Meditations for Queer Femmes – Hello, Room

As the summer comes to an end, as the difficult side effect from chemo are slowly leaving my body, Tex and I are making an effort to regroup and plan for the coming months. We’ve been so preoccupied with caregiving and healing respectively that the yard and the house are looking pretty sad and neglected. The changing season and the cooler weather pep us both up and we’re trying to channel that energy, take things one step at a time, rather than rush in and get completely overwhelmed trying to clean everything up at once and get it all back into working order.

Transition is a regular and healthy part of our queer femme lives but change is not always welcome or comfortable. One of the things Tex and I were acknowledging this morning is that we both need to take it easy, not rush into our tasks as if we had the energy and wherewithal we did before this very difficult summer. We are both still healing and recovering; we have changed in how we are able to access and use our strength. Tell that to my brain, though, which is busy loading up a staggeringly lengthy “To Do” list. To stay a little more clear, to understand and meet my responsibilities more realistically (and therefore to have a better chance at completing the most important tasks), I need to take it slowly, come at things from a place of gratitude and balance. Oh, darlings, isn’t that just so much more easily said than done?

I have a very vague memory of some kind of interior decorating advice from way back in the day that had you stand in the room you were doing over and say, “Hello, room.” I’m not sure what happened then, but I love the idea of introducing yourself to the space you spend so much time in. I learned in Japan, also way back in the day, that regular upkeep and cleaning of your dwelling was a practice of love and gratitude for the shelter you were lucky enough to have. My current tai chi teacher, Master Lin, recommends aligning yourself with the essence of whatever space you happen to be in by taking a few moments to allow your energy to sink and connect upon entering.

As Tex and I go about reconnecting with our dwelling space by beginning to lavish more attention and love upon it, I am calling on all these teaching of bringing a practice of gratitude to the daily and the mundane. Rather than focusing on the negative, Cristin Frank recommends in her book, Living Simple, Free & Happy, stand in the room you’re de-cluttering and/or redecorating, and really focus on the things about it you already like. Cupcakes, do you know, that had never occurred to me? This house, the house where my babies grew up, where I spent many difficult years with my ex; this house that Tex and I have fretted is haunted and filled with unresolved grief, is actually a lovely place. Or anyway, there are lovely things about it. And those years are gone and both of us are committed to health and art and community: these can all be reflected in the beautiful house we are so lucky to have.

What happens when we start with gratitude, my beloveds? So many of us queer femmes may not have been raised to count our blessings – I know I wasn’t. There was always something I needed to do more of, less of, differently. And I think it is particularly difficult to focus on gratitude during times of transition because that is when we want to cling to the familiar, and in this culture, finding fault and being negative is deeply ingrained.

Look up and look around, dear queer femme sisters. Wherever you may live, there are small, wonderful surprises; there are quaint details that delight you; there are dozens, maybe even hundreds, of lovely, comforting aspects if you will only clear space for them to introduce themselves to you. Starting there, your tasks will become more clear and more doable.

Gratitude is in your grasp. And transitions mean you are alive, progressing, and have the opportunity to grow. Hello, room! Hello, healthy queer femme life.

Every Monday, I offer a Meditation for Queer Femmes in the spirit of my maternal grandmother, Mimi, who was fabulous, kind, and wise and from whom I inherited her Meditations for Women.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”)

 

 

Published in: on September 2, 2019 at 1:46 PM  Leave a Comment  
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