Has it been only two years ago? It seem like a lifetime. I huddled ion my bed, curtains drawn closed and trembled. Depressed. I remember one day. I decided I needed I could escape this darkness by writing ten blessings a day. My first try all I could do was to list the names of my dogs over and over. Dodi. Baruch. Dodi. I could think of no other blessing.
I was afraid of the future. What if? And if then….The treadmill of life was rolling by. Too scared to hop on, I merely cowered on my bed.
I could not open the shades in my room then. Shadeless Arizona sun beat into my room month after month. No architect looked at the location o the bedroom, shifted the exposure. No gardener planted a fast-growing shrub as a shield. Oh, those cookie-cutter tract homes.
I moved on. Life is relentless that way. I learned about choices. Every moment we have a choice. When I was as buried as I was in doubts and fears, I realized it was the basic choice. I could breathe or not breathe. I could move my leg, or not. And when I did not make a conscious choice, life made it for me. If I chose not to breathe for too long, my body forced one on me.
Generally, not one for sitting and doing nothing, I sat there for several weeks. I was paralyzed, Too many choices. I stuck to the basics, just breathe. Eventually I began to reach out. FaceBook was there. I found a genial bunch of spiritual writers from around the world, felt a simpatico, and began to write to my new-found friends. They suggested workbooks, strategies for me. Always one to reach out to others, I began to take an interest in others’ plights. I made suggestions to them as well.
As I opened further to possibilities, I began to see the effect the bleakness of my house was pulling me down. Yes. It had a large living room, a perfect showroom for my lifetime collection of treasures. I could walk outside the house and look west to see Mingus Mountain from there. I could make the effort to watch the sun, the moon set beyond her peak. But the possibility of a better view intrigued me. I could make choices.
Pulled by the lure of Mingus, I chose to move across the river, closer to my enigmatic mountain. Fate helped me find a new bedroom which, shaded by trees, provided me a view of the stretch of the Verde River. The trees sifted through the rays of sun. And when I chose to get beyond my bedroom I could walk a few feet further and the view I was afforded was a close-up of Mingus. And when I went into the kitchen to cook, the sight of Jerome, clinging to the flank of Mingus beckoned me.
It took me a year to climb up Mingus to Jerome, to discover the creative opportunities there. I walked into the thick stucco walls to fine a community of artists, a cast for dramas I had never been in before. I found I had a proclivity for producing art, a desire for the challenge for marketing that art to others.
And here I am now. I make conscious choices all day. No longer one to lie in my bed, breathe because the alternative is virtually impossible and allow my lack of decision-making dictate a bland life, I now can choose to walk my dogs around the block admiring expansive views. I can choose to eat a healthy breakfast and slip the five miles up the mountain to my studio. I can even choose to snuggle back under the covers, stroke my dogs and sleep in a bit more. I do not let go of my underlying choice, to live a fulfilling, creative life within a circle of creative friends, and two very loving dogs.
One day recently, just for fun, I decided to list my blessingsThe task was challenging. I had too many to enumerate.
"With all the beauty surrounding me here above the Verde Valley, how could I not create more beauty?"