Stillness

Be still. Stillness reveals the secrets of eternity – Lao Tzu

There was a seat between all of us in the circle.

Her. Seat. Her. Seat. Him. Seat. Me.

The First Her was telling the Second Her that she should treat Chicago as if she was brand new and to rediscover it as if she had just moved here. Yes, the Second Her said, that’s a good idea.

Him them inquired about the situation and the Second Her explained that, while she was from Chicago, she recently returned to the U.S. after four years spent in South Korea. She’s been home, what seven months, she said, burring her head in her hands.

Seven months of pent up emotions started to spill. She had me at, “I am not sure who I am anymore. I am not the person I was before, but I am not the same person I was there. I don’t know who I am.”

Yes, I said. I know, I said. I’ve been there, I said. I told her that it feels like someone yanked the meaning and purpose out of you and all you’re left with is your nearly bearable loneliness.

I met the Second Her at the weekly meditation group I’ve been attending for a few months. We both came to the group to find something we just weren’t finding in our normal lives – companionship, inner peace, something we can’t describe but know we need. She told me how hard it’s been for her to re-transition back into life in the U.S. and I told her that I just came from a very brutal year where I was doing that very thing. I explained that while I still have hard times, which I do, hitting that year mark definitely made a difference. With time, normalcy comes.

This rejuvenated her. She hasn’t met anyone who experienced this before, so she was elated to find someone who could say, Oh, yes, I know those emotions well. She gave me a bit more credit than I deserve in my ability to bounce back, but I wanted her to know that it does get it better. And I shared something with her that a wonderful woman named Madeline told me: you will never stop processing what this means and your story will continue to have chapters throughout your life.

But, at some point you have to be still. I told her that I constantly want to run away, that I want to get on a plane and go somewhere for my next adventure. I don’t, though. First, I’ve already broken my mother’s heart enough. Second, I need to be still. I need to accept the things that come into my life, what’s here and what’s not. I want to be comfortable in just being because I know it’s what my soul needs. Joy doesn’t come from escaping; it’s in us and we must cultivate it.

It’s what Second Her needs, too.

Sometimes taking that great big leap into fear and uncertainty means staying right where you are, accepting the still and believing it has all that you need.

Let it go

moon

There is a full moon this evening.

To honor such a blessing, I did this moon salutations yoga, allowing myself to end this cycle and welcome the new. A full moon is the time to let go of the things that no longer serve us, whether it takes just one cycle or many. Through these poses, the instructor encourages us to address what troubles our heart and then simply let it pass through us, leaving us.

Let it go.

Those are words I’ve heard a lot recently from friends and family. Let it go, they tell me warmly as I explain the situation. Move on. Their intentions are sweet and honest, but I feel as if they are asking me to do the impossible.

I do not let go. Instead, I fester and analyze. I take a troubling situation, both small and large, and look over the details. Replay every conversation. Wander and speculate where things unraveled. I tried to find answers when there are none to be found. In doing so, I cause myself so much heartache. I take small things and make them travesties.

Letting go means having courage to embrace the vulnerability of uncertainty.

Tonight, as I let my legs and arms fall into these poses, I thought about all the things I need to let go of – people, habits, worries, limiting beliefs – and I realized that to leave these things behind doesn’t have to be so hard but I can’t expect it to be easy either. All of these things have been put in front of me for one reason or another, but they weren’t meant to stay in my life. It’s time to let go.

And when I dig deep, when I really look at who I am, when I send gratitude to all of these things, I know that I do have that courage. I can be vulnerable. I can let go.

Whatever weighs on your heart tonight, my dear ones, know that you have the courage to let go. You have the strength to find be so much more.

 

The first one

Hello, friends.

I am back at the blog thing. You didn’t really think I would stay away, did you? You are cute. Truth is, I really enjoy this public journal and have found that I feel less me if I am not blogging.

Plus, I couldn’t not write a New Year’s post. Those are my jam. To mark the beginning of this blog, let’s talk about beginnings.

2014 was a weird and hard year for me and I really don’t care to discuss it anymore. I started writing a post about how I often feel like a victim in my own life and I refuse to live like that another year. While that’s true and I do have that intention, that’s not the message I want to put forth here, on this fresh canvas of a blog.

We have a new year. We have a new opportunity. We have the choice to take control of our lives and make them all that we want them to be. Yes, there will be sacrifices. Yes, there will be obstacles. But my goodness, we have a blank slate so why not make this our year?

So, my little readers, let’s make some pacts about these next 365 days to show that we are committed to really making this our year.

Let us not compare ourselves to others. We all are different with our own sets of challenges and successes. Let’s embrace that with love.

Let’s stay in the moment. The past will not change and our future is determined by what we do in the present. Be here now.

Allow the ones who walk out of our life to go and to hug each person that is still around. Reach out to old friends and find ways to make new ones. Our life is a constant flux of people and only a few will actually stay, so love them in the moment and graciously accept their departure.

Be thankful. All of us have so, so much in this world and we have exactly what we need when we need it. That’s a incredible gift, so say thank you.

Respect yourself. Eat the foods that make you feel human and move your body the way that it is meant to. Rest when you need it and honor your drive to create something. Grab your hand as if it was the hand of a lover’s and show yourself some compassion.

Find your fear and embrace it.

When life becomes too much, breathe.

 

Spend less time in front of a screen and more time with faces.

Screw up and be OK with it. Then do it again.

Whatever it is that makes you happy, hold on to it.

Be authentic. The world doesn’t want anyone but you.

To 2015.