Hello Dear Ones!
For those who honour the day, may your memory of Christ’s death and his resurrection bring you comfort. For those who celebrate the festivity with bunnies, wee chicks and chocolate, Happy Easter! For all of you, Happy UN-birthday! We have 364 UN-birthdays every year, you know! (from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland!) If it is your birthday … well, a very Happy Birthday to you!
Today’s topic is the resulting out pour of conversation between Mike and I the past twelve + hours. We get into some of the deepest of discussions when we are late to bed and on the border of the dream time. This seems to be an opening for us into the more spiritual aspect of who we are as individuals and within our relationship – the levels of trust and friendship at their peak in the secure warmth and safety of a comfy bed and darkness.
I most always close my day with some form of spiritual connection. Last night, though, I chose to do what I usually undertake in the earlier hours of the day – write for myself and my Self. I’m currently working on a daily guided journey through Iyanla Vanzant’s book: One Day My Soul Just Opened Up. This is a 40 day & 40 night expansion of Self in relationship to the Divine. Yesterday was Day 3. My busy day precluded getting to it earlier and so it was the last, rather than the first, thing I did yesterday.
Little did I realize the Pandora’s Box of chaos – and hope – that I would tap into with what I read and wrote about at Iyanla’s instruction!
Though I go into more detail on the subject of me in relationship to the Divine in my Marcia’s Meanderings – Trusting the Divine , the conversation last night started with Mike’s suggestion that we discuss The Sandbox here. I went into instant RESISTANCE mode! That’s always my indicator that there’s something here that I really need to work on and learn from. So, rather than running far and fast in the opposite direction, I chose to embrace it in order to discover and uncover the lessons nestled into this subject and its impact in my life today.
First, however, I would ask you: what do you envision when I mention a sandbox? Do you see an 9′ x 9′ x 1′ (3m x 3m x 30cm for those of you on the metric system) square wooden frame pounded into the ground with only about 6″ (15cm) above ground to fill with beach sand? Is it a smaller, plastic, preformed and very colourful unit from a department store, filled with an appropriately smaller amount of sand? Is the sand wet or dry? What colour is the sand?
Where is this sandbox located for you? A backyard? A playground? A park? What, in addition to the sand, is in the sandbox? Tonka trucks? A pail or pails with shovels and rakes? A set of plastic measuring cups or empty margarine tubs? Maybe a set of various cast-off, long-handled wooden spoons? Is there a sieve there to separate the large chunks from the fine sand? What else do you see in this sandbox?
Now I’d like you to envision yourself inside the sandbox. Playing. What do you find yourself doing? Do you build or pour or sift or dig? Play. Do whatever it is you want to do with whatever tools you have chosen to provide. Play for as long as the experience brings you pleasure.
Here’s one more aspect I’d ask you to explore. Do you stay inside the sandbox? Do you even think to leave the box? If not, do you know why not? Maybe it never crossed your mind that you could? Maybe you were having so much fun you wouldn’t want to? If you leave it, where do you go? What do you do? Do you know why you leave? How do you feel when you step outside of the confines of the sandboxes dimensions? Is the feeling positive? If yes, how so? If not, can you put words to the negative emotions that arise?
Okay, if you left the sandbox, please return to it. How are you feeling in the moment when I ask you to return to the sandbox? Evaluate the emotions that arise – whether they be positive or potentially negative.
Unless the exercise is over for you, it’s okay to continue to do what you are doing until you feel the exercise has come to a close for you. There is no time limit. When you feel you are done, relax – yet stay within the confines of the sandbox in your imagination for a few moments longer.
Look around you. What do you see? What did you do here? What have you accomplished? Is there anything you have created that can be ‘seen’? What is it? Describe it to yourself. How does it feel to see this? Do you feel proud of the results? Shy about it? What other emotions come to the surface?
Maybe you did not create as much as maybe you explored. What did you see or learn from this experience? Did you enjoy it? If so, how?
