June 11, 2015

coming back to the present with garnet...

I've been quiet here on the blog lately.

I recently deactivated my personal facebook account (it's a temporary break from fb).

I've cut back on my Subtle Harmony work.

I'm not writing as much as I want, or as much I expected to be writing - but that's okay, and I'm not forcing it.

Other events in life are taking priority right now.

There's the injury I sustained over the weekend and the recovery time involved with that.

There's the close family member whose melanoma has metastasized to the brain. I won't share all the details because they're not mine to share - but there's so much to that whole situation and it's affecting time, energy, and the focus of daily life in my household. My husband is heavily involved in the day-by-day changing details of taking care of things... and there are so many things. Plus countless calls and texts he gets and makes, and I've been doing some of that too, to try to help ease (even a little bit) the load he's carrying.

There are the long talks my husband and I have had about things we need to put into place and take care of in order to better prepare for an end-of-life situation when it happens with us. Sure, we've done some of that already - we both have wills, we both have living wills, we have important documents in a safe place. But this family experience has been a reminder, an eye-opener, for us.

I helped care for my parents during the last several months of my father's life. In some ways, the situations are similar: the enormous emotional and mental and physical energy it takes, the time involved with even little things that never occur to you until you're faced with them, the time and energy in dealing with out-of-the-blue things that aren't necessarily uncommon in these circumstances but (again) come as a surprise because most people don't even consider these things happening... until they happen.

In other ways, though, the situations are different: my parents were much older, yes, but a main thing is they had made certain plans and preparations that didn't leave so many questions or had family members scrambling for certain information.

A few in-my-face observations of this time... Tension and stress have been high in my world and my family. We treasure any chance to laugh. The world can be very narrow some days to what needs to be done that day to get through and take care of immediate needs. Priorities can come into sharp focus.

And then there's my own anxiety. And my anxiety triggers.

Some days I've had meltdowns about the uncertainty of the future. Fear of the what ifs.

It's hard to ignore the realities of life when they're staring you right in the face - and some of those realities can be scary indeed.

I've had times of crying or times of being on the verge of panic - and I have to consciously and intentionally do my best to bring myself back to the present moment.

My trusty and beloved black tourmaline is always helpful to me in grounding and centering, but almandine garnet has been another almost-constant crystal companion these days. It's grounding. It's protective and calming - and it's strengthening. When I'm feeling fearful about the future, when I notice the lack of feeling safe and the lack of feeling secure, almandine garnet helps with those root-chakra issues and helps me connect with feelings of safety and security and love and strength.  As this site states: Its energy helps alleviate worry, panic and fear, and assists in maintaining a calm connection to the present. It allows one to perceive the absolute support of the Universe.

Again and again, I bring myself back to the present, back to center.

I breathe. I connect above and below. And I tell myself: In this present moment, all is well. In this present moment, I am fine. In this present moment, my husband is alive and healthy. In this present moment, I have all I need.

What happens, though, when those statements are not true?

What happens if, in the present moment, you're in incredible pain? Or if, in the present moment, a spouse or a child is taking final breaths of life? Or any number of things that feel far from all is well?

I'll honestly admit I have those questions.

And I'll honestly admit I have no concrete answers.

I can say things like: trust.

I can say things like: ultimately, no matter what, whether things seems wonderful or things seem disastrous, all will be well.

But in the down-and-dirty day-to-day, it can be hard to hold onto those beliefs... or even believe them at all.

And I don't have the answers. I'm not a theologian. I teach - and sometimes what I teach can have spiritual aspects - but I don't, at all, hold myself or put myself out there as a spiritual teacher or spiritual leader. (And I'm incredibly picky about who I call my "spiritual teachers" - and even pickier about who is a "spiritual leader" for me -regardless of the subject they teach or the work they do.)

I know what I believe, but I also know those beliefs can feel shaky at times - and incredibly strengthening to me at other times.

So, not knowing the answers but trying to get through my days as best I can and with as much grace as I can, I connect above and below, I pray and I ground, I hold on to anything that might help me (including crystals and stones), and I breathe and I talk and I come back to the present.

Because the present is the only moment that's right now.