Sleeping owl*

I grew up going to the horse races at Saratoga with my father. I truly loved this as a child but by my late 30’s I didn’t like going at all anymore. The few times that I tried to go; to join in what others thought was fun, and to squelch my inner discomfort, by the end of the day, I felt like I’d been ripped up inside.

I’ve  found myself leaving behind a number of activities, that my family still participates in, as I’ve grown and changed. For many years, I was uncomfortable with this. I questioned myself. It made no sense that something that used to be so enjoyable would no longer interest me, but it was almost as if I had no choice. I was in the process of finding out who I was, independent of those who raised me, my friends, or society.

There is a “knowing” inside of us all. It is always encouraging us to live the authentic lives that we came here to live. It speaks in whispers, it continues to challenge us in the softest way to look inside ourselves and see if we are being true to our deepest calling…to wake up.

Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.” Frank Herbert

*This incredible photograph of a screech-owl sleeping, was taken by Jack’s friend and wildlife photographer, Mark Cronin (MARK@ACTION-CRAFT.COM)

23 thoughts on “Change”

  1. Mary, Oh you are so on.. The encouraging words that I can share are these: I am 72+ and I am in such amazing discovery of self and environment. I feel like Spring is constantly unfolding in me as I discover more ways of seeing inside and out! I so struggled with the fact that it was okay if others didn’t seem to appreciate who I am.. “Don;t take things personally” would have been a great mantra from birth forward..I am practicing this now and I smile every time I share this w/ someone or myself! So many of us have or have had abandonment or abuse issues, which kind of lump together in the same pot along w/ fear. It is time to jump out of the pot and “get on with Life!”

  2. Mary, not everyone has the courage to change. Your posting yesterday and today are very timely in my life. My forty-eight year old step-daughter and I have been at odds the past three weeks, after years of carefully side-stepping the issue of her father whom I divorced after ten years of marriage nearly 30 years ago. I raised this young woman from the age of eight to eighteen. Yet, three weeks ago, she made critical remarks about her father after visiting with him over the week-end and my role should have been but was not, non-reponsive when I heard that he’d put her down, again. I was offended by his putdown as I was when I was married to him and she immediately misinterpreted my comment in order to defend her father. It is, I’ve found, a role she has chosen in life. She’s been like a daughter to me over the years and I have been an emotional support for and to her. Yet, now it is time for a change and I’ve appreciated your insight into change. I feel that there is a certain pride in what you have chosen to listen to your inner voice…and I don’t like buzz words but I can’t think of another word for this…it’s something inside us that when we grow beyond living as we have been when something doesn’t feel right any more, I believe we become more true to ourselves. That feeling of discomfort is like a bell going off in me when I am no longer listening to how I feel inside.

    Does your family accept your change or do you feel odd-man-out? I wonder.

    SandyP in Canada

    1. The touchiest issues are always when dealing with family, aren’t they? Sandy, I hope you feel the loving arms of support from us all.

    2. Susan, I can’t think of anything worse than having a misunderstanding with a family member. Thanks for your comment and feeling. It’s pretty discouraging for me.


  3. i can’t stop looking at the fantastic photo of the fabulous owl. sleeping; isn’t he gorgeous? used to be that i was trans-fixed by a pair of shoes.

  4. Dear Mary,
    As always, with every post you are making such significant difference in my life’s journey. From allowing flagging relationships to go their own way, to realizing and accepting feelings about something that no longer feels right for me. Letting go and moving on without guilt but rejoicing in new strength for myself.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
    Love from Fran

  5. I am learning that my inner voice, although speaking in whispers, actually speaks volumes. And I look forward to and depend on it’s wise guidance. Marjorie, I love your comment about Spring constantly unfolding in you. Yes! I feel that too! Sometimes it feels like I have so much love I will burst!

    1. That is so well put Kathye, “…my inner voice, although speaking in whispers, actually speaks volumes”…thank you

      1. You mean there’s a volume control on that inner voice?? Mine is usually SCREAMING!**#!?! 🙂

  6. Mary you’ve done it again! You’ve perfectly described an awakening I have experienced particularly in the past several weeks. Growing up I had supportive but opinionated parents and my siblings and I were raised with fairly rigid beliefs of right/wrong, good/bad, should/shoudn’t etc. Although I knew I had different views about many things, I never felt comfortable expressing them even within my own family. Recently I’ve found the courage to begin shedding many of those rules. I’m developing some of my own passions and I’m finding a new joy and freedom I’ve never felt before! Who knew?!!

  7. How fortunate we are to live in a time when the idea of change and evolving is possible – and to have a forum in which we can share our experiences. I loved reading Marjorie’s comment this morning – it is so important for me at this point in my life to hear from my sisters – both younger and older – how doors continue to open – and that self discovery is never stagnant. That this life is just so completely amazing…. oxo

    1. …And about changing and our families…. Yes, our families can can handle it – though, people need to adjust, and time to adjust – when someone changes in a family – others can not help but be effected by it too. It means that they will have to change (to some degree) – and most people don’t appreciate being forced to make changes … we all have our own time frames, and a large part of this whole thing is self respect – and respect for our fellows as well. If in the end they choose not to accept you, most likely it will be their loss…

  8. Good morning Mary and all. I write to you from the backseat of a 1995 Camry, my son driving and his wife researching Savannah, Georgia – the next stop on our journey. Emily and Robin have started a blog entitled Extreme Telecommuters. They are Online Teachers and Travelers who thrive on change. For them travel allows new experiences opening their minds and hearts to new people, places, and things. I am happy to be along for the ride.

