befriending

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befriending

inside my head
the little voice
whispers worldly words
that I want to push away

resistance raises
her arms to fight
then I remember
to take a deep breath
to slowly walk up beside the voice
acknowledging her wisdom
grateful for her good intentions
and to stand calmly in her presence

from this accepting space
the world opens
and I feel free
to write a different story
that moves me
in the direction
that I truly want to go

 

Today’s post is a tribute to Teresa, who led restorative yoga classes at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for breast cancer survivors back in 2012. One day in our practice she invited us to befriend, rather than resist, our natural unpleasant thoughts…to try standing beside them versus pushing them away. I remember the sense of calm that came with her invitation and this fresh relationship.

This post is also dedicated to ‘Coach Christina’ who guided me for 6 months in early 2012 at a time when unwelcome thoughts were abundant following my mastectomy. With her guidance and incredible loving support, I was able to befriend and shift my thoughts in ways that brought welcome catharsis.

I am so grateful for the wise leaders who guide and inspire me.

 

* I took this photo in San Agustinillo, Mexico. These two little guys capture so nicely how I would like to be friends with those sometimes unhelpful voices in my mind. 🙂

moving

red geraniums backyard 2

Moving

I strip away the film
that has built up over the years.
I feel as if I’m moving backward
as the layers fall away.
I question the false self
that I have created with my beliefs.
My certainties drift into air
like sand disappearing in the wind.
I stand open and empty
like a young child without expectations.
As my real self is exposed,
I see I have been moving forward all along.

I wrote this poem over 7 years ago. I forgot that I even wrote it. Somehow it never made it into the file where I stash away my scribblings. I happened upon it when reviewing some old journal entries and letters to a friend. I was surprised how it spoke to me again, all these years later. Circumstances are different, yet again there is opportunity for rebirth.

How my coach at the time interpreted the writing was inspiring: She saw a woman shedding old layers to transform into the beautiful butterfly she was meant to be, a woman who discovers that she has always been a beautiful butterfly, she just needed to let go of what was weighing her down so that she could soar.

 

* I took this photo of a geranium blossom in my backyard. I picked this photo because the water on the petals speaks to me of tenderness, and that seems relevant given the open and exposed feelings expressed.