Do you have a tendency to have a tricky time accepting what is, letting go of what was and having faith in what will be? I do at times. Thank you all for the opportunity to share a more helpful approach and remind myself of the importance of acceptance, letting go and having faith. Reminding is such an interesting word. For me it has the connotation of remembering a more helpful way to have my mind. A bit like rebranding! I find the most powerful way to remind or rebrand my mind is with compassion for myself and others.
So I thought it may be useful to share how I am doing my best to apply this acceptance, letting go and faith as two of my children are now overseas. Farewell is such a cool word too. For me fare well, and bon voyage too, certainly have an air of optimism and faith.
Lets deal with them one at a time, so first off...
1. Accept what is
Accepting what is can be really tricky, especially when it is not what we want! I have two children overseas and a part of me finds this difficult to accept, because somewhat illogically I feel they would be safer at home and also I will and do miss having them around, a lot!! They are both on wonderful adventures and are out to experience all life has to teach them. No amount of protest or non-acceptance is going to change the fact that they are overseas. All the worry and fear about whether they are prepared enough, old enough, mature enough or traveling in safe countries is going to change anything except my peace of mind for the worse!! And also when we worry about others, it never helps them.
Accepting what is brings me into the present and prevents me from getting into that very unhelpful spot of fear and worry. 'It is like this now', what is my wisest response? And as we have discussed worry, fear, blame and criticism are never wise responses. Worry about the future with possible scenarios of gloom and doom or going over the past with blame, criticism or worry is never any use and destroys our present peace of mind. Even though it may seem logical to spend time worrying about times that do no exist, the future that has not yet come and the past which is already gone, it never is. So why spoil the present, which is the only time we truly have with fear and worry? Acceptance of what is is the only logical response. So once we have accepted the situation what next? ...
2. Let go of what was (and fear about what might be too)
So, what am I letting go of?
3. Have Faith in What will be
The whole idea of anticipating things will go well instead of expecting them to go wrong promotes our peace of mind and reduces fear and worry. Having faith in what will be, even if it is not what we think is for the best is liberating. I can look back at seemingly unwanted events in my life, like having fertility issues, premature, critically ill babies, and not getting the jobs I wanted and understand now they contained a blessing in teaching me gratitude and what I needed to learn!
When we are able to turn, so called, problems into opportunities, although often not easy, we allow for them to become lessons and opportunities for gratitude. This is always best for our peace of mind. And that wonderful reminder from Wendy Lee 'that it will all be all right in the end, and if it not all right it is not the end'. Thank you Wendy.
When I woke this morning after farewelling my daughter and her friend to Romania last night and was tempted to go to that spot of worry and sad, instead I decided to practice this acceptance, letting go of fear and worry and having faith in them and the future. I sent her a message of of optimism, trust and faith in her and her awesome travel friend. Go well wonder women and Super Sam too. And everyone else as well. I am on the alert for those sad, fearful, critical and judgemental thoughts and doing my best to replace them with kind, fun, encouraging, compassionate and optimistic ones. Maybe you would like to join me!
Have a great week. Thank you all once again for your continued support, friendship and generosity.
Kind Regards and Best Wishes
Do you enjoy thinking about the interesting connections, twists and turns your life takes? I do, although I am not always in a position to accept, trust and find the blessing in many life events, especially the 'unwanted ones'! These days I feel more able to respond wisely to whatever interesting connections and ups and downs pop up, thanks to my wonderful teachers, who have so patiently taught me how.
At the start of this year I made the resolution to 'go with the flow' of life and trust rather than resist what is! Still a work in progress, although I am happily remembering a little more.
I wanted to write this blog to fill in some gaps and give you a POM update. I shared much of my trip to Sri Lanka and the opportunities I had to connect with the women at the WDC in a series of blogs in March this year, entitled - 'What are Maree and POM up to?' I am so thankful to you all for your support in reading and sharing blogs, buying bread, biscuits, aprons, tea towels and other POM and Sri-Sisters products and receiving them too, coming to yoga, cutting my hair for free and donating the cost, to POM and joining me for a crafternoon. I am so grateful to you all.
