Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Experiencing the stopped frames

Taken from Tad Barney's collection of negatives
Listen to post:
I live in the world of feelings; it’s a large part of who I am and have always been. Of course, there have been periods where I ignored or was unaware of them. I am an INFJ [introvert, intuitive, feeling, judging] on the Myer-Briggs spectrum, which I discovered a long time ago, and am slowly navigating astrology and how my moon in Pisces (watery, feeling, escapist, imaginative, dreamer) challenges my sun in Capricorn (grounded, plodding, determined, calculating).

And then there have been periods – rather long ones – where my feelings rule the roost. My physical and emotional feelings often intermingle and it’s hard to sort out one from the other. Living with chronic pain tends to do that. My moon dwells there at the same time my sun admonishes me to get moving and something accomplished. As a result, I often feel so pulled that I freeze. When I am not able physically to do what I want mentally, it’s way too easy to beat myself up.

I am, however, determined to stop this pattern. Simply being aware of it is huge. Accepting who I am, where I am, is, too.

I am in a place in life where I am re-examining and re-directing. My children are growing and becoming more independent. I have some more time and I see that, in a few years, I will want my own life when they leave the nest. So, in essence, I am creating a new identity. I wish to do so with awareness, discernment, courage and love.

For close to a year, I was on an amazing, swift and joyful path. Then, I hit a brick wall physically from which I am still recovering. This time, however, I had the wits to be present to what was happening instead of letting old patterns and repeated feelings take charge. It wasn’t my brilliance that opened this view, rather, the experience of another.

A few days ago, I read the account of a friend of a friend via facebook of her journey toward producing an independent film. I really don’t even know what Zoje’s physical challenges are, but I suspect they loom pretty large. Her words in a recent blog stunned me, forcing me to look in the mirror.

Zoje was writing about her experience at Independent Film Week in New York, when she speed-dated through one-on-one sessions with industry experts who could make her film happen. She approached it with no expectations and a Zen-like grace. Her description was alluring, but, one paragraph particularly moved me:

"In spite – or because – of the state of my health, I was somehow in the perfect frame of mind to represent myself and Hands and Knees. I have fought a long, long battle with my body – beginning 29 years ago. We have been at odds, and it is truly unproductive and anti-wholistic for one to be so at odds with one’s body. But somehow during my troubles this summer I experienced this disconnect: I was no longer defined by my body. I finally achieved a necessary sense of being separate from it – which I know sounds in opposition to the idea of being “whole,” but this was necessary in my case. My identity had been very much tied together with this body that never did as I wanted, and always let me down or held me back. Finally, I have reached this point where I accept that my body is doing whatever it’s doing – but meanwhile, I’m going to do what I want!"

“How does she know?” I asked myself. I adore her new mantra and want to steal it:

I accept that my body is doing whatever it’s doing, but I am going to do what I want!

It’s acceptance, surrender, self-realization and being present all in one step. I am positive it has taken her each of those 29 years to arrive at this conclusion. I am so grateful that she did and has shared it. It helps me shave about 15 years off of my timeline to wisdom.

I also love how she ends her post:

"When a roll of film runs through a projector it stops, briefly, on one image at a time. Intermittent motion. Our brain puts it all together, perceiving constant movement, the flow of images. Life is like this too: one image, one second at a time. But it is usual to feel the pull of the future, the pull of what-happens-next. To the degree that’s possible, we need to experience our lives as that one stopped frame in the projector. Each of those moments is real, and leads to the next image with no need for hurrying or tugging on the film strip. Ultimately, that’s what I take away from Independent Film Week. I don’t know how the film ends. But I marvel in its creation. To experience a sense of magic is more than one could hope for."*
I am reading a book outlining St. Ignatius Loyola’s examen, a regular time of reviewing your day in the presence of God. I suspect it will help me see the stopped frames. In that looking back, I desire to be more aware of God’s presence and my own resistance to surrender. I believe this is where my dreaming and moving forward meet; where my body and mind work together, not apart. Where I discover the presence of God right in my own life and where I marvel in the creation.

• How or where do I fight myself?
• What aids me in that awareness?
• How can I begin to stop the frames of life and enjoy the moments?
• How can that help me see God in my life?
• What difference will that create?

push and pull
dream and do
feel and think

til I reach
the breaking

that is
the REAL

the breaking

for it’s
only then
I can
and accept

God is
with me,

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