Friday, December 3, 2010

Old War Wounds

Yesterday was a very interesting day in Student Clinic. I shadowed a practicing acupuncture student, for whom I have a lot of respect. Both patients yesterday were war veterans. The first, a Korean War Veteran, who will turn 81 next Thursday. The other patient was a Vietnam Veteran. Both are still profoundly affected by the experience of war, after all these years.

Our first patient was not new to me - I have observed treatments with him on a couple of occasions this semester. He is as I said almost 81. This past year has been a year of first for him, as he has tried to navigate life without his wife of many years. She died in January of this past year. It appears from his interviews that she was his world - the rock that held him together. And after all these years, he still suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

During yesterday's appointment, he discussed all the death that he has experienced among family members during the last 4 months of the year. He brought up his Father's death in November of the year he turned 7. He discussed deaths of aunts and uncles all in this timeframe. Then he said, "December is supposed to be so joyous, but for me it is not." I found this to be so profound - it seems as if all the terrors of war, he has internalized. I think he has probably "stuffed down" a lot of emotions and attributes his ability to cope to his beloved wife. Yet all these terrors and the sense of loss he tags onto the loss of loved ones. I'm sure it has been a difficult year for him. He's made many adjustments to learn to navigate life without his soulmate.

The second patient was a Navy Veteran from the Vietnam era. I was struck by how much that experience in his life defined him. He came in wearing a Navy baseball cap, a Vietnam Veteran belt buckle, T-shirt with a Navy ship and you would not believe the cell phone ringer....."ANCHOR'S AWAY" Full volume (when it rang in the treatment room). This is a man who came home from the war 40 years ago, yet he only sleeps a couple of hours at a time and his always "vigilant" to his surroundings. He says that he was relieved to finally be diagnosed with PSTD, because it gave hims some basis to work from. Before that - he thought he was just "an angry guy".

When he was asked about his daily routine, he said that he volunteered a lot. In my mind's eye, I was thinking "oh good - that's a positive thing". Then he said that his volunteer work sometimes gets him in trouble because he volunteers at the American Legion and the Elks Club. He likes to hang out there, "because there are people there like me, they are not normal - and I am not normal. These people understand me and I can talk to them." My hopes were dashed by this comment. I don't think he sees how much he keeps himself right in this place with how he's living his life.

My question to our instructor was, "How do you help someone move past this stuckness?" I think it is probably a tough thing to do - and I think that this beautiful human being is operating from the most comfortable place he can find in a chaotic world. He has no sense of himself and I guess our job as practitioners is to help him reconnect with HIMSELF - not with the person who served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. I have prayed for both of these men, that perhaps some sense of safety and peace will descend upon them this holiday season.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

He still loves me after all these years

In just a few weeks, I will be done with the semester at Southwest Acupuncture College and be heading home. For a few weeks in December, we have gratefully accepted an invitation from Pastor Kay to stay at her house. Yesterday, Roger and I received an email from her letting us know that a new mattress had been ordered for the guest bedroom. Roger replied with his thanks to her and further said, "With Malinda coming home, I would be sleep on the floor." Oh my gosh, what a LOVE!

We've been married twenty-four years this coming March. I feel that we are closer now than we have ever been. And as I reflect back over the years, I can't remember our first year of marriage being as difficult as these 5 months have been. Three months after we were married, Roger was sent to Korea with the Air Force. In their infinite wisdom, they left me to serve in Louisiana. There are huge differences in these periods of separation. In 1987, we had no internet or Skype or texting (or cell phones like today's) for that matter! In fact, I put him on a commercial flight out of Des Moines, Iowa, and had no idea how to contact him in mailing phone number - of course I knew I could always contact him through the Military or the Red Cross. But I just remember taking him to the airport and thinking, "Okay, I guess I'll see you, when I see you." And off he went! Of course, I shed about a gallon of tears, right there in the airport...but I guess at 22 years old you just pick yourself up by your boot straps and soldier on!

I can't remember really what I did to occupy my time, except I was working and I think I watched a lot of MTV. Nothing like this separation where I'm in school a maximum of 3 hours per day. The rest of the time, I'm sitting right here at the dining room table studying. I think I've lived a healthier life this time - I have tried to "care" for myself by cooking good foods. I've napped when I felt like I needed to nap and I've reflected on this time and that time in the past.

