Monday, August 14, 2023's personal's personal

PTSD, I heard story after story and I was empathetic...first responders, combat, ER... they all live with that horrific memory of seeing someone die, often in their arms without being able to save them.  The grief and the guilt haunt them.  I did my best with those who told me their stories, I listened,  and often I cried with them and I offered them the best wisdom I could with all the love I had in my heart.

Then it happened to me...  awakened in the middle of the night with a man I had shared most of my life with...seemingly endless moments of me doing CPR, trying to save him...and I couldn't.

The night terrors started, I would awaken at  night and my bedsheets would be torn in shreds, sweat would drip off my body and the sounds I was making came from a place so dark  it had to be the depths of hell.

Scenes of that night play in my brain like a horror movie, and the guilt...oh god the guilt...what could I have done differently, what if I had done this or that .  Why wasn't it me, why was it him?  My life could not have been more important than his.

That was the first couple of years and there's way more than that, but not going there . 

As the third year came around, and I had done all the work on myself I knew to do...I decided to teach yoga again.  It had been a part of my life longer than he had been, it had been a part of civilization for thousands of years and I knew... yoga heals.

 Teaching one class a week and beginning to think I am ready to do more.  I prayed for my creativity to come back, prayers to the universe, to the dead, to anyone who would has slowly.  It's been months since I had a night terror, I am grateful.

Yesterday there were moments...a friend texted me they were sick...and suddenly out of the blue, I was haunted again.  This morning I am good, today I will take it hour by hour,  one breath at a time.

So I have shared this to tell you, if someone in your life or or if you have  PTSD, get help ,talk to a kind loving are not alone.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

August 1, Grief, Peace and Joy

 It's been awhile, please accept my apologies for my disappearance in the blog kingdom.  Spring and summer hit the farm with a vengeance.  It hasn't been the crops, I basically have experienced crop failure due to the weather extremes.  The weather, the rain and the heat has caused a profusion of plant  growth  that has become a battle of me against mother nature and we all know there's no beating mom.

I have worked on my transformation , actually worked very hard
the past few months,letting go  of the anger of loss.  I realized that I could live with the grief but the anger was destroying me and my creativity.  For the first time in three years I feel life coursing through my veins again.  I can see myself as Jilda, no longer Rick and Jilda but a whole entity of Jilda.  This might sound strange to many of you, but those of you who know and have dealt with the loss of part of you will understand.

Finally my heart is open to living .  I am smiling, I can laugh and I see possibilities and I have come to realize that grief and peace and joy can live in the same heart.

The desire to create again is what I am most grateful for.  To understand that it's ok for me to pursue my dreams has broken the chains that had wrapped themselves around my soul. 

I  started this blog long ago to provide transformation information to those who sought and needed it.  I have always been honest with my words knowing that words have power and I would never knowingly abuse that power.  I hope through the years, my words have helped someone.

I won't be writing every day, but I promise I will do my best not to disappear again.  For now, life on the farm goes on, I am teaching a weekly yoga class, I am writing new songs, working on new paintings and smiling every day, laughing and... last night I danced in the moonlight in the backyard with the dogs.

Sending you all wishes for hope, love and joy...can you believe today is the first day of August?

Sunday, February 26, 2023

May You Walk in Peace

 Every Sunday morning, I receive Maria Shriver's Sunday Papers newsletter in my inbox.  She is a profound writer,  who writes with an open heart and open mind.  Her words always make me think.

This morning she wrote about beginning a healing process, her search for it and Lent.  She also included an amazing quote from Pope Francis about fasting for Lent.

I do not observe Lent but am very much aware of its meaning and significance.  As I read her words, and the Pope's they reminded  me of how a dear friend of mine use to close all her correspondence with me, " May you walk in peace."  

I love that phrase,  May you walk in peace...but I realize almost daily it is a most difficult thing to do, this walking in peace.   I think the whole world struggles with that phrase, or maybe many have  no thoughts of it whatsoever.  