  9. “My inner voice, although speaking in whispers” says “Spring is unfolding within me”. I am just struck by how beautifully Marjorie’s and Kathye’s voices come together – almost sounds like the first lines of a poem. Think how silently the seed planted in the darkness of the earth unfolds – and against all odds, pushes through the earth to blossom in its own precious time. Sometimes the seeds of change within us may unfold in a time that is not understood by our friends, or family, but it must be right, because it is our time, our life, our moment to lift ourselves to the sun, the Source, and ripen into our fullness. I am so grateful for each and every one of you this morning. Echoing in my mind are the last lines of a poem by Katherine M. Hanna, “November Sunday”. She says, “I will not soon, or ever, have done becoming grown.” Blessings on us all as we continue to see with new eyes.

  10. What a delight to be engaged in such wonderful thinking! Thank you to each of you! Never be done w/ growing! appears that when change or shifts in one family member occurs, it often causes aftershocks as does the movement of the plates shifting in an earthquake. It also appears to me that if the person changing or shifting can keep an understanding and loving heart, the after shocks will lessen more quickly. It also appears to me that often others will find themselves shifting and changing as a direct result of the original person’s change of shift. (Sounds like a mathematical equation to me for forever young!) ;). enjoy each and every shift or change!

  11. I shouldn’t be surprised (but always am!) how a thread that you weave, Mary, leads to uncovering a dark corner long forgotten. Your shift of consciousness regarding horse racing brought back a memory of when I was probably 11 years old. Without telling us where we were going, my father took my brother and me to the Salinas rodeo one very hot summer afternoon. I’d never been to one before; I’d only seen it on a black and white TV set. I could not comprehend how people thought that roping a little calf, running at full speed, and thrown to the ground wasn’t painful. Or how a huge bull, kicked and spurred in his sides until he tried to heave the rider off his back, was some sort of sport. I protested and said I didn’t want to go. After paying to park, my father said, quite irritated “Okay, fine. You can just stay in the car!” It must have been close to 100 degrees that day. And I stubbornly stayed in that sweltering car all afternoon, crying and sweating, covering my ears to all the cheers and bullhorns coming from that arena. I felt in my heart that hurt and pain were too high a price to pay for acceptance, no matter how many people told me I was “too sensitive.”
    After spending the first thirty years of my life running from the stories others wrote for me, I spent the next thirty years embracing the lessons and strengths I earned in personal growth that I wrote for myself. It’s never ending. As Marjorie so eloquently put it, the eternal ‘spring unfolding’ in us all. I am so honored to share this space with so many beautiful open hearts and searching minds, unafraid to reach beyond any limitations, towards a richer life, all manifested one day at a time. Blessings and love to all.

    1. What a beautiful reply, Cheryl B ! In reading it, I felt that I was reading a page right out my own life’s story. My grammy had a very small farm that she and my grandpa retired to. I spent many sweet days there when I was a little one. It was in upstate NY. When we would go to stay with them on various weekends, they took us to a local rodeo. I hated it. I had the same experience as you: being terribly upset for any of the animals who were forced into cruel maneuvers. I, too, was told that I was “too sensitive.” And so for most of my growing up years and my adult years, I tried to stifle my sensitivity.

      I will turn 70 this year (when did THAT happen?) and I have decided that ‘sensitive’ is what I do, and through my wonderful Reiki healer, I am learning to honor who and what I am. My family has noticed the change and they’re not quite sure what to do with it. I, on the other hand, am luxuriating in it, finally finding my freedom and realizing that for the first time in my life, I am exactly where I’m supposed to be.

      Wonderful blog, wonderful flock, wonderful sharings that always open even more doors. Much love to you all.

  12. These entrys have been especially touching for me to read today. I’m proud of the changes I’ve made over the last two years. I’m listening to my inner self,paying attention to my instincts and gathering courage to change. My energy and aura are different, I’m growing comfortable with who I am today and have learned to continue to work on acceptance, of myself and of others.
    I was actually able to think of a good memory of my mother today. It shook my mind! I also found a dream that I hope will come true someday. I never had a dream for as long as I can remember. It’s all good. :))

    1. Cindy, checking in at night here in Arizona, – I’m so glad you had a happy memory today of your mother – and a dream in the same day that you hope (and we all will hope!) comes true someday. Remembering our mothers, being a mother, being a daughter – what a powerful dynamic it is. Love to you!

  13. Your posts have been speaking to me for some time now. It’s still a long shot, but I’m taking the first steps to living the life I’ve imagined. Since I was a young girl I’ve wanted to live on a farm. On Saturday, my husband and I are visiting an alpaca farm to gather information to help us figure out if alpacas are in our future. There may be big changes coming our way…..exciting and scary at the same time. Anyway, thanks for your words. They’ve made a difference in my life.

  14. Mary – Funny that you should mention your father and horse racing. I recently wrote a post about my dad and going to the track with him on my blog, “Teachings of the Horse”. And I also changed the way I feel about horse racing as I got older . So many horses are raced too young and get seriously injured or killed running on the track. But I know that it’s important for me not to deny or erase the early memories of my experiences that were enjoyable at that time. It’s like remembering my first marriage. There were some wonderful times and some not wonderful ones. I would be losing part of myself if I forgot or ignored the wonderful ones. Very few things in life ever remain the same, so I guess it’s important to let go of the bad times and appreciate the good ones.

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