I’m a middle-aged white woman who decided it would be fun to ride my bike from our home to our church on a gorgeous spring morning to clean. While I pedaled I began to sing made up lyrics and using my vocal instrument to sound out different tones and notes. This is really new for me! I have believed the story that I have a horrid singing voice my entire life. Maybe you have a story you believe too and are coming to wonder how true it is.
I came across a few men with brown and black sking and they were very friendly in waving my way. I suddenly had a wave of shame wash over me. I was recalling a day when I was in my front yard in our primarily white neighborhood, maybe 10 years ago and a man of color was biking by in the middle of the day. And what did I think?
- Why aren’t you at work?
- Why are you here where you don’t belong?
- Are you up to no good?
The reason I want to admit my thoughts is because we are all ignorant to so much of life and how our thoughts do not define who we are. We do not have the full light of awareness of God. We have been influenced and conditioned by society and its fears. After 14 years of yoga and meditation I have come to make much of my subconscious conscious..bringing the dark into the light. It is the only way to grow and speak and act from love, from connection, from wisdom.
I hope you won’t judge me too harshly. I hope you’ll take an opportunity to contemplate the ways you have grown and realized something you once believed to be true is no longer true and you are actually a bit mortified. This is good!! This is what the world needs…for us to humbly admit our wrong-thinking without a whole lot of shame, moving from a moment of regret to surrending it to God.
I want to move and think and breathe and act the way love feels. I dont want to move and think and breathe the way fear feels…we can only do this when we are honest about our having been conditioned, especially by prejudice in our own families. We can only ‘hear’ our own thinking with practices of mindfulness– or else we just go on believing our negative thoughts instead of realizing not every thought is rooted in truth. Most are not!
I like singing a new song. My song is one of hope that we can all grow and find our inner safety and not project our anxieties onto an innocent world. Peace can be cultivated within but it takes practice and commitment to let go.
stretched wide across the chest
I send a deep breath beyond what’s pulled taut
into my low belly
where the ache lives (haunts)
much later, in stillness
the pictures flash across my mind
you and me
sisters, they’d say
whenever love’s torn in 2
the breach is gonna sear
I hand Her what feels burnt to a crisp
commanding SHE bring me closer to HER inferno
yes closer…I will not run
Just Dont allow my tears to put out
Keep me blazing
Burn down my resistance
to more LIGHT
Let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Mary Oliver
Our President made a comment this week about some violent gang members but I only see it as the perfect opportunity to take back the term. We’ve moved so far away from our instinctual nature, that we no longer trust ourselves, our intuitive knowing. We’ve masked our needs and drowned our desires with food, alcohol and every other form of numbing. We need only to feel again what it means to be fully human.
Our howls for the pain of the world will release our stuck pain. Our growls for all the suffering will push aside the evil impulse to cause more pain.
We are animals- every one of us trying to hide what brings us shame. The lust, the gluttony, the need to feel safe so we attempt to surround ourselves with all the trappings of ‘things’. It doesnt work. We are not safe.
Best to be wild. Be free. Be bold. Speak truth. Love will emerge…its covered over in fear of being seen fully.
How will you embrace your animal nature-
- yoga postures, breathing consciously?
- Lots of making love with self or partner– sounds escaping body, seratonin boost?
- Walking in nature, hugging the trees, gazing at the sky?
- Lying on Mama EARTH allowing Her to embrace you fully, your tears watering her spring growth.
- Making art or music?
Dance…for sure the easiest thing to do right this moment is to dance even as the world spins off of its axis, crazy with judgment, insane with separation anxiety. YOu are a thread in the fabric of the universe–
You are one of the sun’s rays my love.
I don’t want to sit up straight to type and think from my elongated spine, aligning my head, heart and guts. I don’t want to shift from this slouch, merging with my new dark gray sectional in my recently renovated family room, where the only family left here most of the year is my husband of 25 years. But I need to tell you about this bubbling up of truth around my being a Christ-follower. I see HIS signature mercy, grace, presence, heart-welling up everywhere and that makes me a Sufi. I don’t like labels. I do like the word eschew..but how is that pronounced anyway? I wont’ pause the quick-fingered tapping at these keys to find out though.
