Monday, January 19, 2009

Returning to My Garden

I have found myself the last few days really struggling to be creative and happy. It's becoming too much of a familiar theme with me and I don't like it.

The biggest reason I know of is because it's just been a short month since my dad passed away and yet I've caught myself several times calling his old hospital room phone number and then when there's no answer, I call my mom's house fully expecting him to answer the phone. It has not truly sunk in yet that he is gone and I don't know when it will. I can tell myself over and over and I can visualize the service at the Veteran's Cemetary and the folding of the flag and Taps, but it doesn't help.

Today, I lapsed into a really bad melancholy and just felt like I wanted to wither away. But, then I looked at my two beautiful girls and realized that just couldn't happen. So, while they were occuped with friends who came over to play, I walked over the bookself and found an old friend of mine. It is a book I discovered back in 1991 by Shakti Gawain and it's called Return to the Garden.

In this book the author rawly and truthfully reveals her path to self-discovery and personal power. She writes with such emotion and holds nothing back the reader can't help but be drawn in and become more focused. So yes, I sat down and reread the whole book again today. I haven't read it for about a year now, but before that, I read it at least 10 times a year.

It's sold in bookstores under the Psychology/Personal Growth sections, and occasionally New Age. I don't truly believe that it fits in any of these sections, it should have a section all it's own. I truly recommend that this is a book every woman must read no matter what her beliefs are. This book is not about religion.. as a matter of fact, there are some things in here that I know some of my religious friends have found offensive and repulsive.

A little background on me here, I was raised Catholic, but I never really practiced Catholicism. In my early to late 20's, I met a friend who declared herself not religious, but not an Atheist either. She didn't claim to be Wiccan, but she said she felt most at home with the Wiccan family. She introduced me to wands, crystals, and much more, things I'd never heard of let alone seen in my life. In my late 20's, I tried many religions, Baptist, Lutheran, Catholicism, Mormonism... none of them were me. Even as I went to church and led youth groups, and participated in each religion, in the back of my head and in my heart, I wasn't where I was supposed to be. I would always find myself feeling like a fraud. So, I stopped going to church and started practicing the alternative.

I started using crystals and spells and meditation. I still believe in higher powers and higher beings, but I do not classify myself to any religion. And I found affirmation, even though I doubt the author meant to or would approve of the self-affirmation, and sought solice in this book.

Again today, I was in the same place.. I needed solice, and found it. The book opens with a short "Dear Readers" letter from the author in which she talks about the book being her journey of discovery and return to the garden of her soul and her connection to the earth. I needed to read that. I needed to see in black and white that at least one other person at sometime in their life felt what I was feeling inside at that very moment. The need to discover, or in my case rediscover the garden of my soul.

To me this means the things that make me happy even if I have to be sad in the process. So how does one discover the garden of their soul and connection to the earth? For me, it means getting back into the things that make me happy. That means allowing myself to make mistakes as I be a wife to my husband, a mother to my girls. That means getting back into making and creating the things I am happy making and not the things that make me sad or miserable in making.

When we are young, we learn to reject and repress unaccpetable feelings and even ourselves.. things that have happened to us. What this book points out is that the things we've represeed don't go away because we or others want it to. They fester and build inside of us and explode eventually. For some of us, it explodes in the creation of jewelry, original artwork, poetry, songs, etc. In others, unfortunately, it explodes in violence.

In writing this, I am just off to rediscover myself and find what keeps me centered and focused. I am off to work on myself and my creations and keep finding ways to express the bottled up emotions inside.

I am off to rediscover my inner child, and I highly recommend to one and all that you do the same at some point in your lives. This book, and again it is Return to the Garden by Shakti Gawain shows you how to do this in the last chapter of the book.

Blessings Be

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