January 21, 2010

Day 10 Meditation- This Little Heart of Mine

Everyone is still home, everyone is still sick. My illness has remained low level,I have been able to go out every day, run errands, go for coffee. Michael is not sick, we have been taking care of things together, wrapping up the studio business, and keeping the house stocked with food. The grocery store has become one of our regular dates. Having just come through the holiday season right into all this sickness has made alone time hard to come by. We all live together in this small house and for over a month almost everyone has been home. This has been nice in one sense, has given our family time to bond, hang out together. The flip side is that adult time and one on one time with anyone in the household has become scarce. This is what we now go to the grocery store for, me my Michael Sheely, alone time. It is all very domestic!

Michael said today, as he pushed the shopping cart through Save-on-Foods, that he has made a lot of quick changes in his time, that he is used to making drastic shifts in his lifestyle, navigating the changes, which I imagine he does with much grace. This change though, he says, has been the most drastic. He went from living with a group of adults, in an intentional community consciously designed to support its members through their awakening to themselves, to joining a family of 5 who, while also awakening and supportive, are much more chaotic and reminiscent of his own childhood. Wow... can you imagine? He is taking a crash course in family and parenting. Like parents we learn to fulfill the needs we have for intimacy and one on one by being creative. Here enters the grocery store in this story. We are surrounded by people, but usually it is easy for us to have an extended conversation. I kiss him a lot and he finds opportunities to grab my butt. We talk about what to get and this leads to conversations about the kids and Chris and we process right along side the bologna, which we do not purchase.

I love wild and crazy Shambala Michael, the one who will stay up all night and try just about anything. His experience seeking Sadhu nature is what drew me to him, what captivated me and helped me to emerge from my cocoon. I am watching his emergence as well. Alongside the creative, performing, change-the-world one-heart-at-a-time Michael that I met on June 6th, is the father that he is becoming. I remember siting by the ocean on Cortes Island, filled with pride as he expressed himself so eloquently. He said “I am moving to Nelson to start a family“. And this is exactly what he did. His method was certainly unorthodox, he is Michael Sheely after all. He is becoming more and more a parent to my children, and more and more a brother with Chris.

As for he and I, we are doing great. Challenging so many status quo’s, creating such drastic change in both of our lives produced a bit of a bumpy beginning... we have fought a lot in the last 7 1/2 months. And every time we do, once we se through our stories and hurt feelings we find the strength to recommit to our vision, and belief in what we are creating together with our family. We remind ourselves that we love each other and that really this is all that matters. That the other stuff can be worked on, we can support each other more, understand each other more, see and hear each other more, if we commit to the love. We are finding more and more ease .
Some of you who know and love us have seen our struggles, I am sure some of you even wondered if it was worth it, sometimes the pain was so deep and overwhelming. Thank you for loving us, carrying us when we were too confused to see clearly our path. More than anything thank you for believing in us. Your love and support has made such a difference.

I want to acknowledge one person in particular, Chris. You have seen us through so many rough times, have had to assure and soothe our children at times that this choice their parents made to break out of the monogamy model and break open the world of love, was not crazy! Especially in times when it most definitely seemed completely nuts! You stood strong and supported our family vision, believed in us even when we struggled to believe in ourselves. Thank you Chrissy, from the bottom of my heart for how strong, patient and loving you have been with Michael, with our children, and with me, your wife. I love you Christopher James Raabis. Thank you for allowing me the breathing space to love many (polyamory literally means ”many loves“). You have always known how important loving people is to me, you have always seen and acknowledged my glory, even in the times when I forget.

(The Boss singing This Little Light of Mine”, SO GOOD!!”)

”Was there a time when you helped friends/a friend through a rough period in their lives?“ is the question in 12 days journal #284


  1. Wow Bernice, this entry brought a tear to my eye. Right in the middle of my theatre history class. I love both you and Michael so much. Hearing that you're working through your challenges and processing in the grocery store, I feel really happy. You both inspire me so much. With your empathy, your wisdom, and your truth.

  2. My best friend and I have helped each other through scores of rough periods. I am so happy that we have each other to lean on!