May ripples of love and acceptance help you see all the good in others so that you can see it in you too.
Every morning through my window I watch the airplanes carve a path through the sky, a seemingly straight line built of swirling vortices.
The pilots consider themselves on a steadfast course, honed to the coordinates entered.
But as I watch the swath cover the sky, I see that one path dissipates into a thousand threads of opportunity to go in a different direction.
What one perceives as the path another sees as the starting point. A straight line swirls and morphs into a cloud.
There is nothing wrong with the trajectory on which I ride, but I find it quite fun to imagine where else I might go.
A tear carves a cool path along my skin. My heart pounds furiously against the constricted edges of my body. Focused on my imperfections, I am frozen.
Motionless, my attention is suddenly diverted to a deep and robust murmur in the sky. I slowly turn and open my eyes to find a hummingbird still yet racing in the sky before me.
Wings fluttering so quickly I cannot see them, heart beating 500 times the speed of mine, there it hovers, searching just like me for nourishment in its motionless.
It’s lightness as much a reality as my heaviness.
Joy and freedom projecting from its racing heart and pounding wings.
My racing heart begins to feel less burdened.
My constricted body is now inspired to move.
The illusion I’ve created of my suffering fades.
I find nourishment in transforming my experiences into joy and lightness, choosing the qualities of a hummingbird over failure.
Settling into my breath, I find the spot where the inhale meets the exhale – the moment of attachment of my body to the breath, the point of connection to my inner knowing.
At that point, I find stillness. Projecting from that stillness is a clear and receptive space of awareness.
From that awareness, I follow the path of least effort to discover my intention – the sensation, word or object that reflects my true state of being. In that intention I find reassurance, guidance, and confirmation in my decision making.
I sit for a moment longer in the stillness, awareness and intention until I can let go of all discomfort. Full of ease and comfort, my sails fill confidently with my inner knowing, fulfilling my purpose and potential.
Finding stillness, awareness, intention, and letting go, I sail away home.
My hero is not something or someone I aspire to be…a distant goal or vision. My hero is not outside of me. My hero is not a better version of me.
My hero is the frightened little girl in me who has time and again stood up to hurt and loss,
the me that puts aside shame when I make mistakes,
the me that apologizes,
the me that expresses my truth with kindness and care,
the me that forgives unconditionally,
and the me that every day knows that I am whole, worthy, and complete,
yet willing to put myself out there
to forget and remember again and again
that I am already my hero.
Finding the hero within today feels better than striving to be the hero tomorrow.
Together we navigate the waves and sands of life,
Asking simple questions like “what shall we eat today?”
Or “do you think it will rain?”
We sometimes gather with the flock to catch up and share in our collective presence and strength.
There is always the hierarchy to navigate and the stories of others that come into play – no less delightful but requiring a different form of focus and care nonetheless.
But when we walk alone at the waters edge in the silence,
knowing each other’s thoughts,
sensing the world together,
equal in the space we occupy,
that is when I feel at my best
and know my Self the most.
The tightrope wire is taught and thin leaving not much room for play.
Inching along trepidatiously, the other side seems so far away.
Moved – or frozen – by memories and worry, I slide foot after foot on the barely visible line.
And then a pause to fill myself with breath returns me to my center.
Without any planning and responding only to the invitation of my breath, my body begins to relax.
My back leg lifts, my heart turns to the sky, and suddenly what I thought was only one path, becomes my playground.
There is still a bit of cautiousness – for I am in human form — but I give way to curiosity and before I know it there I am in a full arabesque on the wire.
Hanging on or flying free is the choice that is always there for me.
Thank you Jean McDonald for sharing this photo and your courage with all of us!
So much of this past year was spent retracted, curled inward, huddled up against myself. Darkness, distractions, and attempts to keep things all the same occupied much of my thinking. Circular thoughts woven into fears. Captive in this castle, spinning my time into the yarn of “what if.”
I imagined I was suffering, experiencing punishment of some sort. Separate from my routine, separate from others, separate from much of what I knew as familiar.
Now, a year later, I am being asked to do something with all the yarn that I have spun. I am being asked to go back to some form of the way things were, to put the yarn away. But I have rather come to enjoy the spinning and might just want to sit and spin some more.
Ah, but it could be time instead for me to learn to knit. There are endless possibilities of where I can go from here and what I can create. If I can only see that every moment is an opportunity to learn and create something new. How fortunate I have been to have this time to spin this yarn.
In this re-emergence as the gates slowly open, it is lovely to see what others have woven. Some have acquired new skills. Connected and inspired from within, they are already knitting. Some have rolled the yarn into balls to store away for another time. Some have just begun to make the yarn. In this experience, I have learned that I can resist the weaving, stumble and climb over all the yarn, or I can learn to knit.
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?
I am the turbulent sea. I am the dense fog. I am the shining sun behind the haze.
I am all three. So what you choose to see, feel, and believe of me is what you choose me to be.
I am quite content to be all three.