I am sure this photo of the galvanized tin bucket and dipper will bring back memories for many of the older folks who grew up without running water. This photo is of Michael, my second youngest brother, enjoying a drink of water as he daydreams. Everyone drank from the same dipper and put it back into the water bucket, which we hauled from the creek to the cabin more than once a day. The water was usually ice cold and tasted so sweet and delicious.
Sometimes Michael would ask for help to get a drink, and if no one was around he would climb up on the stool and reach for the big dipper, trying not to spill much water before it got into his mouth. Being able to ask for help and being able to do it himself were both great experiences for him. Children need to learn they have many choices when they are growing up and that being able to choose a way of making something happen is just part of the decision-making process. How we are raised as children is repeated many times, in many ways, throughout our adult lives. If we can be become conscious of our programming and view it objectively then we can choose to change the programming, but until it becomes conscious, it rules our lives in both simple and complex ways.
Understanding how my foundation was laid is very important to me. As my body changes shape from all the bodywork and emotional clearing I have done, it is getting easier for me to feel my feelings and look at them quickly as they come to the surface. That in turn allows change to happen more quickly. It also helps me to be able to clear my thoughts at the end of the day and get into a meditative state more easily. Above all, it helps me to feel connected to the universal source more of the time.
Being in a new relationship brings up many situations each day where I am allowed to witness my reactions to the many ways of getting something done. Even watching Gerry cook brings new insights into why I am the way I am. Since I believe that the microcosm and the macrocosm are the same, everything I do must have a thread of familiarity that governs how I react. I find it fascinating to observe my relationships with people and to make note of my environment. They are reference points to how I am being, and I see my patterns being repeated many times a day, from how I react in business deals, to how I cook, how I feel nurtured and how I interact with people. To demonstrate the point, I would like to share one small incident.
Gerry and I have talked about eating our dinner meal around six pm so that I don’t go to bed with food in my stomach because if I do, I sometimes don’t sleep soundly. I usually prepare a simple rice and vegetable dish or eat the leftover soup I made at lunch. Gerry on the other hand likes to experiment and prepare more complex dishes, which takes more time. The other day he decided he wanted to make a dish with carrots and oranges. I didn’t have any oranges, so I suggested a quick walk to the store to buy some. As we neared the store, he decided he didn’t want to shop there, so we continued walking for another thirty minutes to the IGA. An hour and half later we arrived back home and I said to him, “Your turn to make dinner. It would be nice to get some typing done.” T hat took him another thirty minutes, and it was now 7:30 pm as we sat down to eat. Gerry had made a vegetable stew with sunflower seeds in it and a carrot dish, which I could see through the glass cooking pot. As the meal was being served I noticed that the carrot dish didn’t have oranges in it. Instead, it was cooked with shredded coconut. We had been experimenting with making one sweet-tasting dish and one salty-tasting dish at each meal and found it rather pleasing to our taste buds. The stew was great but I had some resistance to the carrot dish because I had to really chew and chew the coconut: Thoughts went through my mind about how heavy coconut is to digest so late in the day, so I said, “What happened to the oranges we walked to the store for?” Gerry said, “I changed my mind. I didn’t feel like cooking them.”1 felt my body react with a “What... change your mind? How dare you?” I knew this came from my childhood programming, for I am getting good at seeing my patterns. As I continued to pick my way through the carrots, leaving most of the coconut on my plate, I thought to myself ... “1 do like this sweet taste ... just relax and enjoy the meal” So I did. Gerry is teaching me to enjoy being in the moment and it didn’t seem to bother him that he changed his mind, so I 1st go of my resistance and went for a third helping of the coconut and carrot dish as I thought to myself, “What a great concept... changing your mind, even if you said you were going to do something!” This is not something I do very often because it makes me feel uncomfortable. Yet, it is good to have choices so I’ll practice this one. That night I even slept well.
The next morning it was my turn to cook breakfast before I picked up Gerry in Summerland for the yoga class with Margaret Lunam in Kelowna. I looked at the leftover brown rice from lunch and thought to myself, “I will use that. Quick and simple, finish up the leftovers, same as always.” I started to warm up the rice when I said to myself ... “No, what is it that I am here to learn? .. .To change my programming and to do that, I have to change the way I think ... and to do that, I have to start with the simple things. So let’s be Gerry ... What would he do?” I looked at the white basmati rice in the cupboard and decided I had enough time to change my mind. I cooked up the basmati rice and added peas and miso at the last minute to get the salty taste. Then I thought to myself, “And what about a sweet dish? What would Gerry cook?” Cooked carrots with oranges came to mind. “Besides, that’s what he promised to make last night. Yeah, I’ll surprise him and myself.” The carrots took another ten minutes to cook. As I drizzled honey over them, the sweetness got lost in the juice and I didn’t want to pour off the water, so I ground up some flax seeds in my coffee grinder and stirred them into the pot to thicken the honey water. (Usually I use arrowroot powder but I was out of it ,and this seemed like a good substitute.) I then pushed the rice to one side of the pot and added the sweet orange and carrot mixture. I put the lid on it, wrapped the hot pot, two bowls and two forks in a blanket, and headed out the door. I picked up Gerry and drove to the scenic overtook just past Summerland and parked the car so we could eat breakfast. Before he got a chance to unwrap the blanket, I told him about my morning revelation. He said, “I had a feeling you were going to warm-up the leftover rice, but I am glad you changed your mind.” We both laughed and then he said, “Let’s eat! I’m hungry.” As usual, our meal turned out delicious, for everyday we seem to come up with new combinations for cooking the same foods.
Gerry is teaching me to slow down and enjoy, and it is so much more fun to share the cooking. It feels nurturing when he prepares a meal for me, especially if I am relaxing while he cooks, and I sure appreciate it if I have work to get done. In Oriental medicine the energy put in to preparing a meal is just as important as vitamins and minerals, for love is what makes the world go round.
PS. My latest Rolf update ... I got a double Rolf on February 20, my birthday present from Ann and her friend from Colorado. As my chest expanded my heart opened just a little bit more, for I felt like I was having a conversation with God as a few more pieces of the puzzle came together. After three years of some pretty intense sessions, it felt good to get off the table and giggle. My body felt so different, so good, so light and expanded.