There are times when the distance really doesn't seem that far, thanks to our morning Instant Message sessions on Gmail. And I think Skype is a fabulous tool to stay connected...that is until you hang up and then it kind of hits home how much you're missing out on. I find this to be especially true when we have Skype'd at my sister's house. Roger will go there for dinner on a regular basis and we connect up. It makes me miss everyone so much - to see their smiling faces and to know that they have enjoyed each other's company for a few hours. Nighttime is the worst for me - instead of going to bed and falling asleep, that is when my brain wants to kick in. Initially it was all about feeling "safe". I had to check and re-check that I had locked the door. And then, I wondered if I had turned off the stove. " I need a drink" and all those other thoughts that the brain cycles through just to keep you awake. I still check the locks before I got to bed, but now the gymnastics that my brain is going through involve more thoughts about what is going on at home, what will the job market be like when I get there, will I go back to doing massage....what's Roger doing right at this instant? AND I have to admit, as annoying as it can be - I miss his "Darth Vader" breathing, right before he falls off to sleep.

So now, I'm counting down to the time when we are back in the same household. I feel like there is so much potential in our relationship and so many things that in the past I have taken for granted. Roger is my best friend, lover and rock. I only hope that he knows how thankful I am that all those years ago, he chose me. I love him with all my heart!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Changing Season

It will be interesting, look back on this experience and see how I've grown and changed. I have had a rare opportunity for the past 4 months to "get reacquainted with myself". I have spent a lot of time alone, ruminating and determining what is important to me. Opportunities have presented themselves to me to feel vulnerable and have made me cry; while other situations have shown me just how strong and independent I am. What will this whole experience look like six months from now?

I am so grateful to my best friend and husband. Without his support, both financially and emotionally this would never have happened. And I am so thankful to Ken & Jan Beane for allowing Roger to live with them while I have been away. Without these two beautiful people, this could never have happened. They have also been encouragement for the journey constantly telling me I could do it and how proud of me they are. The praise of being told how proud someone is of you, gets to me every time. I don't know why it makes me feel so weepy, but it stirs up something in my heart and pushes me ahead to do my best. The flip side of that coin is that I'm always concerned about doing something that would make me disappoint those that I love. This is a top concern in almost every decision I make and probably needs my attention and to be explored a little more.

Sitting here, looking at the Sangre de Christo mountains, I have had the opportunity to reflect on how it feels to live in a community where you are fairly well known. Indianola is a small enough place, it's not easy to be a stranger there. When we first moved there 13 years ago, I can remember going into places and people turning around and looking. This was apparently very disconcerting to Roger (initially). He would bristle, his posture would change and perhaps even his breathing would become more rapid. He said to me, "Why are they looking at they want to fight?" Oh Lord No!!! I told him that in my town, they where trying to place him with a family, "I think he went to school with my sister" or "His dad used to work down at the elevator"! And thinking about this mentality now, that is a wonderful environment to live in. I love going to Crouse Cafe and having Heidi or Abby know that I like Diet Coke with a splash of Cherry Coke. I love being stopped in the grocery store and asked if I have any massage appointments available this week. I have missed being a member of such a community. I go to the store knowing there is no chance I will run into anyone I know here in Santa Fe. And for me, this knowledge brings a tinge of sadness.

So now I'm sitting here and looking forward to the next chapter as I prepare to move back to my beloved community, family and friends. This journey didn't end up as I had intended, but perhaps this was what the entirety of the journey was about! The leaves are falling off the trees and the wind has taken on a cold bite; just as I have purged my life of a bunch of stuff both material and emotional. The seasons are surely changing and it will be interesting to see what fertile opportunities present themselves in this next phase.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Homecoming

Yesterday, I had the great honor of being part of the Peregrine Institute for Oncology Massage Training's graduation of the "Gratitude Pod". I was asked to be there as a graduate of the program in October of 2008. My pod's name is the "Purification Pod". This group of 5 women had incredible final projects. I was particularly take with Mary Peifer's presentation on advances in administering chemotherapy at a time of the day when the medications/toxins are most effective in treating the cancer. It was simply fascinating. I stood by as "technical support" - loading up their PowerPoint presentation, DVD or accessing the web for video clips. The world is truly blessed to now receive this 5 new Warriors.

