A Place where my Dreaming can have some Space. Mondo Beyondo is a course in Dreaming big and I am giving it a second go round. Follow along with the Exploration here.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

More Action :: More Mondo

I wonder sometimes about the list, about the Power of the List. I posted about lists way back when on my other blog, about how the mere act of writing helps in manifestation. It is heady stuff and might be some of the reason I had such a hesitation when it came to writing out The List. It seemed to hold so much significance for me.

I have been meaning to write a bit more here about the changes since Mondo began, but I am hesitating in another way. Afraid maybe to admit that dreams can come true? And in truth because a part of it is hard...to wonder if it is okay to admit to the Movement in the dreams. But then, that is the whole reason for taking the class, right?

Okay, so after that long and probably unnecessary premise..here it the thing. Dreams in action are awesome but dreams in action are work. The next thing I want to talk about is the Teaching.

There are a few dreams in there about Teaching, about going back to become a Doctor or maybe disseminating my collection of information. I was not terribly surprised by them showing up, more that I am surprised by my lack of movement in the direction of Teaching.

When I embarked in my profession as a Physical Therapist I immediately knew my calling. I knew that I wanted to take on the area of Neurological Rehab, the grey area of strokes and brain injury and spinal cord severing (no pun intended, believe me). I knew what I wanted but was immediately overwhelmed by the reality. Rather than sink into oblivion, or even worse, inability to help, I sought to find the right way to approach the challenge and found a brilliant mentor (albeit an asshole) that gave me the frame work to approach the treatment and the challenges with clarity and focus and some success. It was magical, the knowledge he helped unlock and the way it transformed my treatment. For many years I practiced in the field, finding great reward and always aware that each individual had a story that was written in their body which would help (or sometimes hinder) their recovery. It was always challenging and emotional work, and I am not one for the whole 'distance yourself from the patient' approach and the work took its toll.

A few years before the boys, I started to scale back my work, went part time, still working in the rehab setting but not as a team leader, rather as a sub. I found myself almost satisfied with the positions I held, but I also knew I could not do that and mother at the same time. It would be too much, I have no switch between work and home and little did I know it would be twins in the cards for us. The week I got pregnant, I resigned from my Rehab position and signed on to a home care service.

And then for two years after I was really really busy. Really busy. I kept my toe in the door with occasional patients and regular inservices but did not really return to work until last March. Since then, I have been immersed in the quagmire that is home health. It is the best and worst job I have yet to hold. I control my schedule, I have no office but the one I make, I have a distant but accessible supervisor, I have 70 pages of paperwork per patient, I have a laptop always at the ready and always at their ready and a roster of patients that usually push 70 or older and have all the concomitant issues that go along with that.

I love my patients, I love their individuality, their stories and history, their desire to stay independent and assertive and home. But, uh, home care ain't rocket science. Not at all. It is rare that my skills come to the fore. Rare that they are needed at all.

Anyway, last week one of my colleagues called with a question. Se had a CVA (stroke) patient that she was finding particularly challenging and she wanted to know if we could meet and brainstorm some treatment ideas. I love this colleague, she was the one that helped me find a place at the company, and I told her 'of course' and we met at Starbucks on a Saturday morning. Within five minutes of talking, taking in her description of the patient, her concern regarding treatment approach, I had a treatment plan formulated and we were off.

It was like slipping into a comfortable pair of scrubs. The instructions flowed easily and she was so open and receptive to the new information. After an hour we took a break and started talking about Teaching. She told me I should and I know she is right. I was surprised by the way the information has just become ingrained in how I think when it comes to patient care, how accessible it was even after years of disuse.

And it reminded me of some of the things I once thought about. Like walking into the PT department of the school quite literally down the street and offering to TA a class in Neuro. Then eventually teach the class, preparing the students for the reality of the Rehab unit, not the theory.

It is a small step, just a little morning meet up and discussion, but a glimmer of the future. A reminder that I still can walk into the school and have some chops, know I can back up the claims.

And then Monday after our meet up I picked up a home patient with a classic CVA, a perfect candidate for rehab. The reason he was not in rehab was because he is also a hospice patient so he was sent home in a bed after his stroke. He cannot do much, but he can do some. And he does not want to die lying down. And that I can help with. And so it all works in very interesting ways. Interesting is not the word but I am not sure what is.

Mondo might be.

Photo by Tim...his orange trees, he loves them

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Making Mondo Tangible

I am still in the hazy love affair stage of the class. Still excited and encouraged and finding connections. And still so happy to have made the choice to participate.

