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Posts tagged ‘widow’

sa·yo·na·ra

You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water. -Rabindranath Tagore

 

Tomorrow I leave for a 12 day buddhist pilgrimage on the small Japanese island of Shikoku.

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I have no earthly idea how I was led to do this, how I’m going to get around on an island of non-english speakers (and my small knowledge of Japanese language…..other than that which I owe to 80s music ….case in point:

Thanks, guys….wait…I mean domo arigato 😉 )

Add to that a forest of pit vipers, wild boars, signs I may not be able to read to get to my next village and poisonous centipedes…and I’m kind of feeling like Indiana Jones, but the indiana jones that didn’t like snakes and found himself in interesting situations:

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But man…I am pumped!

Yes, maybe at times I’ve worried about trying to figure out how to use the japanese baths  (luckily I found this jewel): bath_small.jpg

 

And I was worried about what to pack ( but found out I’ll be sporting this amazing and symbolic ohenro-san apparel….where every item has a very deep and spiritual meaning. “It is said that white is worn because long ago some pilgrims would collapse from the physical exertion and die during the pilgrimage, and the white robes could serve as their burial clothes”….two birds, one stone…respect):衣装.jpg

 

I’ve had the great gift and capability of being able to travel to many places and this will be my second pilgrimage (with the first being the Camino de Santiago I did at the one year mark of Michael’s passing) and if there was anything that I learned that time around, it was that everything would be okay if I trusted the path. That was very difficult one year after Michael died, as it was hard to believe that anything happened for a reason, but nine years later, years into trusting my “path”, I look forward to challenging myself even more….mentally, spiritually and physically. As it’s been said about the Henro:

What is important is not the destination,
but the act of getting there.
The Path itself is the goal.

Buddhism has also played a role in my life after loss and I love the idea that On the way of the 88 Temples, anyone that you meet, anyone that you hear, anyone that you see; they are all manifestations of Buddha. Learn from their strengths and reform your own shortcomings.….so listen and learn and honor them…..I think that’s a goal to embody in everyday life.

 

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INSERT YOURSELF HERE…you look great in orange too!

There are many “seas” in this inner world we each hold within…and I have stood upon many shores looking out at what seemed like an endless abyss..

An abyss that your mind tells you you can not survive and that tries to freak you out (like these signs on the Henro Pilgrimage: )

 

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Not sure what’s going on here…but the snake looks pretty friendly…and has nice hair 😉

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Pumba does not look happy!

…but I have crossed them, because my heart always said it would be worth it…and it wasn’t lying.(What the heart forgot to mention is once you cross that first ocean, you open the door to looking through the binoculars to see there are many more seas out there waiting for you if you are willing to look deeper…not on the beach, but in the current, the unknown, life.)

 

So yes, I am a bit nervous and have no clue that will come my way,but THAT IS LIFE and  and  I’m ready to keep on living’ it!

 

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Lots of love- Taryn

Back

5 months around the world.

Tears.

Bliss.

Shedding.

Finding.

Searching.

So much that I don’t feel I will ever be able to put into words.

So much I’m still absorbing….embracing.

I can say, that more than anything, this trip was not about the tropical locations or adventures (yes…they played a part)…but this trip was about a widow who lost her soul mate over 8 years ago, who had never wanted to date or love or feel connected in that way again…learning how to be a “we” again.

Learning:

How to trust.

How to rely.

How to let go.

How to have faith in the unknown.

And…

I was not disappointed.

I struggled and fought and sometimes climbed into my mental cave of a security blanket, but not before Luke pulled it over my head and made me face it. Face myself. Face the obstacles of learning how to live in love after the one I loved was taken suddenly and tragically.

When times got toughest I’d find a “Michael” or “Charlie” show up in the form of a grocery bagger, a bungee coordinator, or a dog on a trail. I’d be sent warmth and hope in the form of a swallow or a white butterfly or a child’s smile.

More than anything, I saw the parts of me that I so easily ignored in the comfort of my solitude.

The fearless widow now saw the fears that still crippled her.

The go-with-flow girl saw that she still wanted to control the uncontrollable.

The peaceful warrior saw that she still had battles within herself to hand an olive branch to.

And so, here I sit, not swarmed by the impermanence I had become so acclimated to, but on the chair in the office in the home we live in.

I’m changed and am changing, but am still playing catch up to figure out in just what and all the ways.

And with that, I am learning to love all the crooks, cracks, crannies, jewels, dust, glitter and glow of this further unveiled soul of mine.

And I’m alive….and now, very fully aware of what that truly means….fully aware of where life exists.

Lost

I was having a farewell dinner this evening with a friend…which usually equates to sharing our thoughts on life and all that it teaches/has taught us thus far.

At one point during our conversation, he looked at me and said, “Taryn, there was a quote from a book that changed my life. I want to share it and I want you to absorb it.”

Intense!

That was the word floating into my head with such a preface!

“Ok.” I responded, taking an exaggerated inhale as some sort of sign to show him I was prepared.

He opened his mouth and the words poured out:

“All that is not given is lost.”

I repeated it aloud. I repeated it again.

I sat silently and dissected it in every which way.

It hit me. I dare not say in which way, as I think it’s a line that will bring to the surface the things deep within ourselves that we may have lost….which will be different for each of us.

The things we have failed to give.

 

I know since Michael’s death, there is much that I have given and much that I have received.

I also know that there have been parts of me that I have held so close that had/if I did/do not let go, I would never know all the true beauty still awaiting me.

I want to give.

Every aspect of every ounce of every part of myself.

I refuse to die with any lost part of my being.

I’ve lost too much to lose anymore by my own hand.

I want to give it my all in giving my all.

I owe it to myself.