After final presentations, I joined the infamous circle, for the graduation ceremony. We each put a memento in the center of the circle and had an opportunity to talk about what it was and why it was important. Mary had brought a small container of garden soil from her home in Illinois. She talked about the rich, fertile quality of the soil and about planting seeds and the wonder of that process in which they grow. She likened it to the journey she and her classmates had been on. In addition, she brought 5 small rocks that were given to her by a 95 year old patient that she is responsible for in her Parrish Nursing job. She talked about how special this woman is and the time spent with her as she lives her last days or weeks. They lady is a woman of means and had traveled the world The wisdom she passed on to Mary is that the importance of her life was kept in two metal tins on her dresser. To Mary's surprise when she opened the tins - they contained rocks. This woman had collected rocks from all of her trips and they were important to her because she could touch the rocks and remember the special moments of all these travels. For this little lady, all the wealth, status and material things really held no importance in her life.

Nikki brought two items to the circle. One was a paper-doll, with the face of one of her Oncology Massage clients who had recently passed. This woman was nearly the same age as Nikki and had children of her own. It was obvious from the respect in Nikki's voice that she held her client in high regard and had to work through some of her own grief in loosing her mother to provide the care that this dying patient needed. The other item that Nikki brought to the circle was a geode from the Loess Hills in Iowa. Nikki's mother was an employee of the State of Iowa and was involved in grant writing for the preservation of Iowa's natural resources. Sadly, Nikki's Mom, passed away suddenly in early summer. The geode was a gift from fellow co-workers of her Mom to all of the grandchildren.

There was a hummingbird plaque brought by Marcie and she talked about how beautiful and special these little birds are to her family. She also talked about what hummingbirds meant to her. Anna Marie brought a gourd filled with sea salt and related it to a cartoon she saw of a goat struggling up a precipice to get to salt. This she thought represented her struggle to get though this intensive program.

And my beautiful friend, Iris (from Hawaii) brought a rock. She had worked with a woman for many years in Hawaii and then the woman moved to Santa Fe. This friend of hers was not a massage therapist, but they had spend time together discussing massage and Iris had mentioned that she needed to get some rocks (for heated stone therapy). Her friend, not knowing really what she needed, presented a little brown rock to Iris. And in her kind and gentle way, Iris smiled and thanked her for the gift and it has since been rolling around in her purse. Ahhhh, to be as kind and gentle as Iris!

Lastly, I added something to the circle. Iris and I started this program together in 2006. At that time, I was working full time at Communications Data Services as a Trainer and doing massage on a part-time basis. It was a struggle to keep up with both, but it was manageable. I was having a hard time deciding whether or not to leave Corporate America and jump into running my own business full time. We discussed this within my group and it caused me some heartbreak and reflection. A week or so after coming home from this training session, a little box arrived. Inside that little box was a small ceramic piece. On on side it is white with a beautiful red heart, on the opposite side it is light blue and in white lettering it says, "Follow Your Heart". This, I too, have carried around in my coin purse since I received it.

This experience was all about a homecoming....these months in Santa Fe, have not really been so much about attending Acupuncture School as they have been about finding my home. Finding that place in my heart that is just too special to abandon. It has been about finding my way back to what is so important and then locking in on this special sphere and then acting in a way to make a difference in the world. Now that I'm back on track - I have some work to do! I thank God for this time to reflect.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gaining Some Confidence

It's interesting really, never before have I felt this vulnerable. I have always been pretty confident in who I am and what I know about myself and my surroundings. This journey away from my "life" presented me with an opportunity to really question who I am and what I'm about. Looking at things from an Eastern perspective has been very disconcerting. I realize that I know very little about myself from this point of view and the not knowing is the hardest part.

Now that we are into the week of mid-terms and my knowledge is being challenged, I'm gaining confidence. My first mid-term test was returned to me today with a score of 94. The part of the test that I was most concerned with (diagnosis) I got all the questions right. This is a huge boost to my self-esteem. At the same time, this boost makes we waffle a little in my decision (along with Roger) to leave school at the end of the semester and move back to Iowa.

I waffle because I know that if I stuck it out - I would be a good acupuncturist. There is a lot, I could offer my patients....and then I think about the money involved in training at this school. I don't want $100,000+ debt at the end of four years. I think about the time commitment involved...and I don't want to sit at this dining room table for 6 hours a day X 4 years. Yet - part of me says...look what you could accomplish! Until this afternoon, I was very comfortable with my decision and now I have some feeling of loss - more than anything. It's not regret, it's not's just loss.

