Becoming the one

I have been single for a very, very long time. In fact, since before I turned 30…and I’m 60-something now.

I’ve had relationships, and I’ve also gone for long periods without being in a relationship. Child raising as a single working mother, graduate school, trauma recovery, helping raise my grandchild — sometimes I just didn’t have the time or the energy, or simply preferred solitude, which I benefit from greatly but never got enough of until recent years.

Got to know myself, appreciate myself, entertain myself, live life my way in peace and contentment.

As an introvert (but since people are sometimes shocked that I test as one, maybe I’m an ambivert, sharing qualities of introverts and extroverts), I actually enjoy my own company. I like making good connections with people. I have a few close friends and lot of friendly acquaintances. And I still prefer to spend part of each day in solitude.

I had a couple of relationships in 2019 with men in their late 40s that were fun at times but didn’t work out. Thank you, next, as the song goes.

COVID upended my sense that I never got enough alone time. When the world pretty much stopped in March 2020, I could not practice my work as a licensed massage therapist.

Remember that back then, we didn’t know how bad it might get. I did my end-of-life paperwork, wondering if COVID was going to take me out.

I felt deeply grateful for the people in my life, especially my family and closest friends.

I was at home with myself 24/7. I wore a mask to visit family members, one of whom worked in a hospital, because of my age. We knew then that COVID was harder on older people, but not why. I didn’t want to die or be hospitalized from COVID.

(Fast forward to now, October 2022. I still haven’t gotten COVID. I take good care of myself, am vaxxed and boosted, and I wonder if I’m immune.)

I had a gentleman friend with whom I spent time during COVID. He is a sweet, funny, heart-centered guy, and I was very grateful for his company, sense of humor, hugs, and stories. We are in a couple of communities together and share some interests.

At times I wondered if our friendship would evolve into something deeper, but it didn’t. There were so many unknowns then. I was pro-vax. He was on the fence. Our personalities were different: we were just not a partnership match. We simply gave each other much-needed support and are still good friends to each other.

Now that COVID seems like it’s mostly over (but who really knows?), I am re-evaluating, exploring whether and how I want to be in a relationship — a long-term, committed, partnership type of relationship.

I’m not in a hurry…there’s a lot to explore. I am learning a lot about myself.

I’m reading a book, Calling in “the one”, by Katherine Woodward Thomas, a licensed marriage and family therapist.

Guess who “the one” is? It me.

This book was recommended by a therapist, and one friend told me she used it and then met the man who became her husband.

The book is actually a workbook, with homework, that, if you do it every day, takes 7 weeks to complete. I’m doing it as I have time because some days are busier than others and I’d rather explore this topic thoroughly.

In a way, it’s about examining the barriers I have built against loving and being loved. It is guiding me through explorations of my wounds, agreements, beliefs, identity, intention, and wisdom that influence relating.

What are my needs in relationship? How can I make more space for love in my life? How can I know, respect, and love myself the way I’d want a partner to? How can I be the one for someone who has also done their work and is a good match? How can I be the one for myself?

I can live and am living a very fulfilling life already, in many ways. I love the work I do and plan to keep doing it as long as circumstances allow, even into my 90s if I am blessed with that much health and longevity.

I have family members nearby who no longer need me to mother them but whose adult company I enjoy tremendously. And I am fortunate enough to have a few really good friends that are interesting and loving people.

I do believe that having a partner who’s able to match me in needs for both intimacy and autonomy, communication skills, with whom I share some key interests, who’s actually available, could add even more fulfillment to the rest of my life.

So…I’m stepping out of my cocoon, dipping into the dating pool.

I’ll keep you posted.

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Morning download, 2.17.19

Once upon a time, I was grocery shopping at Central Market and encountered a former colleague who had married and had a child since I’d last seen her years previously. When I’d worked with her, she presented as a working woman with no interest in being a mother, so this was a sea change in her life and I was interested.

Her baby girl was in the child seat of the cart — a beautiful blonde chunky monkey six to eight months old. I remember her name was Eliza, named after one of Barton’s springs, because mom was a regular swimmer there.

As mom and I were catching up on our respective lives and I was intuiting the power of love that had changed her life, transformed her from serious career woman to wife and mother, this baby girl was having the time of her life in the cart. Wriggling, writhing, leaning, arching, twisting, waving all her limbs at once in various directions, cooing, babbling, in constant motion, with a look of uncensored delight on her face.

This baby’s joy is a mere shadow of Eliza’s rapture and it’s the best I can find. Use your imagination and look for happy babies in grocery carts.

And so there I am, having an adult conversation with the mom while witnessing this child having the time of her life. The time of her life times many more, I hope! She was feeling the rapture of being alive, and it was a joy to behold.

