Today’s prompt over at NaPoWriMo invites us to write a poem about life’s simple pleasures. There are many. How could I choose just one? Or even a hundred? It’s almost midnight so I’ll contain myself and mention a few of my simple pleasures.
The sound of bubbles colliding with the sides of my glass
as I sip my sparkling water
Stepping outside and feeling fresh, cool wind on my face
The sun piercing through the clouds after days of rain
The scent of a fresh pot of green tea
Feeling my fingertips growing calloused from playing guitar
The sound of my children’s laughter
The taste of a really crisp apple
Sitting on my cushion in the morning and looking inwards
Watching blossoms fluttering from the trees like snowflakes
Lying down to sleep after an exhausting day
Taking a nap in the middle of the day
Watching ink spill out of my pen and onto the page
The feel of yarn slipping through my fingers
as I knit another row
The sound of my sewing machine.
The smell of steam rising off fabric while I’m ironing
Hitting several green lights in a row
Stepping into the hot shower when I feel cold
Love welling up as I tuck my kids in at night.
Just. Being. Alive.
More insight rather than foresight,
and I can feel what needs to be done
rather than rendering myself crazed
trying to strategize the rest of my life.
Breathe. Feel the home you live in,
this body, this heart beating.
There is so much wisdom here now.
The struggle is over; you are free.
You can slow down, breathe, relax
and enjoy now.
All your needs are met instantly,
before you even ask.
There is more love
than you’d ever know what to do with.
You are seen and heard and celebrated endlessly
for the gifts you bring.
You are truly wonderful; a miracle of existence.
Don’t worry, your mind doesn’t have to agree
in order for it to be true.
What if I didn’t have to try so hard to succeed?
What if all I needed to do was breathe and see
and open my heart to the feeling of peace?
I give everything I have
and a part of me says
This isn’t enough.
I’m learning to listen to another part.
It’s quieter and deeper under
and I have to get still
in order to hear it and feel it.
When I tune into this part,
I don’t have to try so hard.
I can breathe and see
and open my heart to the feeling of peace.
Being held hostage for so long
makes freedom scary when it comes,
and I curse my tormentor
for finding another captive to ensnare.
I curse her, his new prey,
for allowing herself to be captivated by his charms.
I suppose I should instead feel sorry for her,
walking right into his trap as she has.
I suppose I should only feel compassion
as I look at their one year “anniversary” photo,
glasses of champagne on the table,
looking so pleased with themselves.
It’s only a matter of time
before he does to her
what he did to me.
And I’m free.
Why does freedom feel so scary?
I have this question bouncing around in my mind.
It has something to do with responsibility,
evolution, speciation, becoming, belonging.
It isn’t fully formed.
It’s just the feeling of a question.
I’m not looking for an answer.
I just want to ask the question.
I want to know what it is,
find the words,
and just ask.
Settling into our new space,
committing to being present, honest,
honoring ourselves and others,
embracing this new experience,
giving ourselves permission
to be and to feel…completely…
I’m reminded of what a retreat really is:
a stepping back from the everyday routine
allowing deeper wisdom to emerge,
wisdom that has been obscured
by habitual modes of existence.
It’s seeing with new eyes
and feeling with an open heart.
It’s resting and nurturing one’s spirit.
My inner critic has been loud,
asking How dare you do this?
But it’s getting a little quieter
as my true self emerges
ready to learn,
to be grateful for the learning.
So you want connection?
You want deep connection with others?
What is the connection like with yourself?
Can you feel what you are feeling?
Can you take a good look,
and instead of holding back,
courageously feel whatever you are feeling?
Our pleasure and our pain
join us in kinship with all other creatures.
These feelings of ours link us
in the realm of human experience–
grief is grief
and joy is joy.
Loss is loss
and peace is peace.
The contexts may change,
the individual players in
our own personal dramas–
but at the end of the day,
sorrow is sorrow,
fear is fear,
and love is love.
So let yourself feel more,
Knowing your own sorrow,
you know the sorrow of the world.
Knowing your own joy,
you know the world’s joy.
You want connection?
Allow yourself to feel
Now you see the connection
that was never lost.
Just let yourself feel what you’re feeling.
Take a deep breath,
let it flow through you like water.
This will pass,
You don’t need to be perfect.
You just need to be.
You don’t need to understand
why or how,
just listen to inhalation and exhalation.
Let your mind be rocked, cradled
by the waves of your breath.
It’s okay, just feel what you’re feeling.
Take a deep breath.
Let it all flow through you like water.