Monday, March 22, 2010

my challenge is met!

the ocean in a store window from 'Nocturne Halifax'.

Good Monday Morning Readers!
Today it is misty moisty here after a glorious spring break for the kids - I can feel the doom in their hearts as they go back to the last months of unrelenting RULES and ENCLOSURE. Uck...I hated school. I suppose I shouldn't think everyone does and in fact, I know not everyone does. But man oh man, I did.

Friday's challenge was to find five of your supports for whatever mission you are on, be it writer, householder, parent, spiritual seeker, painter, gardener, etc... So here are my five.
Step-dot holding shrine hen & Kerol at Shambhala Day.

1. Love and Friendship - my family, all of them, are very supportive of whatever venture or adventure I am up to. My Dad, in particular, believes that I can be whoever I wish to be. My sister is an amazing cheerer for whatever I get up to. My dear sweet guy, Ron, just smiles at the corners of his eyes when I say 'time to get an accordion' or 'sorry, I don't have much to offer in terms of $ - I need to work on my book'. My two boys and my grandchildren seem genuinely pleased to have a slightly eccentric ma and grandma.My step-kids looked at me with renewed interest when I took them to their very first play which happened to be one I'd written and directed. It is hard being cool enough for step-children but once in awhile I get there. My dear friends, the best friends in the world, don't hesitate to tell me that they love my writing or my photography and boost me to whoever they want to. Without all this glorious support, trying to be an artist in an unfriendly environment would be impossible.

2. Nature - I've said this a zillion times on this blog - nature is my drug of choice. Whenever I am depressed, down or confused, I take myself for a walk in this beautiful world. It heals me. Trees in particular and the vastness of the ocean calm me.

3. Walking - I believe we humans are meant to be on the move. When I am stuck - I need to move - combining it with nature - walking is the best. The rythym of my steps, the endorphins released into my blood stream, the practice of clearing my mind - these are crucial to my art and purpose.It is good for me to remember that although I have a mind - I also have a body that is one with that mind - and both need both to operate.

4. Meditating - meditating is like drinking cool spring water - sometimes I long for it - sometimes I forget how good it is - but it is always there. Stillness, taming the mind and quietening the voices that tell me I'm not good enough. Hoagy, my dear dog, has taken to meditating with me. I say 'want to go practice' and he jumps up and waggles his tail and goes up stairs with me. I sit on my cushion, he sits beside me. He doesn't last long in an upright posture I'm afraid but he's new so I forgive his deep sighs and collapse to the floor. It is nice to have a sentient being beside me when I do my chants.

5. Discipline - my discipline is deeply satisfying. It has become a source of joy over the last few years. I bend myself to it with gratitude as it always delivers the goods. Some folks might call it duty or settling under the harness but I call it liberation - freedom. I choose discipline and it gives me joy.

I promised a few people I would talk about Miksang - this is the contemplative practice of photography. Miksang means 'good eye' and this is a way of working with your mind so that the photos you take clearly express what you saw rather than conceptual mind. Please go to for lots of images and a description. Miksang is a totally joyous way to create art.


Ann said...

What a terrific list of supports and supporters. When I need to calm my mind and my spirit a walk on the strand, breathing in the salt air is where I head. The sea is my place of solace.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Congrats on meeting your challenge. Love and Friendshop would be first on my supports list, too.

Jan Morrison said...

Ann - isn't the strand what you call the beach in Ireland? Tell me more...!
Jane - thanks - no point in putting them out there if I'm not going to try them myself if figure. I did find it helpful to consider my supports - and definitely my connections are number one!

Jemi Fraser said...

Really, really good list - love it! Congrats on meeting that challenge :)

Blending Families said...

Congratulations on meeting the great challenge. You are lucky to have the love and support of your family and friends. Some blending families are not as lucky as you are.

Anonymous said...

cant stop to chat -
I am off to see what miksang is about

Jan Morrison said...

Jemi - thanks! You have a tonne of creativity - I look forward to seeing what you get up to next!
Hi Emily from Blended Families - thanks for dropping by. I'm not LUCKY! I didn't fall into a perfect set-up but I did choose to partner with a father of two kids (7 & 9 when I met them) when my own kids had been gone from my home for over ten years. We had lots of stuff to work out and like you I'm a therapist and specialize in teenagers so I thought I knew lots. HA! Luck, however, has nothing to do with it - more like Pluck, Persistance, Patience and a few more p words. I'll drop by your site.
Denise - hope you like what you find!

Watery Tart said...

How wonderful to know so clearly what your supports are, and to have them be so profound! Was the play, Death, a Musical? I LOVE that title! I think you're extremely hip, but I hear the insecurity with the step kids--my kids don't realize I'm cool either--I've given them dozens of testaments, but they still are pretty sure I'm insane.

Jan Morrison said...

Hi Tartlett - yep - the title was Death, the Musical - kaereoke at the After-Life Bar & Grill. Yes, one's kids are like one's parents it seems - they only brag about you when you can't hear them!