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The Year of Meeting Lizards

Or how to slough off the past and be (more) fearless

Hint: One toe at a time. The tail will grow back.

In the past year, I have met more than a dozen lizards in different forms and phases of their lives. I have never encountered as many lizards as I have in the past 12 months. I wouldn’t have noted it if the first handful of lizard sightings were not intriguing. I am certain there are messages for me to learn from the lizards.

#1: Long, black, and semi-floating on a friend’s pool surface. High summer. Hot like today. I was on a mini-retreat to figure out what to do with my life and career post-pandemic and mid-freak out about my husband’s illness. Feet in the pool, journal in hand, sunscreen blocking the most pernicious sun rays, I leaped out when I saw what looked like a snake. Let’s say that it stopped my retreat’s calming focus and agitated me into a form of action. I still journaled my heart out and returned to the pool for a second day, but not with as much vim and vigor.

#2: One day later, I was walking with my husband around the block and noticed a small, grey dead lizard on the path leading to our home. Weird. I noted the doubling.

#3: A few days later, walking out to get the mail from our home, a short friendly lizard greets me at the door. Alive. It appeared to be speaking to me. It no longer seemed to be coincidental. There is symbolism here, attempting to bash me over the head. I did next what I love, researched lizard lore, and found that lizards represent dreams and shedding what doesn’t serve you any longer. Hmm. Food for thought.

#4-10: Lizards were everywhere, like the law of attraction; I would see them here or there by the porch, near the garage, or on my walk to the office. My family noticed them, too, and we discussed them like they were favorite pets during our dinnertime conversations. In the hustle and bustle of trying to run a middle school and get a proper diagnosis for my husband, I let the lizard messages slip away. And yet, I didn’t know what I know now; I was shedding my perceived reality for a new one.

#11: The bright orange lizard shocked me when it shimmied out of our garage almost a year later. I felt the sonic boom of a reminder. Had you shed all that you needed? Dual graduations of middle and high school sons appeared on the horizon. Daunted a bit but also excited about the move forward. The next phase holds new potential and opportunities for us– for me.

#12: One morning, almost one year after noticing the first lizard, I got out of the mini-SUV from the trip to and from college orientation and almost stepped on another dead lizard. I wondered if I had killed it when I backed into the spot. I knew I was reluctant, not wanting to loosen the next layer of skin, that of a parent giving over her child to adulthood.

#13: I give you a baker’s dozen in lizards. I am not sure it is the final lizard, but it is the one with the most meaning. In my new role as an advisor at school, two seventh graders rushed by me to save a very tiny baby lizard this week. They gently picked it up with their bare hands and carried it to a nearby flower bed to set it free. The students saved it from certain death: a new life, a new dream to be born.

I wonder, what messages or symbols have you read in the world?

10 seconds to Zen, random thoughts

When times get tough, remember your practice (10 Seconds to Zen)


When was the last time you checked in with your practice?

It is one thing to talk about how quick it might be to get to Zen when you take the time to begin a practice.  It is quite another to become accountable to the practice.  So here is a quick check-in.

Have you made a routine of one or two things you have done to get to your own brand of Zen?  If so, have you checked in recently?  For me, this is the time of year that is so fast-paced and crazy it is easy to forget your routines.  However, routines save us and work to make us feel like some things are in our control.

Just today, I realized I better check-in with myself. This is a week where my oldest will graduate from 8th grade, and I am the one in charge of the graduation events at his (my) school.  It is a frenetic pace, and I have been riding the bullet train since last month.  Yesterday, I was vanquished by a four-day long migraine that made me cranky and zombified in my thinking.  Thanks to my darling partner, he took some time to help me with a quick massage.  But, here is the thing, over the course of those four days, I hadn’t put into place some of my rescue techniques.  I did my daily meditation, but I hadn’t done the extra 10 seconds to Zen practices because of the pace at work.  Today, I woke up and remembered without the practice, we become a mess, and then we are no good to anyone else.  And I don’t know about you, but I want to be fully present this week to enjoy my son’s graduation events since this is a milestone event.  Truth be told, I do have some jitters.

So right now, I am diffusing some essential oils that take me back to my favorite place (Rome!)…a shout out to my sister-in-law, Angel, for posting these recipes!

It only took me 10 seconds to put these drops into the diffuser and turn it on.  In less than a hot minute, I am floating away to Roma in my mind.  I am rejuvenated (and ready for the house cleaning that must commence post-haste)!