Leaving IS the best decision for me and my family. This program is too costly monetarily and emotionally for me and my family. I have not enjoyed being separated from my husband and best friend. So, I guess the next steps are to figure out how I can still pursue gaining this knowledge without having to live away from those that I love. Can I get the training online? Can I find a program that I can travel to on occasion, these are all questions floating through my brain. I CAN STILL BE A GOOD ACUPUNCTURIST - I just may have to be a little more creative with my training!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Realigning Priorities

I didn't wake up this morning thinking that anything would occur to cause a big shift in my priorities - but that is just what happened. Deep down this uneasiness has been brewing for several weeks. An uneasiness that I couldn't really put words to or face. Something has been unsettling me and I kept blaming it on my separation from Roger. But now, I seem to see things more clearly.

Roger and I started the morning out texting back and forth. I told him we had snow on the Sangre de Christo mountains this morning and told him to bring his coat when he comes to visit tomorrow. He replied back that he had found a "Student Loan Calculator" and had plugged in the totals for 4 years of loans at Southwest Acupuncture College. My loan payment will total $950.00 a month for 10 years! Oh My Lord!!! Why in the heck did we not do this before moving me half way across the United States? If we had, would it have changed plans?

I have felt physically sick all afternoon thinking about having this kind of debt, at this point in my life! I don't even want to go to class tomorrow. I'm nauseous, my head is throbbing and I have such a feeling of anxiety. The flip side of this is I worry about what people with think of me if I leave school and go back home. In my heart of hearts, I feel like the decision has already been made - and it is not difficult or uncomfortable. It's a decision I can make without any one concern (as always in life) is that I don't want to disappoint anyone. I'm not sure why that always comes up for me but it does.

The love of my life will be here for a few short days this weekend. We have a lot of talking to do and a bunch of decisions to make. I know that I can't go on like this much longer - I miss him so much! I have worried about his well being, too. I have never seen him so down before and this is something that could so easily be fixed!

More to come as this saga unfolds.......

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Who Is This Sap I've Become?

I tread along day by day thinking that my heart is getting stronger. No longer do I feel "weepy" on a daily basis. And thinking back on my life, PSF (prior to Santa Fe), I rarely remember feeling like this. Perhaps I got this way watching a movie or maybe when my niece or nephew did something that made me particular proud. But I NEVER felt this way when a song came on the 80's satellite station or I received a letter from a friend or perhaps a kind word. WHAT has Santa Fe and this move done to me?

Tonight I have been sitting here preparing for mid-term tests next week. School went well today, I fixed a nice dinner and then Skyped with my husband, who was at my sisters. So I had fun talking with all of them as well! Then out of the blue my cell phone rang and it was a number I didn't recognize, but knew it was a number from home. Upon answering, I discovered it was one of my beloved "Messenger Ladies". I worked with them at Indianola First United Methodist Church over a period of 2 years preparing the church newsletter. Well, my little friend was calling to check on me because she said, "I've been thinking about you a lot and praying for you!" We visited for a time and at the end of our call, she said "I Love You!" At which point, I fell apart and am still a little misty.

These are the relationships I took for granted when I lived in Iowa. These are the connections that bind your heart and help you make it through the tough times. These are the relationships that I miss so much and they make me question if moving a thousand miles away and stepping out of a fairly comfortable life was really worth it all? I know that God has a lesson in all of this for me - I'm just trying to figure out what that lesson is and make Him proud of the woman I am!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Education Doesn't Always Come Easy

I guess I've come to the realization that as far as school or training goes, I've always led a "charmed life". In the past, I've really never had to work very hard at my education. It has always come very easy for me - and in fact, I could wait until the night before a test to study...that's how easy it has been.

Now as I attend classes at the acupuncture college - I realize that this is not coming easy to me. It has been very frustrating as I feel like I sit and read and read and do not retain any of the material. I make volumes of notes from the reading and still feel like it has not washed over the dendrites in my brain. But then, as I was awaking this morning to the sun coming up over the Sangre de Christo Mountains, I realized that this is all "foreign" material. Literally!

It's Western Medicine that has been easy for me. Well, duh - I've been immersed in it my whole life. No wonder it is easy. If I had been raised in China - then Chinese medicine would feel like second nature. The correlations between the two medicines occur but they are very different medicines! So somehow, I need to convince my brain to warp into a new form. Leave behind the knowledge of western medicine and venture out into this very different world. Maybe the old study practices are not the most relevant for this new way of thinking. And maybe, just maybe I have to stop looking back at how things were and start looking forward and learn how to deal with this new world I have been placed in.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Getting Reacquainted with Myself

I have just celebrated the two month anniversary of living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It has been a tumultuous experience at best! I left behind my husband and the rest of my family, a flourishing massage therapy practice, my church and the ministry with veterans that I felt was my personal responsibility. And I left behind my identity.

