Tuesday, February 22, 2011

know thyself

harmony means so many different things to me.
it means matching up the inner and the outer.
warming essential oils in pots - clary sage for creativity, orange for happiness, bergamot for joy, geranium for acceptance of others, peppermint for energy...
it means educating my children according to my spiritual and philosophical beliefs. (in freedom, in ever-expansiveness, in beauty, in love.)
harmony means knowing the sub-levels (behind, under, and in between) are not hiding anything. facing the fear, and cleaning out the grime - in every deep, dark corner. and the not-so-deep too, of course.
it means making sure things stay lively. that is - alive and interesting. no depressing funks allowed.
it means pondering the real intention (soul-work, you know), and matching up my mind and thoughts and environment accordingly.

this is what this word/intention is about for me. matching up. authenticity. resonation.

a couple of days ago i had a moment that jolted me into realizing that i was blaming. of course, this immediately shifted to blaming myself - why do i do that!? why aren't i behaving cheerfully and with joy!? i'm happy! i'm content! i'm not stressed about anything (well... excepting my very messy house...) my life is truly wonderful, i'm not freaking out about anything, just paid off some bills.... what!?! what is wrong with me??
' course, i realized i was still blaming, and that now i was just blaming myself.

after some consideration, i am supposing that i got to the bottom of it.
i am a why? kind of girl.
pretty much my whole life is based on why.
i do and say and behave and think according to why - and damned near 100% of that is because it's according to how i feel (i navigate life through feelings - emotion, intuition, empathy, perception...).
hurt my foot. why? because i was carrying laundry piled high in my arms and i tripped over that stool. why? because Madd left it there after i asked her to take it back to her room. aah. you see how it works. embarrassing, isn't it? truly, it is.
this. This is what it comes down to.
here's the thing - most of the time before it gets to this point there is a little tiny spark of a thought that says "move that" as I pass by.
or if my camera strap is dangling somewhere, i'll notice it and sweep it back up on the shelf so that a roaring dinosaur passing by waving its arms and swishing its tail won't swoop my camera off the bookshelf, sending it flying and then slamming into the washing machine.
but these thoughts don't come all the way to the surface. they don't have a voice. they only give a teeny, tiny spark, waaay back in my mind. and if my mind is too cluttered (with the thousand other things) then i just don't have the time or inclination for one more.
and that's when those things happen.
so really i get mad at myself, but it all happens so fast and so irritation (or anger, sometimes) comes out as "Maddie! I asked you to move that stool!" in a complaining voice, when what i really mean is "God, i'm overwhelmed."
and so five or ten or thirty seconds later i'm loving Maddie and saying "i'm so sorry for snapping at you..."

harmony, my friends.
harmony is a focus that puts these things to right.

harmony also means being kind to myself and allowing for the possibility that it isn't because i am not happy that i am not bubbling with cheer, but rather because it is february, and nearing the end of winter. i might should acknowledge that my lack of cheerfulness and light-heartedness might have something to do with clouds and cold and snow and rain and browns and grays for months, now.
not an excuse-- not saying i'm not responsible.
i'm just saying that the other day (God, a lifetime ago!) when i had my doors open, letting the sunshine in, i hadn't realized until that moment that i had not truly drawn a breath in months. utterly euphoric, i was.
and it's been over a week and i'm so desperate for that sort of cleansing and rejuvenation that i ache with it.

realized this a couple of days ago. :)
put Cheerful on my mission list. it's very important to me to be a happy and joyful mama for my children.

how to switch tracks to cheerful?
match the environment with the intentions.
bring the outer surroundings in harmony with - in vibration with - love and good cheer.

make a cheerful potion.
sparklify the house.
paint with cheerful colors.
read cheery poems and stories.
look at the weather calendar for next month and know that average temperatures are 50 degrees!! :)

along these same lines, i also know to the depths of my soul that seeking and acknowledging joyful things goes a loooong way toward changing one's perspective and experiences.
so good cheer is my focus, and good cheer is what I shall be capturing and appreciating.

so if you come visiting, prepare to see lots of pictures of springtime colors and shining, sparkly spaces and streaming sunlight.
it's soul work.


  1. when what i really mean is "God, i'm overwhelmed."

    This is so very true for me. I live where it is sunny most days and we have no snow, but I understand. I am thinking of putting together a pillow or two in bright festive colors. I look forward to seeing your shine :)

  2. i know where you are coming from. and i love your perspective! sunny colors, cheerful house! love it! we need some of that around here!!!

