One precious thing that Cedar has been doing for as long as I can remember is closing his eyes when he really wants to feel something. He’ll do it when wind hits his face, when he is chewing something delicious, when he is running down a hill or walking with his arms wide open. He’ll just close his eyes and smile and take deep breaths. Many times I describe it as him drinking the moment in. It really teaches me to be present in that moment and open up my senses.
Sometimes he’ll close his eyes while he is building blocks or trying to fit a straw into a hole or put his train on the track. This is when I feel he is also trying to have another experience. “This is how it feels to stack blocks with my eyes open and this is how it feels to stack blocks with my eyes closed. Hmmm…its harder with my eyes closed.”
Today we were at a pond and collected sticks to throw into it. He would throw one with his eyes open and try the other one with his eyes closed. He invited me to do the same. He seems to love the challenge and also the shift in perspective.
So today it has me thinking about perspective and how we truly have the power to shift ours. Just like the video I shared with you all yesterday on being alone. It really moved me to rethink my definition of loneliness. Especially because lately, I’ve been really craving a community where I can actually touch the skin of a person rather than type keys to connect. Watching that video inspired me to reflect on those moments in my life that felt most healing and most of them (not all, but most) where when I was alone; journal writing, sitting at the beach, dancing in my loft, busting out paints for the first time in my studio apartment in Berkeley, sitting at a coffee shop or laying on a blanket under a tree. In those moments, I didn’t realize a healing was taking place but upon reflection, those were the moments, infused with self nurturing, that gave me courage the next day to keep moving. I was able to connect with myself in a way that felt whole rather than my energy being given out in a hundred different directions.
A shift in perspective.
Lately, my husband has been having a rough time with feeling overwhelmed and overtired in regards to work. We’ve had a few hard nights of not connecting and saying things we don’t mean. Today, after spending time with Cedar and observing him closing his eyes and breathing in, I chose to look at what is going on with my husband in a different way. Rather than try to over analyze him, I chose to look at my reactions and my triggers and realized that so many of them were rooted in fear. Fear that I may lose him in many ways and that the free spirited 5th grade teacher I met years ago preferring writing his book over working, would resent me for the rest of his life for having to support his family at this time. It was me taking it all on as though it was my fault. It was me holding onto guilt for not being able to give energy equally to all of the parts that make me, me…motherhood, wifehood, sister, friend, daughter, writer, blogger, photographer, teacher and projecting it onto him as though he was saying I wasn’t enough. It was all my stuff. Isn’t it always? It helps so much to self reflect and open up spaces for self nurturing and gentleness. And I know when he has energy, he will do his own self reflecting and self nurturing. So I sent him a love note explaining all of this. Owning my part and promising to truly SEE him and listen and love. I cannot control his feelings but only my reactions to them and this is something I have been aware of for years but its so easy to forget when there are such big emotions whirling around.
So, now I know when he walks through that door tonight, I will see things a bit different. Sort of like closing my eyes and opening them up again.
Here is a photo I took of Cedar and me today…when his eyes were wide open. ; )