The Journey of a Lifetime Begins at Home

In keeping with the theme of last Sunday’s Oscar night I spent this past Sunday admiring a star of a different magnitude.  She may not be parading down a red carpet, but she is parading down a path of a different calling.  My sister Goddess, Ariane deBonvoisin, is on a remarkable spiritual journey that has taken her, in recent months, from her life as the Chief Change Optimist and Founder of the transcendent self-help movement, The First 30 Days to New Years in Sydney, sunsets in Angkor Wat, detox at OHI in San Diego, the just wrapped TED conference in Long Beach, to spiritual workshops around the world and ultimately writing in South Africa.

A few months ago Ariane put most of her worldly possessions and clothes in storage (and some in my basement) and subleased her SoHo loft to begin a heroic quest filled with travel and freedom.  She was seeking an opportunity to cultivate her inner voice even more than before so she could finish her next book: A Foot in Both Worlds.

Sitting at our favorite tiny Israeli restaurant in Soho NYC, listening, laughing and almost crying with wonder and joy at all that she has experienced and grown from these past few months,  I considered how different our circumstances are, yet, how similar our paths.

My personal and professional obligations do not easily afford me the opportunity to meditate, detox, exercise, journal and pray.   In fact, my reality often looks more like a National Lampoon spin of June Cleaver’s life.  Truly, truth is stranger than fiction and honestly, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

Let’s take what happened, after I came home from this amazing evening of catching up, sharing and dreaming with a dear friend and colleague.

Torrential rains caused flooding on the freeway (because the horrid winter snow wasn’t enough fun over the past two months) so it took a while to get home.  No sooner had I dragged my weary bones inside and paid the babysitter every bit of cash I had in my wallet, my daughter graciously deposited a moist mound of vomit at the top of the stairs outside the bathroom door.  Almost a carbon copy of what my little guy did exactly a week earlier – less volume in his case, but the net effect was the same.

Joy.

The only kryptonite to this super-Mom is puke.  If I smell or even look at it for too long, I will join the party.  So, not finding kitchen gloves I attempted to pinch my nose, avert my eyes and hold the plastic bag at the same time.  Thank God for boyfriend, whose love for me inspires super-man skills that somehow suppress his barf phobia.  Seconds after he deftly scooped up the paper towels I had plopped down on the gooey, still warm mess, I attacked the helpless wood floor with an overabundance of all natural parsley based surface cleaner and half a canister of Seventh Generation anti-disinfectant wipes.

Tired and sore (I now seemed to be suffering some kind of back muscle strain probably earned form a lack of sleep a too long car ride and an overly zealous floor cleaning) I still managed to rally my always ready honey for a bit of late night nooky.

Passing out after one am, my daughter woke me at 5:30 for the second round.

Why couldn’t she manage to turn her head the other way towards the trashcan that mocked her mere inches from her bed? Instead she let fly a new burst all over her clean blankets.

Bleary eyed, I drag down her bedding to the washing machine two floors below and while there, decide to fold my boyfriend’s tighty-whities before noticing the basement was flooding.  Despite the back pain I tugged and pushed a few boxes that were sitting in the puddles.

That’s when I decided to write.   Inspired by the stillness, the quiet and strangely, the peace I felt the desire to express myself outweighed the exhaustion, barf trauma and back agony.

I thought of Ariane.  Our lives look radically different, but gratefully, I know we have a lot in common.  We both have a foot in both worlds.  We both know how important it is to be present in our experiences and to offer and receive love.  We know how to keep ourselves open to what is around us to receive and to cultivate a quietness in our being that is essential for us as human beings, as givers, as women.

I cannot travel around the world right now, heck, I barely have five minutes alone in the bathroom.  But that doesn’t mean I cannot travel inside my soul.  I cannot visit a temple at the base of a mountain, but I can visit the core of my being by just sitting still and listening to my heartbeat, acknowledging the blessings that I have and the miracles that I create by honoring my intuition, wisdom, humor, compassion and most importantly, my love and gratitude for all my blessings.

Sure, it would be amazing to see some of the beauty of far away sacred places but in this moment, as I write this in the wee hours of the morning while my children and lover sleep, I see plenty of beauty around me.  I can dream of living a life like Ariane and another favorite author, Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) but I can still seek intimate moments of reflection as the sun comes up and know that Spirit/God/the Universe or whatever you’d like to call it, is taking care of me as I continue to seek balance on the tightrope that I delicately walk in my life as a Diva-Mama.

Into each life a little puke must fall but the rewards are infinite when we remember to laugh about, be present, love and take moments for ourselves where we can.

2 Responses to The Journey of a Lifetime Begins at Home
  1. Jenn Deutsch
    March 7, 2011 | 4:36 pm

    Amazing writing yet again! Hugs, support and love as always! G-d is always there and listening, I know this for sure and will always take care. I hope the bouts of vomit and floods are all over for you. Been through a flood here, garbage disposal literally went boom and spewed water all over this week. LOL at the site of me trying to wipe it up with paper towels. Please don’t ever lose those intimate moments of reflection, they are what make us who we are and true to ourselves.

  2. Diva-Mama
    March 7, 2011 | 7:17 pm

    Vomit and floods! Does kind of sound like an SNL skit on the Ten Plagues, doesn’t it?

    Thank you, Jenn, for your humor, wisdom and support.

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