What is the gift in this?!

little gift

My car is in the shop….again. It started acting funny on Christmas Day and has been in and out of the mechanic’s ever since. A  few months ago, the head gasket was replaced which left me without a car for 3 weeks, waiting for parts. I got it home and within a week it was back in…the head gasket was gone again! I feel strange without my own car to come and go when I want to…..have had my own car since I was in my 20’s. Now, I need to coordinate all of my appointments with Jack and have no ability to spontaneously go anywhere.

Coincidentally (and I don’t believe in coincidences), I started  meditating the day after Christmas too. I’ve meditated, off and on, through the years but  I always found reasons not to do it consistently …like, “What can you really get accomplished just sitting?, you know lots of people who mediate and they are far from enlightened, I run every morning and that is my meditation time, I don’t have time right now, I need to do a Google search on the evolution of the fishing pole….” …on and on.

But the real reason was, I found it extremely difficult to stop myself; my body and my mind, long enough to sit still for 15 or 20 minutes and “do nothing”. There was this “jumpy” part of me that resisted sitting perfectly still….felt that if I had “extra” time, I should be doing something “productive”.

A few years ago, I spent some time with an elderly man who was dying of cancer. He had been extremely busy his entire life….huge garden, very involved with his church and yet he always had a somewhat “frantic” quality about him. He was not comfortable slowing down, did not know how to relax. The cancer was forcing this to happen and he was resisting it, saying things like, “This is awful, I can’t stand it”. He wanted to interact with life as he always had; tough, in control. Yet, the more he lost brain function, the easier he was to be with. He laughed more, said, “I have no idea” when asked a question, instead of thinking he had to know. He was a much more enjoyable man to be around…even to himself.

Bernie Siegle (in his book, Love, Medicine and Miracles) talked about illness as “God’s wake up call”….it can be an opportunity to re-evaluate our lives, slow down, laugh more, be more real…But can’t every challenge (thing that we don’t want to happen that happens anyway) hold the same opportunity for becoming more of the person that we would ultimately like to be? I love the question,”What is the gift in this?”…I believe it opens unseen doors inside.

When I get these little pangs of “I NEED my car! I can’t stand this!” I don’t get my car back sooner,  I am just making my life into a rough ride. Life has a wisdom beyond my understanding….there are many little and big gift boxes waiting to be opened, but they don’t hand them out at the drive through window.


p.s. It is Spring Cleaning time…every year I like to go through my stuff and give away things that I no longer wear/use/need. Since you took the time to read ALL THE WAY to the bottom of this, I am giving away the pair of earrings in the photo. They are small, one of a kind, sterling earrings that I just never wore. If you would like them, just comment on my blog with the word in capitals, YES someplace and I will do a random pick for the winner on Friday, the 25.

34 thoughts on “What is the gift in this?!”

  1. I appreciate the thoughts you express so well in your blog. There have been many common threads with my mid-50’s life. You’ve made me slow down and reflect on more than one occasion. Thank you!

    The earrings are lovely. YES, I would like my name included in your drawing.

  2. A lot can be accomplished with meditation. I have been able to lower my BP sitting in the doctor’s office, after the first reading which is generally too high. I’ve also used targeted meditation to fade eye floaters. I’ve read in a Prohealth article that meditation can be used to re-tune the brain. So you’re not just sitting, you’re actually accomplishing a lot of things. I’ve been working on using it to hopefully take the stiffness out of my muscles. I can see why a man who has been very active would find mediation intolerable when used to being in motion.

  3. Thanks for another insightful post! Right after I read your post, I read my next email from:

    Tuesday, Mar. 22

    It said:

    What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.

    By: Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette
    Quoted in Age Doesn’t Matter Unless You’re a Cheese, by Kathryn and Ross Petras

    YES, it’s time to give ourselves permission to slow down and be more present!

    1. I LOVE that quote Diane,

      “What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.”

      Thank you for posting it!

  4. Just sitting is hard – which is why it requires practice – which is probably why I have not done it since November. At first I wasn’t practicing because I had an awful cough and then the cough sort of went away…. but I was too tired to meditate. Winter. I love changing weather and snow – but the dark gets to me. I go to work in the dark; I come home in the dark.

    I can sit for hours on the couch in front of the TV. Why can’t I make myself sit in meditation when I know how good it is for me?

    YES! Please put me in the drawing for the earrings – altho – the best gift is the reminder that I should start meditating again!

  5. It’s hard sometimes to see the forest for the trees because we are so busy cutting them down. I had surgery 2 years ago and was still for 6 weeks, setting in my back yard waiting to heal. What a blessing to “be still”.

