A recurring theme has been swirling around me lately, PACE, as in the speed at which someone or something moves. I experienced my first worldly nudge about recognizing pace during my book writing process. I am working with Nancy Baumann “The Book Professor” and in one of our recent lessons we learned about pacing in our writing. How the structure of the sentences in our writing reflects on the pace of the story. Quick short sentences especially with words called onomatopoeia’s like hiss or swish, convey a fast pace. Whereas, long, descriptive sentences give a sense of a slower more relaxed pace. We learned when each are more appropriate to the story line we are communicating. Hmmmm interesting, since it was my first nudge I found it very helpful information but left it at that.
My next poke about pace came about during a discussion on the seasons, a friend was sharing how she slows her workouts down during the winter months. She told me she follows nature’s pace, as fall approaches she slows her activity level down and tends to cocoon during the winter months, focusing on quieter less strenuous activities. However, as spring starts drawing near she picks up her pace. Her activity reaches its peak during the summer. She was unapologetic about this and said she is simply is following her mammalian seasonal rhythms, I am not exactly sure what a mammalian seasonal rhythm is, but it sounded great to me!
As any good engineer will do, when I see a pattern forming my attention is drawn to it like a moth to the flame. I realized how interesting it is that I had two conversations about pace in one week. I reflected on my own current struggle with pace, prior to 2010 I was at my peak pace professionally, say that 10 times in a row. I was running at high-speed and high-efficiency. Meaning with less effort I could go from 0 to 100 mph. Now with a lot more effort I am still only at 65 mph. At my so-called “peak” I realized I was missing a lot though, as my speed increased my peripheral vision narrowed. Recently I have felt very frustrated that I cannot seem to go at the pace I used to, but I also know I will likely never be at that pace again. I have learned life is not about what is up ahead or behind me, life is all around me at this particular place in this particular time. When running at a rapid pace you can’t experience life you are flitting from one place to another missing the scenery along the way.
So I am adjusting to a new pace, I am also adjusting to a changed landscape. This new landscape is unfamiliar so it will take time to get used to. I have struggled with trust through a series of recent unfortunate events so my pace needs to slow as I gain trust. My trusting nature has given me gifts beyond my imagination it has also led me down some treacherous paths. So I am working to establish my new pace, which is tied to trust, which is tied to magic, which is tied to fun, which is who I am.
If you can see joy in this very moment regardless of the circumstances of your current situation – you are blessed, you are a success! ~ Marsia Geldert-Murphey
A very thoughtful friend who knows I have Seneca heritage introduced me to the teachings of a wise Seneca elder, Twylah Hurd Nitsch. Since then, I have become transfixed by her teachings I want to read and assimilate all her wisdom. She often speaks of truth, the truth within. In an interview with Margaret Wolff she described how we inflict upon ourselves pain and hurt when we avoid our truth within, which also affect our love within and peace within. She also expressed that until we grab hold of the truth and remember our Oneness, which is a truth we hold deep inside each of us from birth, we will continue to learn that truth through opposites.
Now this was where the hair stood up on the back of my neck – she said, “you confront the opposite of truth so you can learn it.” I get in the mud often and bemoan and lament the actions of others I find offensive or disrespectful, but in reality what is really happening? I am learning how not to be, or I am learning how to be, by recognizing what not to be. Think about a time when you watched someone struggle to do something, you see what works and doesn’t work and use that knowledge when its your turn. This concept reminds me of the tough mudder competition I recently participated in, I would watch the contestant in front of me attack the obstacle if they were successful I would use the same approach if they crashed and burned, I did not. So this idea of learning from opposites means that we are actually blessed each time we witness offensive or disrespectful behavior particularly when we recognize it as such.
I know this sounds bizarre but it’s so true. I have witnessed many people who struggle with the truth and my response has always been the same, a mixture of disappointment and pity. Now I recognize they are heyoka’s. The Lakota call those who walk among us and react and move opposite of the people around them heyoka spirits. Heyoka’s violate the ethical rules and societal taboos of the tribe thereby teaching the importance of such rules by creating awareness.
Beautiful and simple yet painful. As I continue on my path in this world I see how the truth really does set me free. The more closely I respect and embrace my truth within, the lighter my load. I recognize now my pious reaction to my heyoka’s is not only misguided it is disrespectful. These people are walking a very difficult and painful path to teach us how to connect with our peace and love within.
So the next time you feel repelled by the behavior of another be grateful that you are blessed to be aware of that behavior and have the ability to choose the opposite.
“It is in vain that we search for an essential difference between good and evil, for their constituents are the same. The crucial distinction lies in their structure, i.e., the manner in which the pieces are assembled. Evil is disintegration, an angry juxtaposition of alienated opposites, with parts always striving to repress other parts. Good is the synthesis and reconciliation of these same pieces.” ~ Charles Hampden-Turner
The last night my dad was in the hospital in Tulsa before he was transported by air ambulance home, the brutal reality of his impending death really sank in for me. I remember holding his hand, he had very strong hands, I also remember thinking how I needed to be present and soak up everything about him because I just didn’t know how much longer we had together. I slept next to dad in a recliner so I could be right there if he needed anything. He was having a restless time and I could tell something was bothering him. My dad was a man of very few words and he never talked about his feelings, although, I probably pushed him slightly beyond his comfort zone more than anyone when it came to those kinds of conversations. I am not sure what possessed me to ask this but it was what came to my mind, I said “dad are you sad, mad or scared?”
