Saturday, November 7, 2015

A matter of synchronicity

Every once in a while I look at the values I've defined for myself and my life in retirement to see how I'm doing. I list my values in this order: spirituality, health, community, curiosity and purpose. The list morphed in content and sequence at first, but hasn't changed in a couple of years. Before I retired I had no such list, but I've learned that if I'm aligning my life this way, I'm pretty content most of the time.

I looked again recently and discovered I'd been slacking on health, number two on my list. When I wondered why much of my clothing is about seven pounds too small, I realized I'd gotten into the daily habit of (1) one or two mochas; (2) a bowl of tortilla chips from the very large bag on the kitchen counter purchased by a male in the household; AND (3) a bowl of ice cream. Since that very day of realization, I only allow myself one of the above. I'm downsizing gradually!

Otherwise, I'm on track. And I find, somewhat to my surprise (though it shouldn't have been), that the result has been synchronity. Seemingly random things and events come together.

Here are a couple of examples: 

1. I've been processing a personal loss for several months and was finding it hard to move beyond it. I had a conversation over a month ago with a friend about the issue. I saw the same friend last week when we took a walk in the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, about 80 miles south of where I live. The loss came up again in conversation. My friend said, "You're still stuck in this loss. It might be a kid issue." You know, one of those very old tapes playing that feels like it's happening right now. Turns out my "kid" was Ten, and she couldn't let go of the loss because she wanted to fix the problem that caused it - which she couldn't.  I get it now, thanks to my friend and my Ten, and the loss has eased.  

The day after my Nisqually walk with my friend, I met another friend for lunch in Seattle. This friend lives in Hawaii and I only see her about once a year. Her father died this year, and though she was present at his passing via Skype, she wished she could have been there, in Chicago, in person. She said she would have liked to climb into his bed and curl up next to him. I asked her how old the kid was in her who wanted that. She said Six! Then she said, "I hadn't thought much about it until earlier this week when I went for a walk with a friend at Nisqually National Wildlife Reserve and the subject came up."

Neither of us had ever been to Nisqually until last week. 

2. I was moved by our September experience with refugees in the Salzberg train station. I thought I might want to get involved with the immigration issue in Tucson, where we live in the winter. Then my church here at home decided to set up a homeless car camp and I will be coordinating the volunteers by email from Tucson. And there's an organization in Tucson, the Kino Border Initiative,  that provides services to Mexican immigrants traveling to be with families in the States. I now see a connection between refugees and the homeless and I think my mediation and communication skills will be a way I can help. 

When I'm open to possibilities, and conversation, and I'm willing, the most amazing things happen. 

When I honor spirituality, health, community, curiosity and purpose, synchronicity shows up.


Terra said...

Nisqually sounds like a healing place.

Linda Reeder said...

You are such a grown up, all wise and caring. You always impress me.

Pam said...

How wonderful it is to gain understanding and peace.

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

Not just one but two valuable insights here (helpful and timely for me, I mean). First, your experience of synchronicity and its relationship to honoring your values. Second, the concept that an issue that lingers may well be rooted in a childhood experience. And that simply asking "how old is that child?" can begin to resolve the problem. Wow.

Anonymous said...

I have a saying at this point in my retirement: put on the uniform and show up; God will do the rest.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

So much wisdom, so much valuable insight in this post! It's giving me much to think about....

Olga said...

Do take care of that health value, because without it you will be hurting the good pace you keep with everything else. You are an inspiration.

Sally Wessely said...

I'm glad you are feeling resolved about the loss that hit you so hard. It is truly insightful to realized that we sometimes just want to go back and fix things we really can't fix.

I am also trying to cut back on my choices, but mostly I'm trying not to mindlessly eat. I also am working on get as close to those 10,000 steps a day as I can. Walking has always been the best way for me to work on health and weight issues.

Good for you for working on this project with your church group.