To this point, it has been a productive day. I have prayed, read the weekend paper, had telephone conversations with two of my adult offspring, spoken with our oldest granddaughter to wish her a happy birthday, seasoned my new stainless steel frying pan with coconut oil, pottered in the garden, picked fresh organic produce, planted new seedlings, directed the grey washing water to places it is needed, pegged three loads of washing in the beautiful sunshine, began to sand the little, old timber table which I am preparing to marine varnish, had a long and lovely shower and completed 30 minutes of mindful body scan meditation.
As I was doing all this, I could not help thinking that I love my life, I love my husband, I love our home and I love the garden, I love my family and the many beautiful people who enrich my life in countless ways. I know I am blessed and I am filled with gratitude. But it has not always been so. I have had my share of pain, heartache, difficulties and poverty. I have felt abandoned, insecure, uncertain and lost.
I am going to share with you two things which contributed to changing my life. Of course, there are more than two because I know life is a complex conglomeration of many aspects but sometimes small changes can have long and lasting impacts.
Firstly I decided to change my thinking from; why don’t I have the things that I would like, to liking the things I already have. Turning this thinking on its head made, and continues to make, a huge difference to life everyday.
And secondly, I decided to be completely comfortable with who I am, imperfections and all. This one is a little more difficult to master as it is not a get out of jail free card which eliminates any responsibility to continue to learn and grow nor does it set up some sort of pretext for the arrogance that there is nothing to improve. However being able to find, accept and like oneself, warts and all, is the foundation of personal growth.
In my mid 40s, I began a practice of visualisation, whereby I would visualise what I wanted to be like at 50. What sort of person did I want to be? How healthy? How active? How interesting? How loving? How wise? Because whatever that person was going to be, I needed to start the process now. Through my 50s , I would visualise myself at 60 and now I am doing so for 70.
I wrote this poem in those days of uncertainty.
The Apparition. A poem by Estelle D.
Appearing through the mists of uncertainty, An apparition comes to me. A woman, moving silently, Steady in her pace, Total self acceptance written on her face. Glowing richly in peace and love, Moving fluidly with patience and grace. She beckons me with arms outstretched, Holding forth her treasure, Whispers, this too can be yours, But you must love yourself, Even with your flaws. As she fades into the mist, I sense, I am not alone, There lingers her fragrance still, In the clarity of certainty, I realise, It is my own. Poetry by Estelle D. Copyright © 1996