meditation-mindfulness-vulnerability

Embrace Wisdom

After about a month of weekly visits to a woman in a mental institution, I realized how rare it is to spend that kind of quality time with someone. In the institution’s visiting room, there were no distractions—television or music or chores—as there might be anywhere else. It was just two people, talking for two hours once a week. We got to know one another very well in a short period of time.

I was reminded of that experience during the recent cancer caregiver training I attended. The four-day workshop consisted of three presentations each day—on topics like mindfulness, guided imagery, movement and breathing. We practiced what we were learning in the large group (about 100 people) and also met in small groups.

My small group was made up of eleven women of varying backgrounds and ages. It is unlikely we would have come together under any other circumstances, but there we were, meeting twice a day for two hours each time. That’s a lot of face time.

These “mind-body skills groups” were opportunities to practice the skills we had been taught during the presentations. We were led through breathing exercises, guided meditation and other mindfulness practices, all meant to cultivate greater awareness. We wrote, drew pictures and shared our insights.

One exercise was a guided imagery exercise to find our “wise guide.” Eyes closed, feet firmly planted on the floor, our group facilitator invited us to visit a place where we felt safe. I allowed images to float into my consciousness—the New Jersey shore, a friend’s cottage and my friend Ted (who died from esophageal cancer two years ago).

meditation-mindfulness-vulnerability
New Jersey Shore

Images of being with Ted at my home in Pennsylvania, his home in Oregon and travelling around the world reminded me of how safe I always felt with him. Gratitude filled me—how blessed I was to have been so deeply known and loved. But Ted is no longer with me and so I began to allow other images to surface.

I saw myself on the Irish Sea coast, in a place I had gone for a week’s silent retreat a few months after my Jim died. Ireland is one of those places where I feel incredibly safe.

I imagined walking along the shore of the Irish Sea, and looking at the sun on the horizon.

meditation-mindfulness-vulnerability
Irish Sea

The facilitator’s words brought focus to the question, “who will be my wise guide?”

As I looked across the Sea, the image of a white light emerged at the horizon. It was different from the yellow sun—not as defined and bright white. This light moved across the water and came near to me, and I saw that it was Wisdom. As Wisdom approached me, I became aware of my heart beating. Wisdom wanted to enter my heart, and I embraced her.

It is no mystery to me that I left this four-day training feeling like my heart had expanded and I was more open than I ever remember feeling.meditation-mindfulness-vulnerability

 

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6 thoughts on “Embrace Wisdom

  1. Teri Peterson

    It’s amazing that Ted can still be a “wise guide” for so many including me. I can’t tell you how often I find myself reflecting on what Ted would say or how Ted would react.

    Our Uncle Jerry died this week at age 93 – you know how close Ted and Jerry were – I know they are enjoying a scotch and looking down on us. Ted continues to get his reward as he is reunited with those he loved.

    I miss Ted daily and am fulfilled by seeking his wise guide. Take care Madeline and thank you once again for sharing. ~teri

    Reply
    1. Madeline Bialecki Post author

      Teri, So sorry for your loss. I can imagine Ted welcoming Uncle Jerry into heaven. I do still think of Ted as a Wise Guide, and it is easy to know what he would advise–his moral compass was very consistent. How is Aunt Mary doing?

      Reply
  2. Madeline Bialecki Post author

    Thanks Jack. I was talking with Karen Hamilton last night, and your name came up (in a good way). She sends regards. I hope all is well with you. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    Reply

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