Ok, so where to begin?
I recently dodged two bullets
and celebrated my close calls,
having lived through
three years of celibacy
that I’d rather be alone
than share my time
with a man who cannot
and truly see me.
I’ve been practicing this Wim Hof breathing video
every day for almost a week…
It’s eaten into my music time on my cushion,
but now I’m breathing more consciously—
and maybe when my breath is strong enough,
I will breathe consciously as I play my music.
I have been preparing for this moment for so long:
Where I feel totally free and at ease,
allowing myself to create authentically
from my deepest center,
letting the love of life, of presence
flow from me, radiating harmony into the world.
When I believe my thoughts I am anxious.
When I connect with reality, I am at peace.
I have known this for a long time,
and now more than ever it holds true.
It is so humbling to admit that all of my training
couldn’t prepare me for this reality.
Yoga is fun and neat when you’re sitting in a room
with 30 people, learning how to teach people yoga
in a thriving studio on a normal day.
No one prepared me for a Pandemic.
No one told me how it would feel
when I couldn’t see my students anymore.
No one explained what it would be like
to go into a store and find empty shelves.
No one described the despair I’d feel
contemplating bringing my children up
during a widespread economic collapse.
After so many years of encouraging my students to breathe,
I find myself holding my breath.
After teaching my students how to stay present,
I find myself feeling anxious about the future.
After guiding my students into deep relaxation,
I feel anxiety alive in my body.
I remember that this will one day be a memory.
When this is all over,
I’d like to be able to tell the story about how I realized
I could just fully relax,
how I spent my time creating wonderful things
and then the Pandemic was over,
and I could look back on the quarantine
feeling proud that I stayed strong…
I guess I better start breathing
and staying present,
just like I’ve been teaching all these years.
What if it were so much simpler
than I had previously thought?
What if thought has nothing to do with it?
What if I could just breathe, listen
for my deeper guidance,
and do one thing at a time,
with no hysterical interjections
from my anxious mind?
the sky a light silver-gray,
oak leaves orange brown,
maple leaves red,
bald cypress defiantly remaining green.
Crows muttering to one another,
and a tender breeze stirring
what was inanimate
into graceful gestures of surrender and flow.
How could I possibly regret my past
given that it brought me such
a shockingly beautiful
and stunningly simple
If I suddenly dis-identified myself with my pain,
how would I show up in the moment?
If I no longer believed the stories told to me
or the labels I’ve been branded with,
who would I be, right now?
If I could no longer see myself
as the victim of my past circumstances,
how would I relate to this present experience?
I keep praying. I keep saying aloud,
I’m ready to let go of the past.
I’m ready to feel beyond my pain.
I ready to know who I really am.
And yet the old story persists.
What do I need to do to be free?
Just when I thought all was lost,
just when I felt defeated
and it looked like all my efforts were in vain,
Grace sweeps in and shows me
that all is well, and to just keep going.
When I’ve been looking through eyes
that cannot see clearly,
it’s time for a new way of seeing.
I cannot anticipate the magic of my future
looking through the lens of my past experiences.
My conditioned mind screams in terror;
it wants to know and understand and be in control.
Grace says, “Shhhh, shhhhhh, just breathe. Get still.”
When I listen to Grace, all is well.
I should keep listening to Grace.
Choosing clarity over comfort
and service over self-indulgence,
knowing that short-term pleasure
eats into long term success…
I think about what makes a leader a leader.
Beyond the roles we play
and the hats we don,
what is our true identity?
The moment we breathe slowly and deeply
we enter into the field of presence
that was never given
and can never be taken away.
I look up to anyone
who can enter this field
and show me how to arrive there
without tricks or gimmicks,
without bypassing or denial.
If I cannot find such a one to lead me,
I must become a leader myself.
And in today’s world, rife with chaos,
fraught with trauma,
I think that this is precisely
what Life is asking all of us to do.
If you’re wondering how long it will take,
how it will happen,
when you’ll feel strong enough,
This isn’t a fill in the blank test.
This is your life.
There are no proper answers.
There is only you, opening as awareness
to what is alive in this moment.
Can you soften and relax
into the possibility
that you were led precisely here
because there was something
you could learn
from this living, breathing moment?
Love this moment.
This moment is your life.
I wake up gently before the sun
and my first thought is
Thank you. Thank you for another day on this planet.
I am excited for the possibilities of this day.
I remember my children will meet their teachers.
I remember I have laundry to do.
I remember that I need to start packing up this house.
I remember that this can all wait
until I sit, and check in with the Source,
the consciousness within me
that spins out all of these perceptions
and weaves them together to create
the experience of a single mother
waking up to greet another day.
If I am right with the One within,
then my day will flow with beauty.
I am grateful for this time.
I remember that although I have a body
I am not simply this body. Or this mind.
Or these circumstances.
I am Spirit, clothed in form,
and the degree to which I can remember
and stay present
is the degree to which my light will shine
to illuminate the form in which I move
and breathe and express,
the degree to which my circumstances
will be illuminated, my choices made clear,
my committment firmed,
my conviction made manifest in action.
And so, first things first.
I wake up, and I sit.
And it is good.