Monday Tarot Message: (Re)Defining love

What if we learned early on that the quality of our relationship with the other, depends wholly on the quality of our relationship with ourselves?

What if there was a way to learn that to offer our love to another, is to come from a place of love for and within ourselves? To connect with another’s pain is to first have a connection with our own pain. That to be there for someone in a challenging time, hold space and offer support, is to also be able to offer all of that to ourselves?

Most often, our training/conditioning is of a “selfless” definition of love. But it is unsustainable, and difficult to truly be present for another with the belief that the only way to love them is to “make things better”.

To be there for someone, share their experiences and offer loving support is to sometimes just participate in a moment. To be present fully. Without fixing. Or contributing. To acknowledge our limitations, our helplessness, and the pain of this in relationship.

If we came at love from a softer place that didn’t hinge on “doing” things to avoid this, and instead focused on “being” in love, in pain, in joy, in grief, in helplessness, we would know how much practice it takes to be able to sit with all of this within ourselves first. And how much better our relationships can be for it.

The thing nobody tells us is how love is an experience so closely linked to pain. To know love is to also know pain. Intimately. Within and without.

Probbaly my most favourite quote on love, is a thought on an alternative definition of it, by Glennon Doyle Melton, in her book Love Warrior.

…we think our job as humans is to avoid pain, our job as parents is to protect our children from pain, and our job as friends is to fix each other’s pain. Maybe that’s why we all feel like failures so often — because we all have the wrong job description of love. What my friends didn’t know about me…Is that people who are hurting don’t need Avoiders, Protectors, or Fixers. What we need are patient, loving witnesses. People to sit quietly and hold space for us. People to stand in helpless vigil to our pain.

One year ago: Life these days
Two years ago: Love-filled
Three years ago: Somebody holds the key
Five years ago: Silence

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Tarot: Judging our feelings

I’ve had a flat day. A long, exhausting day. On the heels of an evening yesterday, that was thick with feelings. Feelings I was judging myself for feeling. Which did me absolutely no good. So, here’s a card and a message that’s more a reminder for me than anyone else.

Intense feelings, difficult feelings, invariably invoke a judgement within us. A label, a measure, an evaluation of whether the feeling is good or bad, right or wrong, worthy or not. Our distress is compounded by judgement, and the erosion of stability, worth and identity that comes with difficult feelings.

Getting drawn into the judgement is a sure-shot way of missing out on the essence of the feeling — a valuable piece of information our bodies are giving us. At the heart of it, feeling feelings is an experience in receiving feedback.

Anger, shame, guilt, sadness, fear, rejection, abandonment, neglect, irritation — all these feelings are valid. Not good or bad, just valid. Because they tell us something about the experience we have had. Judging them makes us jump quickly to doing things to “feel better” (further implying what said feeling is not okay and requires improvement), and takes us further away from the underlying message, that is usually the only way forward.

Resist the urge to think about what you’re feeling, or what your feelings mean. Focus instead on feeling your feelings. And try to let the judgements around them go.

One year ago: Uncertain
Two years ago: Things that are shiny and new
Three years ago: People say I should forget

Tarot: More thoughts on safety

Because, Safety (physical, emotional, political, and more) has been on my mind a lot lately.

For so many of us, early life experiences that caused trauma, betrayal, abandonment may have resulted in an unconscious hyper-focus on safety as our default. This means organising an external life that is regimented, tightly bound, and allowing for little to slip through the gaps. A substantial focus on discipline, rigorous schedules/routines, overwhelming commitment to duty, rigidity around pleasure and enjoyment, and a high need to meet the exacting standards we hold on to tightly.

I’m reminded of what Peter Levine says, “Trauma occurs when we are intensely frightened and are either physically restrained or perceive that we are trapped. We freeze in paralysis and/or collapse in overwhelming helplessness.” If the energies we put into living life come from a place of fear and hyper vigilance, it could contribute to stifling our capacity to experience life in a joyful and free way.

“We die so we can live,” he says. Survival makes it hard to seek new experiences, make friends, lean into desires or respond to calls for pleasure, because our system may label them as unsafe, abnormal, or “bad”.

Additionally, much of our conditioning around seeking pleasure carries the weight of morality and promiscuity, causing us to self-censor, abstain and repress the force of life itself.

