You haven’t felt yet.
Give them time.
they are almost here.
Moon in Scorpio
Do you feel it? The river of tender knowings under the surface?
Today is my favorite kind of day. It is cool and grey. There’s no determining where the sun may be in the blank-slate sky, and all the fall colors of the all plants are impossibly vivid — flaming tree, mottled vine, confident evergreen. I’m wrapped in cotton and wool, sipping mint tea and intermittently gazing out at the display.
It is quiet.
Some have asked about my fondness for cloudy Bay-area weather. Isn’t it depressing? Don’t I long for the sun? For me, this grey is comforting. It puts me in touch with my world and with myself. It’s like turning down the volume and feeling the bass. Ah, there it is, what’s been here all along — a constant hum, an ever-present drumming. It vibrates my whole being and in this, I remember that I am part of something.
Last Sunday, I turned 36. And even though life does not look like what I imagined it would at this age — no house, no babies, no pets, no partner — I’m not ashamed of my years.
There’s a settledness that has arrived, a trusting in the unfolding. And in this resting, I’ve discovered something unexpected. By unwinding from expectations of how I should be, what I should have and how I should be living, I’m finding a celebration of what is.
It’s like bushwhacking through dense jungle in search of water while standing in a fresh, sparkling pool. If we could just stop looking ahead, we might find relief by simply looking around.
This relief is remembering that life doesn’t have to look like anything other than what it is. I don’t have to be anyone other than who I am. Everything is abundantly enough.
But this, the glittering pool I’m talking about, is the cool water of restoration. It is the ever-present antidote of enoughness. We lose it in our quest to “measure up” and find in the reclaiming of rooting down.
This aging process, for me, has been a journey of reconnecting to the person I’ve always been. It’s learning to let go of the stories and fear of judgment and instead trusting and cautiously bringing forth an unbridled me-ness.
I believe that this is what the world is asking of us. The house, the children, the robust social presence, the thriving business, the perfect partner — sure, fine — but this is not what we’re living for. Striving for only these results in a world that does not work.
Instead, we’re being asked to show up with our quivering me-ness as the only means for building a world based on authentic connection. It’s about love — for self and planet. I know, there’s that ubiquitous L word, but there’s just no beating around the bush here.
Sometimes this looks like “not knowing.”
Sometimes this looks like being “a late bloomer.”
Sometimes this looks like “not having your shit together.”
Sometimes this looks like not having “grown up.”
If you, like myself, sometimes feel “behind,” and worry that your unconventional existence may prove disastrous down the road, may I offer another possibility? What if you are really a trailblazer? The tip of the wave hurdling through space and in this journey paving the way for a more congruous, more alive way of living? How brave. How revolutionary.
TAP YOUR UNBRIDLED YOU-NESS
What are the practices that bring you to yourself? Make your energetic presence swell? Remind you that you are part of something?
I’m being brought to myself when I slow down. Walk instead of drive. Soak in the late afternoon light. Stop to smell things. Look up. Listen without racing ahead. Collect leaves. Write with an actual pen.
I’m on the right path when I feel a little scared. Before I press publish. Asking for support. Showing up at an event alone. Facilitating a group. Planning a workshop. Asking for what I’m worth. Making a boundary.
I am free when I let myself have “it.” Dancing in the front row. Wearing a tutu. Glittering myself. Reading my work allowed. Dressing by mood. Saying how I really feel. Savoring something delicious.
My heart is open when I drop my agenda. Observing strangers in moments of tenderness. Talking to my niece. Listening to a beautiful piece of music.
What are these practices for you?
I’ve just returned from vacation in Singapore and Thailand, and though I’m happy to be back, some part of me is still in a far off place.
Maybe it’s the jet lag or maybe it’s the balm of living without email, news and Trump for several glorious days, but my world is moving much slower.
I’m worrying less, strolling my neighborhood more and prioritizing time with friends.
This is a much different pace than where I was 10 days ago.
I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save)
the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world.
