Surrendering to the Present Moment …for Parents, Caregivers and other Control-Freaks

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Wayne DyerI want to take a moment, before my post, to bid a fond farewell to the beloved Wayne Dyer who passed into the Great Beyond Sunday, Aug 30th, 2015, on the heels of a supermoon. I felt so shocked & saddened by the news… but I also feel a thrill for Wayne on his continued journey into the light. It makes me smile thinking of his reunion with his mom and with the father he never knew. Six years ago, Wayne gave me my first big break by endorsing my memoir and later inviting me on stage with him, in front of 1000 people! It was the first time I’d ever spoken to an audience… (here’s the short video his daughter Skye took of me~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0BjCw_uZdM.) I was a bundle of nerves, but I was also utterly inspired by Wayne’s belief in me. And I did it! He showed me I could. I’ll never forget him and the divine gifts he left behind. I love you, Wayne. God speed!

 

And now for my regularly scheduled program : )

“For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe. Larry Eisenberg

“For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe.” 

Oh if only I would.

It’s been an emotional month for my family. As a result, I’ve been wrestling with a personal delusion I’ve long clung to ~ the belief that somehow, through my own great love, effort and awareness, I can control my life, my husband’s life and my boys life so we’re all happy, healthy and safe. Forever.

Herein lies a big problemo.

What can I do (or stop doing) when darkness knocks on their door and I can’t make it go the hell away?

Just two months ago I was lounging in my wonderful friend Kimberly’s pool. Despite the grief surrounding my Dad’s passing, I felt some comfort believing that life wouldn’t dare hurt me again for a very long while. (I was wrong.) Nonetheless, I was soaking in the elation of a five day soul-o retreat while Kim was on vacation. The quiet time is an unimaginable, indescribable, spine-tingling joy. I’m in awe of this remedy back to myself and back to what matters.

The miracle . . . is being alive to it all. Even to the insects. I kid you not.

On my second day away, I decide to cool off in the pool. Immediately I see a beetle madly paddling in the blue. The desperate swimmer kinda draws me in. I grab a leaf from the side of the pool and let the beetle climb aboard. I deliver it to the warm cement and then turn around just in time to spot another bug. Sigh.

I rescue the other bug and transport it back to terra firma. And because in my glorious days of nothingness, I am free to do anything at all, I watch this bug. Closely. And you know what? It’s like opening the weirdest gift. I pinky swear.

I watch the bug lift her hair-thin arms and carefully clean her antennae, face and head. Then she balances on her arms and uses her wispy little legs to wipe every other part of her crunchy little form. From tip to stern, top to bottom, she shakes off her brush with death. She test pumps her caboose and then runs toward the grass. How do those teensy appendages work so perfectly?

To protect what is wild. Terry Tempest Williams

The next bug I bump into is a goner. I bring it to the side of the pool, anyway, so I don’t end up wearing it. It’s a sweet black beetle with two red polka dots on her back. I return to the blue for another bug I’d seen. This one has flatlined, too. But when I go to scrape it off my oak-helicopter, an antenna suddenly pops up from its previously slicked back position. Then an arm twitches and slowly swipes down along the antenna. The other antenna spoings forward.

Slowly, this miniature chlorinated creature begins to rejuvenate right before my eyes. Call me crazy, but it’s mesmerizing.

I start rooting for the bug.

Like the other critter, with great precision and rhythm, it brushes it’s little black hairs, over and over. It’s movements look almost . . . human. In a creepy-crawlie kinda way, of course. Still, it stops me cold.

surrender to love. Let it go

Then I notice that the reverse lady-bug with the red dots, who appeared dead as a doornail, is crawling across the cement. Whoa. I watch it check it’s wings for flight and then it buzzzzzes away.

Looking out across the pool, I’m now actually searching for victims to airlift. And I’m gigglesnorting. It feels a little ridiculous . . . but it’s fun being a bug bus.

Google tells me there are 10 quintillion (10,000,000,000,000,000,000) insects on earth. Seriously, that’s nineteen zeros. Why do we see insects as ‘pests’ when there would be no life here without them?

Stepping foot on planet earth means you’re gonna get seriously bugged. From every direction.

Recently, I heard myself whispering, “The world has gone half-crazy. How in heaven’s name do I keep my boys safe? Protect them from the struggles and the mountains of pain that humans face?”

Chaos is only an illusion. It's what you see when you can' t see far enough

Sunset at a recent BBQ at the lake. Whoa.

The only response, the truly sane, powerful and peaceful response, is letting go. Letting it all go.

Oh if only I could.

When life shocks and appalls me, my mind declares war. I armor up. Fears swarm around me in an exhausting and vigilant attack. To protect and defend. “I can fix this, I can solve this. It’s up to me, it’s up to ME!”

The truth is I am only in control of my response to life events, but I can’t duct tape the tides. I sometimes get these two subtleties confused.

I don’t always trust Grace to guide me. I rely on ME because it’s too scary to admit I don’t have control and that I’m just afraid of what lies ahead for me and the people I love. Eek.

