i am brave

Share a Selfie with One Word ~ day one

Begin

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yes, i was triggered with all my underlying stuff – fear, shame, comparison, judgment but i also had this tiny kernel of excitement and anticipation of sharing with others and maybe being seen.

maybe seeing myself.

normally i am the one with camera in hand taking photos, documenting life, sometimes hiding behind the lens. if i see a camera pointed in my direction, i tend to duck and cover, dip my head, look away or hide in the back row.

for the last 10 days i engaged with an online community. these women, unknown to me, gently offered encouragement, affirmation and acceptance along with an invitation to look at myself with new eyes, through my camera lens and consider seeing myself as beautiful.

each day at 1:29 AM an email would arrive with a prompt to explore and document with my camera ~ with the emphasis on me.

this was offered by Mindy Scime and called Selfies as Self-Care.

you can find out more at ~ http://www.mindyscime.com

“We will bear witness to another and, if you let it, this process will change your life. There is an amazing, healing power in being seen in our truth.”

i made a commitment.

i wanted to give this a shot to see if anything changed.

Your Mug ~ day two

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my daily ritual of tea, held in bent, arthritic hands.

Grateful Heart ~ day three

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Favorite Quote ~ day four

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all will be well, all will be well and all manner of thing shall be well.                     julian of norwich

Beautiful You ~ day five

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“Last year part of my awakening was falling back in love with getting dressed.”

how do i dress? how do i adorn myself? what makes me feel good?

Black and White ~ day six

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In The Mirror ~ day seven

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in my childhood mirror, in my guest room….saw myself in a new way in the midst of things that need to be changed.

Eyes Closed ~ day eight

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“Some days it feels really hard to look into my own eyes.  Yet, I crave being seen.”

“I turn the camera on myself because I know it holds the power to create a shift. I may look away or even close my eyes. It feels safer, less vulnerable somehow. Simply taking the picture, seeing myself, shifts my energy. I am able to step closer to self-love, self-trust, self-forgiveness. When I tap into my bravery and share the picture, all the magic that comes from being witnessed in truth comes pouring forth.”

Embrace yourself ~ day nine

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“What parts of yourself are you denying?”

my voice. my words. my knowing. my own grief. my own life.

What’s Shifted? ~ day 10

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what has shifted? i am looking at myself with a different kind of compassion, w a sense of “what is” instead of what i have been told, what i tell myself, what i carry from the past. maybe i am seeing myself as i see others. inside, i still think i am 35. i don’t recognize this old woman, scarred and sagging and gray. i am in a corner, with a choice to stand straight, to look myself in the eyes, gazing and welcome this aging self.

i have been vulnerable. i am stronger and more alive. and i am brave.

amazing what 10 days can do.

and still

every day i am aware of death.

every moment, and with each breath i take, i am aware of life.

and still.

when death comes unexpectedly, violently, out of the norm, by choice, not the way i imagined, i am shaken to my core. i am brought into that place of questioning and wondering and trying to find meaning. right now, i can’t.

she carried a pain so deep that no one knew. she ached with a mama’s heart for healing in her children. she felt misunderstood, unseen, unknown, alone.

today i honor her life. the life of T. i look out. i look in and i look up.

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and yes, even now, a hummingbird hovers at my window looking in.

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pondering friendship

pondering friends.

several weeks ago i stopped at a local grocery store to pick up essentials and was slowly meandering my way to the vanilla ice cream. a loaf of bread fell off the end of the aisle. i picked it up and put it back on the shelf and seriously, another loaf fell off the shelf. standing there, staring at the bread on the floor i noticed a woman at the meat counter watching me. we shared a laugh and she said the bread kept falling down. so, of course, i immediately thought about candid camera and at the same time i zeroed in on the woman with a quizzical look. we both paused in recognition and disbelief.

“diane?” “anne?” we melded into each other.

maybe… 10 years ago…. i saw her very briefly. before that it was the early 1980’s. yet, we recognized one another. we knew each other. for some reason, we were connected.

i rarely visit this particular grocery store and stopped on a whim. she was there saying goodbye to the butcher on his last day before retirement.

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as we caught up on the years, she shared that her mother was on hospice care. she was getting her brother at the airport to go to the care facility to say their goodbyes. we shared memories of her mom, of her brothers, of our childhood, of the poignancy of our parents aging and dying and our own awareness of how fragile life and relationships and death can be.

we talked about the sacredness of the dying process and that she wanted to be there with her mother. we talked about the importance of saying those things that have been unsaid over the years. we talked about her mom’s little dog who would not leave her bedside, licking her face and hair and eyes before circling onto her chest. we talked about what it will be like to be an orphan, the secret of becoming the next generation, the pain of loss, the imprint of a mother’s love, and the value of calling the rabbi because that would be meaningful for her mom. we talked about the mystery of the spirit leaving the body, that moment when someone is both here and there, the knowing and the unknowing.

we exchanged numbers and spent the rest of the day and evening texting one another. i woke early the next morning pondering the timing, the purpose, the sacredness of our encounter.

her text that morning:

“boy, do i love having you back in my life! who knew that a fallen loaf of bread would lead us back together at this time. seeing you felt like salve to my wounds. my mom passed away peacefully at 6am. my brothers and i missed her last breath by minutes. we are doing fine, laughing and crying and are grateful to be together. the journey towards healing is underway. let’s stay in touch.”


yes, today i am pondering friendship. and being willing to open up to mystery and sacredness and timing.