Mr. Noodle

Mr. Noodle
Mr. Noodle

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

update on the rest of my life

In other news, I am now volunteering at Providence Farm three days a week. I help with seniors on Tuesdays, I'm in the greenhouse on Thursdays, and as of last week I am in the Loom Room on Fridays. O my word I must take a picture of the Loom Room, there are at least a dozen looms between table and floor looms. There are spinning wheels and sewing machines and patterns and books and yarn and more yarn and ribbons and buttons and a crafter's paradise! I learned how to weave on a floor loom last Friday and I was absolutely enchanted. Now I want one. Dan promised to build me one.

I love Providence Farm. I wrote about my experiences early on but each time I go my feeling of love for and from the place deepens. I am learning so much about myself and others. I am learning even more patience (who knew that was even possible?), I am learning how volunteers and caregivers dance around people with dementia, I am learning about plants (I discovered Korean Mint!), and that weaving is way faster than knitting. I spend my days around all kinds of people and the love just flows, it is so wonderful. I really hope there are other places like this in the world.

On this note, I wanted to share with you an experience I had there two weeks ago. There is a man who comes every few weeks with leftover bread from a local bakery, given free to St. Ann's Garden Centre (the program I volunteer for on Tuesdays). He is good friends with one of the older volunteers, and that particular day he had some friends with him, members of their church. They sat off at the far end of the room while I was in the kitchen extracting muffins from tins. The man led them through a prayer for one of their fellow congregates who, it sounded like, had recently been the victim of some legal injustice. I didn't hear the whole story, but I felt absolutely compelled to stop what I was doing with the muffins and join them in their prayer. It wasn't the words, because I couldn't really hear them, but the powerful feeling of love I felt coming from 40 feet away. I was filled with awe. I don't know how else to describe it. I was absolutely moved.

There was a time when I would have been irritated by someone praying in my presence. Irritated that they would bring their stupid Bible crap within my earshot. Nothing inspires ire in me more than JW's coming to the door and ambushing you with their cookie-cutter arguments for whatever objections you might have. I abhorred any kind of righteousness and assumed that all those of the Christian persuasion were out to convert the rest of us.

So, some of you know that I identified as Wiccan for ten years. I had no formal religious affiliation before that, though I was baptized Catholic (ha!) and I had been loosely studying Buddhism before I discovered Wicca and Paganism. When I walked away from Wicca, I walked away from religion entirely because, as a scientist (I have a piece of paper that declares me so), I did not believe in a god so religion just made no sense to me. That was in 2009. In the time since then I have had all kinds of realizations and reflections about where I'm at with my spirituality and religion. I stopped any practices or rituals I had previously done and I didn't miss it. I guess it was a time of secular reflection for me while my life was busy with other things.

I know I have mentioned here before, perhaps only in passing, about my experiences in the last six month with a friend who has recently blossomed into her psychic medium skills, about my introduction to A Course in Miracles, about my experiencing meditation as an actual discipline. I have had all kinds of interesting thoughts and conversations about this new-to-me material I have been engaging with and have been processing a lot of emotional baggage. My views about many things have changed, I have become way more forgiving and more patient (though I am not immune to emotional flare-ups from time to time!). I communicate with my cat telepathically and she responds. I visit the chickens when I'm sad and they heal me. I have experienced so many major shifts within in these last six months that even Toni is surprised at how much I have changed, and we spent a LOT of time together! So when I witnessed that prayer for a stranger two weeks ago, I knew that I had arrived at a new level with my spirituality.

I had dinner with some friends in Victoria last week. One of the friends asked me where I was at with my spirituality and religion, as she knew about my walking away from faith a few years ago. In all this transformation I have been going through these past months, I haven't really taken the time to articulate it, at least not in public. I journal about it all the time. Here is what I told her: "I went from having spent most of my life not believing in a God to having a nightly conversation with Him".

Just let that settle in for a minute.

So what does that mean? No, I'm not a Born Again anything. I'm not suddenly going to accept or take on a religion because I have (to use a cliche) found God. In fact I was (naturally) loathe to tell anyone about it because I don't want people to think I'm a new age freak. Instead, I will attempt to articulate this further (and I haven't even journaled about this yet, you are getting raw and uncut Stacey!): I think I had better start with my assumptions so you know where I am going.

I believe in reincarnation.
I believe in spirit guides, that we can communicate with our beloved dead, and we can communicate telepathically.
As of recently, I believe in angels.
I accept the teachings of A Course in Miracles which says that time and space are not real things, that what we are perceiving as our experience is not in fact real (I don't feel qualified to expand on that point to do it justice, at least not yet). The Course also teaches that there is only fear and love, and that fear is the absence of love, so when you are experiencing fear what you really need is love. (There are many good teachers who simplify the labyrinthine material of the Course, should you care to dabble).
I even believe in Jesus.
And now, I also believe in God.

So to fill in that frame a bit, if love is what we strive for, then every thing we do must be in pursuit of love. Love of self, love of others, love of all. In this view, we are all One, not separate, and that you are a reflection of a part of me that I need to engage with right now. I realize I am getting metaphysical here, but honestly this is where my mind has been in these last months. It has been amazing to turn a number of experiences in my life that I had formerly perceived as negative and see them now as gifts or opportunities for growth. If I believe that I have chosen this life for myself (and I do believe that), then I can blame no one for my suffering, and that I chose to experience suffering in order to learn... what? Well, each experience has something different to teach us. Just like we'll keep dating the same type of jerk until we learn to respect ourselves, at which point the Right Man will come along (it happened to me!)(Gosh I hope none of my ex-'s are reading this). I digress.

This is how I was able to go from "O no! I will be terribly inconvenienced by having to go to Montreal for my visa appointment" to "I have always wanted to go to Montreal and this will be a great opportunity! Maybe I will have some interesting experiences while I'm there!" In a way, it's re-framing or re-perceiving my experience in a positive way that has gotten me through this year of being without my husband. There have clearly been a bundle of things I needed to learn in this time that we've been apart that I probably would not have had the chance to if we were together.

WHEW. That was a lot to get out, a lot to tell you, dear reader, but I figured it was time I came out of the (what do you call it when you out yourself spiritually?) cave? (Ha - I accidentally typed 'cafe' instead of 'cave', which also makes an interesting metaphor ;-)) This is how I view my world now.

Oh! I just remembered the other big thing that has been occupying my brain for the last couple of weeks but it's getting late and I want to wrap up this blog post. Toni and I have been talking a lot about climate change, peak oil, permaculture, and the collapse of oil-based society as we know it. I have had my mind clamped on developing post-apocalyptic survival skills. I'm not going to get into it here but it sure has had me thinking lately. I embrace learning new skills and I am now really motivated to learn how to make a fire without matches or a lighter. I'll probably have a few posts about this, possibly several on the weekend (I'll have the house to myself!), so maybe we can start some interesting conversations about disaster preparedness.

One last thing: I will direct you to Toni's most recent post for an update about what's been happening around here. As of today Hen has hatched out five more chicks with a few more eggs to go. The flock is changing and CHICKS ARE SO CUTE OMG.


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  2. Stacey, you certainly have been going through a lot of changes and it sounds like you're thriving. I know the past few months have been an odyssey for you and Dan and you're doing so much to find your peace where you are. Here's another little tidbit to add to your metaphysical universe: Lives between lives.