I sit in the dark listening to the lonely hooting of the owl as it stands sentry to the stars that fade into the coming day. Hoo… Hoo… It calls. This becomes my mantra of Who … am I? Who…. am I?
I ground myself in Sukhasana; Easy Pose and let my Shadow self find her way. I slow my breath and let it breathe my body instead of my body controlling my breath.
Thoughts enter from all directions. They bump against each other, creating smaller, but louder thoughts that explode with attached emotions in my mind’s eye.
I sigh an internal “sssshhhhhhh” at the carnival and finally the thoughts begin to look like shooting stars. Brilliant in their flash, but with less and less emotion attached to them, they quickly die out. Another one comes to take its place. Then another. Then another. Finally, there are no more. Just my breath and the gentle rocking of my body as it is carried on the inhale and exhale. An oceanic rhythm in solid form.
The shooting stars are gone and in their place is a light brighter than a thousand suns. Even with my eyes closed, I am blinded by the searing white purity of All that Is.
Without conscious thought, my spine lengthens, my shoulders roll back, and and my heart reaches forward to receive the Cosmic kiss of the light. My heart fills with love and my soul aches in the beauty of it. I revel in the remembrance of Who I am, consciously willing to hold it all in for my return journey into this moment, this breathe, this body. Now.
My father’s keys used to jingle with each step he took as he descended the stairs to the family room every night when he came home from work.
I would know where he was anywhere in the house if I just listened for the jangle.
When I was young I thought he had the keys to the world hanging off his belt, there were just so many! In my little girl mind, he was the keeper of all things secret and hidden behind locked doors and safes and I used to be afraid someone would kidnap him and make him share his keys and force him to open those doors. But no one ever did. Of course not. That was just an only daughter’s fear who had a very active imagination.
It’s been 15 years since he passed, and still, whenever I find a loose key with no possible recollection of what it opens, I put it aside. I just can’t bear to let it go. At least not for a while. I’d rather let whatever door or secret it opens stay closed for a little bit longer.
My father was a locksmith and I am proud to be his daughter.
Trying to find something to watch on television the other night and looking for the next thing to graze on as we channel surfed, I wondered why I was looking for more—more entertainment, more food. Why was I feeling so insatiable and not just about TV and food? I knew I wasn’t alone in feeling this way.
On the whole, we have become insatiable in our food, entertainment, and possessions and have become a group of voyeuristic zombies constantly seeking to become fulfilled with the latest he said she said he wore she’s dating gossip. Why do we care? I know I really don’t but I keep going back. I keep going back to my email, feeling insatiable that I may have missed something someone said. I keep finding ways of making and saving money because I feel insatiable in my fear that there is never enough.
We have become insatiable in almost every corner of our lives from feeling that there is never enough of well, everything from food (just look at the increase in portion sizes) to activities (how much after school activities can we cram in for our kids or for that matter, after work and weekends for us adults?). Some would call it greed, but I think it’s more than that. I think we are searching to fulfill a need.
When did we start chasing our own tails looking to fulfill that need and, what exactly isthat need? I got tired of always looking for the next whatever and so I started asking myself, why. Why do I feel insatiable with food today? Ah, I’m really bored or I’m feeling fidgety. Why do I feel insatiable about not having enough downtime? Ah, I stayed up late watching that movie on Netflicks last night, and well the night before was a new episode of NCIS, and I agreed to write another article for that magazine.
I realized that on a deep level I was using all these thing to try to fill areas in my life that I was unhappy with. I clearly saw that I was causing my own distractions and insatiable feelings, which were being driven by a need for simplicity and a craving for life choices that were more aligned with my soul and not my ego. In order for me to take this deeper, I had to drill down with bare bones honesty toward myself about myself in my head and my heart to get to this point of recognition and it wasn’t always pretty but the results and realizations are now at least true.
What are we trying to fulfill? What is insatiable for you and why? Taking it deeper one breath at a time.
Those of you who have been following me know that I believe it’s the little things we do for ourselves and each other than can mean the most and brighten our days immeasurably. One of the simplest, and smallest things that we can do rests in the simple act of saying hello. It is courteous, respectful, and it is also the simplest act of acknowledgment we can give each other (“I see you”) that can make a difference in someone’s day.
So with today’s post, I’m saying Hello! to all of you, dear readers and beyond, and wish you all a wonderful day or evening ahead, depending on where you are in the world and when you read this!
Dobrý den (Croation)
Jo napot (Hungarian)
Góðan dag (Icelandic)
Ohayou gozaimasu (Japanese)
Salaam or do-rood (Persian)
Dzień dobry (Polish)
Oi, boas, olá or alô (Portugeuse)
Dobrý deň (Slovak)
Ia orana (Tahitian)
Dobriy ranuke (Ukranian)
Xin chào (Vietnamese)
Sholem aleikhem (Yiddish)
Taking this one small act deeper and taking this blog entry sideways!
