The rocks below the breakwater, Santa Barbara Harbor, CA
My middle years have been a journey of refining for me, like a shore stone, carved and molded by the waves of time. --The sometimes turbulent work of the demanding waves across my shoulders, wearing off the harsh edges of past defenses In the water’s wake I discover more intense colors of myself that didn’t exist, or I didn’t see, before. It’s a little uncomfortable without my protections of dull invisibility. It’s cold there, wet water on my new skin in the unrelenting breeze. Vulnerable. Clearer. Exciting too.
Balance has been key lately. Balance of when to reveal transparently and when to be silent. Balance of deep philosophical intensity and just enjoying the present without pondering its existence and ramifications. Balance of speaking up and remaining quiet. Balance of giving and receiving. Balance of intention and spontaneity. Balance of initiative and simply being content in waiting. I’ve been reading the book “Calling In the One,” which is giving me great insights, and my Kung Fu class and my growing friendships with its members are teaching me a great deal on how to live thusly. Through these experiences, I’m learning to walk with my head up, not down, as well.
So often we tend to think of learning and growing to have some finite beginning and ending point, especially if we’ve been in the educational system long enough. I have found, however, that the more I learn, the more I learn I don’t know. The more I think I’ve grown and evolved, the more I realize I must grow. It creates both a sense of confidence and a constant state of humility, something I am also seeing in my learning of Kung Fu. With that comes the disquiet of wondering if I will ever be sufficient enough for whatever end I hope to achieve. Perhaps that too is part of the lesson---being patient and content in the whatever “state of unfinish” that I am.
Balancing inner growth with outer giving must happen as well. Just as one cannot continue to grow outwardly if one doesn’t attend to the inward, I am seeing that the opposite is also true. One must also focus on giving to others lovingly, compassionately, selflessly, without personal agenda. I’ve been given beautiful examples of men and women who give whole-heartedly of themselves to others, and I thank God for them daily---for their giving hearts and example to me....Megan and Marty, Pat, Lisa, Trish, Paul, Cheryl, Yvonne, Willie, Rich and Jill, Rhonda, the teachers I work with...
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