For to be free is not to merely cast off one's chains,
but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
- Nelson Mandela -

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Ups and Downs

I need to sit down and empty my head into my blog. Writing can be so therapeutical, because it helps me untangle my thoughts and feelings. I need to do the same with myself as what I’ve written on the notice board in the kitchen for the house: De-clutter, Make Space.
Our pace of life has suddenly changed and I am finding it a big challenge not to panic and not to rush into things. To stay in control, but at the same time in balance. To actually allow all those thoughts and feelings and accept that the seemingly opposite ones can exist simultaneously. In my family and even in myself.
Myrna is full of faith, but lacking patience. Owen is on the verge of a depression and tends to withdraw even more than usual. AL is insecure, nervous about what this means to her future. Ken, bless him, is determined that the house by the river is ours, but worries about our financial situation.
And I recognise all of that, and more, in myself.

Over the years I have learned to trust my first impulses.
And my first impulse when I heard that we’d have to leave our house was: Faith. I know we are going to be alright. We are loved and cared for and we deserve abundance.
That first impulse was reflected by instantly empowering responses. So much support and help from all sides. That house with our name on it, calling out to us. Good people, friendly people. Magic all around us. Without any certainties whatsoever I still felt strong.
Power, Faith, Love.
I’ve saturated my heart and soul with it and imbedded it in my Being.
And Gratitude.
I am overflowing with the feeling of being truly Blessed.

At the same time I am as human as can be.
As time goes by I am experiencing doubt and despair. My head is buzzing with all kinds of questions: Is this not just too good to be true? Am I really deserving to have such a beautiful house in such a beautiful spot? What if we can’t afford the rent? O my goodness, what if we can’t get that house, where are we going to end up? It has taken us such a long time to settle here, for the children to find friends and activities they like, what if we have to uproot all that again? What if... What if...
Also, I realise that all this is happening after I made a conscious decision to ‘come out of my hiding hole and connect with the outside world again’. One side of me is recognising that everything around me is now engaging to make that step possible and real, the other side is wondering if it wouldn’t have been better for all of us to just stay holed up. But there’s no going back.

It doesn’t help that my body has sort of decided it will not be helpful with any physical work. My rheumatism is at a new low and a couple of weeks ago I’ve made the big decision to see our doctor and ask if I can get some help in managing the pain. It was good to talk to him. He took new blood samples to check the level of rheumatoid factors and inflammation. Also, he suggested I’d maybe do a little less working, maybe even apply for DLA for myself, to be able to concentrate on the other demands in my life. He is and always had been very supportive of our home education and appreciates the efforts we put into it. I realise that having him for a doctor is one of the many things to be grateful for.

I suppose the biggest challenge for me personally now is, not to go into fighting mode. And while I’m typing this down I realise that that’s exactly what the past four years have been about. About discovering just how much you can ‘achieve’ and ‘learn’ by just staying in the flow. The peaceful space that surrounds us here has helped us discover the peaceful space within ourselves. And from that inner peace we were able to find our inner strength. And now, from that inner peace and strength, we’ll be able to find our way in the outer world. Without having to fight, without having to go against what we feel is best for us.

The words my dear sister gave me a couple of days ago are becoming more meaningful with the minute. I have contemplated them, meditated on them and they are now the mantra of my heart and soul.


The first two lines were not too hard to understand and integrate. Although I obviously constantly need to repeat them to myself. But I’d already made the picture of the ‘new’ house the background on my desktop and I was waking up in the mornings thinking I was already there.
Trust the process is, to me, all about allowing everything that’s going through my mind to do just that. Trusting that things are happening to make sure that the very best thing for us will come out eventually. And even trusting myself to make the right choices at the right time.
But doing nothing, that to me seemed quite impossible. Would I have to sit still and just wait and see what happened? I am such a strong believer in taking responsibility for your own life. Also, I am a control freak. How can I do nothing?
But I now realise that ‘Do Nothing’ should be seen in the Buddhist way. I shouldn’t do anything that blocks the vision. I shouldn’t do anything that interferes with the process. I think my task now is to tune myself completely into the vision and the process and do absolutely nothing that ‘feels’ unnatural, forced, out of the flow.
I need to stay in touch with that inner strength and peace, that allowed us to grow towards where we are now. I need to stay in the natural flow of that.
Of course I can do things. I can make sure that I know all there is to know about our right to stay in this house until we’ve got a suitable new place. I can do everything within my natural power to ensure a stable financial situation, which might include going for that DLA.
I can arrange to see the owners of the house by the river and make sure they know how wonderful it would be to have us as tenants.
I can start de-cluttering this house, do more clearing out, make sure that the children are involved in a positive way without having to miss out too much on their usual routines and activities.
I can finish the book I’m translating as soon as possible, so that we’ll have a bit more of the much needed money...
There’s so much I can actually do, and still do nothing.


