This one.

A recent journal entry:

On the way home today I thought: Let’s take myself off the hook. No “catching up” – Just getting back into the present and moving forward.

Yes, yoga. But not the yoga that I have missed: the yoga today. Not the journaling that I missed: the journaling today. Not the water I haven’t been drinking: this water.

I have since danced several rounds with this idea. Easing into new movement with the freedom the idea brings, then casting it to the side when guilt or fear or worry (or all three) ask to cut in.

I’ve thought of many other things to apply this idea to:

Not all the breathing I haven’t done: this breath.

Not all the texts/emails/letters that I haven’t sent: this effort for connection.

Not all of the tears I’ve held inside: these tears.

Not all of the times I didn’t speak up: this time.

Not all of the needs I didn’t respond to: this generosity.

Not all of the dates I have missed with my husband: this date.

Not the other unfinished projects: this project, in this moment.

I believe this approach is worth a try for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that we deserve far more ease and grace for all these undone things than the piddly amount we typically allow ourselves. If you’re like me, about 37% of you believes that statement while you stand there with a fierce grip on the heavy bag of undone or unfinished or unsaid things in your life.

But take just a moment and ask yourself: Does hanging these undone things over your head provide the encouragement, strength, and vision to get to work on the things you value? Or, far more likely – does this heavy bag slow you down, feed self-criticism and doubt, and distract you from this very moment in which you could be doing something life giving…if only your hands and heart were freed up to do so.

Far too often I get to the end of a day or week and my mind and heart are chock full of all of the things that I didn’t do. All the self-care, chores, and relationship building things that I didn’t manage to complete. This critical check-list is a misguided effort to keep myself on track.  But why hold onto these shadows of life, when I’m in a brand new moment of life in which I have the opportunity to choose action guided by my values and responsibilities? Each moment is a new opportunity.

So let’s try going with the flow of life, rather than getting stuck on all that we haven’t done. You don’t need that undone, guilt ridden checklist to keep you on track. I know you may not believe me that you don’t deserve the freedom and grace that I’m suggesting…but I am pretty sure the alternative hasn’t been working for you.

It’s not too good to be true that you get a fresh slate every morning. Even with each breath.

What undone thing is it time to acknowledge and then let go of? With the burden lifted, I can’t wait to see what you can do.

Keep Going

There are some days that you need to do something simply to demonstrate to yourself that you can and will do it. (though it’s rarely simple)

There are some days that doing the right thing (the thing in line with your values) feels so hard that it’s all that you can do to stay in this spot rather than running in the opposite direction. (this is actually movement toward the right thing, even if it appears to be stillness)

There will come a day that you redefine what you consider the right thing. You’ll surrender to love and the awesome reality that acceptance of your foibles and weaknesses and struggles is not resignation, but in fact respect. (how can you move toward your dreams if all the difficult parts of yourself are constantly judged and found wanting)

Some days are clear and easy. You move through each moment present and alive. ready. accepting. here.

Some days are thick like tar. Each limb struggles to be free. Forward movement a distant dream. Survival the primary goal.

Each day holds power, potential and will leave you wanting.

Swim through this one with brave, steady strokes and then on to the next. Let’s see what it has in store.

Perfect Weighted Anchor

I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a whole lot of voices in my head I need to disregard far more often.

I’ve got versions of myself inside that seek to protect but are instead keeping me from a real and authentic life.

I’ve got a lot of rules that I need to break.

Head without heart is too often cold. Fearful. Analyzing to the point of paralysis. Problem finding vs. solution finding. Confusing, not clarifying. On it’s own, my head will spin and spin and spin.

I’d often be better off if I listened to what my head said and then ran in the complete opposite direction.

If head is on it’s own, I need to disobey it far more often.

But heart is the perfect weighted anchor. It brings head into balance in the most beautiful of ways that feels like magic. The rich tension between the two is a fertile space where love, healing, and adventure grow.

This week I’m returning to simple, four minute spaces of meditation. I notice the flurry of mind. I notice the breath filling my chest like a balloon. I remember there is this space beneath head where heart and soul lie and that even this attempt to honor their existence inches me more toward the life that I want.

A life in which heart anchors head.

 

Daily Prompt Disobey

 

Okay

A rhyme, a rhythm, a reason, a sense. Life swirls around at a frenetic pace and I search for something to root and ground me.  Something to make sense and bring order. Something to calm and comfort.