To then learn to approach life with an open heart will require understanding what experiences made us feel unsafe, how they shaped our need for safety. In holding those painful experiences tenderly, we may be able to rekindle a spark that can counter hyper-vigilance, deadness and stuckness.

One year ago: On balance
Two years ago: Out there
Five years ago: Abandon

Liminal

Like I said: light and shadow.

And last week, the space in between the slow transitions. The easy, relaxed, unrushed way in which the morning light shifts across that one hour I spend in bed, after I have woken up. Just watching, soaking, toasting. Sometimes with curtains thrown open, sometimes through the balmy, diffused effect of the grain in the fabric that remains shut.

As a former person of extremes, always existing in the poles — this or that, one must decide! good or bad, pick a side! lef tor right, what must I choose! — it has been a steady unlearning, relinquishing of control, of identities associated with the poles and embracing the uncertainty, unsteadiness and fluidity that the “in between” space offers.

It is at once liberating, because it is in essence a thoroughly unbound state to be in; and also unnerving because there’s nowhere ot hold on to, and everything becomes excrutiatingly slow. I identify this (and imagine) it is what Jung refers to as the “third space”. Or what happens when we feel safe to let go of the shores and swim the great unknowns of our lives. The opportunity to honour the journey from what once was and what is yet to be. Which anyone who has done any work in self reflection will know is not as easy as turning a switch. One doesn’t simply transition from one state to the next. There is a vast in-between — that offers the chance to push boundaries in our own time, to unlearn old ways of being, and trudge slowly into newer ones. the same space that is ripe and fertile to sow seeds of change will also challenge the old ways, excrutiatingly, luring you back into the past. A constant push and pull that I have after many years of trying to game, effort, fight, fix and work at, have realised requires only to be witnessed. I am not a machine, and no two days are the same. One day being nothing like the next is not an indication of having “moved ahead” or not. Nothing have beaten this fact home than my attempts to find the light. My flirtation with swimming — on my back, limbs splayed, floating in a cool blue pool, eyes squinched from facing the glare of the summer sun — in liminality and letting it take me where it must.

One year ago: Eerie days
Two years ago: Happy spots
Three years ago: Flowers in the window
Five years ago: Moved to tears

Confessions

Confession: I’m finding it hard to bitch, gossip or rant about people these days.

Which is not to say I don’t do it. I do, because I’m human, with full capacity to get petty, jealous, excited at someone else’s fuckups, etc and give in to the urge to share those moments with someone via nice thick bitch. But, lately, it’s become hard to do it without feeling pretty immediately like this path is not one I can walk very far on. Without simultaneously pulling my gaze within to notice why the gossip has been delightful, by looking at what part of myself and my worth it is fulfilling. Without checking which part of that judgement that I am placing outwards, is also being directed inwards within.

It’s a bit annoying that I’ve become self-aware about this, because it gets in the way of sharing a good gossip session with friends. And I don’t get have the words to express this to them. So in the past few weeks, I have come across as rather brusque when I:

  • questioned a friends judgement at a social media post (in my mind, to myself), but resorted to ignoring it entirely because I don’t know what an alternative response could be
  • had to really think long and hard before habitually, casually aligning with a certain judgemental line of thinking about someone just because said friend shared it lightheartedly
  • realised the ways in which finding sameness in loathing someone has been fundamental to some of my relationships
  • felt the reaction that came from me now pulling back on this way of connecting in those same relationships
  • had a major reaction of revulsion to a message someone sent, blatantly calling someone we apparently know in common (that I can’t for the life of me remember now) “breathtakingly ugly” — I just can’t deal with this language and turn unresponsive instantly

***

Confession: I validate myself and my journey by often going back to read posts from  the same day in past years. It is revelatory, fascinating and almost always a sweet ride to see my words and state of mind from the past. Because it is almost always a testament to how far I have come. We all move, slightly, subtly and gently sometimes; rushing ahead in big strides and gallops sometimes. It’s a thrill to look back on that some days, and feel good.

Yesterday, Instagram threw up a post from exactly one year ago. “My search for myself and a search for a way to belong have merged,” I wrote. It felt surreal to read those words from just 365 days. Because I know now, where I am, my current headspace and how much more belonging I feel within myself today than I have ever before. And how and what it has impacted in the outer world around me.

Looking back brought up so many emotions. Softness for the innocence of a younger me. Compassion for where I was. Happiness for how much I have moved since then. Gratitude for all the resources I have had that encouraged me to keep going, keep looking, and supported me through the past year.

