With a bit of self convincing, I’ve come back to civilization! It wasn’t a light decision, as I was really falling for that place, but alas, as easily as my original 5 day plan turned into 3+ weeks, I felt like I could have stayed there for months and months!! I did a Jordan and left on a high note (I can always return for a comeback;)!!
Soooo... this Ashram, this Bush Sanctuary, this place of fabulousness...How crazy that I was there for 23 days!... Or, maybe not so crazy. Did I mention 23 is my fav number? A co-ink-ee-dink? Nope... Im beginning to really grasp that a coincidence is just a synonym for fate :). Me ending up there was no accident. I nnnnneeeeeded that!!!! Despite not having spent a dime (okay well $0.50 on my work shorts), and not having any so called luxuries, I am leaving this place far far faaaaaar from empty handed. Most obvious evidence of my being there? The physical gifts: aftermarkings of 15-20 leeches (little ones, but still blood suckers!!), 11 mill mosquito bites, a few unknown bites (I refuse to believe spiders), damp-moldy-stinky everything I own, and some majorly overgrown eyebrows!!! I think many people would have been totally turned off by the manual labor and the bugs and the torrential downpouring for weeks and the leaky roof dripping on my head in the middle of the night... but ohhhh my gosh for me I was just loving it!!! It just adds an element of reality, a test of the second set of gifts: the emotional and spiritual ones.... which I’ll come back to! Lastly, the future gifts: I was literally BURSTING with ideas about what I want to do with my life!! I didnt even know I was looking!!!! Twice I had to run, no, sprint, back to my cabin to get my journal cuz I just haaaaad to write stuff down before I forgot it!!! And more than once I was so happy with life I walked around shouting what a great day it was, singing “I got a feeling”, and giving everyone hugs:)
The biggest and most exciting of these future gifts: a recognition of a big missing chunk of my life: creation!!! I touched on this in an earlier blog.... but it’s become so so so very clear! I can recall giving tours of my house, and getting to my wood shop and talking about how I love to make things. But, I hadn't actually made anything in it that wasn't just remodeling. I was actually a bit nervous that maybe I really didn't love making things.. maybe I was just saying it from a memory. But NOPE, I was right, I loveee to make things!!! I need to use my hands more to create things: A house, a fence, a sign, a painting, a design, a book, a blog, a photo, an idea, a concept....anything and everything! Once I realized and accepted this as me- my brain just took on a whole new life!!!! For now I’m a bit flabbergasted by all this stuff... My fingers can’t type fast enough!!!! I’ve realized I just love doing this blog (I’ve got 10 or more just patiently waiting in my head), I started to write a book (over 5000 words in the first sitting, which only ended cuz my computer died- boo no electricity that night!), a concept for the direction of my architecture, including the actual company name I’ll start (lots more on that!!), and a huge concept about the type of atmosphere /life I want to build. For the first time ever I actually thought about starting something and sticking with it for the rest of my life and it didn’t scare me! Holy smokes I’m exciteeeeedddd! Okay now...Don’t be mad...but Im saving those ideas for now! Bwwwahhh hhhhaaaha *evil grin*. Just kidddin'! Try to contain your curiosity though... everything is just so raw right now, I need to let them simmer a big more :)
I will however, share what I got to create!! Sooo much! The last 3+ weeks I’ve been armed with tools, art supplies, and a an entire property of old stuff just waiting to be turned into something new and exciting! And within only a few days, I was also given the freedom to do just about whatever I thought should be done! We really spruced that little Bush Sanctuary up! The realization for me started with a window and a sun... of which I made both :) A wet, broken louver panel, and a big black tarp tacked into an unused door opening were the starting blocks. The louvers got cleaned, cut, painted (twice, oops surprise rain storm!) and assembled into a decorative sun, the tarp got ripped out, replaced with a window and new siding. Then from the inside, I just had this vision! We’d work all day ‘til lunch at one, and then most days I would continue on my artsy projects-- especially this one. I had soooo much fun doing it... such a passion! I got a few comments on the tediousness of what I was doing... I think the word 'Sunshine' alone took me an hour (you'll see below)... but I was in a zone, a purely blissed out creation zone!