Here I am very anonymous, no one really knows me. I have contact with only a handful of people at the apartment complex where I live and a few students in my classes. I never walk into a store, expecting to find a friendly face or a friend to greet me. It's weird really, as I kind of felt like a "public figure" at home due to my involvement in the community, at church and because of my practice.

And it has been very quiet here. I arrived in Santa Fe a month prior to starting school. So I've had a lot of time to sit, think and contemplate this move. People have told me to enjoy this quiet time and to spend it getting "reacquainted" with myself. To appreciate the ease that I have in my life right now...but that's hard, especially for me. I have come from a lifestyle of working 2 jobs and being on the go for fourteen hours a day. I have been strong, independent and very determined. Since arriving here, I don't feel very strong or independent. I find that there are little things that can bring a tear to my eye in the flash of an instant. There are strong remembrances that can bring a pang of melancholy - remembrances that I haven't thought of in years. Simple things like food and sleep have not been the same as at home.

I don't mean this to sound as a big complaint session - I just mean to indicate all the change that has happened in the last 2 months of my life. The best part of my day here is waking up and walking into the living room, opening the blinds and watching the sun rise over the Sangre de Christo Mountains just to the East of my balcony. It is simply amazing and life giving. The mountains have been so intriguing to me. I love to watch the weather develop over the top of the mountain. And just now, the aspens are turning, making the mountain appear as if it is ablaze. Beautiful sights, amazing vistas, breathtaking landscapes that I could never enjoy back in Iowa!

The quiet of night is the hardest for me. I'm used to having my best friend and lover in bed with me at night. That quiet that engulfs me so deeply that I can hear my own heartbeat is tough to deal with. It's that quiet that makes me get up and check that the door is really locked. That quiet that makes my mind think it hears something out in the kitchen. That quiet that creates a little feeling of unease in my heart and keeps that little bit of tension in my body...on guard!

But it is at this quiet time that my mind begins working and words start showing up for reflection. One night recently, my word was "Compassion". And while it seemed odd at first, with a little ruminating it became a message to me that I need to learn to be compassionate with myself, less driven, less independent and give into the love and care with which compassion is offered. Learning to treat myself compassionately is important for the journey I am currently on. If I can't be compassionate with myself, how will I ever treat my patients compassionately. So important for this healing field that I am now studying!!

So while none of this transition has been easy, I am adjusting. I am growing and my thought processes are changing. Regardless of where this journey takes me, it is a process that will change the core of who I am. I am grateful for the opportunity and am anxious to see six months from now where the road leads.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Eight Days In

Today marks my eighth day of acupuncture school. And as I sit and reflect on the past week - I'm not sure how I feel about it. There are parts of me that are very excited about the possibilities and opportunities that exist in the future. Another part of me very much wants my old life back! I miss the familiarity, I miss the routine, I miss my family, friends and clients. AND more than anything I miss the love of my life!

I think some of this is just frustration. On Monday, Roger found out that he did not get the job we were hoping for here in Santa Fe. In fact the headhunter he has been working with, felt the need to share with him that the hiring manager, "Didn't like his personality and that they would rather leave the position open rather than make a bad hire". REALLY??? Was it necessary to share this hurtful information? What good was gained by any of it? I just don't get some people, sometimes! So now we sit and wait and pray! And know that it will all unfold in God's time.

The church that I have been attending here has been very supportive and have put Roger on their prayer chain. Pastor Carpenter said they would work on "praying him in", which I found so cool. Zia Methodist has been a source of great warmth and friendship. Pastor Kay has preached and preached at First Indianola about "Radical Hospitality", I'm starting to think that this phrase may just have been invented here in New Mexico. Nearly EVERYWHERE I have been people have a great ability with hospitality. It's amazing. So I guess for now...I just need to be! I need to relax into this new state of being for myself. I need to explore these feelings, frustrations and excitements and learn to embrace this moment. I used to have a sign on my treatment room wall that I need to revisit...It said, "Enjoy this Moment for this Moment is Your Life!"