If I could go back, I would tell old/past me that growth looks different all the time. From one phase to another, it’s different. One day to another, it’s different. Don’t look too hard for markers you’ve come to expect, keep going and let yourself be surprised. Growth is doubly satisfying in hindsight.

One year ago: Monday Tarot Message: Find your tribe
Three years ago: But if you try sometime, you’ll get what you need
Four years ago: What I’ve been reading
Five years ago: Telepathy

Monday Tarot Message: Self love/self care

Compassion, specifically for myself, has been an overarching theme for the last many months in my life. And it’s exactly what I see in today’s card too.

The Ace of Cups shows an outpouring of compassion and love. To be held, to fill oneself up with, to nurture and to pass on, and to share with loved ones. But also to direct inwards, within. To believe in the power of self love and not look for love outside alone, in the form of reciprocal relationships.

What does self-love and self-compassion look like to you in this moment? Today’s message is about allowing for whatever form it takes to help and heal you.

  • It could be in sitting and being with yourself through a difficult time. Or in finding the strength to ask for help when needed.
  • Allowing yourself a little indulgence may feel powerful today. As might doing nothing but having a good cry.
  • If things are overwhelming, give yourself the permission to take your mind elsewhere if you need to. Or stay with the difficult emotions, if that is the call of the hour.
  • Rest if you must. Or power through the roadblocks.
  • Find the light in your everyday life. Or walk through the darkness, if that is where you are in your journey.

All of it counts. All of it is valid. Compassion and love don’t have a singular look, they don’t manifest in finite and limited forms and means. And there is great strength in accepting that our needs change, and we require different things at different times. Be open to shifting the goalposts of self-love around, get better at tuning into your needs, instead. That is self-care with compassion thrown in.

Today’s message is about discernment in understanding what you need, and giving yourself the permission to do exactly that. Minus the guilt. Minus the expectations. Minus the “shoulds” and the “have tos”. There is no rule book. Wherever you are, whatever you are going through, I hope you’ll find some love to give yourself, in whatever form that its available and possible for you.

One year ago: Tarot: In my head and in my heart
Two years ago: The last of the despatches from Benaras
Three years ago: Where the world is impossibly still
Five years ago: Quiet

Threads coming into the light

Vignettes of my life these days are beginning to look very similar. Not just in content, but shades and elements, there is a theme or a thread that unconsciously emerges. I’m having a fun time picking up on it in retrospect. And noticing when and how the threads change ever so slightly.

I’ve been drawn to the play of light, shadows and hidden shapes and lines lately. And it’s brought up a host of thoughts around my shadow, and given strength to the efforts to live in the light.

One year ago: Of love and longing
Two years ago: Baffling Benaras
Three years ago: Everyday is blue Monday

Life and light

Being self employed, working from home since pre-pandemic times has meant building a routine around having nowhere to go. Our days swing between waking up and getting straight to work on busy days, and sometimes having the luxury to lounge about.

Lately, we’ve been trying to advance our time of rising. Slowly, without being too rigid with myself, I have been waking up 5-10 minutes earlier. It’s not because I have anywhere to be, it’s more because I like to have the luxury of moving slowly. And gradually, this has become a loved part of my slow mornings. To wake up, brush my teeth and still have nearly a whole hour to either just sit in the sun, to read or write, or finish the unfinished episode of whatever I was watching the previous night, as I drink my hot water; even before I get going for the day.

To begin the day slowly, mindfully. To have space and silence. To catch the morning sunlight. To be in the comfort of that has come to mean a lot lately, and it’s one of the things I am very grateful for, to have control over our schedules, how we work and having nowhere to report to at the start of every day.

One year ago: What progress looks like these days
Two years ago: Back to base
Five years ago: Pretending to be brave

Love quiets fear

Kindness eases change.
Love quiets fear.
And a sweet and powerful
Positive obsession
Blunts pain,
Diverts rage,
And engages each of us
In the greatest,
The most intense
Of our chosen struggles.

— Octavia Butler

I have a sneaky feeling she was talking about self compassion, because I’m feeling fueled by it’s softness in a way that is making my veins burst with a life I didn’t think was possible. The gradual waning of fear excites me. The space that has oened up feels gentle, cottony, welcoming.

One year ago: Standing tall
Two years ago: Mornings in Benaras
Five years ago: No. Just no.

