Getting back to ordinary

Well hello there. And happy summer solstice! I sure did miss you.

[page from my art journal; words by emily dickinson]

But I’m back from my blogging hiatus now.

I think.

Maybe.

(How’s that for equivocating?)

Apart from the equivocating, though, I really want to tell you what I’ve been up to the past 15 months.

Of course, I spent many hours in pursuit of this (finished it) and this (still working on it).

But along the way I discovered there was something else. Something I needed to get back to.

I’ve been getting back to ordinary hope and joy.

Yes! I experienced a surge of hopefulness when I was away. It surprised me, considering the waves of doom and gloom in the news. I mean, the world’s metaphorical weather report has kind of been stuck on dark and dreary for months.

At first I thought this elevation of hope was due to less exposure to the dark stuff. Many days I was just too busy to pay attention. But then I noticed something else: less exposure to the super sunny stuff was having an effect on my hopefulness too.

Crazy, huh?

By super sunny I mean ultra-wattage, cover-your-eyes proclamations that life is or can be magical, awesome, unbelievable. I don’t know for sure, but maybe that’s a knee-jerk reaction to all the doom and gloom. So I decided to turn most of it off. The dire lamentations AND the stratospheric possibilities. And then the best thing happened.

Hope bloomed. Very quietly.

With each breath of hope I found myself flowing closer to the middle of life’s continuum, neither drenched by waves of bleakness nor puffed up by striving for an extraordinary life.

I settled into that middle place for a spell, and stepped into my ordinariness.

I stepped into listening, perhaps more keenly than ever.

I stepped into studying. Taking classes. Learning.

I stepped into looking underneath and letting things go.

I stepped into the possibility that I could be as patient with myself as I am with my clients.

I stepped into deeper layers of creativity.

And then, most unexpectedly, I stepped into the realization that in spite of my busy schedule, I was ready to begin something I’d had on the back-burner for years: a creative wisdom circle for women.

You know how sometimes in your life you’re stunned (in a good way) by something? Then you say, Yes. Yes, of course, this…this is so right.

Well, that’s what the women’s circle has been for me, all 10 months of it, as it nears the end of its first year and gears up for the second.

So these days I’m concentrating on celebrating my ordinariness.

I’ve had months now of getting back to ordinary hope and joy. Months of grounding myself in the middle. Sometimes, sitting with clients who feel hopeless and helping them find a way back to ordinary hope and joy. Then being reminded (again) that ordinary is a lovely place to be.

Ordinary is life. Ordinary is hope. Ordinary is joy.

I can’t think of a better day than this, the longest of the year, to reconnect with you and welcome you back to my blogging home. And what I really want to know is…how the heck are you?!

P.S. If you try to leave a comment, WordPress may act a little bossy and ask for your password. Not sure why it’s doing that, but I’m looking into it.


10 thoughts on “Getting back to ordinary

  1. It’s nice to see you back. I’ll guess that you’ve become comfortable with the idea that while we are all the heroes of our own myths, hoping for a state funeral or a tickertape parade in recognition of our efforts is just, well, a story?

    I’ve come around to the idea (my own quest has continued while you’ve been off on yours) that the propaganda that you can ‘be supremely happy!’, ‘live in the moment all the time!’, ‘achieve outstanding success!’, ‘leap tall buildings with a single bound!’ – all of it can be as corrosive as endless criticism – because in the end no one is superman or superwoman.

    My key quest word now is ‘Enough’. Not in the sense of being satisfied with second best, but in the sense of being happy enough, successful enough, live in the now enough, exercise enough, to live a fulfilling life.

    There’s a pleasant contentment living with ordinary hope and joy, isn’t there?

  2. So nice to have you back, Patty! And I agree with you completely. Life is to be lived with ordinary joy and hope. Staying away from the high highs and the low lows actually makes for a more authentic journey. And there’s really nothing ordinary about that.
    sending you lots of love!
    Maryse

  3. Soooo glad to have you back here! When I start a day out with contentment I am forever blessed during the day. Things just flow and I’m right there with the flow. I’m sure trying to have MORE of this. Often I’ll look at my day’s list, or the calendar, and monkey-mind takes over. There is no hope for me then! :)

  4. Patty,

    It’s great to have you back. I really enjoyed reading your newsletter and seeing the collage. It’s so uplifting. I will add you back to my blog list and check in regularly. It sounds like you’ve had quite a wisdom journey and I look forward to hearing more about what you’ve learned.

  5. I checked back to see if my comment made it (i’ve been having tech difficulties of late). I don’trecall if I said anythign insightful — jsut that I agree with much of your sentiment. Thrilled to welcome you back to the blogosphere!

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