Sunday, January 9, 2011

facing a fear & little rituals - helping me to stumble towards ecstasy

I grew up in a family of 'what ifs'.. and the what ifs were not positive.. they were mostly negative.. instilling the fear of life into me..

sometimes even now as an adult.. this fear creeps up on me like a shadow in the night.. lately it has been the fear of loss.. losing my darling dutch husband.. to death or some other such catastrophe .. my mind gallops away before I have a chance to harness it, going places that are really not rational at all and I feel this gut wrenching loss - deep in my solar plexus.. what will I do if he dies before me? leaving me adrift in a sea of loneliness..

the adult self knows these are only fantasies of the mind and actually are quite silly.. but inside there is a well of this fear.. I was not going to post about my fears.. but, surely I am not alone in this galloping of the mind into the future of what ifs?..

this fear makes up quite a big percentage of my dark nights of my soul

..then, something pulls me up.. bringing me back to the present moment. to being, In this body. encouraging me to nurture myself in my fear..

take a bath[I hear whispered in my soul] - a few petals scattered .. some essential oils to soothe the fear....

There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them.
[Sylvia Plath]

light a candle - bringing light into my world

a cup of tea in a still moment - brings me back to the present moment of being un-hurried

are these little rituals,
my way of,
stumbling towards ecstasy

other daily rituals that help: cool still water.. organic fresh fruit juice.. almonds..

do you have any little rituals that help you come back to who you are? that help you be in the present moment?


mxtodis123 said...

My little ritual is waiting until after dark and then going out in my back yard. Living in the city, it is hard to find those peaceful moments with nature as my house is attached to the two on either side. It is especially grounding when the sky is clear and the stars are brilliantly shining.

Winterwood said...

just going to read the link - and yes I think when you get to that 'certain' age... the night brings out a lot of those old thoughts and fears... I too think what if I lost my dh... its awful to even think that and how I would be if it ever came to be.

I think that for me a cup of tea is the same as that cure all bath!

Holly said...

I'll think about if I have an anti-fear ritual Right now I can't think od a thing other than that black teapot of yours. OMG I adore that teapot! I can't believe I have teapot lust!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

In my own life, I found it very liberating to realize that I should only worry about something when and if it happens. If it hasn't happened, then it's only hypothetical and I shouldn't scare myself with hypotheticals. Real life is hard enough to cope with, without dealing with hypotheticals too.

Pam said...

When someone says "I was not going to post about this" it usually follows that there is a post in which you are so glad they did.
I can image that a tour of your garden helps you also?- nurtured plants growing happily.
If I need to come back to who I am,my rituals include seeking dark, quiet solitude with closed shutters and lots of fairy lights,putting on calm music, the quiet morning visit to the garden patch every day,while feeling the gentle morning sun on my face,and squirreled away,the physicality of padding around on cool white tiles with bare feet (though I would not say no to those flip-flops!).
The cool water that nourishes my well-being is not still,as you mentioned, but a bubbling water feature close to the house. It is a ritual to activate it each morning.I very much miss the physicality of Tasmania's and Victoria's gurgling mountain streams for restoring and quietening the soul.
Trusting you are finding peace in the rituals you have shared here Robyn - I loved reading about what brings you peace.Much

Fire Byrd said...

When the going gets tough I ritualize my meals. I lay the table with nice china and cutlery, linen nakins, I make the food and I sit at the table concentrating on each mouthful slowly eaten to help keep me in the moment and by the time I've finished the tough stuff is usually in a better place. And if not then I run up and down stairs swearing loudly to really shake up the bad stuff and then I have always shifted emotionally!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the tips Robyn. I must say I don't have personal rituals and a bath.. I wish I had one.
Those fears, oh my, don't start me on those. I have a lot. My husband always tells me I see bears on the road, that is translated from a Dutch expression, just ask your husband ; )
Have a great day.

laoi gaul~williams /I\ said...

ahh i have a 'what if' mum who has passed the what if worries onto me.
i always tell myself that its no good to worry about things i have no control does not always work *sigh*

gemma said...

