leaving

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“Check, Mate”

Published October 16, 2011 by Susan Woodward

Q – QR5

Q x Q (!!)

Kn x Q

 

Why drop your mouth in amazement?

You dangled her right in front of me, daring me—

You’re the one who thought I’d run

And do all I could to hang onto something

So obviously important

In order to keep her in

Reserve for later,

Just in case…

“I never expected you to do that”—

You’re damned right!

I’ve learned it’s better to not have expectations;

That way, I can never be disappointed again.

You took it for granted that I would

Never make such a huge sacrifice—

As a result, it cost you your most precious piece,

Your Queen,

And, ultimately, the game.

“Out of Dodge”

Published October 16, 2011 by Susan Woodward

“Mama, where’re we goin’?”

Driving down the road

We take one last glance before leaving it all behind.

“Don’t know yet, Baby—just away, that’s all.”

I’d half-done this before—

Half-done meaning I’d changed my mind.

Oh, sure, he’d cried,

But my weekend stand was undone

With a return to submission,

Foolishly falling into the familiar pattern of

Doting wife and

Dog on a leash

Screwing any real chance that change would or could occur.

Fear can do that, you know?

A rattling muffler brings me back

To that fueled-up car filled with only what the kids could carry—

Hell, you can always get more stuff, right?

But we only get one chance at living

And it’s hardly worth the bother with no chance to grow.

Time to head out of Dodge with the sun to our backs—

That thrilling, frightening step out…

Hesitations: Refusing to Return

Published October 16, 2011 by Susan Woodward

Close your eyes and relax. Now take three deep breaths: one for body, one for mind, and one for spirit. Take one last very deep breath and hold it. Just when you think you cannot hold the breath any longer, pull in just a bit more air. Again, when you feel as if you cannot continue holding the breath, pull in just a little more. When you finally do release your breath, do so very slowly in a long continuous exhale until you have released all that you were holding. Breathe slowly and deeply as you continue to relax. Relax all the muscles of your body: your legs, your arms, your shoulders, and your jaw. Completely relax.

Imagine that you are sinking down into the furniture, and in turn sinking through the floor. Allow yourself to continue sinking down and down, all the while feeling completely relaxed. You continue to sink down until you find yourself awakening after a satisfying rest.

You are so comfortable in the wonderfully soft bed that you almost don’t wish to get up.  Stretching cat-like, wallow in the luxury of the pillows and the warmth of the blankets.  The stress of having to move forward has alleviated, and you begin to feel a bit lazy after having traveled so far.  How do you feel as you wake up without the sensation of urgency?  Look around the room.  Describe what you see in great detail.  How does being here make you feel?  Looking toward a small table nearby, you notice that a tray has been placed for you.  A highly polished silver lid makes you curious to lift it to see the breakfast that awaits you.  Step out of bed and lift the cover from the dish.  What has been prepared for you?  Breathe in deeply, appreciating the tantalizing aroma that makes your mouth water.  You are surprised that you are even hungry at all after the feasting of the previous evening, but a familiar rumble begins once the scent reaches your nostrils.  Sit down in the well-padded chair and partake of your breakfast with gusto.

While you are eating, your eye falls upon your wonderful reward that you earned for the completion of your task.  Bask once again in the feelings of success.  What goes through your mind as you look at your reward?  How do you plan to use it?

Another thought creeps into your mind, causing you to pause in contemplation.  What if you had not been successful in this journey?  How might you feel if you had not been able to do what you had set out to?  How might things have turned out differently if you’d failed at this attempt?  Thinking about this possibility, you walk towards your reward and hold it in your hand.  What if this could not have been yours?  Would you feel differently about yourself?  How do you suppose others might have viewed your failure?

Shaking the thoughts off, you turn once more to your breakfast and clear your plate.  Your stomach and your pallet are now satisfied, and so you begin to stretch once more.  This place just feels so comfortable right now, and you wish you could stay here.  One thing you know, though, is that this is not your home.  While it has been a challenge to finally arrive, the quest is now complete.  You’ve done what you’d set out to do, and there is no reason to stay.  Actually, now that you have accomplished this task, you feel a sense of urgency to return home to share the experience with others.

Whom do you intend to tell about your adventures?  What do you hope will come from sharing what you’ve learned?  Who can benefit the most?

Even though you know that you must get ready to leave, it just feels so comfortable here.  The food is delicious, the service is great, and the bed is luxurious.  It’s hard to leave knowing that you have a long journey back.

Turning toward the bed as if to crawl back in to take a nap, you notice that the bed has mysteriously been made and your cleaned garment is laid out for you in preparation for travel.  As much as you’d love to get back into the bed and just relax, you realize that it is important for you to move on.  People are waiting for you back home.

Before leaving, you decide that a hot shower is just what you need to get you motivated.  Turn the water in the shower as hot as you can comfortably stand it, and step beneath the pulsating stream.  Pick up the soap and drink in its fragrance.  What does it smell like?  Why might the scent be significant for your return journey?  What does it remind you of?  Allow the hot water to pour over your head.  Close your eyes and feel it pulsating against your skull.  The sensation is hypnotic and even though your muscles become more relaxed, your spirit becomes more energized for the upcoming journey.  Stand there and let the water just come down over your head.  Breathe deeply and know that you are ready to share what you’ve learned.  Feel yourself drifting away into the darkness behind your closed eyelids. Begin to feel yourself slowly rising from the shower. As you rise, you become more and more aware of your surroundings, and soon you are able to sense the furniture beneath you. This is the room from which you began this journey not so very long ago. As you become more and more aware of the room around you, you think about the message that you know you must share with others. The feelings stemming from knowing that you have a gift to share will stay with you as you awaken from your rest.

