Friday, September 16, 2005

Fumbling Towards Ecstasy

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.
from The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

When was the last time you felt really alive? Caught up in such unfathomable bliss that you wanted to bottle the moment, carrying it around your neck, close to your heart, so that you could take little peeks and whiffs whenever you need a good, solid reminder?

I've been asking myself that question lately and have been discouraged by how little I actually feel truly alive. Of course being truly alive isn't just limited to joy. Often in grief, pain, confusion, and other emotions you can feel equally as alive and present. But I've been focusing primarily on joy because I'm so hungry for more, so ready to start making more choices that lead to life. I'm a sleuth on a mission: discovering what brings life to Michelle, what feeds her, what nourishes her, what makes her heart burst with abundance. Here is a sample of what I've found:
  • the day of Britton's birth - forgetting that anyone else was present and that there might be expectations for me to live up to, that maybe I was supposed to feel some shame because I was a single mother, instead just giving in to all the emotions of the day
  • planning and executing my "Divine Feminine Celebration" for a group of male and female chaplains
  • attending Wild Succulent Women meetings...dancing around the living room in a pink boa with a group of amazing women
  • book club discussions when the chosen book of the month really touched me and made me think
  • planning a spa party for a group of girlfriends, working to make sure the afternoon was filled with pampering and appreciation
  • having a counseling session and really feeling as if I made a break through
  • planning and hosting creative events for the young girls I used to teach at church
  • planning and leading a retreat with my creative and insightful friend Dot
  • planning Girls' Nite Out events and Artist Dates for the women in my life that I love so dearly, wanting them to remember how precious they are
  • intelligent, insightful discussions with my Women's Studies class
  • opening my home to my sweet "Huddle" friends
  • participating in dream interpretation sessions with Father Peter, an Episcopal priest and Jungian analyst
  • being a part of the "Windows to the Soul" didactics
  • laying in bed late at night talking to Trey about some of the things I want for my life
  • my date with Trey at Frenchman's Inn...reconnecting with each other and talking about the direction of our lives
  • an afternoon spent at Spiderhouse Coffee Shop in Austin, lugging my camera around, photographing everything (including the praying mantis in the photo above - I swear to you that when I snapped the picture it turned and smiled at me...don't you see it's inviting and mischievous smile?)

I want to be committed to making more alive choices instead of making choices out of obligation, expectation, numbness, unconsciousness, guilt, shame, and fear. How about you? Would you like to join me? We could share the journey. So, when was the last time you felt truly alive?


Anonymous nikol said...

beautiful and amazing you are... keep going for your life, i am with you and going for my own... though death's awful layers frighten, bully, intimidate, trick, and threaten me, i am finding the breath of life and heading that direction... the joy is in there, and i am dancing with you, celebrating all that is life, grieving all that i must turn from in order to truly make alive choices...

4:39 PM  
Blogger Marit Cooper said...

What a beautiful picture, what a magical moment! I love bugs, I think they are so beautiful, especially when they're somewhere else but in my garden :-D.

1:57 AM  

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