It feels like time to take a big breath….and let it out slowly. It is new day in the United States, for every one of us. I have never felt patriotic and I’ve even shivered at the corny old stars and stripes, and parades of marching bands. But something was very different for me as I watched Kamala Harris and Joe Biden sworn into their new roles. I actually felt allied with the philosophies being espoused, and there’s still something more for me. I think it might be Biden’s use of the word soul, that he’s committing his soul to us. Even as a man in his late 70’s, he fearlessly exposes this most vulnerable layer of himself, and in doing so, transformed it into pure strength and leadership, for me.
I learned of another leader this week, Valarie Kaur, a human rights attorney, who is intent on inaugurating the rest of us to do our part as this long, new day unfolds. Her vision is a 25-year-long labor that will culminate in a magnificent birth. I imagine our nation gradually ripening, like a field of immature tiger lilies, from mostly white to a myriad of colors. In 25 years, white will be the less common skin tone. I haven’t heard Ms Kaur’s entire plan, but she means to uplift us all through compassion and strength, without the naivety to imagine this to be easy. She calls it a labor, the kind a mom does, painful and unpredictable, but absolutely worth it. Her symbol is a heart with a fist. It reminds me of the “Do no harm and take no shit” motto from a previous letter, but now activated, like germinated seeds. Love warriors maybe?
I love these ideas of soul and love warrior, and yet, right now, I feel exhausted. I’m like a dog toy whose stuffing has been shaken out by that new puppy. I know my soul will be ready at some point to take up these calls to action, but I cannot deny what my body is saying right now: rest. Take a deep breath. Let it out, slowly. Are you with me?
It feels like the day after the wedding or the funeral or the losing of the job even if you hated the job. It’s been like back packing forever, in a full wetsuit that’s too small, and getting ever tighter, as I’ve had to accept what I believed was unacceptable, for years and years. Now we reach the summit and that constriction is loosened, the heavy sack taken off my shoulders, and I am stunned, like a drunkard, blinking at the flowers here in this alpine meadow. Is it real? Can I really rest?
Yes…..AND….this is just the first mountain! There is much to do, in this world, in this life. It’s too much to face, alone, when we just arrived! Let’s take some time to bask in this world, as it is right now. May we all feel truly united, more willing to listen, and to be heard. I feel safer now, for all of us on the planet, and that allows me to begin to rest.
I wish the same for you. Take some time to rest today. I am writing this blog from a park overlooking the Puget Sound, as the sun dodges in and out of cloud pockets. I see one of those crazy-huge flocks of tiny black birds, moving as one, just above the water’s rough-edged ceiling. I used to fantasize about belonging to such a flock, always clued-in and moving together like sequins on an Oscars evening gown. Today I accept and cherish how varied our human flock is. Each one’s role will be unique, like the threads of a Medieval tapestry, able to express a certain kind of beauty without any two shades the same.
If time in nature isn’t your thing, see if you can get down on the floor, grab a few blankets and swing your legs up the wall or onto the couch. Stay cosy and quiet. Rest, restore, and replenish your stores. Your thread will be needed, just as you are. How will you prepare to reveal your soul, or will you? What inspires you to give of yourself?
I wish you well.
I do want to remind you that my Yoga for Anxiety workshop is next Saturday, January 30, 12-2pm, at 3 Oms (virtually).
Please let me know if you’re interested in my scholarship program for yoga therapy, either as a recipient or a donor.