Sometimes a walking meditation helps bring me back to center. The thing is to have gratitude every day you are together. What will be, will be. Enjoy what IS! Your fear is only hurting this time while he is by your side. I Pray that Joe will be here with you for a LONG LONG time.
with love

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Little rituals? I start each day by praying in haiku (actually, senryu)--that's about as "little" as you can get!


My soul trusts in You
in times of calamity
and in times of peace.

You delivered me,
You kept my feet from falling--
now I walk in light.

I have tasted You,
and I see that You are good--
savory and sweet!


rebecca said...

dear miss R,

i have been away all day and just now relishing the time to visit each entry in our shared stumble.

i love the honest voice i find here. and i understand the intensity of fear.

i love waking before dawn. i do most everyday. it is a slice of heaven knowing my loved ones are warm and dreaming. the cat is by my side and we begin as the last stars fade from the sky. i walk the darkness into light. 2-3 miles every morning. i do this on a treadmill facing a large window looking out over a meadow...ponds...and in my heart i walk towards light, peace, goodness, comfort for us all.

when i am finished the sky is turning a rosy welcome to a new day and the birds, all the singing birds. this simple ritual, greeting the new day...watching the dark mellow into light and the ever present joy of bird song fills me.

you might know too that i spend hours every day creating. art is my healer, allowing me to lose myself completely in a place of wonder and possibility.

the truth is, and many people do not know this, that i have a rare, progressive genetic disease and no one thought i would even live to be 50. every new day is an unexpected gift.
as my body brakes down, i keep my hand in the honey pot of wholeness and beauty by creating.

and when fear arrives...what sends it quickly faraway is to turn my attention to helping others.

i am so grateful to have found you...truly you grace my days.


Noelle Renee said...

Dear Miss R,
I love your little rituals and I have awakened with those fears many a day, particularly when I was taking care of my mother before she passed. but I realize now that life must run its course and we cannot exert control over the destinies of others much less our own in many ways. We must allow grace and love into our lives and give as much of ourselves as we can to others. I have learned to meditate. Last year I had surgery and a friend taught me transcendental meditation before going in. It was such a healing force in my life and has remained with me since. Sometimes I forget to do it, and I can feel the difference. I love your rituals of comfort and nurture for yourself. this is a lovely blog.

foxysue said...

Hi Robyn

How lovely to meet you here in the company of such beautiful souls who's connection is 'stumbling on ecstasy'!

Your post on fear has drawn heartfelt comments from dear friends whom I feel I have come to know a little better through the coming together on something that touches us all, thank you for that.

Sometimes I wake-up frightened not knowing why, like you my ritual is a lovely cup of tea, followed by a stretch in the front of my window being grateful for the beauty of it all. Next is my shower, water is magic it seems to wash all of the remaining fear away as I deep breath the steamy air.

Sue x

Beatnheart said...

I too sometimes (often) dwell in fear. It is a practice handed down to me by my mother who was so fearful her whole life. I could honestly say that about 99% of the stuff she worried about never happened but she spent most of her time thinking about this stuff. I worry about my husband too. every time he leaves the house..You know what they draw the things that you are thinking about to you. So nip these thoughts immediatly out of your mind. right away....! focus on what you want...If you think of sickness and poverty you’ll get those things.
This is for me as much as for you. Bright happy thoughts!!! new more day unfolds before you...go out and think and do what you want brought to you...

Ruth said...

Pity Sylvia Plath didn't have a hot bath instead of putting her head in the gas oven then - we might have had more of her wonderful poetry!

eb said...

how I thank you for this post!
I too dip into this cup
I too find comfort in these rituals
I too love the sharing in the comments
I find that yoga helps me most
this daily discipline...

so enjoyed my visit here,
xox - eb.

amelia said...

You are so not alone in these fears.

Believe it or not, I find cleaning my house helps me through almost anything...

Fran aka Redondowriter said...

My own post a few days ago was about fear so I can identify with what you write. I love your blog, your photos, your words. Our daily rituals are what keep us sane, I sometimes think. Two of my own are waking and laying in bed saying thank you repeatedly and then asking for guidance throughout the day. Another is at least beginning to pray a rosary as I fall asleep. It doesn't take long to fall asleep when I do that--and forever when I don't.

"She seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if she had surprised a butterfly in the Winter woods"
(edith wharton)