I can relax.
The struggle is over.
I can breathe.
I am safe.
I can step forward.
I am powerful.
I can realize this was always true.
I’m breathing into whatever arises,
and this is my practice right now.
Instead of resisting the stress,
I feel it fully, breathing.
Instead of judging my anger,
I breathe and allow myself to feel.
When I get worried,
I notice the worry, and I breathe
as a single mother
who wants to make sure her kids
have a bright, happy future.
When I’m in a hurry,
instead of criticizing myself,
I breathe fully into the belly
of this woman who thinks
there is never enough time.
Taking ownership of my current experience
and embodying fully this moment
as it presents itself to me,
I see there are no missing pieces.
I see I am, we are, this is all complete.
If I stay in the now,
everything is ok.
If I allow myself to regress to the past
or project into the future
I am filled with regret and shame
or anxiety and hopelessness.
Clearly the sane choice
is to stay in the now.
How do I do this?
I breathe, and I feel my breath.
I really look at my children
as they read, or play, or eat,
or argue with one another.
I notice my hands batting
at the insect that buzzes near my ears
as I walk in the humid forest,
earth floor damp,
ferns glowing emerald green
in the golden dusk light,
the beauty of it all.
Oh my mind,
I beg you.
Stay present. Stay with me.
Stay here now.
that there are no problems in the present—
only choices, decisions, possibilities—
could I just slow down, breathe,
recognize where I am,
and simply do what needs to be done?
You know what?
I think I’ll try that for a day.
just doing what needs to be done
right in the moment
it needs to be done.
Do you know what that sounds likes to me?
It sounds like sanity.
In this spacious present
I can relax, breathe,
recognize that everything is ok.
Why has so much of my time been spent
being educated away from what is here?
Can I unlearn enough
to have the space in my mind
to be truly present?
What would I do with such clarity,
such immense and immediate expansion?
Knowing that I could never shrink back
to what I was before,
is it safe to leave behind what is familiar
and face the adventure before me?
If I could take a step back long enough
and see that I never needed to worry
because everything always works out
(doesn’t it?) in the end…
And if I could stop, relax, take a deep breath,
p a u s e
Might I see that all the “problems” I perceived
were merely thoughts in my mind,
and that I was fully capable
of thinking other thoughts?
And might the freedom of this
bubble up as a great big laugh,
because all along,
I was the warden and the prisoner both,
and the one who witnessed,
and the space where all of these exist?
Yes, I might just laugh and laugh
and not even notice
how much of a fool
I’ve become in the eyes of everyone else.
I would welcome such foolishness.
I wake up in darkness
although the sun is out.
It’s the same old familiar feeling
of uncertainty for the future,
for not having it all figured out by now.
Then Grace steps in and speaks
gently and lovingly to me:
Everything will be revealed
in the proper time, space and sequence.
Your job is to stay open
to this process of shedding the old
so that you can receive the new.
Believe me, it’s worth it.