in the blink of an eye.
Might as well enjoy our time here.
Might as well train in
creating and expressing joy
so that this world is a brighter place
for our having passed through here.
Are you willing to take responsibility
for your own experience?
How could you feel empowered otherwise?
Are you willing to wake up
to what is truly yours
and leave me to handle what is truly mine?
If just a few of us did this
we could create heaven on earth in no time…
It won’t feel like it’s mine
unless I’ve worked for it,
and so the Universe
is giving me a chance to work.
I can feel my old thinking
crop up sometimes,
when I feel tired in body and mind
and I’m longing for quiet and rest.
Old thoughts come back,
about deserving better,
about wishing it had gone differently,
outraged about circumstances
beyond my control.
But I’ve been practicing.
I’ve been practicing
day after day
I’ve been practicing hard.
And my new thinking
responds to the old
You don’t HAVE to do this,
you GET do to do this.
You aren’t a victim,
you are a powerful woman
who has been given an opportunity
to step into her power
and love herself back to health.
You are a fortunate woman
who has been led to wake up
to the beauty of the present moment
and express her gifts, talents and abilities
in service of all beings.
You are a work in progress,
you’ll never be done,
so keep working, woman,
I was talking with a friend about wealth…
She said that I am far wealthier
than some ultra wealthy people
who have amassed incredible material wealth.
She said that I am far wealthier than they
in terms of my ability to feel happy and fulfilled
and to experience peace in the present moment…
And I got to thinking about my two children,
how bright, and healthy and beautiful they are,
and my yoga and meditation practice,
my work teaching yoga,
the talents God has given me
to write, to draw, to sing, to move
with my heart.
I thought about my bank account,
and although it’s presently modest,
I can feel grateful and proud about
how hard I’ve been working
to achieve financial stability,
several months of sobriety under my belt,
maintaining consistency in my spiritual practice,
gratitude journaling every night,
pausing and appreciating nature in its many forms,
the changes of the seasons,
the fact I can see and hear and smell and taste and touch
this present moment, alive in my body,
alive all around me…
And the connection, the human connection
that my work gives me,
spending time with beloveds who actually
choose me as their teacher,
who come back not because they have to,
but because they want to—
And I realize that yes, yes indeed—
I am ultra wealthy.
Eight years of pausing,
sitting still, closing my eyes
and going within.
I remember well the day
eight years ago, when,
pregnant, feeling sick,
overwhelmed by my responsibilities
as wife and mother,
I called out to the void
I’m going crazy! I’m losing it!
Help me! What should I do?
And the Voice said
You must meditate.
And I thought,
I had a regular practice
before I met my husband,
but (and maybe you can relate)
self-care always fell to the bottom of the list
when I was in a relationship with someone else.
The Voice said
and I remembered that this was an option,
and I sat.
I started small, just five minutes a session,
but I quickly worked my way up
to thirty minutes a day.
Eight years and I haven’t missed a day.
Eight years…I have shown up for myself.
My ex said
You meditate too much
when he gave me the list of reasons
he was leaving our marriage.
That was two years ago,
and he’s gone now,
but I’m still meditating.
Eight years I’ve said to myself
I matter. This matters.
I’m going to keep showing up.
And I will, for eight more years,
and eight more and eight more after that.
I’ll show up every single day,
rain or shine,
in sickness or in health,
for richer or for poorer,
until death closes my body’s eyes
and opens the eyes of my soul.
Then, there will be no surprises,
because in meditation I have seen it all.
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.
I learned a breathing technique last night,
and this morning,
I ditched my established meditation routine
and focused on this one thing.
It was kind of amazing
to try something new.
After more than 1.5 years doing the same thing,
it was a revelation
to just switch it up.
And then I wondered,
In what other areas of my life
have I gotten stuck in a routine,
and where else do I need to
ditch the old
and just switch it up?
The doubt crept in.
The fear and the anxiety
threatened to take up permanent residence
in this exhausted mind
beaten helplessly by neurotic thoughts.
I could see my old emotional system
having its way with me.
My therapist and I laughed
at the absurdity of life.
But the fear, doubt and anxiety
relaunched themselves directly after,
and I spent the afternoon
feeling out of my mind.
Do you have any idea
how humbling it is
to know exactly how to help myself,
but feel helpless to help myself?
I’m a yoga teacher for God’s sake!
I teach people how to breathe and relax
and feel better every week.
And yet when the time comes for me
to practice what I preach
I feel trapped in a prison
of the worst kind of thinking.
Someone tell me I’m not alone.