Just when the time is right

Sometimes you have to go away. Indoors, inwards, in the shade.
To slow down, germinate, conserve.
To hide away from the light.

And when it’s time, you have to also get out
into the sun.
To thrive. To feel flush with life.
To own your true colours.
To feel alive.

But only in time.

***

I haven’t had my plants back home since October when I went away to Goa and I took them to my parents’ place where they’d be watered and cared for. I came back in November but since I was returning to Goa in just three weeks for over a month, I didn’t bother carting all 50+ pots back to mine again.

I returned in January, but made two trips to Wayanad, and took my time to fall back into my rhythm at home. And I have had an insane eight weeks since, filled with work that didn’t give me the peace and pause I had all through last year to tend to and focus on my plants.

The feels are slowly creeping up on me again. I began sorting the few pots I have at home, this weekend. In anticipation and preparation for bringing the rest of the fam back home.

Went over to my parents and noticed my fiddle leaf fig is beyond thriving. More than it ever did at my home. She barely ever sprouted out new growth. I tried everything — different watering routines, moving her back and forth from the light and shade. But she mostly just hung out in. a corner of my living room, by the window, soaking in the sunlight and listening to the motivating things I’d whisper to her every morning, in the hope that she found the encouragement to put out a new leaf now and then. But she really took her time. Don’t get me wrong, she looked good and she was alive and kicking. Just reluctant to grow.

She’s been over at my mum’s for over three months now, along with the rest of my balcony garden. When I returned, I noticed not one, but two new sprouting leaves. I really couldn’t believe my eyes because I hadn’t seen even a hint of I in all the months I’ve had her.

I whopped with joy, but also inwardly chuckled to myself. She’s a bit like me, this fiddle leaf fig. Needs all the goodness of sunshine, adequate water and good food, I guess. But sometimes even all the nourishment, encouraging words and perfect conditions are not enough. And what is actually necessary is a simple change of scene. To get out and go hangout elsewhere. Play. Breathe a different air. And most importantly, a break from all the fussing and waiting for change, for something to happen.

Things happen, when they need to. When the time is just right. I’ll learn and re-learn this lesson a 100 times, but nothing drives it home like plants do.

One year ago: Monday Tarot Message: Everyday grief
Two years ago: Slow row
Three years ago: Come a little bit closer, hear what I have to say
Five years ago: Small joys

Monday Tarot Message: On safety and freedom

Four of Pentacles invites us to examine ideas around Safety and Freedom. As human beings, we need both. Interesting to note though, that we seek freedom yet quickly introduce structure to regulate it. As soon as we have security in place, we simultaneously yearn for spontaneity and impulsiveness.

This is evident in how normalised it has become to track/count our time, productivity, calorie intake, water, footsteps, number of books read and so much more, even as we exercise freedom in the varied choices we make in these aspects of our personal lives.

The experience of safety (containment) is at the centre of the healing journey through which we seek to liberate (expand) ourselves.

Safety and freedom are two sides of the same coin. But can we distinguish between seeking safety to avoid the hard things in life that we need to look at and grow from (remain where we are) and building new safety mechanisms and spaces to help us cope with the difficult while we move towards growth (encourage movement)? It’s a crucial difference because while the former provides safety, the latter can provide safety and freedom too.

If our need for security comes from fear, it is likely that the coping behaviour that comes form it will feel like control. Whereas if we seek safety from wanting to move past our challenges, we’ll likely adopt behaviours that create safety in a way thar encourages movement anyway. If the former persists, that control can get oppressive. Planning, scheduling, organising help create a sense of safety that is essential to get moving. But if we don’t stay close to the intentions we began with, these same mechanisms can get rigid and stifling. And rigidity rarely supports growth.

Ponder about whether you want to revisit and redefine your current understanding of safety and freedom. Some questions to allow:

  1. Where on the spectrum do you lie?
  2. Where can you inculcate some flexibility?
  3. Where do you need to bring in tighter boundaries?
  4. Is there enough safety in your freedom?
  5. Is fear introducing control where there is none necessary?

One year ago: Even flow
Two years ago: Holy shit
Three years ago: Let’s go outside
Four years ago: Whisky-shisky
Five years ago: How we’ve aged (part 1)

Sit, feast on your life

I’m reading Lori Gottlieb’s Maybe You Should Talk To Someone, and she mentions how one of the goals of therapy is to move towards self-compassion. Specifically choosing self-compassion, building the capacity to have a forgiving and kind eye towards oneself, over self-esteem, and it really stayed with me. In all my reading and studies over the last few years I have not heard it articulated this way.

