Learning to Dance

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Slow moves
Easy breath
Thoughtful intentions
I am mindful
Prayerful
Reflective
Introspective
I take my time
To learn the moves
To receive my muse
To wade through
The mist
Of misconception
The labyrinth
Of apprehension
To bring light
To those places
It does not,
Yet,
Exist
To navigate
With acceptance
Our paths
Joined direction
and learn the steps
of our dance
One move at a time

 


 

Image: “Dance” by Tatyana Volgina

Hope

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I am taken by a calm of soul this morning. A peace which has eluded me for some time. So rare that I barely recognize it.

It penetrates my inner being through all layers of Self though it was born in an acceptance of that most base Self, the Shadow. That part that is child, artist, the voice of passion and impatience and arrogance and outrage and fear and shame and doubt.

I confronted it last night. Drew it from the depths. Acknowledged its fears. Gave it voice. Listened. Offered it compassion. Love. Then put it to rest because I am not my Shadow. He is just a part of me.

The calm I feel now is a jewel, a treasure of unimaginable value, it is Hope.

Not just Hope for myself but for you as well.

I know what it is you seek. You seek the life you never thought possible. The passion you’ve only read about. The commitment of heart and soul that you know exists but have never experienced. I know this because I seek it too and that is what gives me Hope. It means I am not alone. Neither are you.

Be willing to confront and embrace your Shadow, that inner voice that tries so hard to convince you that you are not worthy, that you will never receive the love you so desire, that your time will never come. It does this because it, too, wants and deserves your love, your affection, your attention, and, truly, your gratitude.

Listen to it. Treat it with the love you want in your life, and reassure it that it will never be alone because it is you. In loving and bringing compassion to that part of Self you love yourself and in loving yourself you keep Hope alive.

Have a blessed journey.

 

I am like the river

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I wake, alone, always alone, and wonder; why does it have to be like this?

I move slow, zombie like, to the kitchen dragging a handful of clothes which will be my armor this day. Too thin to keep life’s pains from intruding. Just enough to hide them.

It is too late in the morning to stretch my body and mind. Too late even for coffee.

Half dressed, I look down to Brown Dog, my traveling partner for these last twelve years, though he is going on fifteen or sixteen or I-don’t-really-know-what-teen since I picked him up as a feral stray, and I smile. I admire him. He is always ready to love and be loved.

I celebrate his birth along with my own in November which looms ever closer. I will be 54. How the fuck did that happen?

I make the time to love him then let him out the back door and shuffle to the front while pulling a dirty shirt over my head (too late now to find a clean one) and let myself out.

As the day progresses, the loads of water going from my truck to the road we are building keeps time like a slow moving metronome, those morning thoughts continue to intrude.

Surely I’ve learned the lessons that earn me the right to love and be loved? Surely the person I am now, regardless of my past, is worthy? Surely I deserve that most basic of all rights? Why am I such a failure?

I get ahead of the work crew and park my truck by the river that supplies the water I get paid to make the roads muddy with and walk to an overlooking edge.

I sit and breathe. Deep and slow.

I allow those thoughts to flow like the water that passes in near silence in front of me. I listen to and acknowledge each of them; “You are not worthy”… yes, I understand that’s how you feel. “You do not deserve”… it’s ok to feel like that. “You will never be happy”… it’s ok.

Each thought repeated with the impact and clarity gained through years of practice. Each identified, acknowledged, validated then treated with the same care and compassion I would offer another and released.

They are just words. Labels. They mean nothing.

Slowly, with practiced patience, the thoughts are reduced to a whisper and are replaced by the sound of the wind, a trickle of water, the birds, the rotation of the earth through the cosmos.

I slowly open my eyes and watch the gentle flow of the river and, without thought, begin to understand; The path I am on is like this little river that cuts its way through miles of prairie. It’s sweeps and bends the altered courses of my life. Its flow from past, through present, and towards the future.

I see my reflection in the surface. Static. Unmoving. It is in this static image that those thoughts live but it is an illusion. Beneath the surface the water is constantly flowing as it slides past stones and cuts its ever changing course through the prairie.

If I were to submerge myself in those slow moving waters, become one with it, there would be no past, no future, no false reflections, only a sense of Now. Eternal. Dynamic. It has no beginning. No end. It flows to the sea. Evaporates. Returns as rain. Flows.

It is that sense of Now, that never ending cycle, that I strive for in my meditation. Yes, the thoughts remain. My mind, like everyone else’s, never ceases its rumination and contemplation and formulation. It mutters incessantly.

But today, right now, I am like the river.

 

 

 

 

Image by JMGreff

Tick Tock

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My mind rattles
With thoughts
Like a thousand chattering clocks
That grasp and claw
With their metal hands
No two
With the same time
Each clack a memory
Ticks and tocks
Past and future
The silent groans
Of grinding gears
Now
The disharmonious chimes
Alarms and alerts
Each vying for my attention
With their own message
“Stop!”
“Go!”
“Here! Here! Here!”
“There!”
“Wake up!”
None in agreement
While I
Still and quiet
As observer to that chaos
Draw in peace
Compassion
Love
With slow
Deep
Breath
To lovingly welcome
And caringly acknowledge
Each thought
“You’re not good enough ”
Yes, I see you
“You don’t deserve…”
I understand
“What are you…”
It’s okay
Until
After each
Mindful
Breath
The clocks
One by one
Fall silent
A barely noticeable hum
Of discontent
Like wind turning a window fan
Soon
All that is left
Is the sound of my breath

The beat of my heart

Acceptance

Gratitude

And love