Taking three deep breaths, one for body, one for mind, and one for spirit, you open your eyes to find yourself in a familiar place.

 

Taking Leave: Crossing that First Threshold

Published October 16, 2011 by Susan Woodward

Close your eyes and relax.  Now take three deep breaths: one for body, one for mind, and one for spirit.  Take one last very deep breath and hold it.  Just when you think you cannot hold the breath any longer, pull in just a bit more air.  Again, when you feel as if you cannot continue holding the breath, pull in just a little more.  When you finally do release your breath, do so very slowly in a long continuous exhale until you have released all that you were holding.  Breathe slowly and deeply as you continue to relax.  Relax all the muscles of your body: your legs, your arms, your shoulders, and your jaw.  Completely relax.

Imagine that you are sinking down into the furniture, and in turn sinking through the floor.  Allow yourself to continue sinking down and down, all the while feeling completely relaxed.   You continue to sink down until you find yourself nestling into a pile of soft cushions in a cavernous room.  The ceiling is very high, and you notice that the room is circular.  Painted on the ceiling is an intricate design that resembles a compass.  Getting up, you find the favorite comforts of your own world furnishing this place, and feel once again that safe, welcoming, familiar vibration.  Turn around very slowly and take a good look at your room.  You will find your favorite furniture, and your favorite décor.  Breathing deeply in contentment, a familiar delicious scent wafts to your nostrils.  Surprised, you look to find that a plate of the food you love most is waiting for you.  It is just the right temperature, and there is a beverage alongside it.  A small card placed next to the plate says, “To fortify you”.  Your stomach rumbles slightly, and not wanting your favorite food to either get cold or melt, you sit at the table and eat heartily.  As you fill your stomach, a sense of satisfaction and energy permeate your body.  You feel wonderful, as if you could accomplish anything.

After eating, you decide to get a better look at the gift you received on your last visit.  You go to get the box so that you can bring it to the table.  When you come back, you find that the dirty dishes have disappeared, leaving the table neat and clean even though no one is there with you.  If only the everyday world worked that way!

Open the box and remove what is inside.  Take a good look at it under the light.  What does it do?  What do you suppose it is for?  Holding it in your hands, it feels “right” in them.  It’s true… this is YOUR gift.  How do you plan to use it?  Looking into the box, you notice a small card that you hadn’t seen earlier.  It says, “To aid you”.  Take another good look at your gift.  How can this aid you?

While you are looking at the gift, you suddenly hear a knock.  Startled, you notice that a door has once again appeared in your room, although it is in a different place this time.  There are beautiful intricate designs on the wall around the door that continue up toward the ceiling.  Looking up, you notice that the door is directly below a particular direction on the ceiling’s compass design.  Which direction does the door face?  Why do you suppose the door faces this direction?  What could it mean?

Next to the door, a coat rack has appeared.  Upon the coat rack, you notice that there is a garment hanging.  What does it look like?  What kind of garment is it?  What color is it?  Examining it closely, you find a tag attached which says, “To protect you”.  How can this garment offer protection? From what could it save you?

The knocking has begun again, more insistent than before.  The voice deep inside you questions once more: “Are you ready?”

You know now that the only way to achieve your chosen goal and to heal your heroic archetype within is to go through that door.  The knocking persists.  Your journey awaits.

You have been fortified.  The food and drink has left you feeling energetic and strong.

Knocking again.  Help awaits you in the form of your gift, even if you do not yet know how to use it.

Still more knocking.  You have protection from your garment, and you put it on.  It fits perfectly as if it had been made just for you.  Rest assured; it has.  There is a satchel or backpack hanging beside the garment on the coat rack.  You place your gift inside the bag alongside the filled water bottle you discover in the pack and swing it over your shoulder.  Placing your hand on the doorknob, you turn it slowly and open the door.  The knocking has stopped, and peering outside, no one is there to greet you.  Still, you are not afraid.  You know that the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.  How do you feel as you extend your right foot to begin that journey?  What does this journey mean for you?  What will it eventually mean for others because you dared to take the journey?

Stepping out onto the stoop, what do you see around you?  Fully describe your surroundings.  Is there a path or a road?  Or must you forge your own?  Come down the steps as you begin to walk your chosen path.  In which direction does it go?  Where do you hope it will lead?  Who do you hope to meet?  Who are you afraid to run into?  No matter what, you have your garment of protection, and you have your gift.  All will be well.

Knowing this, you decide that there is one last thing you must do before embarking into the unknown.  The one thing you have yet to do is rest up for the journey.  It will be long, and it will not always be easy.  You re-enter the room through the door so that you may rest your body for the trials ahead.  This time the door does not disappear.  You have already crossed its threshold, and you have made your decision to follow through on your quest.  All you need now is some last minute rest.

Lying down upon the cushions, you find yourself feeling comfortably relaxed.  Soon you begin to feel yourself rising from the soft blankets in your special place.  As you rise, you become more and more aware of your surroundings, and soon you are able to sense the furniture beneath you.  This is the room from which you began this journey not so very long ago.  As you become more and more aware of the room around you, you remember your preparations for your upcoming journey.  You are fortified, you will be aided, and you are protected.  These images and feelings will stay with you as you awaken from your rest.

Taking three deep breaths, one for body, one for mind, and one for spirit, you open your eyes to find yourself in a familiar place.

 

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