So, how did this POM connection with Tenzin Lekdron (aka Shiro), Sri Lanka, and the WDC start? It all began several years ago when one of my sons began going out with Tara. I was fortunate enough to get together with my son, Tara, and her mother Shiro for dinner one night. Our kids had suggested we meet as they thought we would get on as we had much in common including an interest in Buddhism. I have been very fortunate to meet many wonderful friends through my children, including Shiro and most recently my friend Rosie. Shiro and I hit it off, as the saying goes, and we decided to remain friends no matter what course our children's relationship took.
The next few years saw lots going on for both Shiro and I. Shiro was preparing to become ordained as a nun in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and I was working on getting POM up and running and teaching a weekly Buddhist Philosophy class. I was very fortunate to have some wonderful business, creative and technical assistance from friends including Courtney, Kath, Sam, Sue, Alice and Jacqi. I amazed myself in setting up a website, writing weekly blogs, developing online courses and even getting over my Facebook phobia! It often felt like a struggle though and I couldn't help but wonder if there was something missing.
Shiro was ordained Tenzin Lekdron by the Dalai Lama on March 1st 2015 in Dharamsala. She was living in a nunnery in Kathmandu when the earthquake hit on 25th of April 2015. Despite such challenging situations she was able to render assistance to others and turn problems into opportunities with her amazing strength, courage, wisdom and sense of humour. She was sent to Sri Lanka, her country of birth, and has been involved in setting up the Tara Lanka Centre there. Despite the challenges of being a Mahayana nun in a Theravada country, she has formed many beautiful connections, including the WDC. She shares her wisdom in her unique, warm and joyous way.
Tenzin Lekdron visited Melbourne in 2016 and we got together at Tara Institute. She shared her amazing year with me and told me of her work in Sri Lanka including her involvement with the Kandy Women's Development Centre (WDC). The Centre offers a safe haven, access to education, training and support for women suffering from the effects of abuse. Many of the woman are pregnant and lactating mothers and the centre provides a haven not only for them, but their babies too.
During our conversation the missing POM component sprung to light. I could make POM about writing blogs to share wisdom, teaching POM yoga, handicrafts, cooking and community connection. Sharing with 'others' to support Tenzin Lekdron and her work with the WDC. And these 'others' I share with are you wonderful friends reading this blog, right now! Heartfelt thanks to you all for sharing with me and your support. During that meeting we made plans to get together in Sri Lanka in February 2017 - and we did! I shared our time in Sri Lanka and work at the WDC in the March - 'What are Maree and POM up to?' posts. In a nutshell we ...
Thank you all once again for your continued support, friendship and generosity. And thanks to Tara who kindly edits these blogs for me each week.
Kind Regards and Best Wishes
What do you love to do? I love crafty things and have always enjoyed learning new crafts, crotchet, knitting, macrame (back in the 70's), sewing,embroidery and patch work. I think my passion for the handicrafts and cooking and love of practicality drew me to study Occupational Therapy and teaching. I am extremely grateful to all those kind people who have patiently taught me and connected with me over handicrafts.
I haven't always been so grateful though, and clearly remember when my teacher introduced me to fellow students at a US retreat as 'Maree from Australia, who enjoys the homecrafts; I was embarrassed.' Couldn't he have said that I had been studying for the past eight years and was training to be a yoga teacher? I realise now that connecting through what I love feels right and am now so happy to be Maree, who enjoys the homecrafts.
As director of POM, as a friend calls me, I have the opportunity to share homebaked, heartfelt wisdom through weekly blogs, yoga, handicrafts, cooking and community connection and I am extremely grateful to you all for sharing with me. Hope you can join me for our POM Crafternoon.