  3. Well done, you! The best way to be cheerful is to surround yourself with cheer...I believe in this notion.

  4. Harmony is such a wonderful word :)

    I wonder though does harmony come from the external things we do? Or from the acceptance of what is right now in this moment? Are we harmonious with the life we are living right now, regardless of season or action or thought. Can harmony be created or is it a by-product of the acceptance we feel with the moment as it is?

    Wishing you peace and harmony on your daily journeys :)


  5. Amy - you're right, things like that (like Truth) can't come from outside sources.
    But what I do know about myself is that if the space around me is feeling icky, or if I'm seeing layers of socks and lint in the tiny space between the washer and dryer, then it's difficult for me to feel that good energies are flowing freely.

    Tending to the depths of my environment is akin to tending to my mind and spirit, and I need these things to be free-flowing and clean...
    a sort of inner and outer feng shui. :)

    it's much easier for me to do the things I need to do if i'm in a supportive, healthy environment!

  6. thank you for sharing the work you are doing on the inside - it is so helpful to hear it talked about - it is so very important to stay in tune with that, and i appreciate you for being aware!!!

  7. Beautiful and honest post.

    There are moments of harmony, which are wonderful. It's trying to hang on to these moments and remember them when things are going bananas round here that I struggle with.

    "over whelmed" strikes a chord...I've been there, done that. Your insightful way of looking at it will help me change from snapping to asking why a little more.

  8. Love this post! I agree too, that sometimes we need to clear out, brighten up (or quiten down) our environment in order to bring some light and space back into our hearts and minds. It would be wonderful if we could attain a level of joy and serenity no matter the environment around us but I wonder how many of us can truly do this? I think we can attain a level of personal contentment and happiness no matter the environment though. If our environment is not lovely to our senses, and we feel compelled to make changes to it then I think these disharmonious feelings can end up cluttering up our minds, creating anxiety, overwhelming us and leaving little or no room for flowing, joyful interaction or thought. I guess this is the long way of saying - yes, making our environment pleasing (in whatever way suits us) is one piece of the puzzle that helps us live a joyful, peaceful, harmonious life.

  9. Thank you for this, Stephanie. I've been feeling similarly, and feeling about inside myself (as I do, rummaging, gently) to see where the Not Quite Right is coming from. I love your idea of bringing sparkle and cheer into your space.

    I know I felt much, much better when we had a big ol' clean and found three much missed surfaces (table, coffee table, sideboard), and when I found a bookshelf for the library books threatening to take over the entire house!

    I wrote recently about smiling, mindfully, when I'm feeling overwhelmed. Well, it's like you're choosing, mindfully, to make your house and your Everyday smile, so the sun comes back to you. That's beautiful.

    And what's inspiring too is how you respond to others, bringing wisdom and support into our lives, even as you are reaching down deep and doing your own soul work. Your suggestions to me, the links you give, the ideas you gently provide, make my days better EVERY time. I'm so grateful. I am sending you waves of gratitude and friendship over the sea. Thank you so much, for everything, Stephanie!

  10. Wow-yes!!! I can relate to so much of this; being overwhelmed and suddenly snapping at my sunny little girl who is very sensitive and has no problem telling me that I'm being grumpy, feeling guilt over snapping, and forgetting to do one thing or another because I have way too much clutter taking up my brainspace. Thanks for this! The warmer weather is just around the corner now! (I live in Florida, so it's nice here, but I still have my house painted in very cheerful colors.)

  11. I can relate to this post quite a bit.
    Harmony can be intentional, we can choose to put harmony first.This is so powerful. Peace, joy and all those other good things, they are life's real priorities.
    I am a "get to the root of it" analysing kind of person too. Often when I find myself blaming the kids for the inevitable mess they bring what I really feel is frustration with myself. "Why can't I keep up?"
    This is more often than not, related to how I perceive myself or how I think other's might perceive me.
    But what the glitter all over my kitchen floor really indicates is that we live! We create!
    I also find that at the end of winter I tend to get into a bit of a slump anyway.
    I love your idea of using different essential oils to recreate balance.
    Wonderful Post.

  12. I'm happy to see the cheerful colors and light you will be sharing.... there are grey days and spirits here that could do with some buoying influences :)

    i hope you find some sunshine today friend.... it helps - so much.

  13. Yes!! I believe it all. And I need to work on "harmony" too. Thanks :)

  14. Harmony, Love, Intention, Spring. Life is so wonderful, even when we are experiencing our triggers. Lovely thoughts.

  15. I needed this post. Thank you. :)


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!