Today I wake and pause. Somethings here. It’s drawing my ear in towards my center. It’s making light, almost imperceptible whispers. It’s been here.
When it arrived I’m not sure. But it rests gently at the edges of my chest between my shoulders in the realm of my heart. I sense its presence more noticeably now. It took me a few days.
I woke on Wednesday to move about my day as I expected I would with vigor, enthusiasm, inspiration, and productivity. I spent the morning writing. I ventured from the house for a couple of errands, out in the grey mist of the day. When I returned I looked around my room and wondered what felt right to do next. But I couldn’t decide.
Was it the grey, dreary weather? Did I need some rest? Strange. I paused for a great length of time to catch any inkling of how best to proceed but nothing surfaced. The only thing I could come up with was laying on my couch. I listened (even though it went against everything my mind was telling me).
My mind said I needed to read, write, exercise, or tidy my room. My mind said I needed to feel good and happy and inspired. My mind said that lazying around on the couch wasn’t at all what we had planned for the day. My mind said that given all the time I have off work and the excitement of things planned for next week that I needed to feel different than how I did. My mind said that it wasn’t okay to rest. My mind said this was the lazy choice.
My heart emitted a different message. She said no to every demand of my mind but didn’t seem to lead me anywhere specific. The conflicting messages left me in a quandary. Something was amiss. I couldn’t pinpoint it. I determined the only way forward was to slow down, sit, and pause.
I paused for the rest of the day. I remained listless, lackluster, and languid all day and into the evening. While I was aware enough to not force myself into activity, I was slow to the draw that something else was present.
Throughout the day I felt a many array of things. How could one not with what occurred at the capitol? Anger, fear, sadness, grief. I voiced my concerns with family and friends. I raptly attended to the events as they unfolded. How fortuitous that I found myself resting on the couch in time to bear witness to the day’s events. But in the evening I closed my computer and continued in the same vein that began even before the riotous mob descended upon the capitol.
I wake again today in the same vein. As I rest here in bed in the early hours of this day, pen in hand and journal beneath it, I give great pause to what’s present. My mind wants to know why and what for. My mind wants an answer or a story. My mind wants to draw a conclusion. But I have none.
What I do have is a long list of to-dos for the day. At the tippy top of that list is deep listening. It doesn’t matter how many things I need to do or that I even get all of them done. What matters is that while I tick them each off my list I’m listening and honoring how I really feel. Even when I don’t really know how I feel at all. I call this presence.
As I remain present, I welcome my guest. My heart. She’s an ever-present ally on my journey. She gifts me and guides me in all ways. And on this day (these past several days), she’s sharing with me something.
She’s leaning in and requesting my attention. She’s pressing into me as she draws me inward. She insists that it’s cool if I keep doing what I’m doing – but – so long as I’m listening. Listening to the song she shares. A sad song today. One with tender edges and a soft center. One with a calm exterior and flowing inside. One with suppleness, density, and moisture. There’s a texture here if only I could hear it.
I’ll heed her call and keep her close. I’ll find her flow and press into her. I’ll allow her to move through me and into all that I do as I step forward into my day. She’s welcome here even in the midst of the life I lead. She is always welcome here.
I’ll allow her to be just as she is in all her mysterious and unknown ways. I’ll lay aside my thoughts of how I should be and feel. I’ll lean in to and dance with her lead. Even when it’s not what I’d expect for this time in my cycle or this time of the year or given the events and circumstances of my week. I’ll resist the urge to change her, to change me.
I am as I am in this moment. How I feel does not define me. I don’t live inside some preconceived, structured, or rigid construct. My emotional state is not defined by the dominant societal or cultural narratives any longer. And how I respond to my emotional state, or within it, isn’t determined by outdated beliefs of frailty and incapability. I am fluid, always changing.
My feelings and emotions are fluid. They enliven and inform me. They guide and direct me. They dance with me as much as I dance with them. We work, play, love, laugh, and cry together. We move through life as one unit. Flowing.
Today I pause. I listen. I draw space in front of my altar. I place one hand on my heart. I bow and acknowledge. I light a candle and give thanks.
I am so glad I feel. And I am so glad I listen deeply for those awkward, weird moments when I’m called to feel deeper even when – or especially when – it doesn’t make any sense.