    Yes, I like the earrings but NO, I don’t need them.

    Thank you, Alice

  6. You are encouraging. I find it a challenge to stop my mind as I love it active and alert. When I get up in the morning I am rejuvenated and ready to rock. I so appreciate being alive! I, however, do KNOW that I should have a daily practice. My qigong practice is not daily.
    Yes please enter me into the earring event! How fun! Thanks..enjoy your day. We (my Labs and I) are off for a 1 1/2 ride to a dog training center and lunch w/ a friend. More fun!

  7. If you contemplate to meditate have you not already done it?

    If a mechanic repairs a major engine malfunction did he look for the cause? Ask if he checked the radiator. Better yet get another car. That one has been hot too many times.

    If one can not relax they have a cancer, even if it does not show up on a petscan.

    Car no work. Do early spring cleaning. Free up time to get outside and walk not run around and watch everything bloom. Sounds like a gift in that.

    Sounds like you never took the kids for a happy meal mine loved those little gifts from the drive through. Humm, guess I did not have time to stop and let the kids eat.

    Enough of my Sass. Thanks for the opportunity to voice my opinion. I find it fun. Got to go watch the sun rise.

  8. YES I would like the earrings.
    YES I would like to meditate.
    YES I have every excuse in the book and some not yet written, to put off meditating.

  9. YES…….ok really NO…but just wanted to let you know I always read your blog in it’s entirety.

  10. I’ve always wanted to try meditation, but I’m afraid I’d fall asleep…

    Mary, it’s Spring… ride a bike! 🙂

  11. YES, I would ike to be entered in the drawing for those lovely earings.

    I too, am in the spring cleaning mode and have taken two bags of clothing to donate. It does help clean the cobwebs out of the house and out of the mind. The long and snowy winter made for more sitting in front of the TV and now it is time to start moving and getting more fresh air.

    I have been thinking about meditation for a while – began once. I always thought of it a needing an hour or so at a time, but you say you do it for less. I need to look into that as it sounds like a more do-able thing.

  12. I too have been thinking of meditating…and thinking and thinking… Seems I spend to much time thinking about the process and never just giving it a try. I once took a class in Body meditation, but decided it wasn’t for me when the people demonstrating the method talked all the way through and said that was the point, to talk to your body and it’s parts to acknowledge what you are feeling. I was looking for something quieter and mor contemplative. I’ve also done “sitting” which is more my style, but I find I have an itch in nearly every surface and can’t sit still… Me oh my! Help! Love your blog, Mary

  13. I have a long (2 hour one way) commute every day. One hour of the trip is on a train. I used to do work, or the crossword, or read a novel. I felt I needed to do something “productive”. Now I spend a few minutes reading from something uplifting or look out the window at the beauty of nature and then the rest of the time I meditate. By the time we pull into Grand Central, I feel refreshed and calm and ready to deal with NYC.

    YES, I would love to be in the drawing for the earrings. All my jewelry is unique and comes with a story. They would be a great addition.

  14. Mary, Love your thoughts!
    Winter is coming back to Iowa here (high in 30s) and I almost want to hibernate (read in my fleece sheeted bed…they are so COZY)…with dog at my feet!! I pray there too tho maybe that doesn’t qualify for meditation.
    Anyway, as much as I’d love another connection with you, Mary, I’ll pass on the earrings. Find as I get older I seldom take time for them. Getting some priced for my annual good garage sale! Oh my…so hard to go thru things…esp. love books.
    Friend Marilyn is dying from cancer and she is so Angry…her son came back to live with her tho he works during the day…I (& her sister etc.) stop up every day. Hospice is involved but she keeps control by not taking their meds (just Aleve). Can hardly get out of bed. Challenging. Please pray for her. Best if she got into a nursing home for these last weeks but doubt she will.
    I’ve had to be there for 4 relatives/friends as they died and plan their funerals…she won’t talk @ it. Okay…respect her wishes but truly am challenged by her criticism & anger. Ideas anyone?
    Thanks all….love the comments…you have a great group of cyberspace friends, Mary.

  15. Yes,if it is open to other countries(I am from the netherlands)
    I like your blog.Thank you for sharing so much.It brightens my day so many times.

    1. Hi Ingrid,
      These are very light earrings so I can ship them anywhere in the world! Thanks for your comments and for entering.

  16. Yes!

    I found your blog through Jon Katz’s website. I love reading your posts. Perhaps one day you can tell the story behind the name, “White Feather Farm”.


  17. YES!! Brought to your blog via Bedlam Farm… love them both… read them everyday… so inspiring…

  18. YES, I would love to have your earrings as a gift. I love the way you think and I must say you inspire me to get up and move and sometimes slow down.

