Resolutions or Revolutions? 2011 with a bang…

Resolutions or Revolutions? Keep us posted…

It feels liberating to avoid resolutions for the New Year. They never stick for me and feel like cop outs to real work. However, revolution or revelation is another matter. It seems that certainly politically we need revolution. Nothing works. Gun toting is an American past time and no reason to believe those folks in Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Nevada, etc. will pack up their arms. So there is a jittery feeling as we read about the attacks in Tuscon. What would a peace and pack up your arms revolution look like? I say this with no particular intention to start a protest or write my congress and Senate people. As I said in Monday meditation session, we can work at our own pace for peace. Everyone has a gift to offer, and for those of us who are rather good at sitting on our butts meditating, perhaps this is an active way to send a revolutionary vibration out there.

On a personal note, the New Year started off with an unsettling turn of events for my son. Zach, 26, who lives in Riverdale group home for people with autism, was hospitalized. He had another one of his dangerous outbursts and a trip to N Y Hospital ER was safest solution. He was admitted to Payne Whitney, where he has been receiving excellent care and is possibly the only patient to say “I love it here” enjoying the chance to fill out food cards and go to interesting activities like karaoke, music, CBT, relaxation, yoga, community and spirituality groups. There is a feeling of calm even though the vibe is hospital greenish depressing lock down. It seems this brief stay, which will end in a few days, was a stopping place for Zach. He doesn’t like where he is and we don’t know where he can go in the future. I have dreams for him (and others like him) and in that dream space, sense a small bud like opening through winter’s hard surface. Zach, who will turn 27 the eve of Ground Hog’s Day, has many talents that in the face of his own self destructive behavior, have a hard time blossoming. My resolve (not the same as resolution) is internally strong–to find or create the best place for him–but externally wavering. It’s so hard, I have a life, I have to work, pay my bills, etc. So in this post, I ask for the universe, and you being in it, to support my resolve in any way that you can.

Sunday I spent a beautiful day in Chappaqua with our healer doctor friend Lewis Mehl Madrona and others, participating in the second annual White Buffalo hunt. I don’t understand all the native American ceremony, but do “know” that ceremony, and in this case, putting to rest those elements of last years’ wishes, projects, and dreams (symbolized in a “bundle” of stuff we kept for the year and opened up Sunday), is very important. We enacted the ritual of hunter and hunted, as animals of prey or in some cases pray. I agreed to be a hunter as a wolf but then became somewhat immobilized as to my job during our ritual “hunt.” Later, I saw this very metaphorically. I was in that spot before action–still, something happened. I came back and felt like a mother wolf, silent, still, strong and fiercely protective of my young. Being poised for action and yet not pouncing reactively is the posture I will take as a mother dealing with a challenging son. Being more protective of my time and output was another aspect of Sunday ceremony–for myself and others–to bring in more prosperity working “less hard.” I hope that is something all of us can bring in in 2011. Life would be sweeter, and more abundant if we could work less hard at work and accomplish more.

So how does all of this tie together? It might not, and in bundling, things don’t have to match or tie but can co-exist. Tying themes together is more the work of teaching or writing, perhaps. So when I need to tie, as in working on the revision of my novel or lesson plans, I will do so. When I need the space of standing still at the tip of a snowstorm on shifting firmament, I will call upon the forces, invisible and visible, who can help me stand my ground. Thank you for listening. And now, I’d love to hear how you are revolutionizing in 2011–have you created a quiet space from which all things possible can grow? What would that look like for you? Let’s keep each other posted as we play and grow in a year free of oppressive resolutions but full of promising revolution. Cheers, Sheila

