April 25, 2014

Just Breathe. You are Beautiful. ~ Carolyn Riker.

Painting by Jenna Penielle Lyons

My spirit needed a boost and just as I was about to give up this message arrived.

Just breathe. You are beautiful.

Simple and kind. Directly aimed at my sore and tired heart muscles.

Lyrical, light and a breath of fresh air. I breathed through a few tears.

I needed to hear the encouragement rather than discouragement. I was feeling depleted and the strained from juggling one too many roles; I slipped a few notches.

“She did not want to move or to speak. She wanted to rest, to lean, to dream. She felt very tired.

~ Virginia Woolf

I got grumpy and defensive. I started to take things personally, when in fact the chaos and commotion was hardly personal.

Life is made of chaos and commotion as well as joy and happiness.

What I choose to focus on will either bring me down or lift me.

“We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us so that we become increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kinder. You always have a choice.”

~ His Holiness The Dalai Lama

I had to let go of a few strings and set my heartbeat to a regular thumpity-thump.

I had been holding my breath, again.

And with each breath I released the stress cultivated in my weariness. I heard violins playing in my heart and an orchestra sent shivers of oxygen to my depleted spirit.

There’s a universal message here: Take a few minutes to be kind to someone and listen. Also be kind to yourself.

When the waves of unrest and confusion pour in, I will pull back and rest. I will let the invariable commotion dissipate until I can fly again.

It’s all temporary.

The drama and changes are a part of life and some are out of my control. Time to step aside from the chaos and swim deeper.

I asked myself, “What are my intentions? Where am I going?”

This moment of disorder is only another obstacle to refine my goals.

For me, the confusion leads to growth; changes and shedding are the contradictions. I’m shedding what I’ve been told to believe and instead listening and trusting what my heart is teaching me.

With all stages of growth there will be contradictions. I have to pull myself up when I trip and know all things are possible. I can and will find the balance I seek.

Chaos is a smoke screen. Fanning it creates more wildfire.

I’m going to sip water with lemon slices and roast organic chocolate marshmallows with my imagination. I will take this as a resting space to regroup, reorganize and let go of unnecessary baggage weighing me down.

And I will pay it forward: Just breathe. You are beautiful.

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Editor: Jenna Penielle Lyons

Photos: Courtesy of the author and editor

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