Tag Archive | traditions

Traditions, Changes & Honesty

 

I’m doing things different this year.  (* Originally published December 5, 2014)

My self-imposed challenge this holiday season is to create new traditions for myself that are no longer dependent on others expectations, or a sense of obligation to anyone, or anyone to me.
Not knowing exactly what direction these new traditions are going to be has been a bit bewildering, yet there is liberation. Making a choice to not abide by the past traditions that Christmas always held for me has been mind-baffling and emotionally tugging, yet I’m excited about the possibilities of creating new traditions that speak to me and for the life I live today. This isn’t to say I won’t be connecting with my family & friends. What it does mean is for the first time…ever…. I am not going to participate in something merely out of a sense of obligation and expectations to past traditions. I want to create new ones, ones of my choosing,  ones for all the right reasons.

But I had no idea where to really begin beyond the desire……..

christmas to do list

I love how the universe works.

A “To Do List”.

Of course.

Deeply breathing in the “Reason for the Season” without any sense of reluctance is absolutely the new tradition I am looking for. Right at this moment though I can’t even imagine how this will feel. I now have a “To Do” list that speaks to me and what I want to be mindful of this Christmas; and how to get there.
Giving myself permission to put my energy and focus exactly where it serves my spirit for the first time in my life is so exhilarating I’d go as far to say it’s intoxicating. With that being said I don’t expect everyone in my world to understand or “get it”.  I hope though that for those who I matter to in their lives they won’t judge my attitude and actions. Or lack of actions as the case may be.

 No one has been privy to living in my head and my heart;  and only a few know what I had been living as a state of mind, heart and spirit, that was literally helping my life slip away.  I thought all my passions…all my fire… had been extinguished.

How wrong I was.

I had merely let my passions become stifled. I had given up on hope & dreams. It matters none today why I had done;  as long I know that I have the choice to grab everything about life that feeds every aspect of who I am. No more stuffing that which serves my mind, my heart, and my spirit.

No more swallowing my feelings, my anger, my needs, my disappointments, and the biggie…. drum roll please…..NO MORE loneliness despite being in a room full of people.

This for me is another step to an authentic independence to help me find in my world the happy and the complete. Having been on both ends of that spectrum, looking to others for my happiness/contentment; AND being the someone who others’ had looked to for theirs; it  is a bittersweet realization to find that I had buried so much of myself to fit the idea of who others wanted me to be.  I take complete ownership for teaching others that I was okay with this.

It’s really self-sabotage, yet we all do it. Especially women do it. We all have been conditioned by society to believe it’s the righteous way to live life by being a full-time martyr……then to follow-up with feelings of resentments and complaints afterwards. I know it’s where I was headed.

That is until I found comfort in my self.

I’m retiring from the “Martyr Membership” that I belonged to all my life away.

I’m putting the “Merry” back into my Christmas. 

keep calm reason for season

I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas that truly feeds your own Reason For this Season.

 

 

 

tjtaylor2014

 

 

 

 

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Fall Brings An Easter Blessing

18 October 2013

 
Seeing a plant in stages of its growth is not at all unusual if you garden. And I do. 
I think of gardening as a blessing, I love to grow things wild and unruly. I love to get my fingers into the dirt in the ground, I love to make mud pies.  
I have an unusual event happening in my garden this Fall.
Every year since my two daughters were infants I received an Easter Lily from them & their father to help set the environment of spirituality for the season of Lent & Easter in our home. We are not an overly religious family, but we are deeply spiritual and Easter & the spring equinox are significant, with the traditional & symbolic gift given of an Easter Lily. 
 

An Easter Lily  (Lilium longiflorum is actually a native of the southern islands of Japan. A World War I soldier, Louis Houghton, is credited with starting U.S. Easter Lily production when he brought a suitcase full of lily bulbs with him to the southern coast of Oregon in 1919. He gave them away to friends and when the supply of bulbs from Japan was cut off as a result of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the rising price of the bulbs suddenly made the lily business a viable industry for these hobby growers and earned the bulbs the nickname “White Gold”. Today over 95% of all bulbs grown for the potted Easter Lily market are produced by just ten farms in a narrow coastal region straddling the California-Oregon border, from Smith River, California up to Brookings, Oregon.

