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Archive for the ‘The In-Between’ Category

There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in. Leonard Cohen

I was reading through something I had written a year ago and was struck by the clarity, the depth, and the authenticity of it.

At the time I didn’t feel clear at all.  The words just fell onto the page and I just left them, too tired to “fix” them so they were “pretty and sparkly” (aka- perfect).  I have been reminded recently that the more I try to control things, to rearrange them to fit what I “think” they should be- the more frustrated, overwhelmed and overstimulated I get- and the less clear things are.

It reminded me too, that if we allow ourselves the space and the safety to be brave, to be honest, to be open we often have the wisdom within us to find that next step.  Even when we are swirling in the midst of chaos, if we are able to breathe deeply and tap into the core of our being, the Divine spark within us that knows that where we are is where we need to be will guide us there, one step at a time.

I am slowly remembering (again) to release my death grip on control and perfectionism and see the beauty in the process, in the midst of the In-Between.

So to my heart I vow:

I am no longer waiting to see the beauty until it is all cleaned up and sanitized accordingly- but instead see the beauty in the midst of the pain seeking the raw power of a vulnerable heart.

I am trusting in the process to be the important part, not the moment where you survey your work at the end of your life, instead the living the depth of it in the midst of it.

I am willing to believe that we can become strong in the broken places- and that light shines through in the cracks of our foundations and THAT can be beautiful.

I can give myself the same grace and forgiveness that I offer to others, and to surround myself with people who remind me when I forget.

To let these words apply to me too, not just everyone else:

We’re all stumbling towards the light with varying degrees of grace at any given moment.

Bo Lozoff

To remember even the process is beautiful.

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Christmas Light

A friend of mine wrote this prayer when she was looking for the words to soothe an aching heart and couldn’t find them.

Sometimes that is how the In-Between is… we may find what we need in other people, other’s words, and sometimes we need to write it ourselves, to seek our own healing, to seek our own inner wisdom, to take time to search for the hope held deep within ourselves.

Wherever you are in your In-Between may you find peace, may you find rest for the restless nights, may you find light in the midst of darkness, may you hold yourself gently as you navigate your journey.

May the God of unconditional love surround those that are hurting this Advent season. Loss of jobs, loss of loved ones, and loss of relationships can lead into a loss of hope. Help us to nurture the traditions that heal while creating new ways to honor those not physically present this year. As we fill our hearts with the songs of the season, fill our hearts with gentle compassion for the ones finding it hard to prepare for a Silent Night.

Amen.

~ Alison Feigh

 

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A few of my loyal fans

Hard at work signing away!

This weekend was my first book signing at The Coffee Shop in my hometown and so many of  my loyal fans stopped by to share their love and support.  It was so much fun to have so many of my friends and family making a long journey (even through our first snowstorm of the winter!) to share the day with me.  There were people from all parts of my life and as far away as Colorado!  The journey to this day has been an amazing one, full of the depths of pain and loss and the heights of love overflowing and grace- and to be able to spend the day in celebration, sharing good coffee, good food, good conversation and lots of hugs was such a gift.

People kept streaming in, showing up with hugs, smiles and well wishes and it was such a reminder to me that there are so many people that are willing to celebrate with us, to share success, to support and to guide us through our lives.  More often than not it is just a matter of extending the invitation.  These are the same people who gathered me in love and held me as my life shattered and now they are coming to celebrate the weaving together of the broken pieces, sharing the journey in large and small ways.

I have gotten letters in the mail, phone calls, prayers, messages on my Facebook, on my blog, and special gifts that are constant reminders that we are held in so much love, even when we can’t see it or feel it.  I have made it a practice to collect these magical moments to help me remember when the sadness creeps in, or when the love and support feel further away.  Cards on my fridge, moments captured in my journal to read over when I need that reminder of all the support that surrounds me, a list of gifts that I add to every day to remind myself to stop and be thankful for all the gifts that surround me.  All of these things have enabled me to be strong in the broken places, to remind myself of who I am when I have forgotten and to share the same support with others who need it.  And that is really what the book was created to do, to be that gift, to be that voice, to share what I have been given.

After the official festivities were over I had invited everyone over to my house for food, conversation and fun.  When I was in the other room getting the leaf to put in the table I stopped for just a minute and I heard the comingling of voices, the intermittent bursts of laughter, the voices I could instantly recognize and I just sat there for a minute taking it all in… this is my home that they are filling with love, this is my book signing party surrounded by all of my favorite people and what just kept on rolling over and over in my head was the phrase- “This is what love sounds like.”

Indeed this is what love sounds like.

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Mitch and Daniel (one of my favorite pictures)

So these past few weeks with getting the books, starting the disseminating and sharing all of them has been amazing, powerful, overwhelming and lots of FUN!

People are sharing their stories of their response when they first read the book, letting me know their thoughts, letting me know they are proud of me for realizing a dream, telling me who they are going to get the book for and my personal favorite- I have been getting lots of great hugs!