Many of us look outside of ourselves for this mooring. Beliefs, gods, people or places that we can tie a rope to in the storms of life.

But I believe that each of us have an inner rhythm and sense that we are able to tune into. And while I believe whole heartedly that the voice of Spirit can speak within, what I’m talking about here is distinct from that. I believe that within me there is wisdom, power, and knowledge. Many call this intuition. Lately I just call it ME. I believe ME is stronger, wiser, and more…good….than I have ever realized. This ME is supported, helped, guided, and taught by Spirit for sure. But ME is good- not fundamentally broken as I once believed.

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Yoga, silence, meditation, deep breathing, and reflective writing have helped me to discover and connect with ME. It will take a life time for me to learn how to live more fully from this deeper place of wisdom, authenticity, and love.

Like just now- adding love to the list- that was hard. The need for self-love has been a theme these past few days as I examine the stories I tell about my life and the voices (internal) that I choose to listen to. I have noticed and been curious about the story of productivity, of assigning worth to various activities. The result is that, according to this story, I am often failing. A common scenario is this: I don’t get out of bed on a Saturday to complete tasks meaningful to me and then struggle the rest of the day with guilt. In the past my primary fix for this is to assure myself that I will make “good” use of the hours I had or the extra sleep was good for me or I can always just try again tomorrow or so-and-so slept later and at least I’m not that bad….

I am frankly so tired of the mental gymnastics required just to get to a place where I can feel somewhat okay. What if the story was simply: I am okay.

I am okay,

I am okay.

I am okay.

This is the story I have discovered as I’ve waded into the deep of my inner self. I am okay. I am good. I am powerful. I am wise. I have tons to learn and develop. I’ve got prickly parts and I hurt others on a regular basis with my poor communication, fear, anxiety and selfishness. But just as I am, right now, I am good. I am okay.

You are okay, too.

Daily Prompt: Rhyme

Held By the Ocean

As someone prone to living from her head, I am no stranger to feeling like I’m in a trance. The rest of life, especially a heart filled one, can feel unreachable beyond the hum of thoughts that are so hard to turn away from.

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Living by the ocean these past few days, I’ve experienced the help that it provides. I often feel a deep connection to the ocean and when I stand or play in her waters, I am held. I am invited out of my head and into my body. I am encouraged to keep trying.

 

 

Daily Prompt: Trance

A Friend Within

After years of a life lived by rules and fear, this heart-lead living feels too willy-nilly some days.

What if I get something wrong?

When life is full and my head is buzzing with the noise of it all, it’s tempting to turn the volume up and keep the distracting hum going. Dialing down to a quiet scene, let alone silence, can be quite intimidating.

What if the quiet reveals regret?

What if I was always on my own side? An ally and friend to myself regardless of mistakes or mis-steps.

I’ll face these wrongs and regrets with myself, not against.  That this even needs to be a thought, an intentional choice, is sad indeed. Sadder still is that most of humanity is with me in needing to make this choice.  It comes naturally to few and even they don’t have it easy.

May we who dare chose love and grace toward ourselves.
May we be more curious than afraid of what lies within.

 

Daily Prompt Willy-nilly

A Ride with Desire

Lately life has been feeling very full. I’ve got energy moving through, enabling me to bring to action ideas long held in mind. There is simply not enough time in the day for all that I’d like to do.

Though my experience is not unique, what makes it a big deal for me is those last 5 words: “that I’d like to do.”

Not “that I should do” or “that I have to do (in order to be good)” or “that I have to do (in order to not hate myself)”, or “that so-and-so expects of me” or “that I need to do (to please so-and-so).”

What has my life feeling like a fast carousel ride is this new found friend: desire. It’s always been there, but it’s now less hindered by fear, “shoulds”, and rules than ever before. It’s had me up early and up late. It’s brought me writing here. It’s helped me return to my yoga mat, open up with friends, and eat more ice cream.

Desire also leads me places I’d rather not. Desire for helpful, mutual friendships nudges me to look at what I’m doing to get in the way of their formation. Desire for love and connection in my marriage encourages me to be honest about my difficulty with communication and vulnerability. Desire for change in my workplace requires that I choose the uncomfortable route and speak from my mind and heart.

I’ll live a more satisfying, helpful, engaged life if desire can remain present and free from the should’s. I’ve been having fun on this carousel ride and I don’t want to get off any time soon.

 

 

 

 

 

Daily Prompt: Carousel