“365 Days Of Being Present” [Day 93] I Was Blind But Now I See… (A bi polary re-entry post after 2 weeks absent.)

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I think what this is is a re-entry post. My laptop went back to Apple for repairs nearly 2 weeks ago and when you’ve missed blogging for 2 weeks so much has happened it’s hard to just move into the being present mode because the bloggery gremlins, used to recording the dailiness of it all, won’t move forward until they catch up. That may likely just be me, but I seem to need to do it. I would apologize but if I did I would spend my whole life apologizing for everything because this is my life and sometimes it moves along in fits and starts (Not real fits, I am taking my meds.) and takes odd turns and moves about the highways and byways of my life in a peculiar fashion, but when all is said and done as long as I accept and love myself this way and keep gently prodding myself so I keep moving forward in whatever fashion I can manage I feel very good about that. Pretty good about that. Most days.

So let me break it down so that perhaps it will be easier to follow along…

First of all I would like to say, in kind of a proud of myself and beaming brightly sort of way, that I have actually been getting a lot done. A lot that I am proud of, feel really good about, and I will share that first.

On May 12 The Spontaneous Art & Life Project & Women’s Circle began with 25 women right out of the gate and it is going swimmingly. I have produced 2 eBooks and am working on the 3rd (The participants get an artful, fun, inspiring, soulful eBook every other Monday between 25 & 35 pages long. I am having a ball designing and producing them and the women are loving them which is very gratifying.) and I do a daily podcast 5 days a week and the women seem to be enjoying them and finding them useful (even though there have been some technological challenges along the way we soldier on) and I love doing the daily podcasts. But it is the Women’s Circle that fills me with so much joy I simply cannot tell you.

The Project & Circle were designed to work hand in hand. When women sign up they get the materials from the Project and then they have the Circle to go to to talk to the other women about what they are doing, we all share our work and our processes and support one another through it all, but more important, as it all unfolds, it is a Women’s Circle in every sense of the meaning of women’s circles since the dawn of time. As women registered for The Project, some weeks in advance of it opening, they were immediately invited into the Women’s Circle where they began to get to know one another, and, as it has always been when women gather, beautiful friendships have begun to form, the level of intimacy, the depth of the sharing, well, it is just the most incredible thing and I love these women so much.

We are, primarily, a group of women midlife and beyond, and that is my focus as I create the material, but it is open to women of all ages and we have women of all different ages in the Circle. Every morning I wake up with a sense of joy and anticipation, filled with a kind of childlike wonder and womanly pride to see that my vision, this work that is the work of my heart and soul and 40 years in the making, working with women in real life circles, teaching, nurturing, guiding, counseling, and more, has come together in the way that I had hoped it would. The material is good, it has been well received, it is being implemented, and the hearts of the women, their very soul essence, is coming together as we weave a community that I will be tending for the rest of my life. It is, in short, a miracle to me, and I feel deeply blessed to be with these women and those who continue to come in. It is the fire that we gather around, it is where I warm myself, where I am healed, to face the rest of the world and my often challenging life. And the work in the Circle fits the name ~ “Healing A Woman’s Heart Through Writing and Art,” and as each woman finds healing taking place inside and shares her experiences with the others, the others are healed too. It is the group energy, it is why women have gathered together for millennia.

So while I have been having some of the problems listed at the outset it is very gratifying to know that each day I am creating, producing, engaging with the women in The Project & Circle, caring for my little family of animals, and myself, and getting on in life fairly well. And as I write all of this it comes to me that I am awfully hard on myself. First of all, women just do seem to be unnecessarily hard on themselves anyway which I hate to see, but living with bi polar disorder is a very real challenge and sometimes an uphill battle every day and despite it all, and even with the fact that I am behind on a number of other things not mentioned here, I realize that I have gotten a lot done during sometimes very difficult circumstances, the constant disruption of my schedules that keep me together and help me deal with my ongoing “stuff” because since my house burned down in February I am dealing with insurance people several times a week and this is really taking a lot out of me. They are finally beginning to rebuild the house but it will still be September or so before Dragonfly Cottage can become a home to us again. All this by way of saying that I realize that I need to be far more gentle with myself. The things that need to be done will get done as soon as I am able but I will be keeping the Project and Circle moving right along. This is my heart-work. I shan’t fall behind on it barring something unforeseen. As my house has already burned down I am hoping other than blips on the radar screen and the usual ups and downs of life forward motion will continue on in a fairly regular fashion. But there is a very real point to be made here.