A few of my favorite moments so far:

* At my celebration dinner after my first book signing our waiter turned to me and said softly “Wow, you are an author, that is amazing.  Do you know how amazing that is?  Can I touch it?”  And when I laughed and said, “Of course”, he took my creation, my baby in his hands with such reverence.  Here was this young man who didn’t even know me, but who wanted to celebrate, who wanted to share in a magical moment.

* Getting phone calls of people who are so touched by the book that they simply cry instead of speak, both of us knowing sometimes that words are simply inadequate.

* Seeing people’s smiles as they come up to give me a hug.

* Not being able to finish a meeting at the Coffee Shop because everyone was stopping by to say congratulations.

* Being able to have something in common with so many that is positive.

For so long after Mitch died it seemed that there was this immense outpouring of love and compassion, but the empty space was still there and the love that was given simply echoed in the emptiness.  People were coming by to give hugs, love and support, yet there was an air of sadness and a heaviness that was so pervasive.  With this it is so different.  It is a celebration of a dream reached, there is a lightness, a sense of hope, there is an electricity that is contagious.

A warning to those of you who are stepping forward in bravery- chasing down and achieving dreams is addictive!  The way this book became a reality was by setting little goals that ultimately led to this goal of holding my book in my hands.  And since I am still riding high on completing that one I want to set another goal.  I know the best way to achieve a goal is by telling people about it, people that can hold you accountable, people that can help you achieve it.  So here it is, what I haven’t even allowed myself to voice out loud yet.

By August 7th of 2012 I want to have sold 10,000 books. 

2 reasons:

A large part of who I am is because I am a Minnesotan and as everyone knows Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes.  Thus 10,000 seems like a fitting number.

August 7th of 2007 is the day we lost Mitch, and I know to the depths of my toes that he would have been my biggest cheerleader in this effort.

One of his favorite songs was Imagine by John Lennon, and it seems fitting to set a lofty goal in his honor.  Mitchell was a dreamer, a large heart in a lanky body that loved hard and lived fast.  He would approve of me doing something that scared me, that stepped me out of my comfort zone.  He was constantly pushing the limits of life, in true boy fashion he was drawn to anything that had wheels and could go faster than your mother would approve of and he was forever encouraging me to stop caring so much what others thought.  “Erica- just live your life the way you want to.”  So this is what I want, and I am going to drive fast and stop asking questions that get in the way of achieving dreams.

Another lesson I have learned along the way, you don’t always have to know the how, you just have to have the desire.   I have found when it is right for me, when it is in service to the greater good, to my purpose here on earth it just unfolds.  As long as I continue to show up, work hard and listen to that little voice of love that I hold inside my heart things work out and the next step appears.

I also know that in living out the question I will get my answers.

So how will I get to 10,000?  I have a feeling that will be where the magic happens, where hard work on my part meets Divine inspiration and perfect placement.  Where by releasing my best work into the world it will find it’s own way on it’s merits and a little help from my friends. Already it has begun to do what I have hoped from the beginning… after people get it, they read it and realize, oh wow, this applies to my mom, my friend, my sister, my aunt… because the truth of the matter is that there are so many times we are in the In-Between… healing, learning, loving, hurting, falling, rising, and growing… and this speaks to that place.

So if you are willing to help out please share this post, this book, this blog, this Facebook page.

And if you want to find out more about the book go here.

 

And if you have read it, if you have shared it with  others I would love to hear your responses, your thoughts… by far that has been the best part of releasing this dream into the world… hearing how it has touched others.  Leave your comments down below, or on the Facebook page, or by e-mail- compassioninallthings at gmail.com

Thank you for filling me up with your love, my heart is full to overflowing.

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Leaves and Light

All too often when we are in the midst of deep pain we stop.

We stop breathing, we stop hoping, we stop wishing, wanting… the only thing it feels that won’t stop are the tears and the darkness that surrounds us.

And yet, there is a piece of us that always, even in the midst of the darkest night stretches out for that light, for that hope, for that deep breath. But at times that peace and certainty of a new tomorrow feels so far away.

When we are in the mist of chaos and pain our focus narrows, it becomes laser-like focusing only on the pain and darkness.  We feel like this moment is the only moment that exists… and when we are knee deep in blessings, full of laughter and surrounded by joy we want to swim in it, we don’t ever want it to end… and there are the other times… these moments when we stop.  We contract, we don’t allow anything in or out and the pain stretches out beyond what we can see.

It is those times we need to be reminded:

This isn’t the end of the story.

Often this is a new beginning, but it is important to honor the ending.

This pain won’t be this intense forever.

This hurt won’t last.

We will keep breathing, our hearts will keep beating.

It takes a skillful hand and heart to allow us to feel deeply the hurt, the pain, but yet hold this awareness.  In those times we are desperate to hear those words- “it will get better,” “it won’t always be like this,” “just give it time”- … but not at the expense of belittling where we are… it is a delicate balance… this place of accepting where you are, and knowing you won’t be there forever.  This balance of honoring the pain, the past, and stepping into a new future.

Nature does this so skillfully reminding us that we are constantly changing, unfolding, becoming, expanding and contracting.

This why I wrote the In-Between.

To be that voice, to help navigate the delicate balance between accepting where you are and knowing that this isn’t the end of your story.

Because this isn’t the end of your story.

 

 

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