Clearing, by Mark Aposic
Do not try to save the whole world or do anything grandiose;
Instead, create a clearing in the dense forest of your life and
Wait there patiently, until the song that is your life falls into your own cupped hands and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know how to give yoruself to this world, so worthy of rescue.
This poem came from a dharma talk by Tara Brach, accessible on her website. As well, my response came through a question I woke up with: how to cherish yourself during difficult times? The holidays are stressful times, you may consider this a time of difficulty, and of immense joy. Or of moving between the mode of getting things done and being exhausted, yet just keeping up with the pace of how things are at the end of the year in the season to celebrate is a time when we consolidate our needs for others, yet at the expense of our bank accounts and wellbeing. When we are caught in the feeling of being stressed, what we value most – kindness, creativity, service, connection – becomes deficient as we do not have access to the dimensions of ourselves which are our full potential. The mode becomes a trance when our minds are narrowed and we forget a larger reality. Sound familiar? Have you found yourself entranced in getting things accomplished that you don’t realize how cutoff you may be from: your breath, your heart, your values, your kindness.
Does stress during the holidays really need to be just how it is?
What are ways to relieve tension during the holidays, to stay in our power and freedom and reconnect with the moment?
Tara Brach calls it: tend and befriend.
Step One: Pause
It takes a real commitment to have the wiser part of the brain say: just stop.
Step Two: Sense the difficulty
There is an underlying sense of loss that we all experience, which are sensations of dissatisfaction, longing, that which leads you to believe you are undeserving or deficient. Being with these feelings will free up the grip they have when they are not witnessed or heard.
Step Three: Be the Ocean
Having the courage to breathe into the heart space and question the parts of you that cause suffering, will bring a quality of embracing difficult times with all of you to adorn the illusion of separation with compassion.
Mudra: Prithivi Mudra
Increases energy, and fosters a sense of inner stability and self-assurance.
Affirmation: The earth is providing me with nourishment and happiness. I am safe and secure and balanced within my life.
To conclude, you have the power to live from a tender place that helps you love the one you’re with, starting with yourself knowing you are fully equipped to pause and remember to be with yourself in stressful times.