I am also noticing small shifts in my daily life due to the work I put in during the 5 weeks. It was a whirlwind, and there were times that I did not feel like I was doing enough, but some of that fear settled after I found my tribe and realized that the work does not end with the last lesson, rather it now has a sturdy framework and many many more days to explore and tease out some of the finer points of this art of Dreaming.

I think it would be beneficial to talk about some of the more concrete aspects of the Mondo list and how I am feeling them manifest in my life, our lives, in new and unexpected ways. I think that I wrote the list out some posts back and styled it as a run on sentence because I was a little afraid to tease it apart and delve a little deeper. Now, weeks later, I feel a little more ready to take another look and allow the List in a bit. It has its time to marinate, now I have the time to reflect.

So, the list as it stands focuses a lot on Travel. A lot. A huge big part of it. Travel was a huge big part of our lives for some time. And I want it to be a huge big part as the boys grow up and out into the world. The first part of my Mondo list is all about the means to travel...

We really want a Vanagon. When I was small, we had one for trips. The family would pile in and go...and it means Freedom to me. The idea came earlier in the year when a family beloved to me decided they needed to go on the road and allow themselves some breathing and healing time. It planted the seed, which started the dream, which became much more real as the thoughts became much more solid.

So, now we are actively seeking and scouring Craigslist for a fitting vehicle. But here is the thing....I, uh, have not been in a Vanagon since I was about 13. So, uh, I started to get a little worried by the idea of packing two small boys, two relatively grown adults and all the things you might need for months of travel. Including bikes and bits, solar panels and maybe a sewing machine (yeah, right).

Tuesday we contacted a local Craigslister and headed to his place of business to take a look. We took the boys as they were likely to be the real testers of this plan. And I was not disappointed in the least. It felt like Home. The door slide open, we climbed in and it felt like Home. The van was in great condition and seemed to run without issues but it was more of the feel for me. The boys were ecstatic, jumping and peeking and sitting in the captain chairs and laughing laughing laughing. It felt surprisingly roomy, I can even stand upright in it. And as we inspected drawers and storage and motors, I looked over and Tim and knew...this was right, this was really right. Both of us were spilling over with ideas and excitement...the taste of the road just feels good.

So, concrete steps. Tim's F150 needs a fuel pump and then it is going up for sale. We are going to search out a few more and test drive them. My Dad, the resident VW expert (he could put out a fire in the old one without even breaking a sweat) is going to come along for tech support. It actually feels tangible. And then we take it from there.

The car means a lot more to me than a vehicle. It is going to be my wagon, my bid for Gypsy life for awhile. It is a step. Both big and small, significant and maybe life altering. We will just have to see from here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lesson 20 :: Learning

What can you say you have learned over the last few weeks? What do you know now that you did not know before…about your dreams, your self, where you want to expand and believe and grow?


I have learned that I needed to write out the dreams and place them in a physical space in order to better honor them, realise them, allow them some breathe and life.

I learned that I can trust letting them out, letting others read them when and if they want to, and that no one would take them away or giggle in my face or say it is all so silly. Instead they cherish them for me and with me.

I have learned that dreaming is lovely, but hard work, taking some extra time to cultivate and nurture does require a shift of attention inward and that sometimes leaves less energy for the outward. And then the flow shifts and Life demands a bit more attention and I now find I can trust in the fact that my dreams, small and delicate, are still finding enough sustenance to be maintained, to be there.

I have learned that just when one needs kindred spirits, when one feels lonely, it is the perfect time to be vulnerable and open and trust that they will come, your tribe will come, they will hear a call and then they will appear.

I have learned to listen, to look up, to dance a little more, to trust a little more, to make that call, write that note, speak that word, meet that eye, take that photo, and then breathe it in.

I have re-learned the art of dreaming. I am not done, not even totally proficient, but I feel well on my way.

And I have added Atlanta, GA and Melbourne onto the list of places that I will need to be someday.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Lull & The Clearing

This week I have found myself resting comfortably in The Lull the Monday post spoke of. I say 'resting' and 'comfortable' because that is how I felt as I took a little step back from the breathlessness of my dreams and brought a few other things into focus.

When I read Monday's post it was just the permission I needed to take a breathe and a breather. It felt like a lot of things were conspiring to pull last week, pull me in directions, pull me apart. It was not the best of weeks, but it has been left behind and the terrible toothache of 2010 has been allieviated. The Monday post spoke to me in the call for more clearing and we decided it was high time to focus on the places in our home that have been neglected, have accumulated, have totally gotten away from us. And so that is where I started.
It is funny because a large part of my Mondo dreams center around leaving this home. Not permanently, never that, but being out and away and looser than is dictated by the California suburb where we currently reside. Having said that, I love our home with its myriad imperfections, unfixed holes in wall and uncased doorways that linger from all the home improvement we have done. It is a work in progress like myself, but lately it has lay in the shadow of child rearing and work juggling.

