The other day in yoga I was in “Happy Baby” pose and suddenly I felt very small. And vulnerable.
I found myself saying, “It’s okay, sweetie. I’m sorry that you were hurt. I’m sorry that you were lied to. I’m sorry that has made it hard for you to trust people.”
I started crying as I thought of all the people that I have loved. All the people that I haven’t treated as kindly as I wished. And all the people who haven’t treated me as kindly as I wished.
I just let myself really feel that sadness. Then I whispered,
“It’s okay. I forgive you.”
Then my body just relaxed and I felt something shift inside me. Like a lotus flower opening. I opened to that feeling of deep compassion for myself and others and awakened to the realization that we are doing our best at any given time. It’s often only through a reflective practice that I realize that I could have done better. And how I could have done better. Even with that kind of practice, I still mess up, because I’m a messy human.
I read an article recently that recommended walking with bare feet. I’ve been dutifully trotting outside each morning while I wait for my coffee to brew and walking on the little gravel patch on the side of the house.
Back and forth. Bare legs. Bare arms. Bare feet.
The rocks are hard and cold on my tender feet. It hurts. I feel the nerves in my legs responding and muscles contracting. I feel where I am unstable and where I overcompensate. It’s fascinating and disturbing but answers some questions about my body. Doing this makes me feel very vulnerable. I become aware of things I need to change and of the temporal nature of life. It’s also making me feel stronger and more alive, day by day.
Last winter, I was leading writing workshops in a women’s homeless shelter. I was going through some papers recently and found this free write I did with the women using the prompt, “What I love about myself”. I wrote this on 1/9/15 and decided to post it because it feels good to read it. I like feeling good.
What I love about myself is my smile, so frequent and genuine.
I love the thunderous laughter that comes in waves and echoes in my children’s hearts.
The randomly-chosen word of the day is world from Stand Still Like the Hummingbird by Henry Miller. I’m going to offer the entire paragraph that it came from because it’s so fantastic. It will serve nicely as today’s quote:
Frankly, if we must play with this idea of saving the world, then I say that in making an aquarelle which pleases me–me, not you necessarily–I am doing my share better than any cabinet minister with or without portfolio. I believe that even His Holiness, the Pope, little as I believe in him, may be doing his part too. But then, if I include him I must also include such as Al Capone and Elvis Presley. Why not? Can you prove the contrary? (p. 83)
I cannot prove the contrary. In fact, I think it’s true that we’re all doing our best, all learning from one another, all have our part to play in each other’s unfolding. The world certainly doesn’t need saving but we do. We need more love and appreciation and less condemnation. More patience and tenderness. More play and delight.