Some Fresh Air. That’s All I’m Asking For.

{ from mid-January 2011 }

Today I met with a group of girlfriends from my church. One friend, Tavye Morgan, had planned a class titled, “Setting your Intentions” so 6 of us decided to brave the ice-covered streets and go. I love this group of women. They hold many of my deep, dark secrets on their hearts. In many ways, they’ve been the AA group for my spirit.

Tavye is an ordained Methodist minister. About five years ago we asked her to lead our yearly women’s retreat. She tried something new on us . . . the Enneagram { look it up, it’s amazing }. The forty women in our retreat, from ages 25 to 75, were overwhelmed. This retreat was quickly dubbed the most successful and meaningful our church had ever had.

Since that time, Tavye’s work has morphed into a spiritual direction and counseling career, offering one-on-one counseling and group classes. My little group of church friends has continued to grow in their faith and nurture their spirits by taking courses led by Tavye.

As I mentioned before, this class was designed to focus us women on our INTENTIONS.

We started by identifying what holds us back in life. Tavye had each of us write down things that clutter our lives — feelings or pressures that we need to shed. These things prevent us from moving forward with the life we want to live. Some listed dead-end jobs, others named financial pressures and problems with former spouses.

The next assignment was to formulate a ‘bucket list’ for ourselves. Fun part, right? Well, you would’ve thought she had asked us to analyze the profit and loss statement of GM. We were paralyzed. These women, mind you, are all too busy being lawyers, paying bills, carpooling, and running our school’s PTAs. None of us take time for ourselves, much less slow down long enough to dream.

After much coaching, each of us finally made our lists. For me: I’d like to go back to school. I want a job where I am surrounded by young creative people. And sometime before I die, I would like to live in New York City.

We were then instructed to rip a page out of magazine. “Get a page with lots of words then mark out any words we would not want in a poem,” she said. My article was about the ravaging effects of coal mining in the Appalachian region. It told a very harsh story about the effects on the environment. It also mentioned the long-term dulling effect coal mining had on people’s lives.

Following her instructions, I read ‘my poem,’ which were the words left unmarked on my page. It read:
Land for development.
Building prisons.
Valleys and rugged mountains.
Pickup trucks and Fords along rugged roads.
She slows down and toots her horn.
Outside a double-wide mobile home.
He wants to stay in the hollow.
I want some fresh air. Clean water.
That’s all I’m asking for.

As I read these words I was stunned. This message, my subconscious, spoke to me so clearly. It was so profound that I could hardly get through the words without crying.

‘Go. Get off this hamster wheel. Go get some fresh air, a new outlook on life. Go get some exercise, refresh your career, re-charge your spirit. Take time to re-focus. You need some fresh air and some clean water.’

The items on my bucket list all came to mind. If only I could take a course at Parsons! I would be surrounded by lots of young creative people, plus I could live in New York for a solid month.

Before I knew it, I blurted it out. It immediately sounded like a crazy, hair-brained idea. Selfish. Irresponsible of me, I thought. But this group, my loyal friends, never ridiculed me. Instead they encouraged me to move forward with it.

That night I went online and registered for the course. I had no idea how (1) I would pay for it, (2) how I’d go a month with no income (3) nor where I’d live. But I was sure of one thing: I was going. Somehow.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I dedicate my words and efforts to them, my little group from St. James.

To learn more about the work of Tavye Morgan and the Enneagram and go to:

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