When faced with imminent homelessness
and being met with obstacle after obstacle
to securing a home for myself and my kids—
what real choice is there?
I can choose to be present and experience peace,
or I can choose to focus on the future
and feel terror.
The choice seems so easy, doesn’t it?
Just stay present. Just choose peace.
But then there is the reality of being human,
having been trained to avoid the present moment
for most of my life.
Yes, even as a yoga teacher,
even with my daily meditation practice
(over seven years now of daily meditation)
I still find it extraordinarily difficult
just to remain present.
There are so many ways I’ve learned
to just not be here. To just not feel.
I see that my body has been terrified for a long time,
perhaps since childhood…
perhaps I carry the terror of ancestors
struggling to survive,
a terror encoded in my genes
that no amount of therapy could cure.
My task becomes a reconditioning
of this body-mind,
to retrain my nervous system to udnerstand
that in this moment, I am safe.
In this moment, all is well.
Until I am able to gain more footing
on this path of peace,
I’ll need to be content with the space
between peace and terror,
and reconcile the one who is afraid
with the one who soothes, reassures, calms and holds.
God, let me find the One within me
that knows just what to do and what to say
to always bring me back home to the ground of being,
this moment where PEACE IS within me,
despite the chaos the swirls around on the outside.
I can’t know what’s next;
I can only know what’s now.
I’m not sure how
much of me is really here
to look deeply into what is.
I wonder how much of me
is truly available
to receive this present.
I keep practicing.
I might awaken
to what I already knew
before the world
past and future.
Sorting through years of being together,
so many memories surfacing,
the sentimentality of it all.
When you left,
you took what you wanted
and left the rest,
an apt metaphor for our life together.
Now I’m left to sort through
the aftermath of our togetherness…alone.
Our children’s artwork, books, clothing, and toys,
bits of this and that,
odds and ends accumulated over the years…
You told me I didn’t want to move
because I have so much sh*t
that I just don’t want to deal
with sorting it and packing it up…
You were only partially correct.
For starters…a lot of this is OUR sh*t, sir,
which is what happens when two people
create two children and live together
for eight years.
A part of me doesn’t want to deal with it,
you are right—
but that’s just one part.
That’s the part you knew and criticized,
the one that was never good enough for you.
But I have other parts.
There’s one part who has been
only too glad to purge myself of you,
my body, my mind, my heart, my spirit,
my home…free from you.
There’s another part that is so strong
and so resilient, it has been working diligently
to release, release, release the old
in order to welcome the new.
Another part is really glad for the future
without you in it as my tormentor,
and who looks forward
to (one day when I’m ready)
stepping into the embrace
of a real man,
a man who sees me and loves me
for my power and strength,
my creativity and sensuality,
my generosity and compassion,
my ability to clearly articulate my thoughts and feelings,
my humor and my excitement about life.*
Yet another part is deeply calm and peaceful,
and maybe a little amused at this whole process.
Turns out, sir,
you didn’t know me.
You didn’t know me very much at all.
*Yes, if you had seen and appreciated any of these qualities, our story would have been very different. Your loss, buster. But namaste all the same. 🙏🏻🌈✨
I realized I can do this.
I can redirect my mind.
I can think better thoughts.
I can help myself feel better.
I can focus on what I want.
I can release the past
by believing in my future.
I am strong.
And I can learn how to be stronger.
Sometimes I resent having to do so much work
to wake up, to improve, to become better…
Like everyone else, I just want to be happy, healthy,
have a good life, be at peace.
Then it occurs to me
that the work will enable me to create these things
and claim them as mine.
If the good life were handed to me on a silver platter,
could I accept it?
Would I see myself as worthy?
I’m so grateful for the infinitely generous present moment.
No matter how many times my mind goes back to the past
or rushes headlong into the future,
this beautiful present moment
always waits for me right here, right now,
with wide open arms.
I’m writing letters to my future lover,
giving myself permission to envision life
after the death of what I once knew.
After months of loneliness,
feeling victimized, betrayed,
caught in a prison of anger and resentment,
hitting rock bottom financially
and feeling suicidally depressed,
it goes without saying
that feeling turned on to possibility
is quite a refreshing place to be.
Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt instructs us to write “a poem that addresses the future, answering the questions ‘What does y(our) future provide? What is your future state of mind? If you are a citizen of the “union” that is your body, what is your future “state of the union” address?’”
It’s strange to contemplate the future
because it doesn’t exist,
and whatever states of being I imagine in it,
when I call them forth,
it will be in this moment now.
But as I visualize my future, this is what I see:
I am happy, healthy, radiant with well-being.
I am in a soul-fulfilling partnership
with a man who loves every fiber of my being.
I do work that is deeply gratifying and pays me well,
and I’m living as my most authentic self,
serving the planet in a big way.
I travel to beautiful places,
bringing my children with me,
that they too might experience the majesty of nature.
I express my creative talents and abilities
in profoundly satisfying ways.
I am nourished in all aspects of my being.
I awaken every day grateful for this life I’ve been given.
I continue to meditate and write every day,
and I spend time in nature
because nature is where I feel most aligned
with the Great Spirit of All Things.
I live in gratitude, cherishing every moment.
I give and receive love with my whole heart.
I breathe deeply and slowly in each moment,
and I sing the praises of the One
who brought me here.
I love life.
Standing here, looking forward
I can hope, I feel strong,
I know I can make it through this.
I feel angry, I feel hurt,
I feel betrayed,
I am filled with grief.
Standing here, right here
in this present moment,
I am aware of the swirls of thought
and my tendency to look back
and to look forward.
Standing here, opening my eyes,
I see what choices I have.
I sit down.
I close my eyes.
I breathe in and out, slowly.
This moment is all I ever have.
This moment is all I ever need to know.
Today I found
stacks and stacks
of a type of object
with three flat sides,
two of which opened
away from one another.
The third flat side was
more narrow than the other two,
and appeared to hold in place
many thin rectangular
pieces of a white, dry,
with markings on most pieces;
a few of them were blank.
I wonder what the markings signify–
could it be some kind of language?
It seems that in this primitive world
the inhabitants hadn’t yet mastered
intuitive, instantaneous communication
and thus needed to record in tangible form
the thoughts and ideas
that flow so easily between members
of our race.
In some of the dwellings
I would find just a few
of the object I mentioned;
in others there were whole rooms
full of them.
Sometimes there were images
although what I saw looked so foreign
I couldn’t discern meaning from them.
I wonder what these objects are called?
Could they hold the answer
to our understanding
the people who once lived
on this planet now devoid of life?
Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is here.
Why decide how things should be?
Reality is always so much wiser and kinder
than my interpretation of it.
If I decide my future needs to look a certain way
and then I become attached to my own story,
I create my own personal hell.
What happens when the real future
doesn’t match with my imagined
version of it?
How about the amount of time I spend
trying to control everything and everyone
so that my future unfolds according
to my perfect, neurotic little plan?
What if I could trust a little more
and project a little less?
What if I could breathe more
and stress less?
Trying to assure a particular outcome
eventually takes a toll on me.
It requires too much energy.
I’d much rather live in the mystery.
This mind that doesn’t know
is so much more open, curious,
innocent and creative
than the control freak
who needs things a certain way.
Why decide how things should be?
I’d much rather live in the mystery.