  19. The gift in this is the inspiration and warm heart you share with us all, Mary—even internationally now, across the great pond! Our ambassador of loving kindness; the world is a better place for what you do (and those you gather here) on this blog.

  20. Hi Mary – YES! I love squares in design – these earrings are lovely and I’d wear them.

    And YES they don’t call it “practice” for nothing. Like most other things we want to get good at or do regularly, the key word is “regularly”. That means having a way to make it happen more automatically. That takes practice and often that means making it into a habit so that you no longer have to think about it – or agonize over it. You just do it because you just brushed your teeth or because you just walked the dog or because it’s 9 o’clock – whatever. Routine can take the decision-making out of it – if you can only get it to that point.

    I, too, discovered your blog because of Jon Katz’s. And I, too, am curious about the name “White Feather Farm”. It’s a lovely name and suspect it has a story.

    Thanks for these many posts – very insightful.

  21. Syncronicity. I was just talking to my therapist yesterday about how to fit meditation into my life, as I think it’s exactly what I need to calm myself and stop letting my insecurities rule my behavior. As if to unscore the point, yesterday I also found a small, hard “bb” in my arm pit. I immediately made an appointment with my doctor, but it’s not until Thursday. I got on line, hoping to find all sorts of other things it could be, but only succeeded in ruling out everything else. I’m not panicking yet, but I am deeply distracted. I usually wake up early and go to the gym before work. Today, I just couldn’t do it. At 5:00, I eyed the clock and buried deeper. At 6:00, I rolled over. At 7:00, realized the gym was out of the question. At 8:00, I called in sick. I slept until noon. This is a great opportunity to work with was IS, and not worry about WHAT COULD BE, even if I find out the worst.

  22. Wise words indeed! I too cannot sit still for long, and need to follow the examples of the enlightened – before it’s too late and I’ve wasted my life energy by running around aimlessly just to avoid sitting still. It’s time to say YES to meditation!
    Thank you for your blog, I enjoy it so much!

  23. Hi Mary! What a lovely post – and to read all the replies, it is so heartening to know there are so many like minded women (and occasional man!) reading your blog and giving and receiving words of encouragement and love. I like the word coincidence, but not in the way it is usually used, as in “what a strange coincidence, something not expected to happen at the same time”. I feel it is more like a CO-incidence, something that was very much meant to happen at the same time, or along with. CO-operation being another example. Oh don’t get me going on words, I love them. And YES, I’d appreciate being included in your earring drawing. Your generous spirit is the greatest gift of all however. Happy Spring Cyber Sisters! Susan in AZ

  24. YES, I have read Bernie Siegle’s book Love, Medicine, and Miracles, and YES I do believe in wake up calls. But your car frustration brought to mind Robert Frost’s poem :
    “On a Tree Fallen Across the Road”
    The tree the tempest with a crash of wood
    Throws down in front of us is not to bar
    Our passage to our journey’s end for good,
    But just to ask us who we think we are

    Insisting on our own way so.
    She likes to halt us in our runner tracks,
    And makes us get down in a foot of snow
    Debating what to do without an ax.

    YES! Robert Frost is one of my favorite poets, and I appreciate his poetry even more, now that I live in Washington County,
    Upstate New York. And especially after this Winter!

    1. Replies to replies….
      Heart space to Paula.

      Mary Rita Scott: the Frost poem was lovely and perfect. My paternal great grandparents hail from a dairy farm near Utica, but after seeing Bedlam Farm weather updates, my dear husband shivers when I mention it as a relocation option. Wuss.

      Cyber sister (love that moniker) Susan, I love the words too. Maybe they will coax the ‘occasional man’ to feel the love as well.

  25. YES i would love to win the earrings

    YES i do so enjoy your blog (was turned on to it by bedlam farm)

    Thanks wendy greenspan

  26. I enjoy your blog and find it uplifting. I do believe there is good and bad in almost all things. Sometimes finding the good takes a real effort. My life has been blessed and I’m one of the richest people in the world………never been hungry because I had to be, never not had a roof overhead if I wanted one, always had good people in my life to help if I needed it…………YES, life is good and meditation helps.

  27. We’ve been married over 50 years and have always had only one car. It means thinking of your partner when you schedule use of the car, but we have made it work and YES, I do not mind having to share the car with a man who always makes sure I get to where I want to go when he also needs the car.
    I meditate while I swim. It is so good to be moving through the water and you certainly don’t talk out loud!! I must make more time to meditate – not just when I am knitting or swimming!
    Take care, Mary, and I hope your car is back home soon.

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