Being held hostage for so long
makes freedom scary when it comes,
and I curse my tormentor
for finding another captive to ensnare.
I curse her, his new prey,
for allowing herself to be captivated by his charms.
I suppose I should instead feel sorry for her,
walking right into his trap as she has.
I suppose I should only feel compassion
as I look at their one year “anniversary” photo,
glasses of champagne on the table,
looking so pleased with themselves.
It’s only a matter of time
before he does to her
what he did to me.
And I’m free.
Why does freedom feel so scary?
bringing cool air, wind,
and the promise of change.
As the days grow shorter
and the nights longer,
as nature slows down
and prepares for winter,
could I slow down too?
Could I take time
to go inwards, reflect,
see where I’ve been
and decide where I’m going?
Could I look ahead at life to come,
and choose to believe in the possibility
that after this long, dark night,
Spirit has a beautiful spring planned,
just waiting for my awakening?
The afternoon light sparkles
on gently waving leaves.
My body wants rest; I listen.
I take a moment,
one little pause to reflect.
Who thinks these thoughts?
Who writes these words?
Who causes the leaves to dance
and the wind to blow through them?
It can be spacious, this moment,
The light keeps sparkling
and something within me
All at once I realize,
I’m here. I made it.
Watching the fire
melt away the wood
until only embers are left
I’m reminded how short our time is
here on earth.
May I burn brightly
fulfill my purpose
give warmth, heat and help.
And when it’s time
may I melt away
until the very last moment.
I subbed a yoga class this evening.
I went into the ladies room
before I taught
and nearly ran into a woman
right in front of a full length mirror.
I wondered why,
with all of the benches around,
was she changing right there,
staring at herself in the mirror…
This young woman ended up
in my class.
She was quiet and graceful;
I wondered if she was plagued
by the same body dissatisfaction
that is sold to us by our
body obsessed culture…
or maybe does she love her body??
After my class
I nearly ran into yet another woman
right in front of the same mirror.
This one exclaimed
“SHIT! I forgot my pants!”
She was not as quiet
and maybe not as graceful.
I keep thinking about these two,
wondering about how we learn
to be preoccupied with our appearance,
obsessed with our reflection,
needing to see ourselves doing
the simplest things.
Maybe this is why
I often ask my students to close their eyes.
You don’t need to see to breathe.
Sometimes what we see outside
is such a distraction
that we have no attention left
for what’s inside.
Why stare at yourself
as you change one shell for another?
Could we learn to look a little deeper?
When you look into the mirror
don’t be afraid–
stand naked and look
at the truth of your being.
Don’t cover yourself
drop the veil
that shields you from being fully alive
and stand fresh and vulnerable and spontaneous,
curious about who you really are.
There is nothing to fear,
open your eyes even wider.
Don’t ask the mirror
to reflect what you want to see
and then break it in anger
when it doesn’t comply.
Look at what is there
and love this self that is you.
The mirror is a friend.
It shows us where
the healing balm of self-love
is most needed.
As we apply this loving kindness to ourselves
the mirror will reflect it
back into the world.
All of our likes and dislikes,
our strengths and weaknesses
our shortcomings and our gifts–
the mirror reflects them all,
shining in the freshness of this now moment.
As we stand and look with courage
at the truth of ourselves
we see the whole world reflected
back to us;
the whole universe is held
in the glint of our eyes.
When you are met with an obstacle,
don’t turn and run in the other direction.
You could run faster than the wind
to the other side of the universe
and the obstacle would be there waiting for you,
waving, saying, “Remember me? I’m still here.”
When you are met with an obstacle,
take a deep breath,
See what is being activated in you,
what feels sticky, hot, dark, heavy…
what you are pushing against,
what you deny, hide, or repress
in your quest to control
let the thoughts and feelings
move the way they are meant to,
learn about yourself,
open your eyes,
Whatever you perceive as “trouble” out there
is a juicy opportunity for self-knowing
Don’t hate the mirror
for reflecting yourself back to you–
open heart, open hands, open mind.
See your reflection in all things,
learn from all things–
there is no separation.