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Such a Little Life

After two days of class and multiple introductions and chances to tell our stories at acupuncture school....I'm wondering if I have lived a big enough life to be here. There are 15 people in my class, 10 of us are "starting from the start" the others have done some sort of acupuncture training in other states and will be taking classes to meet the requirements for New Mexico licensure. And they all have a varied and colorful past.

One young woman (I'm guessing still a teen) has lived most of her life in India and found acupuncture here "destiny" as she comes from a family of healers. She has spent most of her life being medically cared for by naturopathy and acupuncture - it is essentially her life.

Another student is a man I'm guessing to be in his 40s - lived in a Zen Temple in Japan for a number of years. He told me that he has always had a zen way of life and said that at four years old a family friend asked him to go hunting. His response to this friend, "I'm not supposed to kill anything in this lifetime." My do you have this kind of direction at 4?

One of the women just finished Acupuncture school in New Jersey recently and opened her practice. Two weeks ago, she said she decided she wanted to move to Santa Fe and get licensed here. She's back in school to study the chinese herbs. IN 2 WEEKS TIME, SHE MADE THIS DECISION!!! WHAT!! She's very colorful! She's thinking of moving to a place about 45 miles away from Santa Fe, in the middle of nowhere!!!! Oh My Gosh - I can't imagine living in the wilderness as she is thinking about. There's coyotes out there - ya know!!!

And today, I visited with another young man in my class who is a chemist and has invented some sort of solvent that cyclists use. He's patented this solvent and it's on the inventor no less. He's also a new father. His baby boy was at the school with him for awhile today is 9 weeks old and absolutely adorable! I asked the child's name and he said something like "Tasaki" - who is a Hindi Deity, who rides a tiger backwards, has 10 arms, 10 legs and carries swords to fight off his enemies. I tried to google this Deity - but couldn't quite figure it out!!!!

One woman state that the first half of her life, she was a "selective mute". Since that time she has lived in multiple cities, including New York and is a weaver, artist and grows her own food. She is happy to be back in New Mexico and is working the soil on her farm.

And this is just a small snapshot of my classmates - so I say, what have I done with my life? Yes, I served in the military and yes, I've been a massage therapist for many years and hope that I have touched a lot of lives with this work. But I don't feel nearly as interesting or colorful as some of these stories. I hadn't anticipated this part of the journey! And at the same time, I think all of this diversity is what makes the journey so powerful. I hope that where some of my classmates are light and airy, I can be the stabilizer; where they are intellectual, I can be the voice of reason and together we can be the Yin & Yang!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Our God has a sense of humor!

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not one to sit around on my laurels. I have always been on the go and busy. And has changed drastically. Five weeks ago, I moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico to begin acupuncture school. I have had 5 weeks of nothing to do. Oh, don't get me wrong, I had an apartment to unpack, a new city to discover and all the amenities to locate - but essentially there was not a lot on my plate. In that time, I've learned to watch hummingbirds, greet the sun as it comes up over the Sangre de Christo Mountains and basically breathe. I think all of this is in preparation for the start of acupuncture school.

In 2 days, I will attend my first class at Southwest Acupuncture College. Lo' and behold - that very first class will be Tai Ji. Oh, I'm sure that God is sitting up there having a good laugh about this! How in the world did this happen? I've tried Tai Ji once before and thought I would go crazy! As I was learning before, I just kept thinking...'can we speed this up, I've got things to do!' AND I know that this is kind of defeating the purpose, so now I have the opportunity to give it another try. I wonder if they have Summer School for Tai Ji. Well - I just have to giggle about this and put my best foot forward. This is such a great opportunity and I am very excited about this new phase of my life.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Beginning of the Journey

As I sit amongst moving boxes, feeling alone...I know that this is all the beginning of my new life. It's early! And I'm sitting here waiting to welcome the sunrise over the mountain. Though I am alone and in a new city, I feel enlivened with all the possibility!

I wrote these sentences a few days ago, before very much of the living room floor could be detected. Now, the apartment is mostly put together. I am back with my "Stuff" and it's beginning to feel like home. I have found the dry cleaners, back road to get down busy streets and seem to have my kitchen functional. I have secured a storage facility AND hauled all the stuff that wouldn't fit in the apartment over there (down 2 flights of stairs at an altitude of over 6,500 feet above sea level, I might add). This counted as a cardio workout for the day - let me just say, I was pooped!