I come from a long line of handicrafters. My maternal Grandmother was a mother of ten and somehow managed to feed and clothe them all, and many friends and neighbours too, through sewing, knitting and cooking. My paternal Nan, was a tailor and loved to knit and crotchet too. I have lovely memories of being by her side in her 'granny flat' at our home in Footscray where she would be yelling encouraging words at the 'tranny', to her Bulldog or Cat footy boys. She taught me how to make a granny square and I made a gigantic one from her scraps of wool. I loved crocheting that rug and was so happy with it and the time I shared with Nan.
My mother was also a fantastic homecrafter and was an amazing teacher of all things craft and cooking. Like her mother she sewed and knitted all our clothes as kids. I can remember not being so happy or grateful about this at the time and longed for something from a shop. One Christmas Mum cleverly sewed a label on a nighty she had made for me. I remember being so excited. Now I am able to be so grateful for all she did and for her patience and kindness in teaching me too.
My love of craft has brought others and myself so much joy. Even if it is just to provide a laugh. Like when I knitted my then boyfriend and now husband a Ken Done jumper complete with bright Australian animals everywhere. It was very long and thin, more like a tunic really, with one arm puffy at the shoulder and slightly longer than the other. Needless to say that jumper never made it back from the UK, but has provided us all with lots of laughs.
I find knitting very relaxing and for me it has drawn many beautiful connections. Like when we went on a camping road trip to central Australia with two other families, comprising of 8 young primary school boys and toddler Alice. I decided to make our car tech free! I can't imagine what technology was back then , but I think maybe gameboys and nintendo were the go. Anyway, much to our boys' horror our car was the guessing game, drawing and knitting car! Surprisingly the knitting caught on and pretty soon all the boys were knitting scarves. It was such fun to sit around the campfire at night all knitting together. Often on our lunch stops there would be plenty of mishap corrections and off we'd go again. I was so happy to see my son Sam recently pack the scarf he had knitted during that trip in his bag for Germany. Pity he didn't remember to pack his passport too.
Another wonderful knitting opportunity came when our daughter's chemistry tutor Nick asked me to teach him to knit a beanie for his girlfriend. I was delighted to assist and we formed a little group of first year Uni. boys who successfully knitted beanies for their girlfriends. What fun we had.
And more recently a lovely friend of mine Rosie, kindly asked me to knit a couple of teddies for her grand nephews, through POM. I was so happy to do them on our recent road trip and combined them with an eye-pillow, bag, and crocheted cotton washcloth and soap in a 'new parents POM pack'. You can see it pictured above and on the website pom-melbourne. I dropped them off on my 'Patience Limbo' Tuesday, when I got the right address! I shared a lovely time with Rosie and her daughter and they kindly encouraged me to get the POM Crafternoon up and running. I must admit, unlike many extremely talented crafters including my Mum, Meredith, my sister in law, and various other friends, I know only the basics but would be so happy to share and connect with anyone interested in coming along. I plan to run them every Friday from 2-4pm and every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month, also from 2-4pm. Please see the dates for the next couple of months on the flyer above.
Have a great week
Thank you all once again for your continued support, friendship and generosity. And thanks to Tara who kindly edits these blogs for me each week. You may have noticed the use of grammar and spelling has greatly improved over the past months!
Kind Regards and Best Wishes
Do you ever become impatient with yourself? Do you let that critical negative voice in your head be so loud that the kind, encouraging one cannot be heard? I do and was reminded last week when I had used those helpful 'bring ourselves back into the present' tools '(It's like this now! Now what!') to connect with the present And my responses to many tricky situations had been quite good, but then the final limbo bar - Could I, in the face of criticism, extend that same patience and kindness to myself?! Let me tell you about my day last Tuesday.
Ever have a day when everything seems to go wrong? Last Tuesday was a bit like that for me. Well that is not entirely true, because some amazing things went right on my Patience Limbo Tuesday. And as Wendy says, it was all right in the end.
