“..life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” So began the daily group email from Neale Donald Walsch that I receieved this past Thursday morning. I think about that concept each day, as my eyes open to greet whatever awaits in the next 24 hours. How will I be called on to stretch physically, emotionally, mentally and/or spiritually? In yoga, we talk about ‘going to your edge’, moving your body to extend to where you have been and then perhaps a wee bit further each time, becoming more elastic in all ways. For some, going to their edge on the mat may be ‘cobra’ or ‘upward facing dog’ (similar to the position of the baby in the picture) and for some it may be an inverted pose, like a handstand. How often have I (and perhaps you) shied away from getting anywhere near the perimeter when what is out there feels intimidating or frightening? But how can we possibly know how far we are capable of going until we know how far we are willing to go?
Last week, when in conversation with my friend Ondreah, we were musing about the things we have experienced over the past 5 decades of our lives and how hard I am on myself at times, with the drum-beat hammering thoughts in my head about ‘not doing it right’ and ‘not being enough’. She said something to the effect of : “You know, some things you are doing for the first time.” It is like taking those first steps as a nearly one year old. Likely, when I attempted motoring on my own two feet rather than on all fours, I wobbled and even fell. I probably didn’t think “Oh, I’m so clumsy, I might as well scoot around on my butt for the rest of my life.” I got back up and took the next step and the next and the next and whatya’ know…..I’m truckin’ across the floor to the applause of my delighted parents. Hopefully the same is true for you.
If memory serves, Ondreah may have been referring to my new responsibilities as the executor of my mother’s affairs and how I have felt nervous about the tasks involved. If that is the case, without a template or model, how can I expect myself to ‘do it right’? All I can do is follow step by step, what needs to be done, ask for and be willing to receive support from people who do have experience and can be guides along the way and just give myself the space to simply BE with the process. And the same is true about publishing my ‘Bliss Book’. I’m a seasoned writer but had not a clue how to do the editing and publishing ‘stuff’. The experts are holding my hand and guiding me through the process. Perhaps THAT beyond all else is my own comfort zone.
What is it that you are doing for the first time?
Karen Drucker’s song I Will Be Gentle With Myself is the perfect balm that will help me stretch so that I can reach beyond where I thought I could go. www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihWYx-QJ95I
A new friend named Bobi Watson; a yoga teacher and swimming instructor from Wildood Crest, New Jersey posted this bit of wisdom on facebook and I knew it was going to be fodder for a Bliss Blog entry.
“A compilation of whispering echos calling me to dance and play throughout my day ~ beckoning an order of assimilation and movement, sometimes slow going, sometimes more frenzied ~ Musicality and actuality. I see & hear, feeling what just may be on the horizon is another horizon… Reminded of the old song… The bear went over the mountain… To see what he could see…”
It spoke to me immediately and created a vision of standing in the midst of a grove with the ‘whispering echoes’ giggling, sounds re-bounding off the trees, stretching skyward and then wafting gracefully down to the moss green grass. Each sound becomes a crooked finger that invited me to join in the frolic. Adapting to the rhythm of the 12 hours that stretched before me. I know that on any given day, I can be faced with the gift of going slowly, and simultaneously needing to move at what seems like that frenzied pace of which Bobi speaks. It is then that I am reminded of what my mother said at times : “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” to which I respond by gliding along in speech and action until I can adjust my pace.
I know too, that we are that music and the hollow reed through which it is played so brilliantly.
The horizon is always waiting and I realize that I have two choices…I can eagerly anticipate what unfolds just beyond it, or I can dread it. There was a time in my life when I would have leaned toward the latter, although I am an optimist by nature. I now think of myself as an ‘opti-mystic’ who sees the Divine Creative Force in all encounters. And like that bear, I am opening my eyes and heart to ‘see what I can see’.
http://youtu.be/RmUp2jyHd9Y For the eternal child in us all <3
While ‘sweating my prayers’ at the gym on Saturday morning, I happened to catch the tail end of a show called The Real Winning Edge. The program profiled young adult athletes who were also facing life challenges. It didn’t take long to grasp that what they were referring to…their spiritual faith was what helped them cross the finish line. Although the format is Christian in nature, the ‘testimony’ wasn’t exclusive to those of that orientation. It could have applied to anyone of any religious tradition.
I watched two segments; one an 18 year old dancer turned champion gymnast who had experienced injuries and bounced back, only to come up against an even more daunting challenge…the illness and subsequent death from cancer of her 13 year old sister. Her friends and family continue to bolster this talented young woman whose teamates view her as the one who cheers them up and gives them confidence to succeed while humbly accepting her own talents without overly flaunting them.
The second was a triathelete who was determined at age 12 to become the youngest person to win the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon. He competed at age 18 and I missed the ending to determine his placement in the race. I was impressed by something this young man said about the commitment that it took to train. He made his goal so important that other distractions facing a typical college student, did not deter him from his cycling, swimming, running and weight lifting. He made a choice each time…did he want to keep the finish line in sight and prep for it or did he want to party? He most certainly was a well rounded kid who made time for family and friends.
I look at my own goals and intentions and admit that there are times when I do allow myself to veer off the path; usually out of fear of actually accomplishing what I set out to do. For instance, as I got closer to completing my book, I would find reasons to do something else instead of working on it. It wasn’t until I made a commitment to hire an editor and agreed to submit the manuscript to a publisher (where I am at this point in time), that my time and attention became more focused. This is helping me overcome my trepidation about taking the grand leap into my deepest dreams and desires; asking, “So, what if you really DO get to cross the finish line?” The rest is still unwritten:)
posted 3:49:27pm Aug. 29, 2014 | read full post »
Don't Give Up
posted 8:53:03am Aug. 28, 2014 | read full post »
Heaven On Earth
posted 9:47:47pm Aug. 26, 2014 | read full post »
With An Open Hand
posted 9:07:21pm Aug. 25, 2014 | read full post »
The Art of Surrender
posted 10:31:49am Aug. 24, 2014 | read full post »