Alone in the alien, snow-blown woods,
Moving hard to stay warm in zero weather,
I stop on a rise to catch my breath as the
Sun, setting through bare-bound trees,
Falls upon my face, fierce and full of life.
Breathing easy now, breathing with the earth,
I suddenly feel accepted- feel myself stand
My own ground, strong, deep-rooted as a tree-
While time and all these troubles disappear.
And when (who knows how long?). move
On down the trail and find my ancient burgess
returning, I stop once more to say Not to them-
Not here, Not now, Not ever again= reclaiming
The welcome hone the woods have given me.
~Parker J. Palmer
there’s always doubt- just so you remember-
inquiry for today~ feeling particularly fond of life and loving today?
Where is my internal home?
Rather than looking to another to define me, the inquiry becomes:
Who am I, right here, right now?
Rather than forcing connection with others, the practice becomes:
In this moment, how can I best relax and support myself?
Bless our wacky, human selves!
Of course, we look to outside people, places and things to complete us.
Of course, we do.
Yet without a practiced connection to ourselves, looking outside is a slippery slope of suffering, waiting to happen.
Here is Rumi, the ecstatic poet, who says it so profoundly in this translation by Shahram Shiva, from the book, Rumi, Thief of Sleep:
This aloneness is worth more than a thousand lives.
This freedom is worth more than all the lands on earth.
To be one with the truth for just a moment,
Is worth more than the world and life itself.
Okay, great. Self-love. Sounds right.
Yet, how do you do it?
Doesn’t self-love sound big, hard, un-chunk-able, dense and massive?
What would this look like, specifically, in Great Barrington, my home?
In your home, what would self-love look like?
Let’s chunk it down.
How about one thing? Let’s focus on just one thing.
Just one kind thing for today.
What is one kind thing you can do for yourself, today?
What is one small part of your day you can lean away from old behaviors and lean toward that which is kind, gentle, and ease-filled?