Ruth said...

I feel a bit like you. We are on the cusp of monumental changes and I worry - can we afford it, what if it doesn't work out, will I get as ill again as I was 3 months ago? I love your sisters saying. It is so true.


'EF' said...

This is an important post...I started to read it earlier and wanted to give it my full attention but couldn't (you read my post so you know about me turning into Basil Fawlty;) I came back to read the rest now.

You are handling this really well, I reckon. And your example is inspiring. It probably is a good idea to see if you have the rights to stay longer where you are until you find what you need. I bristle at the thought of them thinking they can just expect a family to up sticks and move..even a few months notice seems a bit pushy in this 'day and age'...what is their urgency after all?

Speaking to the owners of the house by the river is an excellent idea. If you move in soon then they will just be getting to know their lovely new tenants asap...and if it is not going to be then at least you'll know'll probably be able to tell what chances you have with the owners by speaking to them from the heart.

Main thing of course is to keep breathing well...and crying if you have to. I'm not exactly giving you advice, but am thinking about how I would get through.....I feel a bit like Ruth and see a lot of similarities with our situation..even though we are not having to move..I often wonder how it will be when we do. I had to tell Willow today that while I know this is his dream house..that it doesn't belong to us (what does really?) and that we must be in the moment and love love love for all we are worth :)

With money..I just simply don't know how we do it..all I know is that we can always spend less - somehow.

I hope all goes well for you during this time of transition :)

Anonymous said...

I love the mantra :0)

Best wishes

Lisa said...

Hi Mieke you and your lovely family deserve to have the house of your dreams. If you need help with DLA I know someone who is very good at helping people get what they are entitled to.

Mieke said...

Yes, to me this was also a very important post, EF. When it was finished I read it back and thought 'gosh, did I just write that?' It's good to notice that the words resonate with others, too. I read somewhere 'breathe in, breathe out... as long as you can do that, all the rest is extra.'

Ruth, you're in my thoughts a lot, I am sending you lots of strength, good health and good fortune.

Glad you like it too, Amanda :), may it bring you and many others the same positive insights as it brought me.

Lisa, thanks for your offer, I'll be in touch with you as soon as I have a little more time. I'm preparing things, gathering info and all that, but my priority at the mo is finishing my work, the book I'm doing. After that I've got my head, hands and time free to really go for all the other things.

Hugs to you all and thanks for your comments!

shukr said...

Want to comment, but nothing that really seems fit to say...
I'm in the middle of a sort of swirl here too, but feels like it is beginning to settle.
So, change and the weaving of the tapestry of life is going on for all I guess! and really, it is *all* the time, just we only notice it when there are bigger events iykwim!?

Dawniy said...

just mind blowing babes , i can't even cope with the mundane , so I am in awe of your calm resolve and control. xx

Jackie said...

Oh Mieke, I only just got round to reading the entire post (having been digesting the mantra for days LOL) and it's wonderful!
Love the house too! 'Ours' is modern :0( but in nearly as nice a spot!
That's yours, that house! LOL

Anonymous said...

Hi, I found your blog by accident through the vegan family post you left.
My partner and I were in a similar position in February of this year - we were renting our dream cottage and suddenly it was put on the market from under us. We went through all the range of emotions, anger , frustration, fear - you name it - but we held tight searched for what we wanted, tried not to kill one another in the meantime - found the extra money somehow and moved into a new house to start a new life. So scary when it is out of your control - but I wanted to send you my wishes that is will work out and somehow be better than before. It is for us now.

Mieke said...

Thank you, Janeygirl! After a dreadful day of house hunting and the news that there is somebody above us on the list for this house by the river your comment really cheered me up and brought a smile back on face!