It does seem that life requests quite a lot of us, don’t you think? The list of life’s requests of me seems to expand in intensely as I get older. On this snowy, polar vortex-like morning, I find myself considering several memorable life situations, which called me forth into new levels of internal fortitude and bravery. In no particular order, here are a few memories:
- Walking into the Forest Room at Kripalu Center on September 11th, 2001, to tell the workshop participants that they would not be going home to NYC, since the World Trade Towers had just been attacked
- Walking into the Main Hall at Kripalu Center on November 9th, 2016, to lead the 68 stunned and silent guests who were not celebrating the election of the first woman president, in a workshop called “The Gift of Self-Care”
- Officiating at my dear friend’s memorial service, preparing to speak the first words to the hundreds of people grieving her untimely death. Strangely enough, it was another September 11, this tragedy in the year of 2015. The first words were heart-stopping and unbearable, seeming almost impossible to utter. They were uttered. I uttered them.
Trust me, there are more, more words I uttered, more situations into which I walked, with pounding heart and sweaty palms. And then I walked out. You, too, right? No matter how difficult, we find our way. We find our way through.
The challenges of our lives are inevitable; they open doorways into the depth of our evolution and growth. Rather than trying to manipulate and minimize the challenges, relaxing into them, finding the way through them is easier, more effective, more skillful.
I know this more deeply today, as the snow whips, as the wind finds her howling voice.
We are equipped, and we are able to find our way through.
Strangely, I don’t remember details of the struggle of coming out as a lesbian. Cemented in years of silence, my childhood monogamous commitment to Audrey Hepburn, our secret, years’ long love affair was so covert, so clandestine, that it threatened my life—you could never know. The cost of that knowing would be my life. Yet, when the time came to speak it, the release, like an explosion of a faulty pressure cooker, so disperse, was wrapped in both silent shame and hot fury.
Coming out in the early 1970’s into the bosom of the women’s movement and the arms of lesbian-feminism in NYC, was ridiculously blessed. And, although it took every moment of pain of the previous twenty-five years of my life, the choice for me eventually was an obvious one: I loved women and wanted to kiss them. Period.
Things seem less simple, less obvious now. My head spins when I consider the many gender options our children of today must navigate. How profound and remarkable, how beyond-brave are they, to find their way forward through the gender-fluidity of this time.
The LGBTQIA community deeply inspires me, me, this old fuddy-duddy-out-for-decades-generic-intergrated-into-the-dominate-culture-garden-version-lesbian.
And I can’t do it alone. I need other people. I receive inspiration, reminders, and mirroring from other people. I forget this in a moment, yet it is deep truth. As I see you getting through your life challenges, I am reminded that I can, too. In this light, I offer you a four-and-a-half-minute Ted Talk that is filled with bravery and breath-taking inspiration. Listen to this profound poet from South Africa, Lee Mokobe, as he talks about living as transgendered. Let’s breathe into his bravery. Let’s open to his world and see what we can take into ours.
Dear Friends here are some questions for your consideration:
- What is life asking of you, right now, right here, today?
- What is the first simple step you can take, to move forward?
- Remember a very difficult thing you already accomplished. How did you do it?
- What evidence can you take from this past situation, to move forward now?
As always, please keep me posted. Let me know how this blog lands for you. I am firstname.lastname@example.org.
All blessings to you and yours—