from my 80 year old self

Spring columbine shoots 🙂

Dear Vicki,

It’s not too late!

Every day is a new opportunity to live fully, to be present for and embrace the life you’ve been given. Make a point each day to be quiet and still and to fill your heart with gratitude and to open your being to love and joy. Take whatever form shows up – let go of any stories about how things should or should not be, or what is ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

Move your body and care for it well. Notice what it needs and give to it kindly. It is an amazing thing – all your cells and flesh and bones and organs, and all the things it allows you to experience as a human being. You can see, hear, smell, taste, feel – view, read, talk, listen to music and birds, hear the sounds of life around you, smell cake baking in the oven, rain on hot pavement, the rich woodland of evergreens. Oh, the tastes you can experience!

Enjoy all that is possible. OPEN. Let yourself fall into being fully alive, unreserved. Reach for your husband’s hand, call your friend, sleep in without guilt, dig in the garden all day, sit outside taking in the warmth of the sun, go for a long walk. Even dance a little. You don’t have to be good, just enjoy it, feel it, let energy move through you.

Don’t get too wrapped up in the past or anticipate too much what the future holds. Be present for what’s available here and now. Go ahead. Be vulnerable. You are strong and courageous and beautiful. Let your life open fully and dance into it with all your body and soul.

Love,

Your 80-year-old-self

I wrote this letter to myself as a recommended activity when I was moving through The Artist’s Way. I came across the hand-written message tucked in the back of my personal journal, having just finished filling all the pages and about to put it on the shelf. Oh, that I should someday be 80 and be able to look back and say that I followed this wisdom!

What would your 80-year-old-self say to you?

the peace of wild things

Verbania Sunset-Sunset on Lake Maggiore at Verbania - Summer 2018.jpg

The Peace of Wild Things
Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

 

This is a beautiful poem that invites me to shift when I am filled with fear and want o find my way to grace and freedom. I hope you like it, too. I don’t remember now where I first read it, although its special touch continues to linger.

 

* I took this photo in Verbania Italy of Lake Maggiore at sunset and chose to include it in this post because I find the light mysterious and soothing.

befriending

IMG_9044.JPG

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. 🙂