Caught in the shadows, staying focused on the light.
I tried to grow straight and tall like them. I worked just as hard as they did to grow.
But, it seems I am unfolding differently. I wonder if you see me as suffering, wilting or weak. Do you think I am lacking in nourishment or attention? Perhaps I strike you as non-compliant or maybe even deformed.
Why can’t it just be that because of me their poise and beauty are more prominent while my stature is no less dear?
Could there be room enough in this vase for all of us to be equally valued and admired?
So focused on the work,
on striving to be something, someone…
The joy has slipped away.
But there is no need to run after it, seeking it.
You see, luv, the joy is always right here in your heart. Your heart just beats more loudly to the rhythm of some things, like walks in the park, playing in the woods, cooking delicious foods and wrapping up in snuggly blankets.
Include those rhythms in your daily routine and you will not need to seek joy for it will already be there dancing with you.
There lies a place in me that has grown numb and is forgotten, a place that in the cool darkness has fallen asleep.
The every day routines of existence have turned off the spigot of kindness, creativity and possibility. Even many of those rituals established to keep me awake and alive are void of meaning, passion, and connectivity.
I must step out of the sleepiness, the lethargy, and the isolation. I can no longer await the awakening. I must create it.
In the darkness I will dance until the vast potential and possibility within me are moved and my heart connected to the fullness, freedom, and gift of my essential self.
In the daylight hours and through the night, I will stay alert to those parts of my life that have fallen asleep, that are passing me by…and I will sing and dance and engage in such revelry and play that no part can remain unmoved, I cannot escape the awakening.
There I will find my essential self, my capacity to joyfully meet my needs as well as yours, and celebrate the wonder of life.
Special thanks to Greg Young of RGY Photography for the beautiful photo accompanying this post. See more at http://www.rgyphotography.com or on Instagram @randygyyoung.
My new year wish for you…
Not that you make time for me or to do other things.
Not that you resolve to be any different than you are right now.
Not that you set out to accomplish anything more than you already have.
Not that you accumulate more than what is already there .
My new year’s wish for you is that you be safe where you are,
that you be fed on the soul level,
that you feel love,
and you fully and completely believe in the power of you to be a bright beacon for yourself and others
and in that light you thrive.
Feeling the tug on the visceral thread that connects us all…riding the wave…knowing we are all so bravely in this together.
Through your accomplishments I gain confidence in my ability to move the world.
In your mistakes I recognize your willingness to be my teacher.
In your humility I lay down my need to fight for my existence.
In your weakness I see the most incredible power.
Each time I pause to notice, I cannot help but shed tears of incredible gratitude and honor in feeling into life through your heart and eyes.
Every day, I tenderly pluck and sort the unwanted guests between the treasured plants in the garden of this life of mine. I carefully reach between the stalks and flowers I choose to keep and arrange them all just so.
And, even with the most careful attention, I never leave my garden without scrapes, brush marks and bruises.
Yes, some of the most treasured plants in my garden have thorns. I move with particular sensitivity around them lest they snag my flesh. And somehow even as they cut me, I am still able to see their beauty and feel their special worth. They reach out and brush against me as if they just want to touch, to say “isn’t this all so grand that we are here?!”
It is at that moment when I am wounded but still capable of loving – even those plants with thorns – that I recognize that this coexistence is the essence of thriving.
Love everyone and everything around you as if it were an arm, a leg, an extension of you.
We are all formed of the same chemicals and the same energy as everything around us. In that way we are all connected – we are one.
So, when we love beyond the perimeter of what we perceive as our structure and identity, we exist in a pure space of love…of ease…of freedom.
Oh, but wait…that would require pure love for oneself! Perhaps the true challenge lies in forming a steady stream of love for ourselves in order to feel pure connection through love beyond us.
Love requires truth. Truth requires fearless looking. Looking requires unconditional feeling. Feeling requires objective knowing.
So what if we open our eyes to see without fear, our mouths to speak authentically and empathetically, our hearts to feel without labels and judgement, and our minds to accept unlimited possibilities?
What if we can each find the “coeur”age to unconditionally love ourselves, to bathe ourselves in love?
Then, could we live as one love?
Rain pounds down on the door of the earth.
The soil parts, making way for movement.
Creatures on the move rise to the surface.
Suddenly the water rushes in carrying us to unfamiliar spaces.
Momentarily stunned with uncertainty this new uncomfortable vantage point becomes home.
Gradually settling into a new way of being and heading in a new direction provided solely by the force of another.
Sensing the way, knowing now a different path.
Facing challenges and significant dangers, but moving forward just the same… determined to make good on this shift.
With the pouring rain comes fresh possibilities to establish new pattens, make new discoveries, test adaptability, and make good in the face of adversity.