Peace for me, has been a most important concept for my whole life.  I want peace, want it for myself, for my family and friends and for the world.  But peace is expensive, peace is hard to achieve, peace takes work.  Webster's definition of peace, ( yes, I still own a dictionary)  a state of tranquility, of security, freedom from disturbance.   I think about what steals our peace, how we give away peace and how for  many it has become a word like intelligence, spoken with sarcasm and disregard.

Jesus and all great teachers of humanity spoke of peace, they saw the need and value of peace.

Many of us blame our lack of peace, whether it be personal or worldwide on other people, places and circumstances, but peace has to start within our own hearts, not someplace else.  As a yoga teacher I teach about peace and healing starting with the breath and I believe it does.  I know that concept is so simple that most think it is absurd but for me, the days that I practice what I teach, it works.

I am closing this blog today with the quote that Maria shared from the Pope,  through the years I have fasted for many reasons, but it was always a fast that involved the lack of food.  Today I start a fast for peace, starting with a few words from the Pope's quote, I hope you join me.

" Fast from angry words so you can be kind.   Fast from grudges so you can be reconciled. Fast from bitterness and fill your heart with joy.  Fast from selfishness so you can be compassionate to others. Fast from complaints to as to contemplate simplicity.  Fast from sadness so you can be filled with gratitude. "- Pope Francis

and from my dear departed friend, " May you walk in peace."


Saturday, February 18, 2023

February Changes

February 18

February has been a month of loss, change, hope and gratitude and of course, love.

Loss, at this point in my life it seems there is always loss.  Friends have passed this month, they will be missed.  One, I had not seen in awhile, one the beloved partner of a dear friend and one, an icon in the community.  Tears flowed, I understand loss and the pain of trying to move forward and the incredible hole that will never be filled, when someone you love passes.

Change,  in January I realized that I had to change, to step outside my comfort zone or just wither up and die.  So with a great deal of hope, I started teaching my Monday night community yoga class again.  I say this with a heart full of gratitude, it has been life changing for me.  It is at a new venue, the Aldersgate Methodist Church in Dora and all I can say is, it has been a class filled with love.  Most of my previous students returned and new ones came from the church.  And sadly, a few have passed on.

More change, I started an online class from NYU.  I must be crazy, it is challenging and scary but I am learning so much.  The class is, Engineering Health through Yoga and Physiology. can teach an old dog a few new tricks.

My next quest for 2023, to perform and write music again.  Believe it or not, that is the scariest of all.

I missed Rick so much on Valentine's Day.  I missed him not because it was ever such a big deal for us, but because that day is so symbolic of love.  I am eternally grateful for the love we shared all those many years.  I always painted Rick a Valentine, I guess I always will.  

Monday, January 2, 2023

New Year Wishes


January 2, 2023

I woke up thinking about the song California Dreaming.  All the leaves are brown today and the sky is that shade of grey of rain and storms that occur often in Alabama.

I have survived the holidays another year without Rick.  It's so different and how I miss all those things we did together.  In many ways, 2022 has been the hardest year so far.  I no longer expect anything to get easier, now I just try to gird my loins and deal with the hard stuff.  I don't think of myself as strong or weak, just that I have the willingness to do whatever the day asks of me.

Rick Watson loved New Years.  He saw it as a clean slate and loved making resolutions and setting goals more than any human I have ever known.

For  me, I never was very fond of resolutions, but for about twenty years I created vision boards.  I haven't done that since Rick died in 2020.  Those visions for that year died with Rick and it has been difficult for me to envision a future.  I am thinking I might create a new one for my birthday in March.

The rain is pounding on my tin roof, and I take comfort in that sound.  It inspires me, that and the grey skies.  The day Rick died, it was a blistering hot day in July with bright blue skies.  I still find it strange to attempt joy on sunny days with blue skies.

I have made a New Year's wish...I wish for my eyes to be open to possibilities and my heart to be open to hope.  If I have goals for 2023 it is to rediscover who I am, to regain as much of my creative energy as possible, to see friends in distant lands, live each day with grace and kindness and however much time there is left in my hourglass, to spend it wisely.

I wish all of you a year of kindness, good health and hope.

Happy New Year