And Everything Changes.

(This is inspired by the  27 Wildest Days writing challenge by Laurie Wagner.)

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The poem starts here. Each time I press pen to page and attempt to create some semblance of understanding within the chaos. As I attempt to learn what I am thinking. Feeling. Fearing.

The poem starts here, with a gentle untangling. A tug here, another there. The knots in my head, in my heart, in my gut slowly beginning to unravel with each word that finds its way onto the page.

The poem starts here. Walking into the grocery store that Sunday night over a month ago. It was right after teaching what I didn’t realize was my last in-person yoga class for who knows how log? It starts with the empty bread shelves Bread, the staff of life. Gone.

The poem starts there. With me gripping the handle of the chart with one hand, the other at my heart. A new knowledge beginning to settle in. This is big. This is bigger than I imagined.

The poem starts there, with that dawning rippling through my body like waves crashing to shore.

The poem continues that night as I wash my face. A normal, ordinary activity when life feels anything but normal and ordinary. It starts with these words skittering across my consciousness, lightly like a stone skimming perfectly across the surface of a lake:

And everything changes.

First, it felt like there was an implied “now.” And (now) everything changes. Everything you thought you knew. Everything you have been doing. How you have been living your life, how you’ve been planning for the future. How you buy your groceries. It all changes now.

And it has. We are sheltering in place. Many of us are not working. For many, work has become hazardous to their physical, mental and emotional health.

And (now) everything changes. We pause. The entire world pauses. Skies brighten as the veil of pollution dissipates. Water runs clear, teeming with new life. There is beauty in the pause. And fear.

And everything changes. A simple statement of fact. Or perhaps a gentle reminder. Everything does, in fact, change.

The poem doesn’t end there. It doesn’t begin there. And who knows if it is even in the middle?

And everything changes. These words offer comfort, yet are also frightening. Everything? Does everything have to change?

The poem starts with the answer to that question: Yes.

The answer feels like tough love.

Like tender love.

It’s always been true. But in the busyness of our former lives that rarely left room for a moment to pause or reflect, that one essential truth was forgotten.

So, the poem starts with a remembering.

Remembering the everything changes.

Our bodies.

Our beliefs.

Our dreams.

Our relationships.

The weather.

The climate.

Th tree outside this window. Still bare but with buds starting to break free, soon to be spilling into huge white blossoms before filing with the green of summer then the fire of autumn before, once again, retiring to the stillness of winter.

Because, you see, everything changes.

 

The Art of Dancing with Change.

Dance with Change

Image found on Pinterest.

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” ~ Alan Watts

So, we are 11 days into the new year. How are those resolutions going?

I’m not being sarcastic, here. I really want to know. Because I get it. Change is hard. Even change that is good for us.

Maybe you’re still resolutely plugging along on your resolutions. Yay! Awesome job!

Maybe, you’ve fallen off the resolution wagon. Yay! Awesome job!

Wait, what? Awesome job for not following through?

Yes! Absolutely!

Because we’re human. It’s gonna happen. We start off flying high into the new year, our brain all blissed out on mood enhancing chemicals like dopamine and serotonin because we are so excited about this change we are going to make. This change that is going to improve our life in some way. Then the rosy glow wears off, our brain returns to normal (think of it as the end of the honeymoon phase) and we skip the workout or eat the cupcake or pour the third glass of wine or whatever it is. We do it. And we feel bad. We think we are lazy or undisciplined or whatever word you use to beat yourself up over just being human.

We feel even worse and before we know it it is February and the gyms are empty or our fridge is stocked with ice cream and we think resolutions are stupid.

But this is the point is where the practice really begins.

January 1 has no magical powers. Every day can be a clean slate. Every day is a chance to begin again. Every moment you can choose differently than the moment before.

It’s like meditation. We expect our mind to wander. That’s what it does.So when it does, the practice is to gently and calmly bring it back to this moment right here. If we have to bring our mind back a thousand times in the course of one sitting, that is awesome. Why? Because that is the practice. That is the process.

Same with making changes in our lives. It’s a process. It’s a practice. We slip, we fall, we stumble, we make a choice that doesn’t jibe with our resolution. And that’s fine.

It’s better than fine. It’s a clean slate.

We begin again from right here, from this moment.

Over and over, we begin again.

It’s our practice.

We dance with change. One step forward, two back, step forward again, twist, twirl. Keep it light. Keep it moving.Fast or slow to just barely swaying standing still.

Just keep dancing.

“When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.” ~ Wayne Dyer

 

For a New Beginning

by John O’Donohue

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.