I have been in miserable shape the last couple of weeks because I am in that “the hurrieder I go the behinder I get” place and I have fallen headlong into gripping fear places that nearly choked the life out of me. And I have so much guilt over things not done I found myself getting paralyzed and unable to move forward with some things at all. And still, I have written here to you — and perhaps more importantly, to myself — that I have been getting a lot done nonetheless. I can only do what I can do. I am ashamed to say that I have been downright cruel to myself and judging myself harshly and that is going to stop right here. I will do my best to get done as much as I can each day and that will have to be good enough because that is how I have to take care of me. And if you are reading this and have problems that in any way touch down on this type of fear, sometimes self-loathing, even harmful behaviors, please, be gentle with yourself. We need to find the grace inside ourselves to move forward in a very tender, loving way. This, too, is why I started The Project & Women’s Circle. I want to help women see all the beauty they truly have inside and I want them to learn to be ever more gentle with themselves.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see.

This is enough. What I have written here right now is enough. I have already lopped off several paragraphs at the beginning of this piece that were, simply put, terrified bi polar rambling. I hope the rest is readable, and the content worthwhile. I will spare you anymore, and I will take a nap with my babies, these 4 sweet pugs that are sleeping and snoring all around me, and then I will spend the evening continuing to work on a commission that is long overdue but well on it’s way, and even with that, and my fear around it, I will gently guide myself through the process. It feels good, it is what I love, I will find a way.

I am sorry that I have lost the thread of our communication and I will get back to blogging every other day or so. I love this so much, it is so important to me, but daily blogging is just pushing it and too guilt producing for me and if I catch myself going to that place in any area of my life I am going to nip it right in the bud. I will be back here with you soon. Promise me you will be good to yourself in the meantime.

I send you my love…

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If you enjoy this blog a donation would be deeply appreciated to help me continue to bring “Maitri’s Heart” to you. Thank you, and many deep blessings to one and all…

Comments

  1. I lost track of your voice not being here because we hear it so regularly in the Circle. But when I read of your fear places, I felt a surge of harsh memories. I am far too familiar with those dark, shadowy regions. Your open struggling to clear the thorny brush lights a beacon for the rest of us. Sending you love.

  2. Thank you so much dear Cathryn, I just love you so much… <3

  3. Maitri, the Circle is a wonderful, magical place; more than I ever dreamed it could be and my fellow members are all lovely. It’s amazing what things we have in common, right down something as specific as love and fear of watercolors in equal parts – which we seem to be overcoming!

    We all have our fears: Mine is phones and things that are unplanned (like people dropping in without phoning) – and dealing with insurance people all week would knock me flat too! I am astonished at your spark and energy in the Circle.

    And Cathryn is right; you are our pathfinder, doing a job that would scare the bravest. Which, incidentally, perfectly describes you. 😉

    We love you! <3

  4. I totally understand the “hurrier I go the behinder I get. In my sewing business, fledging as it is, I get overwhelmed. I really related when you talked about guilt becoming almost paralyzing over the things not done that nothing gets done. I’ve frequently thought it would go more smoothly if I had a partner. But going back a few years I had a partner, but it turned out a disaster – let’s just say she didn’t hold up her end of the bargain and ran up a huge debt on the business credit card and then vanished leaving me holding the bag. I trusted her and felt like she was a daughter. I have been so scared to ask for help for fear of a repeat of that disaster. Funny, this past weekend I had tarot cards read by a very intuitive wonderful woman who honed right in on a couple issues I need to release – that being one. If you hold on to the pain, it keeps hurting. Let it go. I’m working on it. Somehow I know it will work out alright and the business will be fine. In my heart I want it to be a source of empowerment for girls and women alike in learning to sew and being successful at it and getting lovely reasonably priced clothes they can feel pretty and confident in. So, I am just putting it out there to the universe and the fairy godmothers and friends of friends and see where it leads. The past it past. So, I will leave for now, head to the sewing room and finish the first communion dress I will send to Omaha later this week with a prayer for a lovely little girl on her special day. Maitri, your triumphs encourage me a little every day. I am feeling like Rosie the Riveter raising my fist and saying I can do it. Whatever I’m supposed to be doing. Love you all

