Saturday, February 9, 2013

10 Talents of Abundance

Living a life of abundance

It is coming to a place of acceptance

I attended a retreat today

It was a place of quietude with the snow gently falling without and the sound of running water within. Immediately I felt welcomed and peaceful, I had some trouble finding the studio so was running a bit late, but they didn't seem disturbed by the intrusion of my entrance.

Syl was discussing the understanding that she has gained from Matthew 25, the parable of the talents. I wasn't quite sure how that fit in with the theme of abundance, so kept quiet attention upon Syl as she spoke. Syl has been through many trials these past few years, she's had a dear friend depart from her life, is raising her son alone, and has faced cancer as well. She's also had her share of fears over being financially able to keep her beloved studio open.

I've known of her studio for some time through her blog and have been grateful for her insights. It is a rare person who can share what they have learned the way that she does. I've had a desire to attend some of the Yoga classes she offers but something has always prevented me, time, money, energy. I'm glad I was able to attend today.

One thing that came to mind while listening to Syl is a glimmer of the understanding that I used to walk with, the understanding of God, the understanding of who I really am. In many ways the things that I've learned throughout my life have come to be a deep part of my being, I don't need to dwell as much as I used to on those things because I have already acquired the understanding of them.

In some ways though, ironic as it sounds, I miss the poignancy of the moments when I was learning those lessons. For instance there was a point in time when I was completely destitute, several points in time actually, at this particular point in time I had a barrage of  tragedy happen to me. I had struggled all year to get my husband to listen to reason, he was investing time and his personal credit in a project that wasn't going to pay off and I knew it but he wouldn't listen to me. My life had been drastically altered when I became very ill from eating too much wheat and TVP (trying to be healthy and become a Vegan). My dear sweet older daughter had a very confusing experience with her dad.

My world literally crashed around me. My husband came to me in December very close to Christmas and told me that the project was not going to work out. We had no money for Christmas but received $300 dollars in gift cards from the ward, I bought what I could and it was enough. I really struggled. Technically my ex shouldn't have been in the home with us, but I was torn between the cold cold winter and the reality of what had happened, how could I throw him out in the cold. I took long walks with my baby daughter in her stroller, winter passed to spring and I kept walking and started blogging. I had long talks with myself and with God. Every day I grew in courage to do the right thing, to stand up for my daughter, to pack up my husbands things and send him packing.

What I remembered though really (while listening to Syl) is the walk that I took with my daughter, when I found acceptance. I was walking to my parents house, pushing my daughter in her stroller. The voice of self doubt was running through my head, I felt inadequate. I felt alienated from the world, all of the people rushing by in their nice cars, going to their nice homes, even their nice clothing made me feel inadequate.

Then a realization came to me, that I was not the sum total of what I owned. That no matter what shroud I wore I was still the same person. That I had a choice. I could choose to feel sorry for myself or to feel grateful.

I started on the path to healing the day I realized that I didn't have control, that I could let go and just BE who I was. I still have moments of feeling inadequate, moments of fear. But I work through them, I know the identity of those feelings.

Syls seminar/retreat was based upon the 5 talents, to her the talents represent gifts we are given, and multiplying those talents means that we recognize the potential of those gifts and develop them.

The gifts we are given, ironically emotions that we generally dislike; Anger, Grieving, Ignorance, Fear, and Turmoil.

We can choose to bury those talents, to misuse those talents, or we can choose to develop something good from them. Appreciation for Anger, Gratitude for Grieving, Insight for Ignorance, Focus for Fear, and Trust for Turmoil.

The difficult thing in life I think is coming back around to the things we already know, remembering our past, living in the present and being hopeful for the future.

Syl also spoke of our Dharma, and Karma. Being true to our Dharma, our lifes work. In order to avoid bad Karma. She talked about recognizing the face of God in ourselves and how other philosophies and belief systems have similar concepts of the divine. I am really grateful to have this beautiful LDS woman in my life who is unafraid to speak with the understanding she has found from other beliefs. I am really grateful I went to this retreat tonight, it was good for me, reminded me of the connection I have with God.

There is much I learned. I'm looking forward to attending the next retreat whenever Syl schedules it.


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