October 17, 2013

Fierce with Grace.

My fingers feel restless and my eyes are sleepy and so here I sit, white screen, quiet night, waiting for the wave of words to wash over me.

They are there, I can feel them, just beyond my reach—tempting me and teasing me, as my brain fills with all of the things that need to be done before I can switch gears to off or slow or rest but the words, the words, are bellowing their way up, up, up.

I practiced (for the first time in a long time in a led class) and how grateful I am that I was able to hand over the teaching of me so that I could get out of my own way and just be on my mat. My brain settled and there I was—moving, breathing—just me and a room full of strangers but not strangers.

As I climbed deeper into this living, moving thing we call a body, as I felt a drop of sweat roll down the middle of my chest, as I reached my leg as high as it could go, as I noticed I was favoring my right shoulder I also realized this:

My home is my body, is my heart, is my mind.

As I became fierce with grace and as I folded into myself, I could feel the blood pulsing through my veins and my breath, so quiet, like a wave rolling through me, took me into the ocean and I was fluid like the sea.

I became a warrior and I became an eagle in a tree; right here, all along in my search for a new home and here it was, inside of me.

There was a moment, some time ago, when I vanished into thin air and all that was left was a floating heart—I wasn’t my body or my hair or my fingers or my toes—I was just this thing breathing and I had heart (we always have a heart even when we transform ourselves into the creatures we punish ourselves with and the creatures we escape ourselves with).

And so becoming my insides is not the worst thing in the world, but I forgot about the slip of lines and curves that make up my hips and breasts and thighs and arms, and I forgot about bobby pins and lipstick and feeling pretty.

There are days when I want to look like you—I want to bend like you, I want my body to do what your body can do….and days, when I meet my own brown eyes in the mirror, when I soften the glare of a judgemental mind, when I can see for who I am and I love me, completely.

We say it’s the inside that counts, but the outside, counts, too, just not in the way we believe they do, these days.

I forgot about the times that I would sit in the bathroom and watch my mother get ready and the ritual of applying and dusting and primping and the perfume that would settle onto me somehow too, so that when she left I still had a part of her with me.

I forgot about touch and about feel and about the sleek joy in being alone and naked—or alone and clothed—and really just alone at all.

At some point when I died my own death, I forgot that I was alive and now, just now, I can feel a new life forming and while I continue to shed and fall down, each time I stand back up my heart beat gets stronger and my eyes shine brighter.

And so as I moved I closed my eyes and listened deeply to what my body was saying, and there were almost no words at all—or maybe they were allowed to roam freely forming into sentences and then moving again to form new ones.

(Sometime ago I had this sensation that each time I lifted my arm or leg, or moved any part of my body, instead of words or thoughts I could feel music—like the tinkling of shanti bells—shimmering like light dancing on water. Each breath was the vibration of my singing crystal bowl, reaching down, down, down.)

This is the thrill of letting go of the struggle and the relief of surrender and settling into the knowing that as complicated as it all feels it’s as simple as can be.

And the dark places that make me shudder and the fear that likes to rule are actually quite full of glimmering diamonds and all of the riches of the world. We think we should scurry them away because they are something to be ashamed of but really, what I learn living in this home of mine is that the dark corners hold the secrets to my words and my vision and my creativity.

The dark places I so desperately search for a light in can be navigated with my patience and with my breath and with my heart—and with my eyes closed I can feel around for the thing I think I have lost (which is always just in the last place I put it down).

These words, my practice, are about what happens after we die; when we give ourselves space and when we are honest and when we are naked and hold out our hearts without strings or attachment, we are born again.



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