Among the Trees
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Among the Trees

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.

I would almost say they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, "Stay awhile."
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, "It's simple," they say,
"and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine."

- Mary Oliver

I recently stumbled across a book that was exactly what I didn't know I was looking for.  That's the way these revelations usually happen to me - the universe stepping in quietly to nudge me in a  certain direction.  Lately, I feel as if I've been existing, but not really living.  My days have been filled with sick pets, family issues, teenage angst (mostly not my own :) ), weight gain, exhaustion, mid-life crises, overloaded schedules- you know the norm for many of us these days.  And somewhere in the middle of all of that, a small voice was making a big to-do about all the things I "to-don't" do for myself. 

I'm usually too busy doing for others to give much thought to the things I might need.  And when I do think about those things, the bigger voice of mine, the one riddled with guilt and worry, says quite loudly, "Can't you give more?  Don't be so selfish."  So I push myself a bit more and find that I'm depleted by the end of the day.  And that's just no way to be.

I haven't been writing lately.  And that makes me sad.  Words have always been my way to cope, to unwind, to learn about myself.  And I have denied myself that so much, that I am scared to try to write.  I'm afraid I have forgotten everything. 
So here I am right now facing that fear, hoping that these words make some sort of sense to someone.

So back to the book that inspired this post.  It's calledThe Way of the Happy Woman:  Living the Best Year of Your Life.*  
The title might seem to imply that I am an unhappy woman, when, in fact, I'm pretty happy in general, it's just the details of my life that are dragging me down.  Details that I think I might have more control over than I allow myself to believe. It's that same overwhelm that I've spoken of on Moxie Momma.  Of course it doesn't help that I seem to be going through the early stages of menopause.  These "whore"mones are killing me!

I don't think it's a coincidence that the word "pause" is part of the change women go through.  In fact, I think it's right where it should be.  Pausing is just what I feel like doing.  I've lost myself in the hustle and bustle of daily life and I'm beginning to forget who I am.  So, for me, it's a necessary pause.

In the book The Way of the Happy Woman, the author, Sara Avant Stover, encourages the reader to ask herself:  "What do I need to do to keep my spirit alive?".  And that's exactly where I am in my life now.  I'm not sure what the answer is, but I'm ready to start figuring that out.  My spirit is restless and I think that is a huge cause of my stress.  I have this energy inside me, dying to get out.  That tension is manifesting itself as overwhelm and depression.

For starters I think I'll listen to Mary Oliver and take some time to sit quietly among the trees.  My patio provides me with a front row seat to a forest of Georgia pines ready to teach me how to "go easy, to be filled with light, and to shine".

Namaste my beautiful friends,

* As I was typing this I typed The Way of the Happy Woman:  Living the BEAST Year of Your Life. 
I think I've already lived that over and over again, so I'm going to shoot for the BEST year this time around.