I guess I need to tell you about the rainbow, as silly as it might sound on paper. When we attended the seminar in Massachusetts where I first met Jose last summer, part of the reason I thought I could handle going with my daughters, was that I brought a teenager friend along to help babysit the girls. It was a huge mistake on my part, and unfortunately my teenager friend and I didn’t realize the mistake until we were up in Royalston and fully into the seminar.
Suffice it to say, for a 15 year old girl who was having her first real romance with a boy who was back home in Seattle, cominIg to the seminar in Royalston totally sucked. Internet (thus, texting, endless phone calls, pic swapping, whatever they do) was sporadic at best. We were on a lovely piece of property – in the middle of nowhere. There was no town to walk to, no media at all (no television, movies, Wii games), we were staying in the main house, which I personally adore, and which also looks a bit like a house that Morticia in the Addams Family would say, “It’s to die for!”. That particular week was also hot. Really hot. There is no air conditioning. You can’t really open your windows either because the screens are missing and all of the mosquitos will fly in. I could say there were times of the day it was close to suffocating to be in the room.
So my teenage friend quickly went from excited and curious about our adventure, to moping and in despair, whispering into her iphone and texting dramatically and giving me sour looks when I asked her to help me out with the girls. It was all wrong. She thought everyone seemed weird and our conversations about presence and making personal efforts and sharing exercises such as feeling your feet on the floor didn’t make sense. She wanted to go home (Home = Boyfriend, since her parents were away.) It was very complicated because home was also in Seattle, via a flight one would take from Boston.
After 24 hours of negotiation and conversations with her Mom and lots of back and forth, her Mom and I agreed it would be best for her to go home – in a couple of days, when Hubby had to drive near Boston to go to work himself. She perked up immediately, knowing she was out of there soon. I, on the other hand, began to go into a freaked out, neurotic internal place. I felt like I was being abandoned and I was terrified to try to manage my two young daughters without Hubby or my helper. This seems so odd now, but really, the first 12 months of Michelle’s life for me were the hardest and highest and lowest time I’ve ever been through. I was just physically wrecked, having moved at 9 months pregnant to a new town, with Sofia hitting her terrible 3’s right then, and giving birth a day after our furniture arrived. Then we moved two more times by the time Michelle was eleven months old. Like most mommies with infants, I had very little sleep, since someone was usually waking up every two hours needing something, be it milk, a diaper change, whatever…it woke me up. By the time I went back to sleep, someone woke up with the next need. Hubby was training for his new job and out of town every other week for the first 16 weeks of Michelle’s life. I was so sleep-deprived, I remember standing in the bathroom and watching the towels breathe, just like when I used to be on magic mushrooms. All I could look forward to were naps. Not to mention the tiny extra detail that I was old enough to be going through both child-birth and menopause at the same time (I’m a bit of a medical miracle in that regard) – so not a pretty picture, hormonally speaking!! I was the most ungrounded, freaked out pile of crazy that I’d been since I could remember. Maybe being a teenager is the closest comparison I can make.
Anyway, back to Royalston and my first big travel out with my girls since Mich was born. Knowing my teenager helper was leaving with Hubby, somehow slammed me into a rock bottom place of fear. I felt like I wouldn’t be able to participate in any activities of the seminar, all I would be able to do is lay upstairs in the hot room and try to feed and take care of the girls, (and I would somehow fail at this). Sofia had also come down with a really horrible rash and fever (it turned out to be Lyme Disease from a tick, we discovered), Michelle literally learned to walk that week so she was in constant potential danger of falling anywhere and everywhere as she toddled in the new discovery of what her feet could do for her freedom.
I was a mess. So I told the group how I was feeling which was very important for me to just put it out there. And in a kind of devastated space, I went to my first Zikr that evening which Jose was leading for the group. Who knows why it worked so well for me? Probably being in such a low, empty space inside was a good place to meet Zikr, which calls to your heart. Jose has practiced and led Zikr for quite a while: He is an excellent guide for the journey. Everyone in the circle came from a sincere and “going for it” place.
Anyway, the way I described it to Jose, myself and others later, was that my first Zikr was an emotional rainbow, hitting all of the spectrum of emotion, from deeply sorrowful to wildly joy-filled, and everything in between. My heart was strummed, slammed, ripped open, and shredded. I sobbed, gut wrenchingly sobbed, for myself and everyone and everything in the world, and then I was put back together again and pulled up into blissful realms of forgiveness, acceptance, divine love, universal Oneness – all in one practice. I was blown away, and emotionally cleansed and purified. From the exhaustion and darkness of the past year, it was literally an experience of being re-born. I had been the shuffling dead; my first hour with Zikr rose me from the dead and into a life of vivid color and energy enough to handle whatever was brought my way.
Hard to explain in words, as I say. Hard to explain, as carefully as I would wish, these spiritual matters, these things about Zikr, about Jose, about myself being given another chance to be alive in this lifetime. Also, speaking of my girls and family, everyone is waiting for dinner, so it looks like my rainbow story will be in parts. I’ll be back soon:) xoxo