In this skin, there is challenge.
In this skin, there is weakness.
In this skin, there is pain.
In this skin, I know the frailty of my humanity.
This skin, at times limiting and restricting, full of imperfections, is also the container that holds me, that cradles my every thought and feeling, the heart of my being.
In this skin, I know nourishment.
In this skin, I sense and feel fully.
In this skin, I explore edges and learn boundaries.
I know full contentment when I allow it, in this skin.
Can you turn your face to the wind and welcome it?
Does the air upon your face invite inquiry?
Opening all of your senses to each moment can be so freeing, exhilarating, curious, pleasantly undefinable.
Relaxing into the current of wind pulsing against my face, I need no answers, I need no direction.
Turning into the wind reminds me what it is to be alive in this body at this time.
Close your eyes, relax your cheeks, open wide and invite the winds of life to press into and delight you.
There are times when I should say, “no.” There are times when what I need is to pause, breathe, and make room. There are times when I will give myself permission to let go of outcomes and expectations. Times when I am choosing not to make decisions emotionally or driven by ego…when I make decisions from my heart, where my inner knowing takes the lead.
In those times, it might seem as if I don’t care about what needs to get done as I slow down and slough off responsibilities. Rather, this decision-making is full of care. I’m not getting caught in the story of what this will look or feel like – I am dedicated to getting out of the thoughts in my mind and into the kindness of my heart.
It’s not that I don’t care…it’s just that I don’t mind.
I breathe in…
awakening inner wisdom with the breath.
Stress and agitation squeeze that breath. In the absence of breath, there is no action…
No connection …
I am stuck…until I exhale.
With the exhale, the dam of emotions is released…
The breath comes rushing back in. As if startled awake, I tune once more into my source.
Inspired action always takes me back to joy!
Inspired by Jack Blackwell. So grateful, Jack, for your sharing your photography talents here!
Just humming along, everything seeming to go according to plan.
Then, there it is…the morsel of doubt…the blip in confidence…suddenly I have lost my way.
On the outside the path appears unchanged but on the inside the screen has just gone dark.
In that blip, that fractional space of darkness, I am momentarily paralyzed by thoughts that I am not all that…I don’t know what I’m doing…I become lost in judgment and expectations.
Everyone has them, those points of doubt when the screen seems to go blank. That’s when we must dig deep and patiently allow the system a chance to reboot, clearing out the malware and drawing on the back up files of imagination, courage, and wisdom to stay the course.
And then the blip is gone.
A stirring, an imbalance, an unthinkable happens and there I am…swirling in thoughts and emotions.
Although we seem unconnected, we are tethered undeniably to others’ experiences, their pain, their suffering, their anger. Their division and righteousness becomes mine, even when I don’t want it to be.
And then comes the arduous task of sifting. Sifting through the messages in all of this…not what it means to my community or the statement it makes about my society, but the fundamental lesson for me in the perceived tragedies and suffering that stand before me.
I dare not admit how my thoughts flow in circular motions…how I cannot point at the right or wrong…it all just seems to come back to me, to the fear I have that any one of them could be me.
…the “victim”…the “suffering”…the “perpetrator”…the “responsible one.”
These labels belong to my deepest shadows and like threads dancing on a loom, have long since been woven into the fabric of me.
So, I turn my anger to the scariest one in an attempt to cut that thread. And then the story unfolds, my experience is defined by calling out the grossest attributes of others although deep down inside I know they are still undeniably tethered to me, undeniably me.
It is then that I must fill with compassion, for each of them and for me. I must allow these situations and the contrast they provide to take me back to the center of my being, to turn inward and calm the swirling from the inside. Instead of needing the contrast to tug at the fabric from the outside as if separate from me, I turn inward to reweave the threads, to smooth the snag so that the fabric on the outside lays out more seamlessly.
Each time the contrast begins to pull and tug at me again, I slow the loom, treasure that thread, and remember that no matter what any of us have done or who any of us seem to be, the threads are the same – it is a complex fabric that tethers you and me.