This makes it hard to plan the day. –E.B. White
Oh, my loves, it’s all so much, isn’t it?
This bile that’s bubbled up from the storm drain
Offending nostrils and ears
Stealthily seeping into pores
Set it aflame and we burn ourselves
Go to battle and the war begins within
And soon the moon will blot the sun and bathe us all in gray
I was not surprised by the events in Charlottesville.
No sadness. No anger. Just another headline.
I was not surprised by 45’s two-day response delay and the subsequent offense that launched from his sphincter lips.
The art is not one of forgetting but letting go. And when everything else is gone, you can be rich in loss. –Rebecca Solnit
“Letting go is easy,” one of my meditation teachers once said.
He sat in front of a group of us who had gathered for the weekly dharma night teaching and pulled his keys out of his pocket. He held them for a brief second and then dropped them to the floor. “See,” he said. “It’s just like that.”
Just like what? It’s not that easy, I thought.
He did this over and over again – reaching, holding, dropping, reaching, holding, dropping …
It clearly took some effort for this elderly man to continually reach to the ground. His movements were awkward and uncomfortable.
Well, this is embarrassing, I remember thinking.
What is he doing?
Last week I led a flash mob on a BART Train.
Heading to San Francisco.
On the long stretch when the train dives under the Bay.
I asked riders and friends to shake their arms and legs.
To take deep breaths followed by long sighs.
To tap dance down the aisle between the seats, and to move their bodies slow and smooth like the seaweed floating on the waves in the Bay above our heads.
This train where we often cram in, press to strangers arms and legs, but carefully avoid each other’s eyes.
Where I plug in, head down, legs crossed, arms folded and pray no one sits next to me.
I practiced what I might say. There would be no room for timidity. The train is loud. Alone in my living room, I yelled, trying and discarding tones and words like blouses on a dressing room floor. Which would cloak me in confidence?
And I sometimes think that a moment of touching is the difference between complete utter despair and the ability to carry on. ― Eleanor Cameron
After moving to a new town where she had no friends or family, a friend of mine began stalking her yoga teacher.
It started innocently with her attending one or two of his classes a week. That became three or four, and soon she was “doing doubles,” going to two of his classes a day and driving across town to do so. She knew his schedule; knew when he was subbing; knew when he started teaching at a new studio, and she followed.
It wasn’t that he was unusually skilled at guiding students into asanas, or even particularly handsome.
On any day in this progressive town, there were likely 50 or so other yoga classes providing nearly identical versions of what he offered – except for one thing.
“He does the best adjustments,” she told me. “So strong, so firm, just the right amount of pressure.”
But we both knew that being assisted in her practice had little to do with her real motivations for showing up in his classes.
She was lonely. She worked from home. Being friendless and single meant there was no one to hug her, hold her hand or cuddle with at night.
My friends, yesterday I posted my first FaceBook Live video. The topic was joy. Above is a truncated version where I summarize three steps I use to touch into my own internal joy, which I believe is inexhaustible, unconditioned and a resource for dealing with the many challenges we face in our world and personal lives.
It’s a topic near and dear to my heart — a message I share with delight and conviction with all those who know me, and yet, this morning, I’m filled with the voice of my inner critic.
Why were you so serious?
You should have danced!
You should have worn glitter!
It was way too long!
Nobody experienced any joy watching THAT!
You get the idea. It’s been brutal.
Expanding racial awareness is uncomfortable.
It requires looking at ourselves, examining potential blindspots and recognizing interactions shaded by ignorance, fear and shame. It requires deep listening, a humbling of ourselves and the confidence to risk saying the wrong thing in the name of trying to understand.
I did not ask to do this work.
You did not ask to do this work.
But, it’s been handed to us by the transgressions of our past and the aching denials of the present.
Racial injustice is a putrid tar that’s been mixed in with the mortar holding the bricks of our fragile society together. We can choose to ignore it, pretend it doesn’t stink, imagine that every powerful organization was not built by this noxious substance, but we do feel it.