The Seduction of Racing or Be Here Now It’s How the Light Gets In

How many roads you’ve travelled
How many dreams you’ve chased
Across sand and sky and gravel
Looking for one safe place

Will you make a smoother landing
When you break your fall from grace
Into the arms of understanding
Looking for one safe place

Life is trial by fire
And love’s the sweetest taste
And I pray it lifts us higher
To one safe place

How many roads we’ve travelled
How many dreams we’ve chased
Across sand and sky and gravel
Looking for one safe place

– Marc Cohn

The desire to be further forward is seductive but getting obsessed about it just seems to amplify pain and taking up options for distraction precludes me from really experiencing the journey with grace and turns me from acceptance. There is no leaping forward, if you climb the ladder you’re bound to find a snake and slide right on down again.

The past week has brought up a lot of pain that I had been letting seep through but only at a small pace, which became a veritable run. It isn’t fun but the more I think about it the more I ask “bring it on” so I can embrace it with radical acceptance. There’s a stronger me on the other side and actually there’s a really strong me carrying me there. And I have to keep reminding myself I’m not alone, I only have to remember to lean and the supports are there. I just keep forgetting, and surely therein lies one of my lessons!

My sister who has such wisdom that comes from her own self journey and a commitment to insight, learning, sharing, refection and humanness sent me this poem a couple of days ago.

A Poem for Someone Who is Juggling Her Life

This is a poem for someone
who is juggling her life.
Be still sometimes.
Be still sometimes.

It needs repeating
over and over
to catch her attention
over and over,
as someone who is juggling her life
finds it difficult to hear.

Be still sometimes.
Be still sometimes.
Let it all fall sometimes.

Rose Cook, from Notes From a Bright Field (Cultured Llama, 2013)

I shared it on Facebook and it seems to have really struck a chord. That makes me appreciate it all the more too. I had read it with defensiveness, as if it was a judging attack on my workholism, or on my tendency to want to carry the load for others. But I don’t need to see it that way. It’s a gentle reminder of the value of being still and I know I can do more of that, just as I am free to fall sometimes. And indeed I am juggling, all that comes with serious personal change and development and just with getting into an authentic and exciting life.

I’ve had this urge for a few weeks now to just put my head down. It’s taken me a while to work out why. Originally it was a response to feeling humiliated and ashamed by something that happened recently. But then I think it’s more about making sure I don’t renege on the journey. That the juggling stops. It’s harder to juggle with your head down!

I may feel like I’m in a circus (I always wanted to be Disney’s Toby Tyler and run away and join the circus, who knew I had my very own big top right here inside myself?!), but maybe I just need to sell peanuts for a while. I need to keep my head down so that I do what is hard and stay focused primarily on myself for a while longer. That I keep looking at myself and listening to what I need and to what I want. That I keep looking at myself without judgement. That I keep looking at myself with an open heart that expresses self-love. This way, when I look up, my gaze on every plane is love. The desire to give to and embrace others is met by that own feeling for myself and the desire is then manifested through action.

This is a season. I can reap and I can sew. And there are many hands, I just have to remember to ask and lean. Those hands are helping me to come home, and coming home’s like waking up – and if you know me, you’ll know that I’m not always the brightest star in the morning, it can take me a bit to feel the new day, for the joy to climb its way up from my toes to my smile. And I’m sure that’s true of my coming home now.

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” Maya Angelou

Thankfully I have many homes. Including my growing band of brothers and sisters (I have some fabulous new Fijian sisters, we got to embrace one another at the wedding of our little sisters this week, so great!) and extended family. There are my wonderful friends. And I’m so grateful for the Muse, whose profound impact includes inspiring not only my create activities, but also raising in me the courage that keeps me going and makes me a better person. And then there’s me…I am home too.

Sometimes it’s more than miles to travel home. Sometimes it’s knowing when you are home. I’m going to climb up into my bell tower and let the bell peal out a greeting to awakening, to home.

It’s how Leonard Cohen tells it:

“Ring the bell that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”


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