Tag Archives: present moment awareness

The Space Between Terror and Peace

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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.

Better

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I wake up
and something’s different.
I see the sun.
I’m glad to be awake.
I have energy.
I’m excited to start the day.
I make berry salad
for our breakfast;
the kids and I enjoy
these colorful jewels
the earth grew
for our nourishment.
I feel so much love
my heart might burst.
My home is peaceful.
After the kids get on the bus
I come back home.
What is this feeling?
What is different?
And then I realize
I know what this is:
I feel better.

Sounds Like Sanity

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Understanding
that there are no problems in the present—
only choices, decisions, possibilities—
could I just slow down, breathe,
recognize where I am,
and simply do what needs to be done?
You know what?
I think I’ll try that for a day.
No worrying,
just doing what needs to be done
right in the moment
it needs to be done.
Do you know what that sounds likes to me?
It sounds like sanity.

Welcome Such Foolishness

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If I could take a step back long enough
and see that I never needed to worry
because everything always works out
(doesn’t it?) in the end…
And if I could stop, relax, take a deep breath,
p a u s e
center
ground
clarify
and open…
Might I see that all the “problems” I perceived
were merely thoughts in my mind,
and that I was fully capable
of thinking other thoughts?
And might the freedom of this
bubble up as a great big laugh,
because all along,
I was the warden and the prisoner both,
and the one who witnessed,
and the space where all of these exist?
Yes, I might just laugh and laugh
and not even notice
how much of a fool
I’ve become in the eyes of everyone else.
I would welcome such foolishness.

Become Peace

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I’m just wondering
when the day will come
that not one shred of anxiety
disturbs my peace,
from the time I wake up in the morning,
until the time I lay my head down at night.
How do I cultivate
unshakable peace?
How can I remember to breathe
slowly and deeply
all throughout the day
(and not just for the 30 minutes of morning meditation)?
How do I take the meditation with me,
so that I don’t just practice peace,
but I become peace?

Gratitude and Joy

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Ahh, settling into this moment,
and it feels wonderful, actually.
I had this realization
that my mind was stealing my joy.
I was giving my attention
to painful thoughts—
and believing them.
But then, I chose to think differently.
I chose to focus on
what is working in my life,
how fortunate I am
to have my health,
my home,
my children,
my work…
And suddenly I realized
how rich I am,
how blessed,
how truly sacred
this moment is.
So now,
in the absence
of those painful thoughts,
all that is left is
gratitude and joy.
Ahhhhh, thank you life.