bristled or spikey
bristled or spikey
Here I sit in the middle of my couch. Extreme joy balancing on one armrest. Great challenge and sorrow on the other. There are pillows and soft coverings that support me as I lean to one side or the other.
There is excitement and movement, equal levels of engagement and doing required at either end of my couch.
There are days when I slide over to one side and days that I spend a large amount of time on the other. Neither better nor worse. Both engaging my heart and mind in ways that are good for me. Both providing opportunities for me to grow. Both utterly exhausting.
Today I choose not to lean or slide. Today I choose to curl up right here in the middle of it all, to feel the balanced rhythm of my heart, lulled into rest by my breath. Today I remember the weariness in my bones. Today I remember that laughter and crying use the same muscles.
I smile and melt deep into the cushions of my comfy little couch, so happy to have joy and sorrow by my sides.
Gliding across the still lake, the swan appears motionless…blending in, yet standing out.
There is an ease to the swan’s movements – small segments of being pieced together to produce strong, elegant, fluid motion…unfolding in a seemless, timeless, effortless evolution.
The swan goes not against the current, but blends into it, rides it, and collaborates with it to create a presence and ease that cannot help but draw the breath from me.
Attuning to the breath, I begin to realize the power and simplicity in the life force that moves so strong, elegantly, and fluidly through me. With refinement of its movement, the breath becomes balanced and smooth. A fullness and simulaneous sense of roaring power and simple stillness come as each segment fully aligns.
In that very breath, I am the swan. In that very breath, I know grace.
Thought I had the shower all to myself. Turns out a little frog thought the same.
As I hurried around the corner to turn on the water, it sprung from the wall to the ground with a giant splat. The sound was enormous!
My heart recoiled at the explosion. Fear grabbed me. It pulled the breath from my chest. My body tensed from head to toe ready to respond. My mind raced through the options…fight…or…flee…I froze.
It was at that moment I wondered – if I hadn’t been in such a hurry, if I hadn’t been so distracted with thoughts and urgency, would I have had the same reaction?
If I had been truly present and more attuned to my surroundings, would I have rounded the corner more gently? Would the frog and I perhaps have exchanged a glance but then carried on with our business?
Because I was in such a hurry and so distracted, I had created an unsettled space for both the frog and me.
Oh, how fear takes advantage of us and sneaks in to catch us when we are off balance. And how our actions impact others’ experiences. That poor frog would certainly have benefited from a little more care and focus from me…and I would have actually been able to get a shower instead of taking that time to sort through my surging fears and emotions.
Thankful for the gifts of mistakes…poor choices…and illness.
Thankful for the lessons learned through the suffering of others as they have so generously lit the way to the path of something else.
Thankful for the eyes that see flawlessness in the presence of imperfections.
Thankful for every scar that contributes to this living road map.
Thankful for the loss that serves as a beacon of hope.
Thankful for quiet act of forgiveness.
Thankful for the essence of grace.
Thankful for the peace that rests at the core of existence.
Thankful for this life of privilege,
and that you and I can be just as we are.
Thankful we can be.
Are my decisions truly aligned with what is best for me?
Do I jump into action to make a big splash?
Are my actions tied to some sort of outside message board?
Can living just to feel happy be enough?
What if I chose empathy for myself instead of sympathy?
Or kindness and forgiveness instead of shame and blame?
Can I integrate my experiences, even the ones that result in mistakes, redirection or pain as essential parts of me?
Am I working to prove something?
Or am I living in these moments for my own higher good?
Could it be that by holding a space of peace and love for me I am holding it for you as well…
…and that is heart work.