This morning, after my husband left for work, I turned off the lights, cozied up with my pillows and tried to go back to sleep. For ten minutes…….I pretended I could do that. My seasonal allergies made me sniff and snort, sorry…too much information, and soon I decided the wiser move was to get up to my office and on to my yoga mat. I love being on the mat but I hate getting there. Moving through down dog seems to move my energy around and within the hour I feel released from the allergy and the mental fog. After yoga I had an hour to do classwork. My art journal work was calling me. Today I made permission slips. These remind me to be intentional about my work, yet allow for the pain of growth.
Then an assignment was to write down the names of those few people who I am safe enough with to carry my shame and fears. There are supposed to be a very few. And there are. Not so much because I don't have wonderful close friends, but because it takes tremendous courage to be that vulnerable with someone. To those few names I owe my sanity. God, please don't take them from me, and when you do, please make me enough to go on.
I also copied my picture to mount into the journal. The assignment made me feel uncomfortable. I was to write on my palm the words, "I am imperfect and I am enough" with a Sharpie. There it was, black and bold. I had these words with me until the evening when they finally washed off in the shower. They peered out at me when I was teaching piano and felt frustrated with my student. They flashed before my eyes as I walked into the pool for an evening swim. Did I believe them? Intellectually I do! Emotionally they are loaded with baggage.
As I am learning in this class, courage is from the latin word heart. If we move from the heart our courage is more than toughing out a hard thing, it becomes a vulnerable leap into the unknown. That leap often requires compassion for ourselves and the those we leap with and onto. Truly we move with courage to make deeper connections not merely to push ourselves into the the darkness.
This is my intention for the first week of class. I see it all around me. A friend opening up about a very difficult experience, my son taking care of his sick wife and being the "mom" to his children, my daughter asking for letters from her friends to open on her birthday when she is far away, all these acts of courage, compassion, and connection make me eager to watch and act, myself.