation

I just got this email offering a free on line series of talks by 32 different experts. It starts March 4 and runs through March 8 with talks starting on a regular basis during those days. I do not know more about it but here is the link if anyone wants to listen to part or all of it. Good speakers and the schedule is presented. It is all on meditation and I doubt anyone will want to hear all of them but perhaps one or two or more will appeal. Mary

http://www.entheos.com/Be-The-Change/Richard-J-Davidson#richard_j_davidson

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I found this and have signed up for the course, hoping it will help me to be less demanding of myself and a bit more accepting during these times. Self-acceptance is not going well for me: the old me whom I accepted was also validated by Doug, reinforced by our extreme physicality, and held as a standard. I cannot see, much less approach, that mark right now. So I am hoping to learn more self-acceptance as a part of this process.

http://live.soundstrue.com/selfacceptance/event.php

I am having a very difficult time giving up expectations of high performance and peak health right now. I want to be able to carry my heavy pack, climb, and run again. I know it is going to take a while, and I am trying to find an in-between place where I can be comfortable with that. But I also would like to be able to carry on more of our work and dreams, and some of those have physical aspects. Patience ... my big lesson.

Thank you for the new meditation options.

*<twinkles>*

fae

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You and I and many others seem to feel that we must be perfect. I am in the process, finally, of giving up trying to be anything and have chosen just to be whoever and whatever I am at any given moment. It is taking some effort, believe me, but I get closer to just being each day. It leaves room for change and choices....and peace and calm.

Mary

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It seems more peaceful that way...self acceptance.

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I found this and have signed up for the course, hoping it will help me to be less demanding of myself and a bit more accepting during these times. Self-acceptance is not going well for me: the old me whom I accepted was also validated by Doug, reinforced by our extreme physicality, and held as a standard. I cannot see, much less approach, that mark right now. So I am hoping to learn more self-acceptance as a part of this process. http://live.soundstr...tance/event.php

fae

Fae, I listened to part one of this project, downloaded it and downloaded the second. Will watch that another time. Content is good. Pretty basic but good reminders.

Mary

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This is a link to today's presentations on meditation. These talks are only valid through tomorrow starting at 2pm PST. These are great people in the filed...Sharon Salzberg among my favorites. I think/hope this link takes you there. Since I am registered I can't test it. It is free. It the link below fails to get you to the line up for today, just go to www.entheos.com/Be-The-Change and register. You can only listen. They are planning to sell the audios after the series is over. It is 3 days long. I especially like Salzberg and Davidson, the latter teacher here in Madison at the UW and is doing mega research on neuroscience, teaching meditation to the kids in Madison schools, and more.

http://www.entheos.com/Be-The-Change/Play

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Today my mind has been like a sponge taking in every snippet of information from the link you sent out today Mary. Thank you for this opportunity to feed off of your knowledge.

The Shapiros talk about ‘Happiness is an Inside Job’ helped me realize that it is so important to be awake in the present moment. I need to be at peace with myself. I say these things to myself but it is so easy to not allow myself to walk in the world with joy.

Marianne Williamson’s “Aligning to Love’ meditation reminded me how important it is not to take yesterday into today. We can adjust our souls just as the chiropractor aligns the spine. A very interesting thought.

And what an appropriate statement from Sharon Salzberg when she talked about ‘deep suffering being manure for transformation and meditation’ after how I’ve been talking about getting my garden started while so many of you are deep in snow still.

We do need to get these links into a place where many more can have access to them. This forum has some amazing bits of information on it. I delight in all the shared tidbits that show up here. I shall be looking forward to Joan Halifax Roshi's topic on March 6th. she is a favorite of mine. Anne

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I do love gathering info from others but the real answers to life lie within our own souls so I try to balance listening/reading with just being still. Too much input is not much different than putting me in the middle of a party of 50 people :):(

I enjoyed Salzberg..always do. Spent three days with her last year and in May I might attend her three day silence retreat in Madtown again. There are two retreats and I am torn. The other is is led by a sidekick of Thomas Merton. Blocking his name.

I agree lots of great support, care, understanding and more here. We are blessed.

Peaceful night

Mary

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OMG, I've read Thomas Merton...didn't know anyone else who knew of him. These would be cherished times to have!

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Kay, it is James Finley, PhD. I remembered as soon as I logged off. I love Merton. Bill and I visited the Abbey of Gethsemani where Merton and Finley lived. We saw the hut and we ended up attending vespers there and a funeral. We also tasted the wonderful Bourbon chocolates they had in the gift shop. :) I have a lot of Merton's books. Finley will lead the 3 day silent retreat in May....

Mary

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http://blog.tarabrach.com/2013/02/defending-against-loss.html

I am putting this under Meditation because it is by Tara Brach (a clinical psychologist, educator (meditation etc.) and author. It is a good piece on what happens when we do not process our losses when they happen. Her new book True Refuge is in the pile of soon to read books. So many books, so little time. :)

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That does not surprise me at all, Marty. :) Do you think we will ever get to read all the books in those "yet to read" piles and then there is my "wish list" at Amazon...growing by the day....and what about all the books that will be published this year and next year and the year after that?

I will read Chopra's piece that you posted. Thank you. I know it will be good. I only have about 10 of his books...some from many years ago. I don't buy too many of those anymore as they tend to be repetitive though I think I did ead a couple last year.

I am truly an addict....

Mary

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http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-mindful-self-express/201202/nine-essential-qualities-mindfulness?page=2

Nine Essential Qualities of Mindfulness (Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D) in Psychology Today

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Thank you Mary,

I will look into the Nine Essentials when I get back from town.

It is very early for you to be posting, by the way. No, I am not worrying. Just take care of yourself.

*<twinkles>*

fae

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