And yet, I know I eschew labels…restrictions on my Self or my self. I am integrating so many parts of my Self/self lately that I am in a state of allowing. Allowing this couch to swallow me up into her puffy enveloping softness. All the selves, right here, right now…melting together. This is exactly what my self needs today. I am listening as she sighs, ‘yes’ to the no effort.
So here we are…can you see us, this 5 foot 5 inch breathing thing? You can’t really differentiate the parts because they’re smooshing down and together. Getting lost in and among themselves. All except those fingers, tap tap tapping away. Inhale….Exhale.
Earlier I was a few feet away from this spot on the new area rug, all swirly with oceanic colors and flowing designs. I needed her to hold me. The ocean. The womb. The color blue.
I was falling apart and I knew she’d let me.
She wouldn’t ask me to pull myself together. She wouldn’t command me to stop my incessant crying. She’d absorb the tears into herself…making more of her, less of me. More of her…less of me. Like a mantra now. I am one with you- carpet as ocean. Ocean as womb.
I am no longer Anita the one who can’t stop the flow of pain, the flow of tears, the flow of remembering. I am in the ocean of pain, the sea of tears, the womb of comfort.
You must have thought you had a gift to give
Why else would you lean in this way, breathing heavily on my body
Did you have an inkling about the way your passing on your shame to me would empower me
Did you internalize the message of the cross
Were you really that generous deep down in your core
Did you pray while your hands moved over my structure that in the ‘giving’ I’d be receiving fuel for transforming myself from a lowly caterpillar into a striking, colorful butterfly
Did you know this new creation would spread the word
that you cannot break us
You cannot bury us with your pressure to keep still
We are seedlings
We know how to patiently burrow down into the dark dank damp earthy womb of us
We know how to LISTEN inside for the stirrings of movement
We know how to stretch beyond our human form
We know the resurrection is for us
and every day
We, the women, of the CROSS
have leapt down to
spread the Good News
our bodies smiling
our hearts beating
out—- F O R G I V E—- them
they know not…
I didn’t expect to
I was feeling heavy on this first day of 2018
I was curious and I kept making body shapes, breathing deeply and recording new podcasts
But after the sex I didnt expect what happened next
I made a hot water with a splash of Red Stag to warm my bones (it is 7 degrees out!)
But then the alcohol after just two sips, made me feel sick to my stomach
I went to my knees and prayed “Lord alive in my body’s discomfort what would you have me do?”
The answer came quickly…I promised I would obey because it wasn’t for my benefit, it was for a friend of 12 years. I would sacrifice on her behalf, trusting this message. Trusting my heart’s desire for 2018 to be more free and to be more connected.
I think this is a universal request for us all. Would you take the time to move your body- sex, exercise, or a breath practice, then pause on your knees and ask your heart who needs your sacrifice this year and what is it in particular you are meant to do on their behalf.
But the power comes in the secret keeping. No voicing what the sacrifice is specifically or who Love places on your heart. Keep secrets…let God’s work go deep this year.
Please comment below if you feel called to join me in this
God Bless your willingness
Our bodies have brought us this far in life. Containers for our unexpressed emotions and moving forward despite injury and illness, our bodies have faithfully experienced our lives through tastes, sights, sounds and smells. And yet, most of us barely give our hands and feet a passing thought, let alone our internal organs keeping us alive. The gateway to wholeness of mind and spirit is through the physical stardust of us. Bringing the light of awareness into our tension, our achiness, or simply where it feels like there is no space for breath, will serve us well on this path of exploring the very ground of our being.
I hope you’ll take a listen and stretch and contemplate what it is your body has to say to you today about doing the next right thing. Namaste!