often now, i really do feel whole. embodied. well.
i can own the innate, the wisdom, the sacred self. i can close my eyes and feel the vast expanse and my part in it. i know that i have something to offer, to inspire and to teach. i love well and feel that love returned.
and then, like a freight train on schedule, comes the tiger chase: the anxious clench, the foreboading, the alone, the separate, the too-much, the not-enough, the hurt, the rejected, the betrayed, the uninvited, the unhealed, the un-fixable. the vulnerable and ashamed, grasping for sweetness and comfort.
and close behind the tiger are the thoughts: the ones that nag sucker-punched, left behind, misshapen, unsightly, unsophisticated, fraud, weak, addicted, powerless.
the tiger and the thoughts have historically lead me to one place: defeat and discomfort in my body and disconnected from my spirit.
i have spent much of my inner life allowing the tiger and the thoughts to render me demoralized and lost, clinging to long-ago established habits of soothing and hiding, and stuck on the wheel of purgatory. and while i don’t believe it realistic that the tiger nor the thoughts will ever completely leave, i am beginning to tentatively assert that i can finally let go of the power i have handed over to these forces. i am ready to let go of the story that says i will always be broken.
over the past couple of years, i’ve come to know the chemical imbalances in my brain and body that feed the tiger and the thoughts. i am making peace with cortisol, serotonin, and progesterone. what has been difficult to believe, is that i can truly feel alive and well in the way that i long to. i have been overwhelmed by the advice and methods and treatment plans and diets and medications offered, to the point of feeling, again, defeated. today, i feel like i am tapping into my own wisdom and beginning to trust that i, alone, can discern what path to take toward restoring balance in my mind and body. more than that, i am coming to know a trust in myself , a loving and compassionate trust, for perhaps the first time in my life. while this faith in myself to be the healer of my own body is cautious and not yet fully rooted, i am hopeful and strengthened in a way that i perhaps have never been before.
i believe that i can deeply nourish and heal my body into a form that feels strong, vital, beautiful and sustainable.
i believe that i deserve to be the full expression of who i am.
i believe in and wish to fuel the fire in my belly, my heart, and at the base of my spine–connecting me to my loves, my community, my calling, my teaching, my true.
Know, oh beloved, that we were not created in jest or at random, but marvelously made for some great end.
This post is part of the Let it Go Project: a collection of stories leading up to a beautiful releasing ritual, hosted by Sas Petherick on the 30th of January. All the details for this free event are here. And you can take part! Be inspired by other posts in this project, and share what you are ready to let of of on the Let it Go Project Community Page!
I rise between static and stirring, the fallow flatlines and the raging sea.
I know that I am here, always, despite the production volume of my being.
At times, I am wild with words of adventure and accomplishment, others I am
muted with repetition and resolve.
Still, I am here.
I can taste this drought like it is my own.
dust where water should rise.
To be with what is sometimes feels like swallowing stones,
solid, heavy, and leaden in my gut.
But, then I find myself spitting out feathers and taping them to the wall. A reminder that flight happened.
How, if I didn’t have this life, it would be all I’d ever want.
Not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour.
the space between is longer and longer still. and the words that do come seem to slide off a cogent slope into some quiet corridor that is locked for later, like an advent calendar of my life.
i am curious about your open windows. can you answer the question “what are you up to lately?” with something that feels accurate? how do you communicate everything that happens in between the driving and the doing? for example, i want to explain that, while it looks like i may be idly sweeping my floor or making a grocery list, i am, in fact, learning rapture and stillness and sometimes holding lifetimes in my gaze? i also want you to understand that i really do feel your fear, the way it radiates off of your skin, and i am making a conscious choice to keep it yours, all while we chat about the weather and how we spent the holiday. i get tongue tied in the narrative of the movie i saw or the book i read or the thing that happened the other day or the plans that i am making or the book i want to write or the projects i am embarking on or what is for dinner or where the kid is going to college or even that deep insightful thought i had. there is so much more happening as the sentences are being formed, like how the light is casting interesting shadows through the kitchen and the heart of one that i love is being transformed through pain.
how do i casually offer that i am navigating a broadened field of perception that is blowing my mind and simultaneously causing me to feel absurdly rich and connected, and also isolated and protected? (and we are going to tahoe for christmas)
the open pasture that is my mind is at once eerily void and surprisingly free. there is room for more subtle discernment and an appreciation of where i am touched and where i am triggered. i can sense a hungry ghost from greater distances and, though i am rendered mostly inarticulate, i am feeling more stealth in the removal of claws. (i think i will roast some brussels sprouts tonight)
and so it goes. we say it best we can. stumbling, awkward and elegantly so. pedestrian, quotidian and exquisitely poetic. whatever brings us closer.
because i, for one, still want closer.
(and, yes, i found this poem after dribbling all of the above–hooray for normalcy)
Sunday morning, the table scattered with
bagels, toast, ham and tea, breaded knives on
crumpled napkins, books on every corner-
Whitman, Doty, Jacques Prevert, Rumi on
the floor–each of us tossing another voice
into the air to see what’s folded way inside,
to see what lives between yesterday and
sugar. Each of us knowing what it’s like to be
both turtle and hawk, and Hamlet, all in a day.
The dog sleeps on Kenyon, near Neruda, as we
reach for something not quite in reach and
land on each other, as if the one utterance
inside every voice can soften the onslaught
of time. ~Mark Nepo
today, i release myself of the habit to sidewind the narrative.
i just want to wrap myself in the tenderness of devotion, and allow for the possibility that there is no such thing as too much good. that when the well overflows, the surplus can be shared.
i question whether the stories that i see while i sleep are premonition or fear; when the subconscious beckons wisdom or the wrong wolf.
how long can we go, happy and fulfilled, before something slithers up between us? human rubble from some quake that might not even be our own.
in the end, i want to feel enlightened and free.
exhausted of agony and loose in my connective tissue.
honest and unfettered.
holy and here.
Once the soul awakens, the search begins and you can never go back. ~John O’Dononhue
(text in image above is also from John O’Donohue, Anam Cara)