Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Not the end.

Maybe my favorite photo ever and one of the top sweet moments of a lifetime.

I have avoided writing this post because it signifies the end of my adventure in Asia. And while I am completely ready to be here in Cincinnati to enjoy/endure the journey to the end of my sweet mother's life, I am completely unready to let go of JANUARY 2013. That's all caps because it deserves it, every last second of it.

Theoretically, we take healing journeys to understand something about ourselves so we can more fully enjoy the world we live in. Right? So a successful adventure in, say, Cambodia and Bali, is a part of a continuum of juiced up living experiences that we can fall back into whenever we need of dose of lovely inspiration. Right?

So as I take teeny tiny little steps from my car to my house so I don't fall on the ice that has formed on the sidewalk because it is FREEZING outside, rather than succumb to frustration and regret I can skootch my way into my perfectly warm house, sit in my comfy chair, and look at my Dream Catcher that the beautiful mums at Sacred Childhoods made. And that might lead me into ...

Riding from Ubud with Jessie and Sarah and Liz, learning about Sacred Childhood's work with mums in the slums, hearing about how Wayan and her young son Agus were recently diagnosed HIV positive. How they hoped Wayan had contracted it (via her abusive and often missing husband) after her two older daughters were born as they had yet to be tested. 

And how when we arrive the ladies cleared the small space of dream catchers and fairy wings so I could offer them some things to help their bodies feel better and ways for them to share energy with each other. 

And how after I started putting my hands on the women, they went to gather children, Agus in his super hero shirt included, and how the children, the tiny children, surrendered themselves to me in a way I had never experienced and can't really even think about without crying.

And how no matter what, we all have something to give if we just show up.

Or when I slap the cable TV remote control into the palm of my hand for the 800th time rather than replace the stupid thing because I cannot quickly enough get to the re-runs of "my shows" that I  did not miss one bit while on the road for a month sans television, I can instead recall ...

Standing in the courtyard of Transitions' Dream Home, one of the girls shows me her notebook full of lyrics of popular American songs and proceeds to sing to me, sweeter than Celine Dion ever dreamed possible.

Far across the distance
And spaces between us
You have come to show you go on
Near, far, wherever you are
I believe that the heart does go on

There are a hundred more moments.

A Balinese taxi driver cupping a butterfly in the palm of his hands. Talking to a beautiful young woman who lost her mom last April. Staring into a terraced rice mountain/field trying to get a visual handle on the beauty with new friends. Sitting on a bench at the Killing Fields, learning about how a young, educated Cambodian woman processes this staggering human loss. Watching a Transitions' house mom wipe away tears as she reads a thank you note from one of the girls about how important she is. Seeing a day-old baby get his first bath in a free clinic for Balinese moms.

All of this has prepared me to be 100% present to new moments of beauty.

My mom's bald head and gorgeous blue eyes. Enjoying Capoeira with new and old friends. My son, happy. My dad, well.

The only thing I can offer to you is to suggest that the next time you travel, find a way to get off the beach or the mountain and spend a little time volunteering or learning about an NGO or non-profit in a new place. It is amazing how much we can do and how much we get back if we just show up.

Dream catcher materials!

Mums name their workshop space.

You have to understand that hair does weird stuff in hot tropics.


Gathering for a True Body workshop.
Agus. My little love.
Sweetest little girl ever.

We learn how GOOD it feels when someone "has your back."

The gang at Sacred Childhoods Mums in Slums program.

Explaining about my hair. No, really, explaining how heavy the skull is. :)