This week felt like a laser beam focus went into drive and we re-arranged toys to better conceal their presence, we planted and swept and stuffed generous bags full of clothes and books and sundry to give. There are spots still in flux, my sewing area is a favorite place of chaos. But still, the physical clearing has allowed me a lightness that I have not felt in years.

And this bathroom, our shared bathroom, the one where two semi-potty trained boys contribute to the chaos, where daily bath toys entangle with Mama's bath products. This bathroom got the scrub down of the century. I cannot even describe how enlightened I feel about this. And I vowed to light a candle in here daily.

It is nice to sit and see, to have sight lines that open new possibilities. There is always going to be a measured amount of disarray, I am not a tidy person, never have been, can aim at trying to be, but I would rather not fail. But this clearing is what I needed in order to open myself again.

And in taking a step into the Lull and focusing less on myself and more outside, I have discovered something so lovely. I had secret hopes that I would find a few like-minded dreamers by opening myself to Mondo and I have not been disappointed. In the weeks of this course, I have found that there are a few fellow dreamers that really resonate with me. It can occasionally feel like a lonely road, this heady dreaming stuff, and I am loving the fact that I have found JenP and Melbourne Kat in the same place, as really wonderful voices of encouragement but also really lovely voices period. It is a little public, but ladies, I just want to say thanks for being so present. And I look forward to continuing this newly discovered connection even as our class comes to its close next week.

Next step, a re-embrace of the lessons, a recap of the things I am learning, a continuation of rediscovering just what lurks in those darkened and unorganized spaces (and I am not talking about my head. Or maybe I am. But mostly I am talking about this closet).

Monday, February 1, 2010

My Mitzvah

Your Secret Mission

Sometimes, when we are most up in our head about our stuff, our dreams, our fears, our concerns, the best thing to do is step outside of ourselves and do something kind for someone else.

Maybe this is cooking a special meal for a friend and bringing it to her door, volunteering somewhere, or maybe it’s as simple as a kind word to a stranger. Look for opportunities to give this weekend and notice the effect it has on you.

I actually began my mitzvah a few weeks ago. It was prompted by a calling for donations from these lovely ladies, women I met because of the world of creating. They own a local business and are running a small donation/contest. This one was calling for blankets to be given to the children at CHLA.

It was the right time to do a mitzvah as my heart was literally aching. Haiti has not yet happened, but the one year mark of the loss of a little girl was looming. my friend Jessica Whitt lost her little girl Tuesday to cancer, she was one of a set of twins, one of a family, one small soul that stretched my own soul out, opened and widened it and made it lighter and yet in some ways, heavier too.

I started the sewing of the blankets weeks ago, in light of the deadline coming on January 31. I planned a bit, but mainly let my fabric stash and my touch and feel guide me. It, uh, did not go so well. I am not necessarily a novice at the machine but I sure as hell am not a professional. I felt some discouragement, some reservation at my skills but kept at it.
Blankies 4 Namaste

My plan was to have them done and off days before the deadline. But my plans seldom seem to work out and Saturday came, the last day to post them to the ladies and I missed the post office hours, feet dragging down by fatigue, too many obligations and in some odd way I did not expect, apprehension.

It is hard to put oneself out there sometimes. I knew these offerings would be embraced by someone, but to my eyes the finished pile looked home sewn, not very good, just not right. I realize as I write that I was afraid, afraid to offer these makings. But that fear is not the way to see it, rather I want to focus on the care and love and small thoughts and blessings of healings I imagined as I sat at the sewing table or hand stitched on the binding
Blankies 4 Namaste

Today, I called Kelly to let her know I missed the deadline and apologize and send them off, she was completely understanding and let me know they actually extended the deadline another month. They have one donation, they are going to get my three, but they could always use more.
Blankies 4 Namaste

I thought I would extend my mitzvah to you who might be reading, who might need a place to mitzvah, who might want to make and create and give. I know now the small tokens of fabric and soft snuggle will be appreciated by some one, probably a little one struggling with something that it can be hard to imagine when I see my own healthy sons run.

If you are interested you can find the information here. The ladies of Namaste are waiting and hoping on a few more...which I now have time to make. More of my brand of mitzvahs coming.