He wept silently and said, “mostly sad.” I hugged him and wanted so desperately to take his sadness away, he had been through so much. I told him I was sad too, and we both sat there crying, it was the closest I have ever felt to my dad. The emotions I feel when I recall that night are as real to me now as when I experienced them. I was flashing back to that night because I caught myself a few days ago saying I am mostly sad about a situation I am experiencing. It really doesn’t matter why, but the feelings are there and intense, very intense sadness. What made the experience even more raw was the thought that dad’s sadness had to be so much worst than what I am experiencing now. When I think about everything he was going through; he was in pain, severe pain, he could not eat or drink, he could no longer enjoy distractions like video games or music, it did not comfort him anymore, and then he was experiencing this incredible sadness on top of everything else. I am ashamed to say in spite of that I was still feeling sorry for myself, and oh how I wish I could talk to him right now, he always knew how to make me feel better.
Sadness is such a challenging emotion to be with, mad and scared are focused on the external, your mad at someone or scared of something, but sadness comes from within and is focused inward, its personal. My friend, I can’t just call her my friend, she is my shamanic angel spirit guide, told me, “honey the universe will take care of you, trust, just trust.” So as I was sitting there feeling sad and just trusting that is what I needed to be experiencing, a girlfriend calls my home number, she tried my cell and I did not answer so she persisted. I answer, she hears in my voice, I am not my perky, happy self so she asked what is going on. I told her I am feeling sorry for myself, by the end of the conversation I am laughing, my daughter picks up an extension while I am still talking to my friend and joins our conversation, and I told her to grab a funny movie I need to lighten my mood. She says, “ok how about Spaceballs?” I told her that was a perfect choice. While she’s getting the movie and after I hang up from my girlfriend, another friend texts me, he has a wicked sense of humor and he is giving me his latest observations on life. His observations are usually hilarious and caustic and always at his own expense, and always make me laugh. The very next text on my phone is my neighbor she calls herself Gladys Kravitz, after the nosy neighbor from a sitcom in the 60’s called Bewitched. I do have to say my Gladys Kravitz is nosy in the best way possible, she looks after everyone’s kids and property and she facilitates the great community we have here, always encouraging us to get together and celebrate. So Gladys then texted me saying she was bringing over a gift and told me to have a cocktail ready. This all took place in the span of 20 minutes, I looked up to the ceiling and gave thanks to the universe for taking such good care of me. So my shamanic angel spirit guide, as always, is correct, the universe is taking care of me, and I am getting some distance from this sadness.
I have always been fascinated by people who can hide their emotions, and we all know people like this, they can walk into a meeting right after received devastating news and pull it off as if they were having the best day of their life. I say I am fascinated by them because I am terrible at that, when people ask me how I am doing I don’t always say good or great, I tend to wear my emotions like a Mike Tyson face tattoo. As with everything in this beautiful life there is a light side and a dark side to that way of being. The light side is that I tend to experience what I am experiencing and by letting it out as it comes is does not so adversely affect my health, the dark side is that I am fully exposed to my peers and can be in a very vulnerable position.
Fortunately I come from a long line of strong and powerful women, and if you are wondering yes my shamanic angel spirit guide told me that, and I have to agree. My mom used to say to me “just remember there comes a time when you have to stand up for yourself Marsielark”, and my sweet and loving grandmother who thought “my stars” and “for pete’s sake” were the most fowl cuss words a person could utter once told me during a difficult time in my life, “well don’t take any crap.” When my grandmother gave me that advice at first I almost dropped the phone in utter amazement, to hear such a word come out of my grandmother’s mouth. My grandmother was a person of very high integrity, she once found herself in an unthinkable situation where her integrity was questioned, she never wavered, she knew her values, her morals. While that episode in her life was painful, and caused her great sadness, she was amazing in her strength…………I stopped writing my blog at this point and had to leave so I would not miss my yoga class, while in class this morning our yoga teacher Jan said “can you all see all these dragonflies out there?” I could not believe it, there were hundreds of dragonflies flitting around outside the window, it was beautiful, and I instantly felt electricity shoot through my body. My grandmother loved dragonflies and one of the last gifts she gave me was a pair of green dragonfly earrings. I had this immediate feeling of love surrounding me. So I knew she was reaching out to me today to feel her strength and sending me a message to feel my internal power and strength, which is what I intend to do.
While all these strong and powerful women I have descended from have all passed on to the spirit realm, I know their love surrounds me and fills me with humility, courage and compassion, they are guiding me, so I am trusting; trusting the process, trusting the universe, and trusting my dragonfly spirit guides.
Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. – Khalil Gibran