Skip to main content

Where is Your Happy Place?

I have a few of them, and remembering them today is a wonderful way for me to find a "quick fix" when I am feeling anxious; a common theme these days as I struggle to deal with taking another break from work to battle my demons. 

Writing about them helps me 'get back there' and it has been a long time and I didn't realize I miss visiting them and the power they have to create a positive impact on my physiology.  

One is high up in a broad leaf maple that sat on the corner of my property as a kid.  It's like Mother Nature designed that tree for climbing; so many time swinging mt leg over the lowest branch and hooking my foot around the branch beside to pull myself up,  that the branch was worn smooth by the oils and friction.



Often, I stretched out on the lowest branch, my back against the trunk---to branches on either sides, my arm rests. and just sit.  Other times, I would climb higher, up to a wide part of the trunk that reclined ever so to cradle my body and head and I would look up through the sun dappled leaves and the flashes of blue sky above.

The leaves were so thick, my mom couldn't see me up there and I often escaped from whatever perceived injustices I felt and hid among the leaves and wind.



Another space that always provides comfort was from about the same time in life.  I had gone to a boy's house to play after school.  It was a small town.  He was my first real crush.  His parents still live in there; yellow bricks, brown roof....



We went for a walk behind his house where they had just begun construction on a subdivision and the field of tall, wild grasses had begun their end of summer fade to seed.  We followed a path of crushed stalks to a small hill and looked out over the area, our jackets whipping our legs in the breeze.  Crazy how our small town was growing.

Back among the tall grasses,  warm from the August heat and sheltered from the wind we took a seat and spread out our jackets.  I remember lying back and closing my eyes, the pink glow of the sun through my eyelids; the sun warmed earth, waves of whispering grass rippling above, freshly turned soil, straw...

We didn't talk much. Or if we did, I don't remember.  Life just flowed....interweaving the peace and joy of the simplicity of nature with the first feelings of attraction and so wanting to be close to him at that precise moment. 

The sky above, the earth below---the wind, the warmth, the smell of warm grasses, being with someone....instead of feeling small among the world...I felt part of it....connected....love...peace....

The awkwardness of being 12 overwhelmed the moment, but the painfully awkward thrill of first love only enriches the memory now, a spark of potential and excitement that fades sometimes with the routine of life.  

So when I remember the place, I remember him...and how the whole thing made me feel...

Alive...

Today, I saw this  picture on Facebook. Another memory--another gift to unwrap.

This was the picture I saw.

Wyseria or wisteria....
Outside our side door, in our fenced backyard, was a grey concrete slab patio. each corner marked by thick, square wooded beams that supported overlapping, panels of corrugated, acrylic overhead.  

The valleys of the wavy roof, discoloued by settled rain and debris filtered sunlight on summer days that dappled the concrete in dancing greens.

Ornamental shrub interspersed with fiddle head ferns lined the perimeter softening the concrete edges. 

But the magic came from the gnarled, woody, branches that snaked their way up the posts; tapering to smaller vines,  from which dangled pendulous explosions of violet.  

And the smell...light and sweet and...of honey and freesia and sunshine and fresh laundry.

Wisteria.

In the summer, my dad would move a table (which now sits in my kitchen) out onto the slab and we would have Sunday brunch seated under a canopy only nature could create. The Sunday brunch tradition continues, on the same table, just inside my kitchen, but.....

I had forgotten this one, until I saw the picture today, and as I search for a common thread to these "happy places", I ask myself...what was it about these moments that stand out so vividly for you?  What feelings do they elicit? 

The next step is to read these again.  Tomorrow.  To take note of how they make me feel.  If memories can be so detailed and vivid and bring such peace, do I need to find more experiences like this to feed my soul, or can "recreating" these moments during "relaxation" meditation be enough?

The search continues......to get to find the missing pieces.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Shame is A Full-Contact Emotion (Brené Brown)

It is a cool outside this morning and I have on my fluffy red robe as I sit outside and watch the birds flit back and forth from the fence to the feeder----arrogantly tossing aside imperfect sunflower seeds to get to the good ones.

The discarded seeds, some empty, some full, punctuate my deck, waiting for the squirrels, who will later claim this easy buffet.
I am still reading Brené and The Gifts of Imperfection.

Feels a bit like learning a new language ---I see the words---I hear the words---but the meaning is so diffuse...I need to read and reread and sometimes, even read out loud to make the words stick

It is hard work.

And while the smooth cover of her book lies balanced on my palm, seemingly weightless, many of the concepts have a density that knocks me flat on my ass ---like a large medicine ball.
CATCH THIS ONE!Oooooooof!I am down.

Eyes wide, trying to catch my breath, wrestling with the weight of hefty concepts like shame, authenticity, wholeheartedness, courage, compassion, connect…

Taking a Lesson from Work

Maybe it's because I am on this spiritual journey, or maybe it is because I have time to read blogs and cruise the web, but 2014 seems a bit obnoxious so far.  
Really IN YOUR FACE. Ok so it is not quite like this, but...... ....picture in your mind a saloon type town in the old west. 

Got it? 

Ok so now add a slick looking guy standing up on a wooden crate, surrounded by a crowd of people.  Beside the crate is a table, and on it are dozens bottles.
He clears his throat, throws out his arms, and announces:

It's a new year folks! New year.....new YOU! How would you like to tackle your SPENDING/DRINKING/SELFSABOTAGING/PROCRASTINATING/UNDEREDUCATED/OVERACHIEVING/UNORGANIZED/OVERWEIGHT/GREYINGHAIR/DULL SMILE/SMOKING/BOUNDRYSETTING/DEPRESSED/ANXIOUS/EATINGDISORDER/OBSESSING/INTERNET-DEVICE ADDICTION problems....
RIGHT NOW!!!
AND IF NOT, WHY NOT? OMG you think!!! (well OMG probably wasn't around then but...)  

OMG I think I heard a few things in there that I need to fix!!!!  Actually, I KNO…

Getting to Know My Neighbor in Type B

As a self identified "Type A" behavior "enthusiast", getting to know my neighbor in "Type B" might help me get a handle on why I too often feel like I am banging my head against a wall at work.   
But before I get too far, after all, there are a bazillion "self assessment" tests out there from, "What potato chip flavor are you?" to "Which Prince outfit are you?"
In the 1950's, two cardiologists, Friedman and Rosenman used Type A and Type B as a way to describe behavioral responses associated with how male patients with heard conditions responded to stress in their waiting room.   
They observed that some of the men actually wore down the edges of the seats from sitting poised on the edges of the seat and jumping up frequently, (labelled Type A) while others were able to relax in their seats and the wear on the chairs was focused more evenly (labelled Type B).  
They went on to investigate further, testing and proving at that …