Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Simple Abundance: The Blessing of Friends

Each friend represents a world to us, a world possibly not born until they arrive and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.
Anais Nin

At the Lifeline Bookfest over the June long weekend I picked up a copy of Sarah Ban Breathnach's Simple Abundance:a daybook of comfort and joy. Late last year I picked up a new copy for a friends birthday as 'abundance' was the word that kept coming up when I was thinking of her (as it turns out she's pregnant with her fourth child ... that's about as primally abundant as you can get!) I wanted to get myself a copy, as I liked the ideas at the end of each month with suggestions for simple luxuries to enjoy the month ... as well as a daily essay. I waited however and got myself a beautifully looked after second hand hard back copy! My new committment is to read the daily essay - either before or after writing my morning pages (depending on how I'm feeling or going for time). It's a good way to get a focus for the day to provide an idea to reflect on.

This morning I actually read the wrong essay today. I thought I would go back and read the essay again (because I'd sort of skimmed through parts of it), which was when I discovered I'd read the wrong one. Today's essay was on the blessing of friends and was today's lashing of synchronicity, as I got my old friend Kirsten, and her two sons Biku and Lucien came over today for morning tea. It's been months since we saw each other - since my self imposed 'time out.'

Kirsten is the current convenor of HMA and while we were good friends prior to her taking up this position (we met during pregnancy in a birth workshop run by our yoga teacher), working together really cemented our friendship last year. Kirsten's capacity for generosity and to truly listen, are phenomenal ... and I've been about to share my journey, unedited with her, over the years. Her gentleness, her joy in the art of meaningful conversaion (because I love to talk too) and her empathy are true and rare gifts. She supported me wholeheartedly when I made the decision to withdraw from my volunteer work last year ... even though I knew at the time she was going 'shit shit shit' in her head - as it meant for her, supporting the creation of a magazine committee to take over the work that I had been doing. I knew it would make her role as convenor difficult for a bit, but her support for me was unflagging - I never felt for one minute she begrudged me my decision.

Since mid February this year, I've been 'underground' - cocooned in a way from the world, in order for me to find my grounding again, to establish a reference point for myself that is beyond 'doing work for others', reconnecting with myself and nourishing my artist within. During this time, with one exception, I've basically had a blackout on all my friends. I was able to articulate it to my lovely friend Anna in early March, what was going on because she could feel the change in energy. I didn't feel that I had it in me to explain it to all my friends ... they all talk (not gossip!) and I knew they would all find out was going on with me. Intrinsically I knew none of them would hold this against me, that they would understand my need to walk my path without them for a bit. And they haven't. To me this is the essence of true friendship.

It was weird, the interconnectiveness of our energies - when I began to think that I was ready to emerge from my cocoon ... the phone began ringing again. One by one, I have been able to reconnect with old friends - cuppa and a lunch with one friend, a phone call from another, an invite to a bar to celebrate a birthday (which enabled me to catch up with many other old friends) and then Kirsten's visit today. She came bearing gifts too ... much loved handmade body products (including my fav mocha body scrub and mini massage bars from Luna Bloom) and even more treasured, a spiral goddess necklace (something I've wanted for the longest time). The gifts was a thank you from HMA. The gift is gorgeous and I gratefully appreciate the recognition, but it makes me feel a little strange to accept it. I never really asked for anything because everything I gave HMA, I gave freely. I remind myself that it's good to inturn be recognised and appreciated.

Anais Nin's quote up the top reminds me that all the friends that I have in Brisbane were born out of birthing ... they are all friends who I met through the homebirth support group, through pregnancy yoga or mummy yoga. My world was born through them and through Dylan, and so intrisically linked, that neither can really be seperated. They helped to birth me as the woman that I am still becoming, to support me through the sharing of their wisdom and to radically alter not just my world view, but the way in which I veiwed myself. I know definitely that I am who I am because of them. Merle Shain said "Friends are people who help you be more yourself, more the person that you are intended to be." Thank you to Nickole, Anna, Kirsten, Alex, Andrea, Mandy, Rachael, Genevieve, Jo, Michelle, Melissa, Kylie and all the other women who have come through and touched my life as friends and fellow journeywomen since 2004!

Which brings me to my incredibly dear friend Annie. I didn't met Annie through my birthing groups, though in time she did become part of this social group. Annie is a very old friend of my bestfriend and we were told to link up when we arrived in Brisbane. Karen had a crazy idea that we'd get along (little did she know, hey Annie, just how well she would get on) This year, Annie has been my almost constant companion and had had a grounding influence on me, when I needed to take time out from life. I'm not sure if I would be walking with such passion and committment the path of a writer if it were not for her decision to walk the same path. I'm not meant to be a lone writer - that's for sure. This is my thanks to you Annie, for all that you've consciously and unconsciously done this year to support me. Friends are blessings, most definitely, and the Universe (via Karen) blessed me with your friendship.

Take time out today to let a friend know how much you appreciate them. Send them a card, write a letter or an email, take around a bunch of flowers, ring and organise a time together for brunch, lunch or a movie, send them a virtual gift through facebook or some good karma. As it is winter here in Australia, if you have a friend who is sick offer to help them out with their kids for a morning, cook a meal for them or do as Breathnach suggests - take around a get well pack with a book, some cough drops, a box of luxurious tissues and some soup. Simple things say so much!

1 comment:

Annie said...

Thank you Jodi. tears are in my eyes. Its hard to remember sometimes how one small interaction can change the life of someone. ( two rocket ships??)Your post has helped me refocus and remember my true purpose - that of being the catalyst in others lives. A touch here and nudge there - holding the hand of friendship and love to all..