Tuesday, May 15, 2012

April Showers, May Flowers

My front yard (zen garden)
"Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."--Steve Jobs

 It's funny that I recently made a post about keeping things in balance, because even more recently all my calm, cool collected "balance" went right out the window.  It was like the universe decided to throw my words in my face.

 April brought storms--illness, injury, death, as well as dark times for several people I love dearly.  As if that weren't enough, my wife and I suddenly found ourselves in need of a new apartment after six lovely rent controlled years and a heavenly landlord.  Being pushed into the reality of a hellish San Francisco market was an eye opener:  not just how expensive things have gotten in recent years, but that there is hardly anything even available.

"Squee" and "Funger" at STUDIO Gallery SF
I allowed stress and resentment and fear to replace the open flow of love in my heart.  And selfishness, too, because in a relative sense my life overflows with blessings and abundance, and after several weeks of "one thing after another"--even a classic SF parking ticket moment-- I started feeling negative towards everything and nothing was bringing me any joy.  I found myself not "being there" for people in my life, and focusing on the loss of MY home, MY creative space, MY silly little "zen garden."  ME ME ME!!! Such an ugly way to be.

And yet there were plenty of "good" things going on in my creative endeavors.  I was honored to have two pieces selected for the SFetsy Team show at STUDIO Gallery SF.  Also received and completed a custom requests for a kitschy, cute Andy Warhol sculpture, and completed none other than the one and only GODZILLA!!! (I loved Godzilla as a kid, and "monsters" have been a big part of what I have done with needle felting/soft sculpture.)  

Godzilla, not the scariest monster of April, 2012!
But the EGO whined as other projects got shoved aside by necessity.  I resented the demands on my limited free time, and the daily open houses and apartment viewings started filling me with the doomed resignation that the only homes available in SF in our price range were cracker boxes opening to hallways reeking of cat pee.

 Things got better. . .flu went away, shoulder healed remarkably fast, friends and loved ones landed on their feet.  I did not get derailed from my work or my yoga practice, but I was not allowing them to ground me, and uncertainty about the future and my petty resentment about having to move left me feeling dark in a way I haven't really felt since I embarked on a path of intentional personal transformation just a little over three years ago. 

Warhol "In The Soup"
I always thought the saying "April showers bring May flowers" was about the weather.  May did bring some glorious warm sunshine, and stepping off the apartment-hunt treadmill for a moment and just laying in the sun seemed to help restore me a little.  Then during a heart-opening series at my kundalini class, I had one of the most intense visionary experiences of my life.  Finally, the next day while washing the shit and twigs from a several pounds of raw wool, I felt the clouds inside me break open, and real sun shine into my heart. I regained a sense of perspective, and simply felt present in the moment again, deeply aware that I have everything I need already: love, life, friends, family and an amazing wife.  Anything else is just a bonus.

Two days later, we learned we were selected out of nearly seventy applicants for a dream apartment (the only one of its kind we saw in four solid weeks of looking). . .one that had exactly what we needed for our personal goals related to health, diet, friendship and creativity in a way that our old apartment was not very conducive to. 

Well lighted spaces for painting and felting, a large kitchen to cook at home more and to start making our own kombucha, a better space for guests, perfect location for work. . . and while I'll miss my little sidewalk "zen garden" that I've nurtured, after expressing so much resentment at losing it, I'm utterly humbled that the universe has in its place given me an entire patio flower garden our new building owner is happy to let me tend!!!  It was as though I just need to get ME out of the way so good things could happen.

April's cumulative challenges were truly minor in the big picture of what can befall a person, and I dealt with them poorly--like a petulant child, really.  Life will inevitably bring bigger challenges in the future and hopefully I'm more able to be grateful for the showers while they are happening, trusting that inevitably they will bring flowers.

No comments:

Post a Comment