Tonight, I am going to the first class of a three week program in photography. Zia Methodist Church is offering classes with a former CNN photographer. I'm thinking this will be a great way to spend a few Wednesday nights, before classes start at Southwest. Correspondence with SWAC has kicked up - I'M REALLY DOING THIS!!! I REALLY LIVE IN SANTA FE!!! I'M REALLY ABOUT TO BEGIN ACUPUNCTURE SCHOOL. Oh my!

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Hard "Good-Byes"

It's only Monday and I am so ready for this week to be over with. Yesterday was particularly hard as my Dad came to town to go to church with us 'for one last time'. After church, we went for lunch and then said our good-byes on the front step of the restaurant. I was a blubbering idiot and he was trying to be so strong for me. I just remember him holding me, whispering..."It's gonna be okay, it's gonna be okay". And reflecting on this still makes me cry!

My biggest apprehension about this whole move is that I feel like I'm letting people down by leaving. My family, my friends, my clients and my "ministries" at church. I have felt a lot of love in this whole endeavor and it's a great thing! But it is particularly hard when I can feel how tightly people are holding on. It reminds me of Fall, the colors are beautiful and there is a slight change in the weather. With that, leaves start falling and temps drop...things start dying away and then winter comes. But THEN comes glorious spring! If it wasn't for this dying off, we wouldn't have this beautiful spring! Please let the "beautiful spring" in this adventure of my life start soon!

In two more days, I will close up my massage therapy studio and walk away from some pretty incredible people, my clients. In five days, I will move away from two of the most important people of my life, my niece and nephew. In a week and a half, I will voluntarily separate from my beloved spouse as he returns to Iowa for work until he finds something in New Mexico. Please Lord, let this "beautiful spring" start soon!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Reinventing Myself

In about 10 days and 20 some hours, I get to begin the journey of reinventing myself. On July 31st, Roger and I will pull out of hometown Iowa and head to a new life in Santa Fe, New Mexico. How many people have this opportunity to "start over"? I am simply thrilled!

Of course, this is a bittersweet re-invention. I am leaving behind family (particularly a beautiful niece and a loveable nephew); my clients, who have been so faithful to my massage business; my "church family" and many friends. This is the longest we have lived anywhere - and we've never had a network of people in our lives like we do here. So yes, it is bittersweet.

The possibilities are endless! And while I know there will be some limitations on my life due to being in school full-time, it still feels limitless. I can already feel my mind expanding both with the knowledge I will gain in classes but also just an openess of the spirituality of the place. On one of my trips to Santa Fe, a shuttle drive told me that the state motto is "The Land of Enchantment. But really it should be called the 'Land of Entrapment', because once you get here, you can't leave". I believe this to be true. There is something hallowed about that place - and I GET TO LIVE THERE! Bring on all the opportunities and possibilities I can stand - I AM READY!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Random Organizing

So how do you take 24 years of marriage and "stuff" from a 4 bedroom house and try to condense that down to fit into a 1 bedroom apartment. Well, believe me that's not easy. We sold our house on June 16th and had an auction the following day. I did not attend the auction as I just couldn't bear to see all my treasures go for pennies on the dollar.

Our stuff has been packed in containers and shipped off, yet I find I still have a bunch of items that I want to take with us. How will I ever fit all of this in the car??

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Shooting An Azimuth

In order to begin to make sense of this journey, I will have to go back to old journal entries and post these in order to determine the direction in which I am currently heading. I have been a licensed "healer" for a long time, working in the field of massage therapy...and truly I have always had a passion for helping others.

Through all these life experiences, I am headed on a truly incredible adventure. But first, let's start at the start:

Journal Entry: 25 April 2008, My class starts today and I'm excited to see what new concepts we will be introduced to. I'm also happy to be in Gayle and Sandy's presence. They help me be the "kinder, gentler" Malinda.

Today I received som news that saddened my heart. At lunch, Sandy was talking about one of her patients, Christinie (who was my first oncology massage patient in Santa Fe). Christine passed away due to her cancer last year. She was such a dear, gentle soul - and I am honored to have been part of her journey. This training is changing my very core - all for the better.

The changes I see in myself amaze me. It seems I am less guarded with my heart. Still protective, but not as guarded. The desire/need to "Be" is strong, yet sometimes takes a lot of convincing todo! I am on a spiritual journey - and don't know where it's taking me or exactly what it even means. I have a need to "simplify" - which means getting rid of a bunch of stuff. I can't wait to dig into the closets.