Showing Up

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I look inside my sleepy mind
to search for what I came here to say

There is nothing to say,
there is just this feeling of being tired.

I listen to my body.
It is tired too,
and it longs to be horizontal.
I will put it to bed soon.

Before then
I will summon the courage to sit
if only for a few minutes.

It might not seem like much,
to sit for a few minutes
at the end the day,
closing my eyes,
paying attention to what happens…

But I can assure you
that the hardest part of the practice
is simply showing up,
and showing up is a big deal.

So humbly,
tired mind, tired body,
we show up here, now,
to sit and remember
that this moment is all there is.

Nourishment

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Beginning in the morning
with a little quiche
I threw together for breakfast,
and flowing into the afternoon
in which I creatively mixed some leftovers
to make a somewhat edible lunch
and then flying into the evening
with not one but TWO meals–
one for tonight
and one for tomorrow’s dinner–
I spent this day
thinking about how I nourish others,
and not just theoretically,
but truly, actually,
how I nurture others
with the food I spend so much time preparing.

And now, at night,
so tired that I can barely sit up straight,
so tired that I can barely stay awake
for my evening sit,
I wonder:

How much is too much?
When does the act of nourishing someone else
become a simultaneous act
of self-depletion?
And is there a way to strike a balance?

The question I’m always asking:
How do I get my own needs met,
when my focus is on meeting the needs of others?

I’m too tired to take a shower,
but that’s okay,
because it’s winter,
and there really isn’t any dirt or sweat
except for the dirt in my own mind,
and the sweat of the one inside me
who was racing even though
she knew there will never be a finish line.

Going to bed now.

A Breathing Meditation

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I breathe deeply.
The universe shares its soul with me,
pouring itself into me.
I exhale completely.
I share my soul with the universe,
pouring myself completely into it.

Breathing in,
I allow all of life to enter my being,
to meld with it.
Breathing out,
all of life allows me to enter it,
to meld with me.

This moment now,
I create what is needed.
This moment now,
What is needed creates me.

There is no separation,
only oneness,
and I am reminded
that it doesn’t matter where I sit,
as long as I sit.

The candle flame flickers cheerfully
and whispers, “Now.”

Life Teaches Us All We Need to Know About Ourselves

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Sometimes
the most obvious things
are the hardest to see
because we’ve been staring at them so long
they become just another part of the scenery,
blending into obscurity.

Sometimes
it isn’t until
the routine is completely shaken up
that we see how we’ve been living,
what works and what doesn’t.

So it was with me
and the experience
of being caught in a snowstorm
this weekend,
the gift the snowstorm gave me:

being saved by some nearby friends
who gave me a place to stay,
getting more rest this past night
than I have gotten in
god only knows how long,

I had a realization:
I need more rest in my life.
Simple yes,
but remember,
the obvious things
are sometimes the hardest to see.

And today it was so clear.

Today I had more energy
and my mood was more buoyant,
my mind was clearer
and everything was just so much more fun.

It’s amazing what one solid night of sleep can do.

And so I give thanks
for the routine I was living
where I wasn’t getting enough sleep,
and for the opportunity
to step out of that routine
and experience true rest
so that I could contrast
the two different experiences,
see what works and what doesn’t.

It is in simple little ways like this
that life teaches us all we need to know
about ourselves.

Gratitude in the Snow Storm

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So grateful.
I attended day  two
of a weekend workshop today,
and Mother Nature
brought on the snow storm early.
It felt fast and furiously
through the afternoon,
and by early evening
it was impossible
for me to drive home.
My husband called
one of his clients
who is also a friend
and asked if I could stay
the night at his home,
where he lives with
his lovely partner.
I found myself
grabbing a bite to eat
at a local Thai restaurant
and trekking through the snow
to their house
just blocks from the studio.
How welcoming they were!
They put out fresh towels
on the guest room bed,
a change of clothes,
got a load of wash started for me
so that I could have clean clothes
in the morning,
and offered every possible comfort
one could ask for.
Surprise!
A vacation for me.
I miss my husband and my children terribly,
and yet…
it’s so beautifully quiet.
I will take this time as a retreat,
enjoy the quiet,
sit in meditation…
find stillness,
and silently give thanks
over and over again,
for this snow storm
that reminded me
how my needs
are always met,
and often in unexpected ways.
So grateful.
Breathing now.

Such a Joy Being a Student Again

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It is such a joy
being a student again.

Tonight
I didn’t have to speak–
I could listen
I didn’t have to watch
anyone else–
I could watch myself.
I didn’t have to plan a class
or walk around
making sure everyone
was focusing on their practice–
I could focus on my own practice,
my own body, my own breath.

It felt like a vacation!
I laughed,
I felt delighted.
It all felt so playful and free.

It is such a joy
being a student again.

Only Grace Now

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Impatience.
Wanting to be organized.
Wanting the house to be neat and tidy,
ready to welcome guests.

“Give it a few more weeks,”
a dear friend suggested
when I told her
of the piles of boxes
that plague me
as I move from room to room.

And then I remember to breathe.
This moment,
no other moment.
And the things that confused me,
the things that perplexed me,
they shrink to their proper size
and significance,
and I don’t feel so much pressure
to fix things or change things
or figure things out.

The clutter in my living space
will melt away
as I let go of the clutter in my mind.

Now I remember to breathe.
Only grace now.