People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.

Joseph Campbell

Honeys, she was channeling pure, strong life force, spirit, bliss. I don’t know what to call it. It’s beyond verbal, a marvel, a strong reminder of the Beloved amongst us.

It’s been years since that day. I don’t recall what the mom and I talked about, but seeing/feeling that baby experiencing that state imprinted on me.

I’m reminded of this because I recently witnessed the rapture of an adult human with whom I was conversing. I was taking in his words, which were like a waterfall as he got on a roll, and I was keeping up, focusing on the content of what he was saying, and his words were coming quickly, touching on this and that like a dragonfly flitting about, in a torrent, and at some point I just couldn’t keep up with the content. I just watched his face and received the energy that he was transmitting, and saw that he was beautifully mad and wise and blissful and free, living the rapture that was shining from his happy face, like Eliza.

Later, I felt disappointed in myself that I couldn’t keep up with the content, and I misinterpreted some words he had glanced on. He felt defensive and misunderstood. Haven’t we all had enough of that? He called me on it, thank goodness.

I was wrong. My fears got the better of me, I got to look at that, and I decided to give him my trust. May we find better ways to verbally communicate that celebrates the flow of rapture and fosters deeper understanding.

Learning right relationship is like being a cocoon. The caterpillar doesn’t know what it’s going to become after it munched on those plants and became suspended in stillness wearing a gorgeous green suit with elegant gold trim.

Inside my suit, I turn, face a new direction, rest, turn some more, holding space for what emerges.

Morning download, 2.15.19

I’ve been waking before 6, lying drowsily in the dark, under the covers, all warm and snuggly, surrounded by pillows, luxuriating in not having to get up and (usually) not feeling like I didn’t get enough sleep and need to get some more shut-eye.

This daily journey from nonconsciousness to consciousness feels so good to take it slowly. Feeling my warmth, my body weight surrendered to gravity, I notice that energy is pouring out the soles of my feet — or maybe pouring in. Not even the entire sole, but a circle around K1, Bubbling Spring, where the kidney channel begins. The force is strong there.

The little part of my brain that’s always going, “But what does it meeeaaaannnn?” doesn’t know what that’s about except that it’s healthy. Am I letting out too much or being replenished? Don’t know. Maybe connected to earth element because feet, right? Powerful point, powerful channel, kidney chi.

I may doze a little, but when the light starts to return, I get up and pee and return to sit in my bed and just sit. Yeah, I have beautiful, fancy meditation gear, and I sit in my bed.

I used to think of it as meditation, but now I like to just call it sitting. Sitting with what is. I tune into breath and body, sounds, and I enter a state of integrity and subtle bliss. I notice sensations, thoughts arising and dissipating, sometimes an emotional tone. I open up and make myself available.

Sometimes my thoughts are strong and sticky. I use my will to return to stillness, over and over. Sometimes I command my unruly thinker to be still, and it actually obeys, which is amazing and gratifying. I like to go deep into the swirly energy currents and let them wash me inside and out. When I am being breathed, I’m there. No will needed. Just surrender.

After sitting, breathing. Current practice: kapalabhati, the 4-7-8 kriya that Dr. Fulford taught Dr. Weil, and nadi shodhana.

I make myself a cup of matcha (with Berkey-filtered water heated to 160 degrees F because I’m that kind of person) and return to my bed, stare out my window, hear the noise of birds, traffic, trains, and the motors and beeps of heavy construction equipment, because Austin. The city is reaching the country.

I come into some clarity, and I simply need to write and share. I’ve realized that it’s probably not a good idea to text my early morning downloads to the possibly unprepared dear ones I’m fortunate enough to have in my life, at least until I’ve had an opportunity to check in. Still, there’s that need to express.

Guess what? I have a blog, and you’re reading it! I used to post more personal writing here but haven’t for a long time. I can do that again.

So…I’m back, my people! Here we are with my new strategy: morning pages for all to see, being intimate in a way that’s safe for me and my associates in this sometimes crazy, dangerous world. You didn’t want to know the particulars anyway — you like melding minds, and here’s my contribution. This business of being human requires courage and boundaries and discernment and trust, and a whole lot more…and that’s what’s coming up today.

Some things I will be writing about: finally figuring out that I’m an empath and learning how to be a healthy empath because sometimes it is quite troubling and draining.

Also, what the fuck is right relationship and how can I be/do/create/collaborate on that?

And also, being an autodidact. Being both ordinary and extraordinary because so are you and let’s talk about it. And whatever comes up that’s appropriate to share here.

We all learning here on this bus. That’s all for today, lovelies. Be well.