Raise You Like a Champion
Pandemic Day # 9,763.
But who is counting?
In my world, these pandemic days are incredibly and fascinatingly diverse.
For me, each is its own individual oddity.
Some days I find myself weepy and soppy, throughout, without any obvious trigger but, well, every single thing.
The next day I find myself engaged, maybe almost leaning toward the positive.
Some days are thoroughly heartbreakingly emptied.
Some fill with easy possibility.
Some nights I sleep wrapped in an almost settled relaxation.
Other nights, like Wednesday, my total cumulative sleep was 12 minutes, five seconds.
It was a fevered, busy, aggravated series of hours in which to spend with myself.
Suffice to say, I did NOT enjoy my own company.
Some days I find myself having a quiet kind of fun, amusing self-contained fun, having a vacation at the CVS drive-through window, loving and blessing the masked man behind the thick glass window, keeping me safe and supplying me with my every CVS need.
Some days I cannot find an inch of comfort for myself in which to rest.
All part of the package
In reading Frank Ostaseski’s book, The Five Invitations—Discovering What Death Can Teach Us about Living Fully, I am fully taken and touched and surprised, paragraph after paragraph.
His Zen perspective defines hope as an “orientation of the heart.”
My heart has felt broken.
Hope has been elusive, vague, a function of my fear, a grasping toward a conclusion I determine.
A way out of the moment.
Frank reframes it. He talks about “mature hope” as “an energizing quality that helps us to remain open to the possibility that while life may not turn out the way we first thought, opportunities we never imagined might also arise.”
Hope as a way into the moment, as it is!
Hope as a doorway back to the flow state.
Hope as a release of my picture of reality.
Hope as humility, as surrender,
As right-sized relaxation.
Like on the yoga mat.
The yoga mat
Frank Ostaseski continues to remind me
I want to practice what I know to be true,
That there is nowhere to be but here,
That whatever is happening here
In the fluidity of my moment,
I have found solace this week, too, with Rumi, the ecstatic poet. Here he is:
Never lose hope
Sends you away.
If you’re abandoned
If you’re left hopeless
Tomorrow for sure
You’ll be called again.
If the door is shut
Right in your face
Keep waiting with patience.
Don’t leave right away.
Seeing your patience,
Your love will soon
Summon you with Grace,
Raise you like a champion.
Raise you like a champion.
I love that.
I need that.
I have been feeling so
Can I allow life as it is to lift me up?
Can I allow the circumstances exactly as they are to be the doorway back to ease?
Can I allow myself to let go of what I think should be happening?
Hideous and ignorant Incompetency?
Terrifying economic upheaval?
Racial and social inequality?
Profound heartbreaking loss?
Can I just let it be as it is?
As I do,
It is just
When I can,
When I can’t,
To come back.
Like a champion.
It’s a good moment for gentle kindness. Here’s our own Berkshire Guy, J.T., with his particular brand of a gentle, kind reminder. Breathe, relax, and enjoy.
Friends, oh, dear friends,
What would mature hope look like in your world?
Not the hope of the movie of your life with your crafted ending, but your cooperating, your being with what is?
What can you trust?
Who can you love?
What has become your teacher?
Who might you become?
What are you noticing in yourself?
What are you noticing around you?
What are you practicing?
Let’s practice orientating our hearts back to the moment. Let’s practice being with what is, depending on each other more deeply, acknowledging how profoundly we actually do need our neighbors.
Let’s practice gentle kindness with our selves.
Let’s practice gentle kindness with one another.
Dear friends, dear friends…….
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