I always put little sayings (like above!), cute things I find on the internet here on the blog. These next few pics Im a bit more proud of because I made them, from soup to nuts as they say! It’s been a while, so I’m my biggest critique, but overall I was pretty happy with the results!
|First Attempt at painting the parts for the sun.... then oops, surprise rainstorm!|
|The old opening! Just lining up the window sills here!|
|From the inside. Yellow on the left, orange on the right... we need some merging here!!|
|Ready for paint!!!|
|Second painting of sun parts...indoors this time ;)|
|Starting to assemble!!!|
|Woohoooo, finished!!! The sun is more 3d than it looks.. dang camera!!|
From top to bottom, it reads, “Whatever the weather, create your own Sunshine of the Soul”,
quite fitting for an ashram... and for me :)
|We can't be having snakes crawl into the toilet, so we needed an informational sign in the bathroom....|
|I thought.... why not a little inspiration snuck in!? :) It says, "Live, Love, Laugh...and please...Lower the Lid!" HAA|
(ps. If I had it to do again, I'd do the "lower the lid" part smaller!)
|Lastly we needed a donation box! The word Donation and Sanctuary both conveniently have the T as the middle letter, so I thought this was a clever solution! The top cross on the T in 'donation' is actually the money slot!|
|Final scene at the main doors! Complete with orange skirt I sewed on the donation box! Welcome to the Bush Sanctuary!|
Ohhhhh so much fun I had doing all this stuff! And that's just the artsy stuff! Everyday I was happy there, installing fascia boards or putting in sun screens, I just need to be physical!! Definitely going to go for my GC license and plan to build the houses I design in the future!! All this while totally learning SOOO much about myself and life! Those are those inner gifts I mentioned above that the Ashram gave me! Shoot... okay so the inner gifts maybe better to wait until next blog! :) In general though, I give a ton of credit to this ashram for giving me not only a different way to look at myself, my emotions, my thoughts, and my actions, This new tool of just 'being', being aware and living in the present. I am now armed with some new tools that I plan to carry with me throughout life, not to mention they gave me the trust and freedom and mass gratitude doing these project that just makes you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside!! A number of the things I learned here I already had a notion about, but this place has just put so much CLARITY into things!!I I’m thinking it was a re- awakening of my soul :).
Lastly, you maybe be thinking, hmmmm... but wait you’re talking about doing-doing-doing, whereas you were promoting just being-being-being. To that I say... finding your Balance is key :) I’m not going to lie, I’ve certainly spent most of my life on the far side of the ‘doing’ scale...in fact, it was like a ton of bricks to a feather:). I definitely think I need more time for Being, BUT, a big but, like my smart friend Tracy pointed out in reference to the Secret, you can’t always take advice/concepts/theories word for word. The Secret is a great concept when it’s working for you, but certainly starving or diseased children didn’t send that message 'out to the universe'. The same with all things that intend to make you think/act/change. You have to take what works for you, and what makes you happy, and toss what doesn’t out the window (wisely! not just if it’s hard or inconvenient!). You don’t read a book or hear a speech or listen to a tape, agree with 95% of it, but throw all of that out for 5% no good (at least i hope not). Good examples of that are, as mentioned, the Secret, or Eckhart Tolle’s book A New Earth or motivational speaker Tony Robbins. I love all three, but for sure while some is friggin genius, some is pure BS. Tony is the “Hour of Power” guy. Im thinking thats a great western way to call meditation! I’m def going to make time for my just “being” everyday, whether it’s 15 minutes or hours. In just a very short 3 weeks time at the ashram, I realized it DOES do you well to just be. To come back to the present, to not worry or stress or think about anything.... just be. (funny that lots of my ideas came when I was trying to not think! its a sign ;) For now, I’m okay with an off-kilter scale. The balance of doing and being is subjective! It’s not completely lopsided, but ‘doing’ makes me in bliss. Should I start having less bliss, I’ll do less ‘do’. Follow your Sunshine :)
|You can see all the pics here :)|