Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Things I choose to carry

Welcome 2017!

Thanks to your predecessor, I am going to kick your ass.

Sorry if that offends, but this is war. As the great Billy Joel said, "We didn't start the fire," but this year, we are going to make it our submissive little puppy.

So now becomes the time to choose your weapons, right? Take with you what you need and leave behind all the stuff that is just weighed down. As a female, I do this about once a month with my purse. This year, I'm doing it with my life.

In order to do that, I have to figure out exactly what I'm carrying. I have recently become familiar with the notion of Family of Origin. Boiled down, it means that you are the sum of everything that you have witnessed, done, absorbed, consciously and unconsciously. Its the unconscious stuff that really kicks you in the butt. Family of origin, when known, can be a powerful tool to help figuring out why you hold truths sacred, or how you define the universe.

While sorting through my truths, I discovered that what I watch and what I read has a LOT to do with how I think and what I think about the world. Wow. Knowing that some day some little girl might read Diaries of an Urban Panther and take something with her for the rest of her life. Geez. What a responsibility. I LOVE it.

So one of the things that I will take with me is Grandmother Willow from Disney's Pocahontas. I think that the essence of the tree spirit has sort of infiltrated how I see our connection with everything. Even trees. Everything I do, say, sing, write- it ripples.

Ripples start out small but echo out for miles. They are a change to the status quo, and someone has to start them. Someone else will see what I do, say, sing, write and perhaps they will take that with them.

Now, I'm pretty sure that I'll never actually talk to a tree. I will never have a raccoon or a hummingbird follow me around. I will never have such perfectly straight and untangled hair.

But I will listen. I will watch and be still and wait to make sure that what I an doing is the best for everyone, not just myself. Because it ripples.

And what I have found, is that when everyone is happy, fed, healthy, and feels secure, I am happy, fed, healthy and feel secure. Funny how it works that way.

So we are going to call this year "The things I carry" as an homage to Tim O'Brien's powerful masterpiece about his experiences in the Vietnam War. Its the movies & books whose messages have taught me how to live and that I still carry with me.

Maybe they can help teach you something that you might need to completely own 2017.

Until Next month...


Amanda Arista,
Author, Diaries of an Urban Panther


Mj9028 said...

"I will watch and be still and wait to make sure what I'm doing is best for everyone, not just myself. Because it ripples."
Words to live by.❤️

Helen Lowe said...

Augustine of Hippo expressed this as "...as we are, so are the times" and as your post illustrates, Amanda, it's as relevant today as it was 1700-odd years ago. Thank you for another inspiring post.