I started my day on the tram to Melbourne Uni, and was joined by who I now know was a Pastafarian. He was a tall, well dressed man with a metal colander on his head and an unusual case with the words 'The end is far away, relax and enjoy some pasta.' I thought the relax bit was good advice, so went with that.
Limbo Bar One - Right place, wrong time
I dropped something off to my daughter at tram stop one at Melbourne Uni and went on a lovely walk to the museum to meet my friends Bec and Donna for lunch. I had planned to meet them and get a lift with them to beautiful Brunswick to drop something off at my friend Rosie's house. Not only had I not told them of my plan, but I had also mixed up the Tuesday I was meant to meet them! Amazingly and to their surprise I ran into them. We cleared up the confusion and I joined them for lunch in Smith Street, before their first appointment. We had a lovely lunch and I was excited to see a yarn shop I had been wanting to go to right there. So I went in and bought some wool before walking to Parliament Station to take the train to Brunswick. So far so good with being patient with others and myself. Lovely lunch and the opportunity for another walk.
Limbo Bar Two - I realise I have lost my wallet!
I got to the station and discovered I did not have my wallet! I stayed calm, as I thought through the last few hours and decided I must have left it at the yarn shop. I rang my friend who was fortunately still in Fitzroy opposite the shop and she kindly collected it for me. I was a bit tired, so decided to hail a cab back to Smith Street. Lovely cab driver agreed to take me to collect my purse and then onto Brunswick, only he got a call and could only drop me off to collect my purse. More patience opportunities! He kindly refused to let me pay him for the ride and bid me farewell. I collected my wallet from Donna and avoided the temptation to get angry at myself! with my 'that can happen', 'it's like this now, what is my wisest response? tools. I decided to go with patience and kindness to all, including me. So I'm over limbo bar two and now walking back to Parliament station.
Limbo Bar Three - Wrong house number in Brunswick!
On my way back to Parliament I decided to give my weary legs a rest and hail another cab. A social worker masquerading as a Pakistani cab driver stopped for me. He was telling me about how his previous passenger was a young man who was having a hard time - not only did he not charge him but was speaking with his mother on the phone, concerned about his welfare! Amazing, kind man. So I arrive at the street in Brunswick only to go to number three and find no one at home and the house not looking like the right one. I went next door to find a very helpful friendly Greek lady who accompanied me down the street searching for Rosie's house. We met a painter and a couple of other neighbours and with all their help I found Rosie at number thirteen! I had copied down the address incorrectly. More 'that can happen!' So over limbo bar three, lots of patience with myself and others, gratitude for all the kind help and no critical negative self talk. I spent a lovely time with Rosie and her beautiful daughter and was filled with admiration and gratitude for their generosity and kindness.
Limbo Bar Four - Respond to criticism with criticism! Whoops
I finally made it home after catching the express train through Armadale and tracking back! Then limbo bar four brought me undone. We had guests for dinner and one of them was questioning me regarding why I had cancelled my trip to Bali. I felt criticised and defensive and assumed they were out to have a go! I put my 3-breaths into practice and was careful not to respond critically back. I asked 'why all the questions?' and they responded with a 'I am just curious and trying to help.' Ah, so the intention was not to have a go - then why do I feel criticised and defensive? I
I got my answer in the morning, when after my meditation, I did some journaling. While I had resisted the urge to be self-critical during my many mishaps and mistakes during the day, the evening brought me undone. I was being self-critical and doubting decisions and choices I had made! I was not being a kind, encouraging supportive friend to myself but rather a hard taskmaster who was angry, discouraging, critical and negative.
So enough, I sat down and wrote a kind, encouraging letter to myself and decided to watch those negative critical thoughts about myself and others too and replace them with kind, encouraging ones. I encourage you to do the same, if you feel the need. I wrote a sincere text of thanks to my guest and they responded kindly. So while I did not get over this bar the first time, I'm in training to get over it next time.
Have a great week.
Thank you all once again for your continued support, friendship and generosity.
Kind Regards and Best Wishes