  5. Valerie says:

    It is true, though, isn’t it? We can only do what we can do. No amount of guilt is going to make stuff happen any quicker. In fact it paralyzes and we end up doing less! So we get things done in our own time and be at peace with that. I’m still learning what things I can take on at this moment and what I can’t. They will all happen in time.

  6. Oh, Maitri- Cathryn and others have said this beautifully already.

    I’d have been totally flattened by what you’ve experienced over the last few months, but what you’re doing (and have done) is an inspiration for moving ahead and embracing the future.

    I’m sure we’re all far too familiar with the shadowy, dark places, some real, some imagined, but all survivable — some are necessary, some are not. But the ones created in our mind — I know for sure that they’re not real — and discovering the difference and our amazing strengths, in spite of whatever our perceived limitations are, that’s magic. Thanks for spreading the fairy dust, Maitri.

  7. I quite agree with all the women have said. You help me feel OK when I hit the hurdles and fall. Since my car accident I do not drive, except to the farm which is so close. Today, I told my mom I was going to drive down and spend some time with her. She lives about ninety minutes away and is very lonely on the weekends since my dad died. Well, I got myself so worked up that I had to call her to cancel. She was so kind with me, because she knows me so well that she knew I was beating myself up over this. I spent the rest of the day feeling guilty and like a misfit. When I read your posts and the other posts from these awesome women, I felt better and I started to treat myself better. I will get in that car and drive without fear one day, but till then, I am proud of myself for all of the other accomplishments in my life. Thank you all for being a part of my life….especially you, Maitri. As I approach my 60th birthday, I do so with more hope, gratitude, love and with so much less fear. Love to you all!

  8. Oh my gracious I love you all so much and I am so touched by your incredibly kind comments. I have just had to resend today’s newsletter with this post in it because I forgot the links to get here. Groan. And after I sent the post out I went to sleep with the dogs for nearly 3 hours. I just have to keep getting up, dust myself off, and have a go at it the next day.

    We will make it, all of us, especially when we are there to support one another in the Circle, and I will be listening to you and working to create eBooks that meet your needs, and we will work together and we will all blow Fairy Dust at one another. 😀

    Your kind comments here have helped me more this evening than you could possibly know. You, my dear readers and friends mean the world to me…

    With so very much love…

    Maitri

  9. It’s a privilege
    to watch your rebirth process
    over and over

    Transcending past pain
    to freely live in the now
    with tender self love

    ah!!!

    on you, we, all, go — blessed circle of sisters
    xo
    ka

  10. Ah, beautiful Ka, thank you so much honey, we have been sisters for a very long time, and you have been my mentor, muse, and teacher. I so appreciate you coming here to read and comment. I love you dearest…

    Maitri

  11. Barbara Bischof says:

    I love this exquisite, expressive, supportive group! It’s a version of the red thread, or gold thread , whatever color you hold that connects us: That we were all meant to ‘meet’ and help one another even before we were born. I am adoring the strength that I’m gaining from this circle, I feel as if I’ve wandered home here. I’m hopeful that I am contributing, We all have “baggage” , we share so many common experiences, and yet so unique to ourselves. Thank you ,Maitri for everything, bumps and all. (Especially cute little pug noises!)
    Barb

  12. Oh Barb, I was so touched to read these beautiful words and I, too, feel the same way. This Circle, the whole Spontaneous Art & Life Project is a revelation and a gift every day of my life. I am holding the thread dear sister. We are all holding the thread…

    Much love to you,

    Maitri

  13. It’s so hard to forgive yourself for being human and not perfect. Why do we do this to ourselves? Love yourself, Maitri…we do!

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