At our moment of birth we inhale. We leave with an exhale. In between is life.
I wish I could remember where I read this, and I’m sure it’s not an exact quote. But this statement resonated with me as I sat in my little sanctuary on the hill. My “gatreebo”. The funky quirky gazebo that was on our property when we bought it. We filled it with all kinds of stuff as we were moving to Pagosa Springs last September. Little did I know what a special place it would become. It’s got some slats missing and the door leans against instead of hanging. We will get around to putting it up one of the days. For now, it’s perfect as it is.
I spend a lot of time here, shaded from the sun, my yoga mat and I. Reading. Meditating. Thinking. Crying. Sometimes taking a little nap. I’ve danced and swayed to music and emotions. I’ve screamed, laughed, and been deeply silent.
Time. Space. Freedom.
Big inhales of the deep cool green woodsy smell that always makes me feel like I am on vacation, that I am visiting a special place. I am always filled with gratitude and joy and a bit of surprise that this is the place I call home. If it is really possible to own a place on this planet, I own this partial side of a mountain with the sound of the river running always in the background.
This is the smell of my life, the space between that first inhale and the last exhale.
It’s been two weeks since I left Facebook.
What have I done with the time?
Yeah, I am purposely turning into that hippy new age woo woo kind of person that I use to ridicule. Funny how that works.
I’ve filled my mind with rich nourishing life changing wisdom in the book I’ve been reading and savoring.
Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System as a Path to the Self by Anodea Judith.
Here is the link. ( I don’t make any money from this)
Savoring. It’s a word I’ve frequently used describing food. The mental image I have is closed eyes as I explore the taste and texture of food. That’s how it has been with this book, eyes open to read, perhaps just a sentence, sometimes a paragraph but then I feel the stab to the heart or gut that tells me to take my time. Process. Taste. Digest the truth written. Savor. Close my eyes and shut out everything but the sensation.
Sometimes I will go on a journey, drifting back to my childhood, looking at the strings of my life, pulling them in and opening the boxes.
You know those boxes don’t you? The boxes where you pack away your hurt? Your agonizing pain. Betrayal. Shame. Resentment. Jealousy. Lies.
I pull the string and open the box, I’ve forgotten exactly what is in it. But the tense feeling in my body and the unease in the pit of the stomach tells me that my body knows and remembers very well what is in that box.
What is packed away in those boxes is real and not real. My interpretation of events of my childhood is that of a child. I practice stepping back and looking at the incident from my view then, then that of the others in the memory. Usually my parents are the other characters in the playbook.
Instead of reliving my hurt and anger, I piece together the facts of what was going on in my parents lives to understand. To understand my dads anger, my mothers fear. I realize now I have repeated those emotions in my life and the things I did to my kids. To others. The mirror is true, reflecting generations of behavior. I blamed my dad, trumpeting my innocence and victimhood, all the while “forgetting” that I behaved in many of the same ways.
By opening the box I am able to forgive. Not only what happened to me, but to also forgive myself.
I take the hurtangershamefear and I face it. I look at it, turn it over, exam it closely. I cry. Deep agonizing sobs and sometimes screams. I face it, that which I fear. 5e bully that I have allowed. The bully that I created.
Once I do, I can let it go. There is no more power. There is acceptance and peace.
Now don’t get the idea that this has been all rainbows and unicorn farts. This process has brought new wounds, frustration between my goals and commitments and realty.
I’ve found it easy to commit to a new way of thinking and reacting in the sanctuary. I plan my words and plan my reactions. It never. Ever. Goes as planned.
Which is what life really is, isn’t it? An unplanned twisting and turning process of discovering the outside, and if we have the courage, the inside. To learn and if we care to, to gain wisdom. The surface that can be seen, and the inside which needs a special kind of vision. A vision that we are taught not to use.
Our emotions are a way that we communicate with ourselves. Yet we deny them. We lie about them. We put a label on them and we lock them away and we feel good about it. Yet we are creating our own blindfold so that we blindly stumble and bumble into the same hurtful patterns over and over. We blame anyone or anything but ourselves, because we choose to be blind.
In the martial arts I emphasized breathing. Breath and focus. Being relaxed makes you faster. Tight muscles move slower. Relax or you will wear yourself out. Your brain needs oxygen. All of the focus on the body. The opponent. The outward.
In yoga, I close my eyes and connect with my breath. I go inward, small, dark, close, intimate. Sometimes my movements and adjustments are minuscule, tiny and invisible from the outside. Aware and focused inward is a new way for me.
I find that sacred place between the inhale and the out. The space that is my life.