 

So I let myself cry. And I pray. And I let go. And then I slowly recognize how far I’ve strayed from the power of the present moment. Those bugs slicking back their bristles. Getting on with life. Why can’t I?

In witnessing the mystery of those tiny beasts, I came alive, too. I saw beauty in something ugly. I felt compassion and awe. As I watched with full attention, I released the reigns that choke. I surrendered the idiocy of control. I remembered the glory and the simplicity of being a little bug bus.

At one point, I’d looked up from that pool and had seen this small pastel fire rainbow (in the photo.) Can my worries, even months later, compete with it?

Angels believe in you.Jan Phillips

See that lil pastel fire rainbow up there?

By allowing the vulnerability of being human, of brokenness, I gain the strength that lies behind it all. This gigantic life is not all up to me. The truth is sweet relief – fear doesn’t protect or pollinate. I gotta give up the urgency. The anguish. Give up the struggle. Give it all up.

Why?

So I can enjoy this walk on earth. So I can be present to it all. When I live with an open heart, I revive and reconnect to something bigger. Brighter. Wiser. Although I may try to grab back the throne & scepter tomorrow, I let ‘em go for now. I’m handing in my resignation (again) as controller of the cosmos.

It isn’t the events that drown us, it’s our fear that we cannot endure them, which leaves us out of breath.

Challenges and heartaches weren’t meant to be pests. They help us live with a brave heart and a greater capacity for love and acceptance. If the ‘lowly’ insects can see with an exceptionally wide-angled view, we can do it, too.

The choice is always there – to let what’s bugging us close our heart down OR to let adversity open our heart wider. Vulnerability brings the hard truth – this life is temporary and uncertain – but vulnerability can also bring the kind of joy that children feel. Delight still waits for us each day, even in the midst of despair. Especially then.

No matter how cold-hearted people can be, no matter how blindsided we’ve been, when we stand open in the present moment, the world is awash with wonders. A quintillion of them.

C’est la bee.

 

with love, 

and a deep bow to the mysteries,

❤ Julie

gosling 2 copy

Lil Goddess all grown up, beautiful (& flying like a pro!)

 

P.S. An update on Lil Goddess & our rescue mission (from my last post.) The whole Canadian goose family is doing well! Here are some photos and updates~

gosling foot 1 copy

Tears and punctures in her webbed foot. But they don’t stop her!

 

 

7 responses to “Surrendering to the Present Moment …for Parents, Caregivers and other Control-Freaks

  1. Hi Julie
    First of all, just wanted to let you know that my Website isn’t complete in case you look at the name I listen. Working at deciding how, when, and who, to complete it with. What I know for sure, I want and website and will complete it.

    Most important, I wanted to share that I just read your latest BLOG about the amazing bugs. Thank you for that. I was there with you observing every detail of the bugs from the picture you painted and your realization from the experience.

    Before that, I purchased your memoir and look forward to reading your story. You are bigger than an inspiration to me, but you are definitely that and so much more. You replenish and refill every positive part of me, the parts that need replenishing and refilling often. Thank you.

    Loved that Wayne Dyer was there for you. Now, I love him even more. He’s been in my life for many years—even though I’ve never met him in person—ever since he wrote Your Erroneous Zones. I read it back then and still own it. I didn’t expect he’d not be in my life for many years to come. I’m surprised and miss him.

    I look forward to receiving “Nothing Short Of Joy” and to know more about you even though I already know the best part—your beautiful, resilient, open, honest, vibrant and loving soul.

    Love,
    Kathryn

    • Julie Genovese

      Oh my goodness Kathryn THANK YOU! You honor me, earth angel O:) My memoir is whisking to you at this very moment! It was a joy getting to know you at the conference and I will never forget your openness, enthusiasm and passion for your work, your vision and for the people around you. You have such a loving and beautiful heart, which ROCKS!!!! Keep moving forward sistah! with much love and deep gratitude XOxoxoxoxox j

  2. Julie, You are such an inspiration! I just ordered your memoir. I have been wrestling with this very topic of being present in the moment so your words resonated deeply with me. I was right there with you watching those bugs. :-) My latest newsletter was about “The Fine Art of Doing Nothing” and you have reinforced what I’ve been thinking through this post. Im so happy I actually got to meet you at Women’s Visions Women’s Voices at Skidmore. Your beautiful spirit shines through your words and presence. Sending love and blessings your way. Kathy

    • Julie Genovese

      Kathy thank you! You are such a joy – and we are right on the same page :) Truly standing in the present moment offers such healing and reassurance – if only I could remember that more consistently! Do you have a link to your last post? I’d love to read it – in fact, I’ll go look on FB and see if it’s there. Sending you massive love bombs in this beautiful buggy world! xoxoxoxox

    • Julie Genovese

      Found your awesome post! And I’m laughing because I used the very same quote in my last post!”Don’t just do something, sit there.” So perfect!!! xoxoxoxox

  3. Now,that’s synchronicity, Julie, the best kind!! Thank you so much. So happy to have you along with me on my journey. xoxo

  4. Pingback: When Things Fall Apart: Learning to Lighten Up | Nothing Short Of Joy

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