Breaking Trail

skiisThe New Year is almost here and with it comes hopes for fresh resolutions and improvements in our ways of being and communicating with those we love. During a conversation with one of my sons a few nights before Christmas, I realized I had fallen back into the old pattern of feeling left out, like the victim I was as a child. I asked him indirectly for my needs to be met. He called me on it, and the air felt electric between us. I didn’t like my reaction, but it was familiar.

The next morning I called a friend and explained how the incident had resurrected memories of feeling excluded as a child. She said in a gentle voice, “Well, I think you might want to consider the fact that you are at choice here. You can choose to revert to the old place of victim, or you can choose a new way of being in relation to what is really his issue.”

This brought me up short. The words chaffed uncomfortably inside of me, but I knew they were spoken from love and that they carried deep wisdom. I thanked her and went for a cross-country ski by myself.

I followed the tracks of the only other skier mixed with those of walkers or snow-shoers. The snow was cold and my skies glided nicely next to the existing tracks. I noticed voices chiding inside me: “You’re making a very crooked line. What will others think when they follow behind you? Quit meandering all over the place. You’ll make it hard for them.”

I stopped in my own tracks, seething with the impertinence of all these chattering voices. I inhaled deeply and blew a full body, audible shudder all the way through my outstretched arms and uplifted head. The pine tree above me quaked. I looked at the other trees nearby, thinking a breeze must have swept through at that very moment. But the others were still. What synchronicity! I blew again, sure that my breath must have reached the branch six feet above me, but it didn’t move. Had the energy of my release really been mirrored in that tree?

A flash of insight hit me like a clump of snow from the branch. I shivered with the realization; if I dare to leave the familiar track of whatever is my habit of mind and heart, I am free to explore infinite possibilities. The familiar is like the narrow track of my skies. The unfamiliar is a mystery. As scary as it seems, it is filled with new ways of moving through life.

I left the old voices behind in my meandering tracks, and glided forward with the swish, swish of fresh tracks in snow.

What familiar habits do you want to leave behind?

May 2014 be fresh with the promise of breaking trail to your truth. 

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6 Responses to Breaking Trail

  1. Phyll says:

    Eileen, your words echo my thoughts. The familiar is like the narrow track of skies. The unfamiliar is a mystery—filled with new ways of moving through life. Perfect, especially to read and think about on New Year’s Eve. What adventures, changes and possibilities will the new year bring?

    For the first time in my life, I spent Christmas alone. No friends or family came over, and I didn’t even leave the house. The days leading up to Christmas were a bit prickly in that I knew I was going to be alone and bristled at the thought, had a little pity-party in my mind but, then, let it all go. Glad I did, too, for the day was spent chatting with friends & family on the phone, unwrapping a few presents, pumping out “Winter Wonderland” and other holiday tunes on the player piano and singing along, then, watching “Shall We Dance” with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers while enjoying a crackling fire and cuddling kitties on my lap. Not a bad way to spend the day.

    The presence of peonies is all around, as is the sweetness of snowflakes and sensuousness of the stars. They all shine brightly, their radiance felt, their beauty intact. Like all of Nature. We can learn a lesson or two from these sages. Follow their lead. Believe in our inherent goodness and know that love is all around. We ARE love. We are whole. We are all connected. The world is filled with enchanting possibilities. . . HAPPY NEW YEAR! ! !

    • Thanks Phyll for your beautiful comment. You are one courageous woman and I honor you for doing what was right for you over Christmas, and every day that you do going forward. Happy New Year to you!

  2. imlastof11 says:

    My own personal “pitty parties” Being motherless it is so very easy to get depressed, and for ever to get myself out of it. Its important for me to stop regroup set my small goals and move on. Realizing everyone has issues and mine are nothing to anyone but me. Happy New year means change, then usually some kind of growth and hoping I learned the lesson. My family has so many challenges I have to pick from, sons hand surgeries, other son fighting for visitation of his daughter, husbands work disrespectful, me trying to be what I never had ,a mother being a wife. But I keep smiling and chugging along with special people like Mrs Jefferson to give me the will to keep going. To remind me I am loved.

    • Dear Susan, you impress me with how resilient you are. Remember that the way through a feeling is to go into it. I know how when we’re sad we think we best ignore or push it away or we’ll be there forever, but I’ve found that if I give myself time to go inside and really feel whatever I’m feeling I come through the other side. It’s like the clouds crossing in front of the sun. It can feel cold when they block it, but it will be warm again. And so you can too. Wishing you healing and joy in the New Year. Eileen

      • imlastof11 says:

        Thank you so much for the kind words. Yes I understand the cloud and the sun , but its cold so often I forget about the sun sometimes. Thanks for not letting me get lost. As you can tell I haven’t had my Mrs J fix this week yet. She always reminds me I am someone weather its cloudy or sunny . You would think being the youngest of 11children I’d feel love and not lost.

  3. Matthew says:

    Eileen, your openess is such an inspiration. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I look forward to your emails. All the best

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