About sheilaklewis

As a writing coach, meditation teacher, writer, and academic tutor, I'm passionate about words and the silent spaces between words. In this context, I run book clubs and writers' groups where the resonance of carefully crafted words can spark readers and writers to share their own stories. Connecting through conversation; making memories matter; embracing editing and revision, and imaginative wordplay are some solo and collective outcomes. I came to what I call my "Meditate Write Now" practice after years of art-making, writing grants, curriculum, children's stories, and more. Meditation kept my mind from meandering too far off point and also led me to write from the still point within. May our paths cross in creative journeys across time and internet connections! Other details: My husband and I are the parents of two amazing sons and one daughter-in-law, and smitten grandparents of Micah (born December, 2013). I don't drive, and have lived in the same apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, for too long.
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7 Responses to Resolutions or Revolutions? 2011 with a bang…

  1. Aiyana says:

    Sheila, I love what you wrote, eloquently and subtly expressing your poised waiting, like a wolf mother, and I thank you.
    For myself I see waiting also… something within is waiting to be born, and like a prudent mother, I want to feed her nourishing foods so she will come out whole and strong.
    Strangely, when I saw myself willing to take a risk and step out and trust, perhaps leaving the safety of hiding and pre-birth, things opened up magically.
    Connected with a holistic place I like where I can offer healing for people dealing with cancer, and another wonderful program I can connect with came into focus where people heal from the same by connecting with their passions and unique spirit. Other abundant work opportunities are coming up also, when I am willing to emerge from my hiding place and take a look. It’s an honor and pleasure to know you Sheila, and our animal natures so express us (wolf and bear).

    • sheilaklewis says:

      thank you for the abundantly rich post. there is something very comforting about being surrounded by animal spirits or shadows or metaphors. I wonder if I would be as comforted by the real animals. But then again, I’m a creature of the imagination.

  2. Jane says:

    How richly expressed…that space in between protecting and building for Zach and keeping a still space for yourself. Even with a child less challenged and challenging, I still find myself in that space. One of our wise friends said (and I know others have said it before): We are only as happy as our least happy child. And your child needs a “builder” more than most, and the options are so spare as to require a maw of creativity and cash, gobbling up every energy, leaving your own soul hungry. That you manage this and still are able to give to the rest of us…a gift to us and something of a miracle. And a lesson, or a guide for us about finding/keeping/using that still space of our own. I don’t know if I can do that. Find it, maybe. Keeping it? Much, much harder.

    • sheilaklewis says:

      Yes you can do it, Jane. I really appreciate your thoughtful response. I think the doing it has something to do with multidimensionality. We all have lots of roles and sometimes we have to juggle and put a bunch on the side (on a high shelf) while we tend to others. I learned this early on from healers I studied with–you must empty or clear yourself and get out of your ego to “heal” or therapize someone else. In the same way, I have to separate my less than helpful emotions and reactions in dealing with Zach. So one hand, my heart is sad and on the other, I am always learning from and inspired by him and his somewhat hidden gifts–he pierces my heart. There is also always the tough role–our kids need us not to spoil them. They need to stand on their own, even the Zachs of the world. We all need to do that.

  3. Sheila, beautiful post! I feel for you, and your son Zach. You are a very strong and determined person, and I trust that you’ll find direction and added strength.
    As for me, I’m headed upstate soon, for an extended writing stint in isolation and surrounded by snow drifts.

    • sheilaklewis says:

      snow drifts seems to be the theme, and in such a climate I am protecting my son fiercely. On top of his disabilities, I am dealing with a rather entrenched bureaucracy and unintelligence. This makes me growl. Like, why didn’t anyone who works with him call us or him? Isolated writing sounds splendid. I have a rather isolated but urban home office w occasional forays to cafes. I am curious, how do others deal with isolation for creative work?

  4. ellen says:

    my animals guides that i have met in tucson, are lowly, but lovely. a praying mantis, a road runner, a grasshopper in winter, my pets of course, always the hawks/falcons when they hunt overhead, and i have recently started with some horses, goats and burros! the mantis was about waiting, the road runner –safe journey, and the grasshopper, good luck and courage, also butterflies, but they were always there. is heloful.
    Other man-made signs lately that have come to me in relation to a problem, are tattoo, blood, cave, crucifixion, judgement day, duality/binary, numbers, letters and maya.

    i know, pretty deep winter thoughts and action still playing out…..battling with the past, embracing the future, learning the now.

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