When life asks you to change
by pulling the rug out from under you,
when your relationship falls apart,
when your health suddenly fails,
when a source of abundance suddenly dries up,
when nothing makes sense anymore,
to cling to the past is sheer insanity.
At that point, the most lucid response would be
to take a deep breath and feel into the moment,
to see what the moment is asking of you.
The answers are here, now,
in your beating heart,
in leaves stirred by an invisible wind,
in the changing of the seasons,
in the rhythm of your days and nights.
Release the past that is no longer relevant
to the person you are becoming.
Face your future with open arms,
and see what the moment is asking of you.
I cycle up
I cycle down
and I’m not talking about riding my bike
I’m talking about riding the waves
of my own body
and the cycles of hormones
and how there are no brakes
no turn signal.
It’s a struggle,*
but only because
it’s always been a struggle.
If I can change my mind,
if I can see a different way,
this might become
This is an opportunity
to slow down,
to the rhythms of my body-mind,
honor the self
that tries so hard to be good.
Can I love her
when she wants to scream?
Can I love her
when she is tired?
Can I appreciate
everything she has been through?
Instead of doing
what I’ve always done,
can I try something new?
If nothing else,
has given me an opportunity
to come home to myself
if only for this moment.
I want to find the Self
in all the swirls of emotion,
in the body aches and fatigue,
in the loneliness—
and I want to love her fiercely.
*Ladies out there, give me an AMEN if you too find yourself accosted with darkness and mood swings in conjunction with your moon cycle. It has been this way my whole adult life. What helps you manage to make it through those days of darkness until the sun breaks through the clouds again?
And guys out there…when your ladies get this way, have you found a way to help them make it through, or do you run in the opposite direction? I mean…it is INTENSE, after all, and hard to understand the sudden changes in temperament. My recommendation: buy her some flowers, run her a bath, make her some tea, and tell her you’re there for her and that you love her no matter what.
It changes quickly.
(It always does.)
A good night of sleep
or a solid meal
and the demons
that seemed so ferocious
dissipate back into wisps of ether,
and I’m left wondering
what I got so worked up about.
And so it goes,
the cyclical nature
of weather and emotions
and time and libidos…
and all I can do
is try to slow down
my own thinking
take a deep breath,
all is well.
I have found that my journals help to reveal the cyclical nature of things. They have been a source of great comfort to me, as I see that the struggles I’m having now are the same ones I had when I was 20. Different characters, different contexts, but same feelings: fear, anxiety, depression, powerlessness, loneliness, transmuted into courage, confidence, joy, empowerment, connection. Cycling endlessly, for all time.
How about when you finally
take a stand for the truth inside yourself?
When you decide that you’d rather spread joy
than bring pain,
and you’d live as the being you are
rather than the person someone told you
you should be…
how does that feel?
Could you drop the old beliefs
as gracefully as a tree lets go of leaves
and make room for your heart’s desires?
Tree, could you draw your sap
all the way inside to center,
look deeper, and ask for a revelation?
As you stand cold and naked in the darkness,
waiting for the light and warmth
of the rebirth,
What were the seeds you sowed,
and how was your harvest?
Which seeds have you saved
for the plantings in the spring?
And can you turn inwards now fearlessly,
embracing the self that remains
when the old, dry and useless fall away?
Don’t be afraid if you are asked to let go
of someone you presently hold dear to your heart.
Do you grieve the setting sun
knowing that it will rise again at day break?
Do you mourn the loss of summer
as autumn leaves begin to fall?
Do you regret the waves flowing their way
back to the ocean
even though in the next instant
they crash again upon the shore?
Everything in this life
has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
Letting go gracefully
makes the space to receive
the many delights life wants to bring you
if only you are open to receiving them.
Even in the midst of death,
there is so much life.
When a loved one leaves us,
we remember how precious life is,
how fleeting our presence here.
I keep asking myself
what I’ll do with my time.
My body, still young and able,
can dance and run
and stand in tree pose.
My elders show me
what is yet to come
and their frail forms
Your body will change too.
I am thankful
for the turning of the seasons
and the cycles of life.
There is beauty everywhere
if only we can open our eyes
and see it.