200

They will tell you; you can stack misery, you can pack, disappear, you can even wear your sorrow — but come tomorrow you must change your clothes. Everyone knows pain. We are not meant to carry it forever. We were never meant to hold it so closely, so be certain in the belief that what pain belongs to now will belong soon to then.

For my 200th post, I wanted to share a video that is a reminder for all those (everyone), of what we need to remember in the moments our life and mind have a tendency of clinging to. To that which no longer serves us but has become a comfort zone. Something that acts of no use, but a reminder of what you used to be, and what we never want to return to.

 

I guess more than anything, I post it because 200 posts later, I can say that the pain belongs to the ‘then’.

 

It sometimes hurts to type the truth, especially when you were convinced it could never be possible.

 

200 posts later, I know that it is…and so is everything else.

Feel

Though I love to come her to share my thoughts, experiences and words, there are moments that I come across things that speak so poignantly that it must be given the space to spread to those who deserve to hear it.

 

This letter is one I found this evening that I know so many who have lost, struggled, hurt and suffered, should read.

 

Written by a stranger. But a human. Who has gone through who knows what in their lifetime.

 

May it impact you the way it has for me:

 

There will be days when the tears become waterfalls upon your cheeks Feelings cascading down your skin soaking you to the bone, to your soul.There will be nights when you are so overcome with the weight of being alive that you cannot sleep. You turn and toss in the sea of bed sheets. There will be years when the emotions you held in for so long, for too long, breakthrough in waves and currents that you have not yet learned to swim in.

Breathe my love. It’s okay to feel. It’s okay to be emotional. It’s okay to sit with the feelings and try to understand them. It’s okay to let them hug your body for a while, till you are ready for them to let go. And if it takes longer than most to say goodbye that’s okay. You feel what you feel till you don’t feel it anymore. It takes time. You will not drown in the ocean of emotion. You will float on your back and feel it all, every ripple, every wave as the sun leans in to kiss away your tears.

For every person that told you, “you’re too emotional” I stand before you with arms open wide and say it’s okay love, it’s okay to be emotional.

I love you,

Dele

2013

“Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties,” – Helen Keller

 

Well, 2013, we’ve had our moments.

 

Good.

 

Bad.

 

Awesome.

 

Terrifying.

 

Everything in between.

 

But you have not conquered me, and for that I am forever grateful and with a reflective heart, shall share some of my favorite moments, because focusing on the shitty is just kind of faux pas and SO last year!

 

 

So with no further ado….

 

  • Going to India- It’s truly has been my favorite stop in my travels. It touched some part of me deep down in my being. Its people. Their smiles. Their spirituality. Their gratitude for life. It was utterly amazing. With some of my highlights being: “working” at the orphanage, the Shreya’s crew and guests and driving around the madness of Bangalore. Thank you for allowing me to visit you. We’ll meet again.
  • Yoga Practice- It’s only natural that it follows India, as it was in India that I was taught their traditional hatha yoga, that I practiced for 3-5 hours a day. Once returning home, I’ve so gratefully been able to carry on my practice nearly every day of the week. Namaste!
  • The AWP- We had our first gala. Launched WidowU. Held over 18 events! Connected with around 1,500 military widows! Created an amazing team. It’s my passion and purpose. Most importantly, all of the amazing fellow military widows I have the honor of taking the journey with! They inspire me beyond words. I’m so grateful to be a part of it.
  • My family- We had some big health scares and I’m just grateful for initiatives and steps taken to ensuring more time with those I love the most. I’m also so glad to having a talking niece! They’re a bit more fun when they can talk!
  • Friends- For those that have been in for the long-haul, those that I’ve reconnected to, and those that have recently entered. I’m grateful for meaningful conversations, drive-in theater dates, food explorations and guidance. Thank y’all!
  • Officiating my first wedding- I was honored to be asked to officiate for a dear friend and her amazing (now) husband! I could have never thought to have been asked, but so grateful to be a part of such an amazing love story.
  • Hawaii and Mexico- Any time on the beach and with those you love is amazing. Add in dolphins, snorkeling, margaritas and sunsets…pretty darn awesome!
  • New York- I’ve been there a bit this year, but all for amazing things! Surprising AWP fans at a school, meetings for AWP partnerships and awards.  It’s been great to us all!
  • Music- Whether it be in the form of ACL Festival, Karaoke, Pandora, SXSW or my LP collection. It lubricates the heart and soul. I don’t think you can ever use the word lubricate without it sounding a bit inappropriate. Forgive me.
  • Spiritual Awareness I had already started a path of awareness in the past couple of years, but in ’13 I loved taking my modern Buddhism course, teaching meditation to other widows, learning about and utilizing Reiki, crystals, essential oils, making malas and getting acupuncture! I’ll leave out the millions of books and notes I have…but they’ve been a part of the journey, too!
  • Happiness- It was somewhat of a “Bigfoot” for a while. Some mysterious and ever fleeting object that seemed more myth than reality. But it’s real and pretty awesome to be immersed in.  Even more than that…it’s a choice. I’m glad I chose to have it become a huge part of 2013.
  • Michael- Ok, he’s got to make any list of mine! I was able to connect with him in ways I never knew possible, and lets just say that we could have filmed “Ghost 2” with the interactions we’ve had 🙂 I feel more than ever that he such a guide and part of every step, decision and interaction. Love you, baby!
  • Everything Else- Conversations, Maximus and Brutus, Queen Latifah, AWP Supporters, Getting rid of cable, A new AWP Logo and SO MUCH MORE!!!

 

There you have it.

Pretty good roster! And I have no doubt, a primer for all that 2014 holds!

AS my motto goes:

Let’s do this shit!