Tag Archives: past

Pure, Radiant Innocence

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And what if, suddenly,
I let go of who I thought I was,
and made space
to see and feel and know myself
as I am right now?
If I let go of the anger,
the sadness, the blame,
the shame, the grief,
and the regret,
what would be left of me?
If I could stop using my intellect
to operate on reality,
if I could stop using my
past to define my present,
who would I be?
Today, may I be aware
of awareness.
May I walk in this world
as one who can
see with new eyes,
hear with new ears,
and love with a new heart,
free of the prison
of past conditioning.
May I step out of the cage
of my old ideas,
ready to meet this moment
in its purest, most radiant
innocence.

You Didn’t Know Me

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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. 🙏🏻🌈✨

Wide Open Arms

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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.

Standing Here

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Standing here, looking forward
I can hope, I feel strong,
I know I can make it through this.
Looking back
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.

Listen Deeply

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There is no need to dwell on the past,
to try to figure out who’s right
and who’s wrong,
not when this moment
is so richly landscaped
by our current thoughts,
our fabricated perceptions…
Surely there is enough here
to catch our fancy
without having to
exhume and examine
the remains
of something that happened
so long ago
we can’t remember why
we’re trying so hard to remember!
Close your eyes to the past.
There is nothing for you there.
Open your eyes to this moment
for just a moment,
then close them again.
Now, do you see?
That which is timeless
is inside of you,
the eyes inside your eyes,
the ears inside your ears.
Trust the voice that you can hear
only when you become still
and listen deeply.

Clearing Out the Shadows of My Past

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Because I could hear them scratching at the door,
and because they had been doing so for quite a long time,
I finally mustered the courage to look into the closet
and examine the skeletons of my past.

I discovered they aren’t as scary as I thought they were.

What Are You Waiting For?

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One thing that I keep trying to impart to my yoga students is the fact that there is no past and there is no future, there is only this present moment of now.  I encourage students to not tell themselves the story that they will achieve happiness as soon as X, Y, and Z conditions are met; happiness happens now, because now is all that we ever have.  I also am acutely aware of the mind’s fundamental tendency to be dissatisfied, to want to seek ways of soothing hurt, anger, feelings of not measuring up, and how the mind can easily trick itself into believing that sense pleasures will bring happiness–and so I have a lot of compassion for those who are trying to be present, I have a lot of respect for their efforts, knowing how utterly difficult it can be to establish and maintain this kind of awareness.

It’s actually quite challenging, and at times discouraging, to note my own inability to remain present and attempt to uncover the happiness that is available in the here and now.  My intellect can easily grasp the idea of existing in the now, and it can completely comprehend that dwelling in the past or grasping for some imaginary thing in the future cannot give me a sense of lasting peace and happiness, because these temporal illusions distract me from just being present in this moment, which is the only place happiness can blossom.  But taking hold of a concept, mulling it over, and creating some kind of clarity around it is profoundly different from absorbing a truth and living it in every cell of one’s being.

As much as I have tried to be aware of the hopeless stories I tell myself, and as much as I have tried to not assign too much weight to them, I still have many ideas of what it would take to make me happy at some point in the future.  These ideas are so deeply embedded in my consciousness that they torment me when I’m attempting to meditate, they haunt me when I’m having a particularly hard moment, they infiltrate happy moments and turn them a little sour.  How to put a little more distance between myself and the stories, so that I can perhaps detach from them enough to discover my true identity?  I’m thinking that if I could write them all down and look at them fearlessly, I would discover that most of these stories are wrapped around the desire to manifest a specific sort of sensory experience.  Just becoming aware that I’m getting caught up in these stories is the first step in reclaiming my attention and making myself more available to the here and now.

I could tick off a list of of things that I think would contribute to my happiness,  and I’d see that the list is ever expanding, that there is no end to desire.  When I start looking at the conditions that I have placed on my happiness, I end up feeling sheepish, a bit embarrassed..how will I ever be free?  I’ve been trying so hard for so long. When will I be free?

One that note, I just wanted to know if anyone out there has been able to take a detached look at their desires, to really look them straight in the eye and honestly asses what feelings arise in response to them.  Do you tell yourself the same story that you will find happiness someday when ___________________________ happens?  The question is, what are you waiting for?  What experiences are you waiting to have, what sense objects are you waiting to acquire, before you can let yourself feel happy, contented, peaceful?

Courage!  When entering a dark room, bring a headlamp so that you can see.  In the light of awareness, all will be transformed.

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there is no end to my desires
and so I won’t attempt to list them all.

my body is tired, and I need to sleep.
maybe when I awaken tomorrow
I will feel a renewed sense of courage
and I’ll greet the desires head on,
I won’t give in to their siren song.

For now, though, my desire is sleep,
and I need sleep to be healthy.

I’m going to give in to that desire.