The Seven Stones Blog

Making space for life happening

By Shea Adelson

IMG_1553My context is scarcity: I am speeding in a 35-mile zone. I am tired. So tired. Anxious too. My baby had a low fever last night and I brought her to daycare this morning anyway. I am late for a work meeting and my workday is too short. It’s school vacation week.

But, someone has died in our community. A twice-a-day customer at my husband’s restaurant. The father of one of our peers who works for us. And, I am going to her house to bring food. Hugs. Sympathy. And I am hoping I don’t meet a police officer on the way.

I don’t. And I spend 15 important minutes sitting with our bereaved friend. The daughter of a beloved father. We are sad together. I do the reminding she needs that her feelings are normal. That losing someone stinks. Dying stinks. We are never prepared for such a final loss. And she’s strong. She will get through this.

She is grateful I came. And I am grateful I went. This small action is so big. Not to have to think about food when the body is grieving but still needs nourishment. Four kids, and family coming into town. Food and convenience aside, the connection mattered. She said so. I felt it.

And as I drove away, returning to my frazzled state of near falling apart exhaustion, I thought: I have not organized my life for people to die. Or to have babies. I have the value to make those acknowledgments. I am inclined towards community. But my life is not set up to express those values. Not without a huge cost to my nervous system.

This month in our Enough, Already! course we are exploring scarcity – where it lives in us, how it grabs us, the domains it most creeps around in. I see in this experience how embedded scarcity is in the very way I have structured my life. It’s a daunting discovery, but I am also relieved to have a source to inquiry into. I’m starting with: What can I let go of to be more available to that which I say matters most?

5 thoughts on “Making space for life happening

  1. This is an incredibly moving piece. I am glad I took the time to contemplate its message, implications and value.

  2. Shea, Thanks for sharing this story. What does it mean? What’s the lesson? It makes me wonder how to organize so that community–extended family–the friends, the neighbors, the distant cousins, as well as immediate family, could all be at the center? How large could that center be? Is what you’re calling a matter of organization a matter of being aligned with deeper and most honest values? If so, it would seem this is a striking realization, one that would fuel and nourish positive energy of further engagement and love for others. Again, thanks for sharing.

  3. Thank you Colleen and Michael, for your acknowledgments and reflections. You ask wonderful guiding questions Michael, that inspire me to both draw a bigger circle and more clear one, so that when the chips are down, I know the next Right Action. I also wonder if these inquiries into structure also have to do with my own internal workings: am I am flexible enough to shift my attention, make transitions, pause and reorganize my priorities? Moment by moment? I work to be able to do so, but I think I found a new limit last week and am so glad for the support of this community to live in the questions with grace.
    As always, gratefully yours,

  4. I was re reading your post and considering the question you pose at the end. It sounds like there is something in hand that can be released. But what if that’s not true? What if the situation is that it does require work to put the friend or the community at the center? The work might be some form of letting go but couldn’t it also be some form of imaginative leap? I ask because its a similar question to one that I wrestle with. What might be beneficial to friends, family, and community? How to organize so that they are central?

  5. I’ve been thinking this too … and on top of it, a colleague said recently, “I have this habit of when things do not go the way I want them to or the way I think they should, I immediately make it that there is something wrong in my structural space.” This was so striking to me because that very habit is what caused this blog post. Am I looking in the wrong place? Is my circle drawn too large, so it’s not sustainable? I think there is some scarcity in my space about hoarding relationships … painful but deep insight….

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