The rains come.
They wash away the dust,
dirt and heat of the day.
They leave a refreshing coolness,
a softness, a pause,
And when my head
feels hot and cluttered
with dusty thoughts
and the dirt of the world,
I sit and go inside myself
and allow the cooling waters
of self-reflection, of meditation,
to give me the softness, the pause,
and the freshness within.
May all beings find their inner solace,
the source of their own healing waters,
and attain liberation
The pull of the shadow emotions
is very strong, as if I were chained
to boulders and thrown overboard
into the ocean,
trying to keep from being pulled under,
struggling to catch my breath,
so much thrashing about,
fighting for survival.
And then it occurs to me,
what if I let myself get pulled under?
What is down there?
Maybe once I’m pulled under
someone familiar with the depths
shows up with a key
and unlocks the chains from around me,
sets me free.
Maybe I discover I’m holding the key,
and I can find freedom even as I sink,
holding my breath, keeping my wits about me,
finding lightness, swimming back up
to breathe the breath of life.
Maybe I die in those depths.
Maybe I am reborn
some shimmering creature of the land and sea,
able to navigate both worlds.
I can’t know what waits for me
if I keep struggling at the surface.
Maybe I’ll let myself be pulled under.
Don’t hide your pain,
especially from yourself.
Pain hidden from yourself
gets blamed on others.
Be brave, warrior,
and look deep inside.
The pain is just another facet
of the deep and abiding joy
that is who you really are.
To experience this deep joy,
you must navigate through
your own pain.
Sit still, breathe,
pay attention to your body—
it has much to tell you.
Breathe a little more,
let it reach deeper into you.
Tune into all of it,
feel all of it,
the grief, the anger, the sadness,
the resentment, the disappointment—
whatever it is, it is showing you the way
back home to your joy.
This day is a huge gift!
How many people who were alive yesterday
didn’t wake up today?
And yet here you are, reading these words—
isn’t it amazing you can look at these symbols
and your precious brain makes meaning of them
in a way that your heart can be touched
or your body may want to move?
At any moment you might breathe deeply
and settle into stillness,
or you may jump up
and run like crazy.
Isn’t it amazing?
If you can escape the perfectionism trap
you’ll discover that you have plenty of time
to create lots of things.
It took me a long time to realize this.
But now that I’m prying myself free
of that ancient cage,
I’m tasting the wind and the sun
and feeling the crackling old snow
crunching under my feet
and remembering to breathe…
and this space to be here in this moment
that when I have words
I can write them–
and they don’t have to be
it’s enough that they are mine.
When there is a color I like
I can grab it and put it somewhere
on a piece of paper
and enjoy a simple doodle…
it doesn’t have to be special art,
it’s enough that it is mine.
and I can knit just one or two rows
and let that be enough
and I can scrape together dinner
pulling multiple containers of leftovers
out of the fridge
and then I can relax and watch a silly cartoon
with my children
because I don’t have the phantom of perfectionism
haunting me, menacing me,
at least not as much as before.
And just that tiny bit of space
shows me how much I can do,
how much I already am.
It’s not about attaining
some exalted state…
it’s about learning how
to see clearly
in your current state.
right where you are,
in this moment
you have all you need to awaken.
When you sit
you learn how quickly
and your bodily sensations
all shift and change.
Observing as we sit
is always changing
we can learn to observe the same
in the outer world.
People change the way thoughts change.
Weather changes the way emotions change.
Always in a state of flux,
never the same,
but the witness in you
looks out at the world
from the depths of consciousness.
In such a state of realization
we find true liberation.
To soar like an eagle
you must be light and free.
Set down these burdens you carry–
and the “maybes”
the “what ifs”
and the “I can’ts”–
and step to the edge of the cliff.
How can you spread your wings
if you carry the weight of the world
on your shoulders?
Set down these burdens you carry.
Each layer you peel away
brings you closer
to the beautiful essence self
shining within, waiting.
When you strip all the extra layers away
you’ll feel so unbelievably light
you’ll have no choice but to fly
out into the broad expanse of sky
into the limitless sky of being.