Development of Spirit

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Dear Elliot is now six months. With eyelashes that go on and on, fingernails that always need cutting, and a neck when kissed nearly always prompts a deep belly laugh : I am grateful for this cloud of softness and joy.

He has shown me new ways to be, as I suppose babies, new seasons, transition, and change beg of us : to find new dimensions to inhabit. And yet I find myself unconsciously existing in old patterns, old habits, old ways of being that don’t necessarily fit or feel good anymore : but are known, and for that reason comfortable.

And so this gradual quickening, unfolding of life is beckoning me onward to a new frontier, and may I be brave enough to take that step onto a different plane. Existing in a way I have never before. Risking, making, offering, sharing, and honoring beauty in all its forms. Nodding to the contrast of life that both breaks and heals the heart. Making room for my spirit to continue to develop and to embrace total abundance. And deeply remembering in my roots : I belong and so do you.

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Self Preservation

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I have been in a space of preserving myself. Conserving my energy as I navigate mothering three small children, as I stay warm through winter.

I am following the pattern of the dormant seed, hunkered down out of sight, with seemingly nothing happening to the visible eye…

I’ve honored these primal instincts of protection, of not wanting to overextend. Fearful that I’d repeat past patterns : of overextension and depletion, which most likely informed my struggle with post partum depression.

This made me delay any teaching commitments. It put tremendous weight on whatever I did outside of the house having to be “worth it”. This put me in a seemingly constant state of uncertainty.

And here I am ready to emerge, ready to sprout, ready to follow what feels good, and to reclaim myself once again.

And while I do so, I’m wondering :

How can I open myself up so I am nourished and filled up while giving, while being engaged in the world? So it is a true exchange of energy rather than one great big give, followed by days of taking to restore my well.

I want to be in a constant conversation led by my heart. I want to be vital, fluid, and free.

“It is the speaking of one’s heart that makes a human being human. For even if no one hears us, it is the act of speaking that frees us by letting the spirit swim and fly through the world.” – Mark Nepo

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I reach for strands of hair to weave them so they seamlessly fold into each other – creating a cohesive form of which I have the slightest vision of how it should look.

But then I sit unable to layer sections upon sections, threading above and below.

Sometimes it is because my hands are actually holding a baby, or zipping a jacket, or making a meal.

Sometimes I can’t even find the hair to grasp and hold onto. It feels invisible… images of lustrous strands that have yet to grow. How does one braid with invisible hair? Simply with woven dreams and visions close to the scalp, not even sure if they are ready to come alive.

Then of course there are all these strands that literally [thanks to life postpartum] have fallen out like a tree briskly shakes itself free from leaves. Certain structures of knowing have dissolved, and I’m navigating new territory again.

Then there are those miraculous moments when Elliot is sleeping and the kids are at school, and I have had enough sleep and am fed… and I can gather enough of myself to orient a layering, a listening, a knowing way of organizing over and under. Which lasts for a moment until it comes undone, the next thing beckoning for my attention.

Maybe this wanting of a complete braid comes at the end of a life : when all the strands have shed and reappeared again and again and with that wild head of hair one is able to orient the final masterpiece.

But also can how I find a relief in a wrapping in all that is right now? Even if only to come undone in a moment. Even if I’m only working with little wisps of hair that will continue to grow. Even if tomorrow I might want a bun instead…

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In Conversation

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I spend so much time in calculation, strategizing, planning : I miss what is right in front of me.

I spend so much time frantically focused outwards : I loose a kind internal gaze towards myself.

I spend so much time focused on what is lacking : I miss the abundance before me.

Plagued with uncertainty I beg to be set free from the muck I am sinking in.

I seek moments of elevation.

I want to commit to reverence in all its forms.

I practice.

I want to be free.

How can I drop the resistance and turn it into prayer?

How can I shift my focus from what is missing : to what is present?

Let my life be a constant conversation with the sacred.

Remind me there is nothing to prove.

For I sacrifice my innate wonder when I believe I never amounted to anything worthy or ever will.

I honor the evolution.


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A Winter’s Prayer

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May clarity stream through and illuminate what is deep within.

May I have the space to listen and the courage to act.

May I have the reverence to bow and the curiosity to wonder.

May what I resit melt as I remember the breath.

May what persists be the pure + simple truth.

May I suspend judgements + remember I am not my thoughts.

May I bend time to honor my being + all those around me.

May I remember rest is a sacred practice.

May I recognize the infinite blessings right before me.

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Uncover the Sacred

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While I am focused on tasks and productivity I simultaneously yearn for a closeness to my spirit. For I can spend my entire life crossing off items on the to do list, but I need more than that. So amidst it all, I wonder…

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How do I tend to a connection to what is beautiful while ruled by accomplishing tasks?

How do I relish in moments?

What do I let drop away so that simplicity rules my days?

What can wait?

How can I weave in ritual and ceremony into an average Thursday?

How can I be fueled by the mundane?

How can I meet my spirit, again and again?

How can I uncover the sacred that lies right beneath me?

I live in these questions, for I know there isn’t one magical answer, one formula. But for this morning anyway: I found a tea pot in the back of my cabinet, and a delicate china tea cup + saucer painted with holly. I filled the tea pot and quietly sipped the tea, carefully placing the cup back to its home, as I noticed the light streaming into this table that I sit at – that my grandfather built, and that many have gathered around.

“Woman passed down to woman a way of being within herself as she carried out her daily tasks in which she relates to herself and to the task as sacred and necessary to the completion of the cosmic cycle, to be fulfilled by her, by her alone, again and again. Through that fulfilling, she renewed the earth, blessing the cycles of nature, quietly carving into the stillness of time the steps of her repeated trips for water, her winnowing of the grain, her nurturing of the earth.” – Judith Durek

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