Self-esteem implies an inherent value system. A measuring up in terms of good or bad. Whereas self-compassion is more fluid and open. No metrics attached. This is a frightfully accurate way of describing the movement I have made on my own journey. Away from the pursuit of measuring up towards witnessing myself as I am. And because that has been my own precious, life-changing journey, it is the stance I take when I hold space for others as a practitioner.

***

And then there was this Derek Walcott poem that also encapsulates the experience I have had on this journey. Specifically, where I am today.

There is such a loaded implication of delight in the word feast in the last line, that I find so attractive and most resonate with. The other day I said to A that I watch develoipments within me with an excitement I haven’t felt before. Even the painful upheaval that often precedes the change comes tinged with excitement. Feasting is such a wholesome word that captures that sentiment perfectly.

Feasting. On vignettes of my life. Past, present, myriad futures.

Love After Love — Derek Walcott

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

One year ago: Peace within
Two years ago: Home away from home kind of feeling
Three years ago: I still remember, when we did not know the answers

All of me

At some point last year, going to therapy became less about trying to get a handle on everyday “issues” that were challenging and in need of ways to understand and overcome them, and slipped into the territory of looking at all experiences (easy, difficult, good, bad, sad, happy, high, low) as just that — experiences, with all their effects on me. On witnessing and holding myself as my life had an impact on me.

Somewhere in this process, I realised the importance and absolute inexcapable necessaity of looking at my depth. The depth I had been digging, burrowing for, for years now. The inward spiral, the dive into the abyss. Except, for years I had held that space as a “serious” stoic place of strength and believed that I could go there easily. In fact, that I was already there.

That wasn’t an accurate understanding at all. It was, in fact a lie. A lie I believed because it was easy, comforting and helped me cope and stay afloat. It was necessary at the time.

But something about the topsy turvyness, the abject isolation and loneliness of 2020 took me deeper. And I realised that the depth that I looked at so fondly, was actually a terrifying darkness. My own darkness. The space of strength that was somehow also my biggest undoing. The depth and the darkness that were in fact the same place.

Facing this space has been extremely scary and very confusing and nerveracking. But I’ve had the greatest help and support in the form of a therapist who is perfectly suited to the way I think and understand the world, my work that keeps me rooted in this space of finding the tools to better know myself, my family that keeps me light and free, and my delightful husband who keeps it real, knocks the wind out of me when it gets to my head, props me up when I go too low and keeps me grounded. A whole team of people who knowingly and unknowlingly see different parts of me, and therefore help me see all of me.

But like I said before, sometime ago, the shift in the process last year has been in recognising that the darkness exists. It always will. It isn’t something I need to fear or be ashamed of. If anything, I need to own it, embrace it and derive strength from that wholeness. Sometimes that journey is like taking a deep dive in a dark well and not knowing if I’ll drown or come back up. Sometimes it’s like a swim in a dark lake, but on a full moon night. Sometimes it’s like dipping my toes into an inky sea. I have the capacity to choose how and at what pace I want to dig deep.

I’ve struggled with this, but I am slowly only now seeing my darkness as my strength. It took a long circuitous root to getting to this place — this deepest depth, the darkest darkness. Many layers below the depth I thought I was at. A part that I had locked away, that I needed to befriend. A part that asked for as much nurturance as the lightness in me. A part that is deserving of so much more compassion that I have given it. A part that continues to ask for and bring out from my depths, loving care, attention and intention. A part that awakened a love for life itself. But most of all, a part that I now look at with curiosity and respect.

I feel tears pricking the back of my eyes as I put these words down. It has taken a long, long, oh so long time, but it is this seeing of the darkness that has brought me to where I am today. A space where I finally feel like I have begun to love all of me.

One year ago: Soft, rested, easy
Two years ago: As Goa as it gets
Five years ago: Because I want to remember

Rewarding, on my terms

Responding to the deep ask of giving my life attention, love and observing it without judgement has been immense. It has been so nuanced, asking for so many different things of me at different times. At times it has felt overwhelming. And not always in a good way. But that too has been a learning curve. To know when I am feeling the flow and aligning with an innate readiness to deep dive into that state of presence, where everything slows down and holds meaning; versus when I my body is telling me “No, not today.” and I am able to observe that too, skim the surface, see what I need to and knowingly say, “I am not going into this today, I’ll file this away for when I feel better.”