For almost 40 years every May I would replant said lily’s outside in my gardens and flower beds. Different gardens throughout those years, and for 10 years while living in a downtown Seattle high rise I planted the plants in the apartment buildings gardens since I had none of my own. 
I could grow really healthy beautiful plants, but to get them to re-bloom again in their natural environment was something I was never successful with. They make gorgeous foliage with shiny green pointed leaves, adding much texture and different heights to my flower beds. But to bloom again in the early summer months of June as Mother Nature intended the following years never happened.
 I was okay with that,  I knew from research that to get a plant to re-bloom after being forced to bloom unnaturally is not an easy feat.  
 
This past March 2013 on Easter I was in a very different space than I had ever been; not only had I become a newly single woman at the start of 2013 I also gifted myself for the first time ever an Easter Lily. It had been 3 years since my youngest daughter survived emergency brain surgery and woke from coma on Easter Sunday 2010.
As I said my Easter 2013 was very different than it ever had been, my first alone, and my daughter was winning the fight to save her life a second time.
IMG_2535
 
After taking great care to keep my lily alive after its blooms were spent I planted it in June outside in my tiny flower bed I had created at my new little apartment. 
It was a late planting this year even for the high desert because we had a later than usual beginning to our spring with freezing night-time temperatures prevailing through May, making it impossible to start gardening like the rest of our state did in March.
So my lily finally went into the ground and I nurtured it along, making sure through that during our warm summer days it was thriving and growing strong. 
 

Last month I noticed a bizarre thing. Growing out of the original plant were two new offshoots. Two new stalks, the Easter lily plant had propagated itself. In the fall. That in itself was different from any other time I had witnessed before. Typically the lily goes dormant after its blooms have faded and dies back into itself until spring the following year. 

“Well,” I thought, “that’s kind of cool.”
 
Then… it started happening.. First one bud appeared, then another, and then both stalks created 5 to 6 buds each. 
I could watch almost daily out my window the buds turning into blooms. 
 
My Easter lily is blooming!!
In the Fall!
IMG_2620
 
 
By rights This lily should not be blooming! Unless my past history with Easter lily’s( that were hot-house forced to bloom in the spring) is odd. 
But even the irony of MY lily blooming is enough that I think it is very cool.  
But that it is also fully blooming in October, in the high desert of central Oregon… well .. that is such an incredible thing I am in awe with this lily.  I associate my youngest daughter’s recovery from emergency brain surgery on Easter Sunday morning of 2010 as a miracle, along with that 3 years later the reinvention of my life and my maiden Easter purchase of this now blooming lily as my Fall Easter blessing 
And I am amazed.
 
It is why I wrote about it, so I will never forget the miracle of Mother Nature’s strength and resilience. 
I think our own human spirit mirrors that strength & resilience.
 

Preface This. Almost a year later~……..

Finding old journaling in odd places is a gift. Found this piece I’d written in December 2010 after being able to attend the Famous annual C/D Cookie Exchange. After missing it the two years prior because of my health circumstances the ability to attend last year seemed like a miracle to me.

What I wrote was and still is significant. To me and possibly to anyone who is dealing with life altering health issues. I am being gently reminded by my own words that things slip away too easily. Rejoice in what you can do, celebrate the now and here, and look forward to making life as full as you want.

  Even with a Christmas Cookie Exchange

{ December 2010}    After being able to attend my first holiday party on Saturday it has been brought to my attention that we have such few choices in life that making the right one is even more important. 

 I’ll preface this with my own experience for those that don’t know.  I was invited again to an annual mother & daughter Christmas Cookie Exchange by a close friend. I was unable to attend the  last 2 years due to pain issues and fatigue, so this year was doubly important.

Along with being able to attend the party I needed to bake 12 bundles (gift bags) with 6 cookies in each. Arrrgh! It’s not as much as it sounds really.  So knowing that whatever I made would be accepted with grace I chose to make Quick bread into 12 mini loaves so I could mix and bake all at once vs tray after tray of cookies. Sadly even this short amount of work exhausted me and by the day of the party my brain was mush, my body ached.  I was an hour late to the party, but the hostess & other guest’s were more gracious than I could have ever hoped for.

My point?

What is it that you do to get by this time of year?  During your family holidays and special days? Are there traditions you will not give up?  Are there others that can fall by the way side without a second glance? 

I belong to a Red Hat Chapter and a small percentage of the women go caroling at Senior centers every year.  This is something that is right up my alley. My kind of thing.  This year I’ve chosen to not go.

 Choices.