Did you build and tear down and rebuild and tear down once again and by the time you were ready to close out of the exercise there was nothing tangible to be seen? Did the experience prove to be very productive none-the less? If that describes your experience, how do you feel? Pleased? Satisfied? Proud? If having nothing left at the end to show for your efforts felt less than satisfying, can you describe to yourself why that might be? Is it that it is inconsequential to you? Or maybe it actually felt frustrating? Was it that the results you envisioned didn’t match what you were able to produce in this particular fashion?
Each of you will have had an individual and unique experience. I’m not writing this merely for my own benefit (though I will touch on my own personal adventure into the sandbox a few paragraphs from now, promise!), but to give you the opportunity to open up to a glimpse of the fabulous child that still lives within you. The child-like being that is within you even now came into this world to play and create, to express and learn, to laugh and grow, in spite of your more grown-up size and stance.
The results of this sandbox exercise is for you to decipher. Did you learn that you are a builder? Or maybe you are a sifter of ideas? Possibly you love to create and take apart and create something new from the fallout? Maybe you are an explorer. Or maybe you just like to dig for the sake of the use of the tools or machinery or the feel of the sand sifting through your fingers? This can tell you much about you. So also can the size, shape, building materials and location of your sandbox tell you much about you. Play with what you have learned about yourself today. See if you can apply this new self understanding into the weaving that makes up your life’s tapestry!
Now, as promised, here’s what happened to me: My sandbox is the standard 9x9x1 of untreated cedar 2″x4″x9′ lumber planks, three planks high (4″+4″+4″ stacked on the 2″ side = 1′) attached at the corners with dove-tail joints for strength and stability. That’s the material and structure.
For the fill: it’s beautiful, cream coloured, Daytona Beach, Florida sand (my favourite beach in my current experience of the world!) – moist, lump free, shape-able – warmed by the sun on the surface yet cool to the touch when you reach into the under layers. The sand fills the box to the very brim. It’s a solid sand and so it’s comfortable to sit upon.
So where do I see this sandbox? It surprised even me. I see this box in the middle of a white, loose sand beach that goes on and on with no signs of civilization for as far as the eye can see in any and every of three directions. An open and expansive no-land view of the ocean is on that fourth side, with jump-able, giggly-fun surfing waves!
What did I experience in this exercise? The strangest of feelings. I felt safe within the confines of my sandbox. It was lovely to look up once in a while to enjoy the fabulous views around me. When I did, I’d take a deep breath and breathe in the fresh salt air! Yet for the most part I was busy building sand castles. My style for doing so was to drizzle wet sand from my hands. As the sand dripped from my fingers down to the spot I had chosen for each ‘building’, it would land and build upon itself into its own fashion and design. Nothing I did was predetermined except for general location. The end result of each structure was unique one from the other. Each design a one-of-a-kind. To me this was beauty in its purest form.
I did not step out of my box – the sandbox – during the entire exercise. I had no desire or inclination to do so.
I’m not going to go into my own interpretation of what I experienced with this exercise, except to say that it opened up an awareness within me of the limitations that I have found myself accepting in my life. I have permitted myself to stay confined to the physical and the four walls of my reality more than I would like. When I permit myself to expand further I always ensure that I have some control (the pouring of the sand from my hand) yet allowing the outcome to be guided by the Divine (the unique and, to me, beautiful end result).
I still have some trust issues and some opening up to possibilities yet to allow within my beingness. The revelation and depth of this was a surprise to me. Knowing this, I am now free to be receptive to further spiritual growth and development. I am ready, willing and able to accept the gift of any teachings that shall now flow to me. Blessings be!
So Dear Ones, it is my heartfelt desire that your playtime with me today has been of benefit to you! Feel free to add play to your daily agenda. It is as essential to life as the very breath you take.
In Light and Laughter,
Follow this link to read Mike’s View.