Making Root Beer (Mar 1997)

This month’s front cover is a photo of me as a ten-year-old pouring Root Beer into beer bottles. It was a store-bought mix that was supposed to ferment in the bottles and get fizzy when opened. I can still hear Mom cursing when she walked into the storage room and discovered that more than one bottle had blown its cap and sprayed the sweet mixture all over the ceiling and walls. Some batches turned out great and some didn’t, and it didn’t matter to me as long as we got to drink the sweet-tasting Root Beer, for living in the wilderness, treats were special and thoroughly enjoyed.

February 20th was my birthday and as soon as I thought of it I knew exactly what I wanted … so I ordered a lemon sponge cake with blueberry filling and whipped cream frosting from Jude at Just Pies and asked her to inscribe the words Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen in the frosting. I phoned my family and friends and invited them to the potluck and asked them not to buy me a present. I said, “I want home-made cards with cash so that I can buy a mountain bike, so that Gerry and I can go cycling this spring.” Jan and Michael have just purchased a canoe, so I expect this summer to include lots of physical fun
… perfect for a forty-five-year-old turning sixteen.

Because of my deep desire to change and allow myself to go through the fear of letting go of the old me and trusting that process, I feel and act much younger than my chronological age. People tell me that I look like a teenager so I figure I must be doing something right, and as you read in the last Musing I have attracted into my life a young man who will be twenty-five years old this summer. I always felt that I missed the teenage era of my life by getting married so young and Gerry has never dated before, so I figure this is a match made to order. My son Keith, who happens to be the same age as Gerry, said to me, “Mom, the teen years are a bit overrated.” I said, “Perhaps so, but I intend to stay open to the many possibilities for I think that reliving that era will be a time of searching and discovering who I am. Whatever happens it will be a good experience for both of us.”

Gerry is entering into this relationship to get some experience in what it means to be in a relationship, and with his help I get a second chance to get clear with communicating my needs, using some of the wisdom I have gained by having already gone through the process. Because of this difference and my love of making things happen Gerry does need to remind me to go slow. As my astrologer said when she did our compatibility chart, “This is the express elevator the two of you are on,” so I figure we’ll find balance somewhere in the middle where we are both comfortable.

Gerry and I have lots in common, including our love of cooking and experimenting with foods and herbs and understanding how they affect us. We both enjoy long walks and being outdoors and I like his readiness to try out new things, especially practising yoga and getting bodywork done. We also have lots of differences, some very obvious, such as my thrill of being the centre of attention and his preference to be in the background, which is reflected in the way we dress and talk. I prefer to do things without a lot of thinking and he likes time to ponder and consider all the options. Since relationships are about finding balance we know ours will be doomed if either of us thinks we know what is best for the other. We have talked and committed ourselves to staying present and adapting to the needs of the moment, and we’ll see what happens.

When Rae and I were in the midst of getting divorced he paid me a great compliment by saying, “Thank you for allowing me to make the mistakes I did. At times I knew you knew better ways to make things work but I guess I needed to learn by making those mistakes.” I figure my challenge, once again and to an even greater degree, will be to stay conscious of my Miss Know-it-AII programming. As my judgements come to the surface I hope to let them go and allow the magic of the moment to unfold as it needs to.

Trying to save the world by helping people to see the light seems to be instilled in me at a very deep level, for intellectually I know that the only person I can save or change is myself. This time around I have some very good role models to help me in the shape of Jan, Marcel and Urmi. All three are showing me, by example, new ways of being present and responding to people without getting attached as to whether or not they help themselves as I think they should. I am sure my relationship with Gerry will accelerate the learning process as I develop clarity as to how my body gives me messages and what they mean. Rediscovering myself and writing about it as it happens is a good process, so I shall continue to share my story.

As my body shifts and shakes itself into alignment there have been lots of changes in my physical structure. It feels good not to have to work at standing tall and to feel my shoulders drop back without constant reminding. Discovering the complexity of my body and how each incident that I didn’t deal with in the moment has affected my internal organs and is reflected in my physical appearance is awesome. As my hip joints level out and rotate into alignment some of my internal adhesions are letting go. I figure that with each pop of my hip or backbone I am getting a little closer into alignment with what I came here to be and do. As I become the true me, I realize how much I got moulded by my family programming … some good and some not so good. Changing my family or societal programming is not something that happens without effort. Being real, being honest and feeling the feelings as they arise is still something I have to remind myself to do. Using the breath as a gauge, I say to myself “let go,” as the feelings take me deeper into my core. Being in the moment is a continual process for me, for my brain likes to take over and remind me of the work that needs doing. Intellectually I know that these things will get done when I am ready to put my attention there, so I put them on my list and the next time my mind reminds me, I say, “Thank-you, but right now I want to enjoy the moment.” Letting go of my need to be busy is really happening for me … at a core level. Slowing down and making the time to enjoy a little romance is very nurturing. It is giving my body time to regenerate my energy centres and an opportunity to put into practice my new understanding of being human and living more honestly.

I do believe that the microcosm and macrocosm are the same and that if we look closely at ourselves and our environment we will see the similarities and correspondences. As I have said in various Musings, I do believe that each generation of humans comes in just a little more aware than their predecessors. The lessons we choose to learn and deal with are put in place by our early childhood experiences. I am sure that Gerry and I will have a great time shining some light for each other so that each of us can see more clearly the path we have chosen to heal ourselves. In doing so, we can help to heal the Earth, which is what we are all here to do.