Sunday, December 20, 2009

Quilting Bee #36

Good Morning all!! I thought I might do the Quilting Bee on Sundays if that is ok with you!! Mondays seem to get a bit crazy these days and I like to sit and relax with you all! Well we are almost there... Christmas in a couple of did that happen??? I think I am almost done with gift shopping and making..I have knitting blisters...well more like calluses..LOL!! The fire is blazing and the hand warmers are all ready with a few comfy quilts for those who are chilled.

I have set out some muffins this morning..I know we have those often..but I love them. Banana and banana nut, blueberry, almond and lemon poppy seed, maple frosted, cinnamon apple, carrot cake with frosting, bran raisin, chocolate chip and chocolate frosted, orange and plain lemon. Oh I do love muffins! I have asked Sarah (not me) my favorite barrista to pop by and bring Lattes..what would you like. Oh she has the most delicious Chai and regular teas too..pick your poison!! So let us pull up a chair and start quilting!! So glad you have joined me today!!

I was thinking this week about what defines me as a person. What experiences make me...well me. Are they the good things that happen to us or the painful things? How has my life determined my path and who has given me those lessons? I think in general we like to think we are defined by the good we experience in our lives..the happy things, the good luck , the joyful parts of life. I think that is true to some extent. But if I were has been the rough stuff that has created the person in me that I like. The deeper, stronger more solid part of who I am at 49.

I have so many things that have created pure joy in my life, like my children, my artwork, my camera, my teaching. One joyful thing that has defined me of late is my Reiki. Taking my First Degree Reiki was truly life changing for me. I didn't expect it, as healing in one way or another has always been part of me. As I have mentioned in the past I am a bit empathic and tend to read people extremely well. But after I took the Reiki training..something shifted. I am now reading physical well being as well. Very strange and surprising...but wonderful and it defines me and strengthens me in good ways.

I think often what defines us is pain and suffering..that is if you let it. See there is the rub. So often we are in such a rush to step away..ok run away from painful experiences in our lives..we miss the gift they offer. Sometimes those gifts are much more valuable that those offered by joy. I have always loved the term Steeled by Fire. The process of taking steel and heating and folding it, then pounding it out over and over again to create a fine tool. Like a Katana..amazing Japanese swords. A fine tool..yes isn't that what we are suppose to be...fine tools? To become a fine tool we have to be put in the fire and shaped..strength by fire. Otherwise we stay a chunk of steel. Does this mean we go looking for a fire to jump into? No, I think we get into enough fires without any jumping. But a fine tool..I want to be one of those. Beautiful and full of strength.

I am defined by so many fires in my life..some I understood the lesson right away and some came with time..I am guessing I missed quite a few along the way too. I have experienced divorce, domestic violence, emotional abuse, poverty, the loss of everything I owned, my daughters separated from me for long stretches of time, I have had many folks with mental illness around me, children with learning disabilities, ADHD, Autism, Aspergers are drawn to me. I have also lost people I love to cancer and illness. I have been steeled by fire..I am also OK with that. None of it was fun..but there is a joy in this..I promise there is.

When I read posts here by you as you are going through these things..I feel your pain..deep down inside..I understand. That is the gift that hard times offer you, that pain offers you. Understanding... deep down in your soul understanding. That is what turns those painful, down on your knees days into joy. That is the joy I am given here everyday as I read your blogs and get to know you. As I read about your joy and your pain, about your love and loss..about you. That is the gift you offer me here as well..when you relate, love on, laugh with me and support me up. You are my gift. Thank you!

So today, please share with me what defines your soul! What makes you the beautiful you that I know? What joy and pain makes you a gift?

I think I will have a double shot, skinny, creme de menthe latte, no whip and a chocolate muffin. Thank you all for being such wonderful gifts to me this year! What a wonderful thing to find under my tree this!! May you all have a wonderful Christmas, Yule, Hanukkah, whatever you may celebrate, may it be filled with peace and joy! Namaste, Sarah


yoborobo said...

Hi Sarah! I will take any muffin with chocolate, and a latte of any kind. :) I think you are right about the hard times in life. I have had my share, I guess, although when I look at the things my friends have had to go through, my hard times are nothing at all. I think the biggest gift that has come from surviving the rough patches thrown my way is empathy. And that is a gift, indeed. :) Wishing you many holidays blessings, and cozy times with that gorgeous family of yours. xoxo Pam

Suecae Sounds said...

I would like to thank you for another thought provoking post.

I know I have seen and experienced some very painful things down the line. The most beautiful thing was when I slowly started to change my perspective on a streak of extreme hard struggle, that had resulted in a lot of damage in my life.

There was bullying, mental problems and what I most closely could describe as psychosis, domestic violence (yes, it happens to the boys as well sometimes), and in the end turned to the saviour and destroyer of drugs.

Somehow my rationale was that I was being punished. A lot of darkly themed religous ideas sort of seeped in in the midst of when life was at its lowest points.

Someway along the way things changed. I had a revelation of sorts. It happened in waves. I started leaning more on those I trusted.

I got rid of the people whose only mission seemed to be to wreak havoc in my life, (I still do!) and started taking a lot of steps towards positive ends. And it worked.

Life is still painful. But now I see it as a natural part of life. It is also filled with immense joy. I savor the life that I have been given. I create art. I aim to associate myself with life-affirming people. I basically learn as I go along.

Diva Kreszl said...

we are most certainly shaped by all our experiences, good and bad. The finest steel is forged in the 'fire'! I can so relate to your experience with Reiki, having gone through level three certification changed so much about how I deal with my empathetic nature. I am now able to protect myself from all the 'outside pain' while still facilitating healing. Before all those emotions could overwhelm me.

Snap said...

Wonderful post, as usual, Sarah! I've had the joy and the pain, the suffering that all creatures of this world have. My study of Buddhism has certainly helped me as well getting older and wiser! Perhaps by the time that I return to the stars, I'll have it all figured out! ;D ;D


TechnoBabe said...

I have to say that the best thing that ever happened in my life is pain and disappointment, because working through it and becoming strong and healthy made me a much better person.

cinner said...

Sarah, very thought provoking, I believe I have had some tough experiences, divorce,abuse, not having children, becoming ill, death of loved ones, just to name some. I believe I AM who I am because of these struggles,,,If not for struggles would we understand real joy or strength in self. This is a good one to think about. Take care my friend.

Sheila said...

How do you DO this? I was SOOOOOO looking forward to Quilting Bee this week - desperately needed a pick me up. I am on the threshold of stepping into a fire myself. Thanks for reminding me as dread-full as it seems - it can actually be a 'good thing'. Happy Monday and in case I don't get another chance before, Merry Christmas.