I wanted to use the word grace for this post but it is a hard for me to talk about it, to really be able to convey what it is and means to me. Maybe it’s just because I like the way it sounds and I like the way I feel when I say it or think about it.
The classic Webster’s definition of grace is quite clear and easy to understand: divine assistance, or virtue, from God; behavioral skills used in polite society; an attractive trait. To me, though, the word itself has always seemed Big and Sacred. Words just don’t seem to do it justice in defining it and it’s so much more then Webster’s effort.
There are some words in our English language that evoke feelings or emotions regardless of their definitions. For example, think of the words giggle, sunshine, peace, enchant, lullaby, sigh, and then you have the other end of the spectrum with snarky, pus, or shrill. Didn’t you feel a twinge with each word? To me, there is something soothing with the word grace. I can almost hear my soul sigh even as I write about it here. Words have the power to evoke an emotional response, and grace is one such word for me.
Grace is innate goodness. It is silk against my soul. It is a smile radiating love. It is pure acceptance with arms outstretched to hold me. It is an opalescent cloud that wraps itself around me. It is Divine and Divinity. I can just weep at its power and emotion. What words give you a hug from the inside and hold your breath even for a moment? I’d love to know what words make you take it a little bit deeper!
The other day while I was waiting for my husband at the hospital to finish his tests, I realized that the entire waiting room was filled with elderly people. One by one or two by two they came through the doors as though a bus had just dropped them off. Their spouses accompanied some while others were alone. A couple appearing to be in their late 80s with matching walkers particularly fascinated me. He even had a mini-Velcroed cooler attached under the handle grips of his! Their pristine white sneakers shuffled along in unison as they searched for companion seats. I tried to picture what they were like when they were younger. My imagination ran wild with stories of what they must have seen and heard and experienced in their lifetime. These people lived through some of the most significant historical events in the twentieth century this world has ever seen. To me, they were living history right here waiting to be called in for their endoscopies and colonoscopies.
The elderly are our living ancestors. It seems we stopped paying real attention to and honoring our elders once businesses realized they could make more money by focusing on the new generation then on the old. The elderly have become something we tolerate and have to take care of, rather than endeared and welcomed into the family fold. They may have ceased to be productive members of our working society but they have not ceased to still be members of our society. Their worth should not be determined by how much they contribute but instead, be regarded with respect and how much they have already contributed.
These are the people that helped shape our nation into what it is. They weren’t always 70, 80, 90 years old. Once they were like you and me—they were actively employed, bought first-homes, raised families, fought for our nation, and had weekend summer barbecues. They were us and one day we will be them.
The baby-boomer generation has approached the Medicare age with a better understanding of how we grow older and the need to keep our bodies and minds more active, giving the stigma surrounding aging a much needed identity crisis and revamping. The changes are coming but not for the elders we have right now sitting with their son/daughter in the doctor’s office, caught in between business meetings, answering texts and emails from their Blackberry. They are still the lost ones in our society at the mercy of the “sandwich generation”, who splits their attention and focus conferring with caregivers in between office meetings and a quick drop off of the kids at soccer practice.
You beautiful roasted bean that is so embedded as part of our morning and late night culture. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love the way you smell and taste no matter what time of day it is. When I have you first thing in the morning, you make me feel as though I can do anything the day ahead has planned for me. And when I have you as a pick-me up in the afternoon, you help make me feel that my obligations for the rest of the day are possible. Just smelling your fresh grinds gives my senses incentive to do whatever is needed next. You are my companion on those late nights. You give me something to do with my hands as I cradle you in my mug and allow your hot liquid energy to seep through into the palms of my hands and into the rest of me. Dearest coffee, to me, you are one of those little things in life—one of those go-to’s I can always count on to be my companion as I read other blogs and practice taking things deeper 🙂
Breath—the whisper of the beginning, the sigh of the end. Everything in between, every thought, every feeling, every passion, and every sorrow is accompanied by the breath. It is not just the backbone of our life but the backbone of our sanity and our even our mental health. Breath sustains our life force. It helps us focus from the mental chatter and can calm us when we’re upset (How often have you heard or said, “Take a deep breath and calm down”?), it does all this without us giving it a second thought. But what if we did? What if, even for just a few minutes, you stopped and noticed how you feel, how your body and emotions change by changing your breath? A deep breath versus a shallow breath. A belly breath versus a lung breath. A fast breath versus a long, slow, inhalation and exhalation.
I tend to be a shallow breather so when I consciously breathe into my diaphragm I become aware of new physical sensations and even a change in my thoughts. Sometimes, all you need to do is to take that one big, deep, bellyful, blissful breath for a change in your mental and emotioal direction. Why don’t you try it now? Sit back, close your eyes, and breathe……..Let’s take it deeper.