Thursday, October 4, 2012

opening and upward

Lines from e.e. cummings poems have carried me through life like a good friend. A word here or an image there have made me feel less alone, or more alone- depending on what I needed. Now I think of the line "here's to opening and upward," which comes from this poem.

Really, the word that first came to mind when I wondered what to call this post was "space". This word has been resonating strongly with me for the past few months, and more intensely, over this past week.

Last weekend (and into the beginning of this week), I was able to take a last minute trip back to Tucson, where I used to live. Since the first time I set foot in the Sonoran desert, I have been madly in love with her. That's a love story for a different time. But needless to say, a visit there is a healing journey.

Lately in my life, I have felt more and more... constricted. And my attempts to let go have yielded an even tighter grasp. We often get stuck in these cycles or stories, right? I even convinced myself a time or two that I was successfully letting go of my need to manage everything, to know what the next moment would bring. And in a sense, I was able to let go of that control in the context of the moment, but all the while I was holding on to my idealized expectation of the bigger picture. Which is not letting go at all.

Letting go involves letting go of ALL expectation. It's that really free place where it doesn't matter that you don't know anything except for that your feet are on the ground, your skin feels warm, the birds are calling for each other, and your right hip is aching.

What the desert gave me is the space to let go. Being there feels open, just physically. The horizon is vast, the sun is vibrant, the world is visibly breathing. There is nature everywhere. You are not disconnected, not crowded, not shuffling through a thousand other people's spaces to get somewhere. It helped to have no agenda there. Just being with friends, I was able to totally let go of the need to be anywhere or do anything specific. I could simply relax into myself.

And I felt free for the first time in... oh I have no idea. I thought I had been free all along. The mind is really great at convincing us that we've already done the difficult task- so that we can put it off a little longer.

Opening up around that constriction allowed the truth to rest in all of my being. The deeper reality of my self and my life. And an acceptance that settled around my bones like soft blanket on a cold winter's night.

Now, I feel more honest. And stronger, too.

Sometimes giving something a little space is all you need. You can give your day some space by taking the time to simply breathe and be. Give your emotions some space. Or your friends. Or a difficult situation. Or a fear. Or an expectation. A little space will lead to a wonderful opening and upward. Now if only I could remember to do this every time I needed to...

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