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I was having one of those stuck moments, my mind refusing to budge from a topic I did not want to dwell on but I couldn’t shift it so I decided I needed to escape into an afternoon nap. I couldn’t fall asleep. Mow. What? Mow the lawn.

I felt the shift immediately as the decision was made, put on my gardening jeans with a new sense of joy and purpose and went to meet my trusty machine in the shed. A few lines into a perfect lawn it came. Acceptance. No, not some kind of deep release and embrace of the situation I had been mulling on (yet) but the realisation of a topic that needed expression.

I recently shared here how Acceptance is a theme for me at the moment and one it seems I need to further face and explore. Mowing the lawn I made the decision to do exactly that. Dear friends I hereby commit to writing 34 (one for every year I’ve lived thus far) short stories (100 words max) of how Acceptance has manifested in my life. Actually it won’t be hard to find 34 – there were so many memories coming thick and fast as I was mowing that I’d be hard pressed to honour them all by writing just 3400 words…but it’ll be a start.

I realised many things as this theme danced with me while the mower sliced powerfully through the vibrant green blades. One; the reason I’ve been putting off this project is that the first story is so obvious and it’s not an easy one to write but I know it’s where I have to start. Two; as the stories and memories played through my inner cinema, like the trailers before the main event, I was pleased to discover that some of them were actually about me doing the accepting. Sure, there were some that involved me witnessing and being amazed by what others are able to accept but some, quite a few, involved me biting the bullet, swallowing the pill, accepting the afore-labelled unacceptable. Oh, and three – some of them were really quite funny, in hindsight. Oops – actually, there’s a fourth. Non-acceptance is so exhausting. The moment of Acceptance is like channeling a whole new level of energy, simply because energy is no longer being wasted on resistance and conflict.

Something strange happened when I finally finished the lawn and came in to write this. It was quite eerie. I stopped in my tracks and stood there in the centre of the lawn; feeling, listening. There was no wind, not even the hint of a breeze. When I’d gone out it had been blowing a minor gale and I’d had to clear the lawn of twigs and other debris the wind had been wildly distributing. Not much more than an hour later – nothing. Silence and stillness. Maybe resolving inner storms really does manifest on the outer…

Welcome to the journey – let the tournament…commence!

 

1/34 Accepting the world as it is.

Fresh from Rwanda I was full of self righteous anger at the suffering of my fellow human beings. It was wrong and I had to change it. Life should be better, different. It wasn’t that hard, we just needed to put in more effort. But a wise man had just told me this wasn’t true, and I knew he was right. “Not accepting the world as it is only contributes more negative energy”. Change had to begin by accepting life as it was. Tears flowed down my flushed cheeks. How? I wanted more, but he left to catch a bus.

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