I don’t know if it’s a sign of exhaustion
or straight up resistance,
but lately I haven’t been as consistent
with my writing
as I was in the past…
My inner perfectionist is horrified.
My inner critic is sneering.
My inner child is sad.
Oh well. I’m writing now.
I’m writing now.
And this moment is good enough.
As I continue to remain perplexed,
and my mind resists the fact that healing isn’t linear,
and so I cannot identify the end point—
it seems to me that the key to peace
must be acceptance.
I accept that my healing is non-linear
I accept that healing from trauma can be very messy
I accept that there are no clear start and finish lines.
And my mind expects that everything will change
now that I have found acceptance.
I accept that acceptance changes nothing
except the way I relate to this moment.
I accept this moment.
I accept this life.
Its voice speaks all throughout the day:
No, don’t do that, don’t put that there,
that isn’t right, can’t you do better than that?
C’mon, you know better, oh no!
I’ts very exhausting.
I really am doing my best.
I really am tired so frequently,
just wanting to take the time and space
to rest and engage in conscious self-care.
I’d like to shake this voice off, somehow,
but it’s inside me,
intimately acquainted with my deepest fears,
of which it reminds me nearly constantly.
Or else it attempts to distract me from my fears,
by reminding me how inadequate I am,
and so what’s the point of trying to shift
into a conscious, spacious paradigm—
I’ll mess this one up too, it tells me.
Little by little I’m becoming aware
of the powerful, deep current of thinking
that influences all of my interactions,
All of my insights.
Little by little I’m realizing
I can choose what I take in,
and what I give out.
Little by little I’m gaining the strength
to discern which voice to listen to,
and the will to stay open
even when it’s difficult.
Little by litte, I’m understanding
that this moment is enough,
just as it is.
The way you doing anything
is the way you do everything.
So, if you’re really honest with yourself,
are you handling this pandemic
the way you handle
(what was) your everyday life?
Is it a crisis? Are you panicking?
Does it feel like something is missing?
Like you should have known better,
or done more, or saved more,
or created more by now?
Do you have regrets?
Do you yearn for what was?
And how is this thinking different
from the way you were thinking
before the $hit hit the fan? Honestly?
you decided to elevate your mind
to a state of gratitude?
What if you started searching
for the opportunities present
in this challenge?
What if you decided to leverage
your gifts, talents and abilities
in service of humankind, right now?
the way you do anything
is the way you do everything.
Who waits patiently
for you to finally wake up
that you were the one
you were searching for all along?
Who reminds you to breathe, when,
in the midst of daily effort
you’ve taken on some old struggle
that isn’t yours to endure?
Who waits for you
through all the years of your life
and at the end of it all
stands with open arms
to welcome you back home?
Your True Self,
The only reality,
The consciousness that pervades all…
What I judge in you
is something unowned in me,
stepping forward to be loved and seen.
Sometimes awakening can be heavy
as we struggle for air,
suffocating under burdens
that were never ours to carry
but which we’ve held on to for so long
we think they are us.
Set down the burdens of the past, my friend,
the ways you try to prove that you’re right,
the ways you attempt to defend your position
and end up alienating the world…
The world doesn’t need us to be right.
The world doesn’t need us to be better.
The world just needs us to be…
I start praying,
then ask myself
Who am I bargaining with?
Certainly not some sky wizard,
God is within.
God is the peace and the presence
we feel inside
when we get still and breathe
and really feel and know that
ALL IS WELL.
What would happen
if I just let go?
What would happen
if I set down the illusion of control,
and I just let myself be held?
I’ve been praying for guidance,
yearning to yield gracefully
to the flow of life in and through me.
But how does one actually let go?
I can grasp the idea,
but holding a thought
is different from the actual experience
of surrender in my body, heart, mind, spirit self…
I’ll keep breathing and praying,
hoping that eventually I learn
how to simply be…
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.
In this spacious present
I can relax, breathe,
recognize that everything is ok.
Why has so much of my time been spent
being educated away from what is here?
Can I unlearn enough
to have the space in my mind
to be truly present?
What would I do with such clarity,
such immense and immediate expansion?
Knowing that I could never shrink back
to what I was before,
is it safe to leave behind what is familiar
and face the adventure before me?