|tumblr. photographer unknown.|
“Re-examine all you have been told in school or church or in any book,
and dismiss whatever insults your own soul; and your very flesh shall be a great poem,
and have the richest fluency, not only in words, but in the silent lines of its lips
and face and between the lashes of your eyes,
and in every motion and joint of… your body.” ~ Walt Whitman
several months ago i wrote about my first experience with nia:
as i've journeyed into a gentler, grace-based approach to life, a surprising inclination to holistic self-care has unfolded beneath my feet. it feels different than the old ways, has a different voice. tender. nurturing. no shadowy remnants of shame, pummeling me into less shape than before.
on sunday, tears sprouted with the first rhythmic chords of yulunga and stayed with me as i stumbled along unfamiliar paths. it felt raw, tribal. powerful, and yet oh so healing.
a healing way.
i've always known that the healing way, for me, involves that which moves me and rests me.the days since have washed over me in gentle, sacred waves, one after another, drenching me with gifts, transforming everything i know and see.
moves, with grace, and rests with grace.
at this point in my life i take each step organically, tasting, feeling, sensing,
whole body praying,
seeing what comes next.
and this, this i loved.
whole body praying
but how do you write about something that is fluid and alive? something that breathes all on its own and cannot be framed in human language? how do you place your hand within the aurora?
i've tried to write about certain things for a long time. i've left many posts unfinished. usually, when a topic is this hard to pin down, i know that it's still marinating and unfolding in the quiet womb of darkness.
today i've been feeling a bit overwhelmed. among many things, i realize that i struggle with truly standing up for myself and for my voice. in the past, i've always been the one to graciously acquiesce and step aside for others; in shame i thought i had nothing worthy (or even interesting) to offer while everyone else did. or in the name of charity and dying-to-self, i let people bully and bull-doze me and push me out of the way. it's ok, God sees me, i would say. if i got frustrated, i would remind myself of sacrifice and humility. and i always worried that if i tried to stand my true ground, to rise up strong and steady and lift my voice, be my true self, and say what i want or need to say, that i would end up doing just what was done to me: running people over, treating them as though their voices don't matter, as though they, in the very essence of their being, don't matter.
|redwoods. love them. source: tumblr.|
so it feels like i'm fumbling along all clumsy and stuttering. i don't know how to declare the truth that i am tall and beautiful. that my body is built for strength and i am made to rise like my beloved trees, rooted dark and deep in the forest but rising bravely towards the light. dancing in the light. i am made to dance, to let the spirit-wind move within and between and all around me. i have things to say, even if it's only for myself or for God or for the sake of the words themselves.
this is why i'm diving into fearlessness and why i'm embracing my inner warrioress. every day i've grown stronger. over the past two months i feel like i've spun around the universe a thousand times and aged a thousand years. this is what keeps my tongue disoriented, uncertain how to unpack the last few weeks into something describable. maybe i don't need to. maybe it's something for me, part of my intimate journey with myself and abba::amma. i do know that the fear is gone. my word? unafraid? this past week, even, has completely dissolved those pesky and tenacious roots that insisted on clinging for so long. there might be phantom fears sometimes, just like there are phantom shames ~ those memories of what used to be. when you are used to the furrows and lines along your heart, when you have your mind memorized (is it any wonder we use the phrase, know it like the back of my hand?) and certain patterns of thinking like an old familiar path ... when it's all smoothed over and the scenery changes, it's like becoming reborn. everything is new and you have to get your bearings. but i'm standing. my bones rejoice. there are some choices i need to make, mostly practical ones, that will make a difference in how i dance my dance. how i pound my warpath but i'm alive and i love living like i never have before.
wow ... this turned out MUCH more stream-of-conscious than i anticipated! if you've read this far, bless you! i may have more writing like this now interspersed with the lyrical i love. i'm not making rules for myself. i'm not writing to compete, or to have followers, or to get others to agree, or even to make others love me. i've let go of the fear of what will they think? will they think i'm an effing b, maybe? and sometimes the feeling of feeling lost in the shuffle, lost in the crowd ~ not good enough ~ leads to the phantom fear of becoming drowned out, but it's only when you look at the waves that you start to panic about them. i want to grow unrestrained and to quietly expand with years and eons of earned wisdom.
so this is me, in my mess and in my beauty, the unconventional glory of rising without apology and accepting the path i'm given. it's really about owning my journey. i didn't realize what would happen once i felt unafraid, and that's where i am now, sitting here blinking in amazement and wonder.
i want to thank all of you, too. so many of my reader-friends, with your love and prayers and thoughts, have listened patiently as i've fleshed this out and as my voice has wavered. i'm gloriously human ~ not apologizing like the old days, because i'm created to be human, to be fully human in the image of abba::amma ~ and i know it won't always look pretty or feel good. my friend and i were talking about how healing hurts, and even the living of a healed life ~ old scars get caught in the way sometimes. but they are battle scars and make us all ever so much more unique and beautiful. they make our story, and no matter what, we each have our very own story and no one can take that away.
so, my loves, thank you for enchanting me.
i'd love your thoughts. this turned out to be, actually, really vulnerable for me! my writing isn't perfect. i've used too many adverbs and passive phrases. i rambled. it's kinda boring. i didn't say anything concrete. maybe i was too dismissive. what if people don't like it. maybe everyone will leave me. i'm a fraud. see i do care too much. maybe i'll be fucking shaking with fear tomorrow.