Ultimately, I realise the summation of this entire process of looking within, healing, self-development…call it what you will.. for me, it has been about befriending myself intimately. Finding a deeper relationship with myself. Really knowing what I am about. Even when it is to see that I am not doing okay. Without attaching any more meaning or judgement to it. Knowing that that too is a part of the process, a part of who I am and how I can sometimes feel. Not making those periods/days/phases a time that needs fixing or “bettering” somehow.

I am getting so much better at riding through the days, all kinds of days, just watching and noticing the minor ups and downs in my energy and emotions. It helps me function well on days when I can, and go easy and cut myself slack and be kinder on days when I cant, for whatever reason.

In a session with a client today, I found myself speaking about going with the flow and how it holds a meaning absolutely nothing like the one I used to associate with it some years ago. I had this notion that I was a go-with-the-flow kind of person, and it used to me I was chill and easy-going. Maybe I was, for the most part. But a very large part of me wasn’t — a large part that I didn’t want to acknowledge. And noticing and seeing that part, understanding why it desperately needed and craved rigidity and control, and most importantly, looking at it with compassion and kindness, has somehow made me make space for it. Allow it. Let it be. Rather than fix it or let it go. This, is probably a truer representation of going with the flow.

It presents itself as an organic moving through with life, rather than trying too hard to shape everything in it. And of course it’s taken me years to understand that I have to find a sweet spot between working hard and actively moving towards my goals, and leaning into what is not in my control and aligning myself with that component of the process that is the flow of energy beyond and outside of me. Knowing the difference between when to exert energy, and when to ride the wave.

An analogy one of my mentors used very often was of a casual boat ride. How choosing to actively paddle, steer and guide the boat in a certain way would result in one kind of journey, while understanding the natural flow and current of the water and finding a rhythm between paddling a little and sitting back and enjoying the ride a little would result in an entirely different kind of journey altogether.

This has been coming up a lot for me lately, because I am suddenly seeing, actively, how I am working much more (in quantity) and much harder (quality) than I have in a long time — probably since 2017 — and yet the quality of my life is slow-paced, comfortable, easy-going. And I seem to have ample time to do more of the things (work and life) I want to, I feel happier and much more in the flow with life, than have to work against it, somehow.

I have always associated busyness, hard work and the like with the conventional definition of “the hustle”, only to realise that my inherent rhythm and energy cycles cannot hustle quite the way the world would like me to believe is rewarding. I had to find my own rhythm, my own idea of the hustle, my own sense of what is a good reward, and give all of that to myself. Observe, listen and loving all of this about myself has been a key factor in finding a way that is rewarding on my terms, that doesn’t feel like too much effort for too little payback, and most of all — not constantly feeling tired and holding that like some goddamned badge of honour.

One year ago: Chasing sunlight
Four years ago: Kitchen soup for the honesick soul
Five years ago: Shine one

My body knows

When I began to move from the excessive doing (working, fixing, succeeding, accomplishing yadayadayada) to being first and doing next, I noticed a soft ever so gentle, almost missable, murmur of needs my body was communicating to my mind.

I had this crushing realisation that it was probably communicating this *all along* and I had never realised, busy as I was with my plans and goals for life. Knocking things off, in control and pursuing perfection.

It is oh so easy to miss. This, the stuff beyond words that takes quiet, stillness and observing and listening without judgement. If that sounds glib and cliche, let me quickly say it was and continues to be by far the hardest thing I have ever tried to do. I’m no master. I slip very, very often. But i know what I’m looking for has changed. My gaze has shifted. And I trust that it will make picking myself up easier some.

From time to time, even now, years since I really began listening in, I am overcome by waves of grief for how unkind I have been to myself. Forcing, expecting, beating, bashing, prodding myself to move, grow and be in ways that were serving me no good.

This is where my love now lies. In the quiet wisdom that was and will always be there. Our bodies know. My body knows, and I’d like to listen to it when I can, as often as I can.

One year ago: Monday Tarot Message: Shine the light on your shadow
Three years ago: Hit the road, Jack
Five years ago: Why facebook just feels like a lot of noise