In case you're tuning in late to news of my 'summer project', here it is in a nutshell: I'm smack-dab in the middle of my own personal makeover, getting not one, but two, brand new knees and retiring the old, bone-weary ones that have severed me well since 1944.
So far, so good. Knee #1 has been successfully installed and is working so well after 3 weeks that we're bravely going up on the rack to get Knee #2 hooked up this Friday.
And then "Oh, the places I'll go!" Can't wait.
Yeah, I know I've made it all seem easy and it's not, it's really not. Lots of blood, sweat and tears. But the worst, the hardest thing has been . . .
...(drum roll) facing down my personal dragon, the need to be proficient, to do it myself.
Surviving the indignities and woes we all confront in life depends largely on how we choose to conceptualize them, what words and images we use in our self-talk, how kind and accepting we manage to be with ourselves.
As I've been processing all that I've been going through, I ran across these funny, sweet videos--someone's imaginings of what cats and dogs must really be thinking.
Hope you enjoy them as much as I did. I thought of them as
goddess gifts. That's one of the things I love so much about the Goddess. She's always there waiting to suggest new and different ways to think about the events in our lives.
Nurturing your authentic self (aka your
goddess gift) is an art form. It happens when you seek and
discover your uniqueness and your inner resources. It comes
of knowing who you are and what serves you well.
Psyche's first lesson was to learn how to set priorities, to decide what really matters. Yep. I sure got plenty of practice on this one.
For her first challenge, Psyche had to spend the night in a granary filled with seeds of every different sort. She was charged with getting the seeds all sorted and in their appropriate bag by daybreak. Fortunately for her, a colony of ants appeared when she grew hopeless and taught her how to sort the seeds and helped her get it done.
Before going under-the-knife, I'd established some guidelines for how I would deal with this one. "If it doesn't kill someone or case grievous bodily harm, I'm going to let it go, not fret about it" would be my mantra. (Note: With the addition of the words "or illegal" to the phrase, this is also a great one to use in deciding what's worth making an issue of with any teens you are rearing, by the way.)
Sure enough, first night home from the hospital, Aphrodite put me to the test. I woke suddenly, in the middle of a dream aware that my own personal granary was full to overflowing. (Why, oh why, had I been so keen to replenish my bodily fluids after the surgery -- a little dehydration never hurt anyone, right?)
Not yet totally awake, I had to fight to get to the surface. Literally. Layers of tangled sheets, ice packs and blankets chained me to the bed.
But I made it free. Just in the nick of time. Or so I thought . . .
Forewarned by my preparations, I knew there were only 16 steps to the bathroom. "I can do this thing if I hobble quickly," I thought.
I took the first step and realized something was wrong.
Horribly wrong. My right foot wasn't working.
I looked down. Horror of horrors! There, attached to my foot, was a 3-foot long, spongy, water-ski sort of thing.
It looked a lot like the silly cheese-wedge hats that crazed
Green Bay Packer fans wear to all the games. Except it was gray. "What the heck is that???" wondered my
sleep--befuddled brain. And why was it stuck to my foot?
"Oh, yeah", I finally realized, "it's the foam wedge the hospital gave me to keep my leg elevated to reduce swelling." My
foot must have gotten stuck in it while I was wrestling with the covers.
All this musing was getting me nowhere fast, I realized, when I felt a warm wetness starting to adhere the hem of my
nighty to the back of my leg. Only 15 steps to go, but I clearly wasn't going to make it.
Funny how things work out. I'd just gotten a free lesson from Psyche on the perils of pride.
The first lesson of Psyche flashed through my mind, "Nobody's gonna' die or suffer GBH (unless it's me if I'm stupid
enough to risk trying to make it all the way with a humongous wedge of spongy gray Wisconsin cheese
stuck to my already seriously disabled leg.)
In retrospect, I'm filled with gratitude that I'd had the foresight to borrow a friend's porta-potty and put it in a place of honor at my bedside. Never intended to actually use it, you understand; just there as a visual motivator to accompany the mantra "You don't need this thing. You are not a baby.
Nor are you really 'old'. So you will just walk on by."
So there I stood, nighty damp, cheese wedge sodden, potty chair feeling pleased to have been of service and mission accomplished.
Nobody died or suffered GBH. I had just learned the first lesson of the goddess Psyche at a new and deeper level.
I've even had a chance to work on the next challenge Psyche had faced -- learning to trust that whenever we really, really can't do it ourselves someone or something will always appear to help us
accomplish what really has to be done. (Thanks, daughter Sarah, for arriving early the next morning to clean up the mess, and especially for saying, 'No big deal. After all . . . you gave me life." What a special daughter you are!)
After the first few days of coming smack-dab in the
face aware of so many of my inadequacies, I started
sticking post-it's on my bathroom mirror each time I
encountered one of my 'inadequacies'. They read:
"So what, I'm only human. " I reckon I'm now prepared for any new challenges
presenting with this second surgery.
Wish me luck, for . . . I'm sure the goddess will have more lessons
for me to learn.
She always does.
Shiny Objects that caught the Goddess' Eye!
Another vital part of my "Don't Let My Summer Be Miserable and Sucky" Program was
reading a delightful new book called 'imperfect spirituality:
extraordinary enlightenment for ordinary people"
Knowing that. in the presence
of pain and mind-numbing meds, I probably
wouldn't be having much success with my usual meditation practices for
a while, this jewel came into my life just 'in the
knick of time'.
What's not to love about a method
that acknowledges Hey, I'm only human and that
can be absolutely divine!
Author Polly Campbell
(She of The Daily Om, Psychology Today and
blogging fame) outdoes herself here showing us how
to integrate every-day moments with traditional
spiritual techniques to experience personal growth
and well-being within the course of our regular
If you're a spiritual being just
trying to be human and, especially like the rest of
us, you're not quite there yet, this might just be
the book for you.
Bit of Goddess-ness to Your Life
Goddess Quiz really DOES fit
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The report you'll receive is
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