the flower-power stickers adhering to my growing-up wall and my sister’s volkswagen beetle were these colors. hot pink and orange daisies, yellows, greens, vibrant and happy. and you think that some pantone or pms chart somewhere was the place they originated. but it’s not so.
this is where they came from.
and the tulips stand – proudly but not arrogantly – in their color, in their field. completely present and at ease, they open to the world, giving it all they’ve got. stand in nature and try not to be humbled…it’s impossible.
belleruth naparstek guides you – inside and outside – to quiet. a place of presence, of ease. not trying to push out thoughts or streams of consciousness passing by, but allowing it all to flow. with practice, you can feel the roots growing under your feet, the steady breathing of awareness, calmness.
and, if you are fortunate, you are held gently, right in the middle of tulip petals, and you are reminded, once again, you are alive. “knowing in a deep place that this place is inside of you…that you are better for this…“
we are binge-watching new amsterdam. we hadn’t ever seen any episodes, so now, on the binge-couch, we are up to season 3, episode 2. we just watched episode 1 of that season – where they very respectfully nodded to the pandemic. it took our breath away.
instantly we were back there. the early season of covid. pcr tests, cdc numbers, masking arguments and people feverishly sewing masks and then masking everywhere, washing our groceries, leaving our mail on the table in the foyer for two days before opening it, zoom-work. lonely isolation and social distancing. a million questions. uncertainty. boosters. a divided nation. the dreadful images on our tvs and in the news of overwhelmed medical staff everywhere, the lack of supplies and semi-trailers serving as morgues and the common use of the word “ventilator” and a shortage of isopropyl alcohol, toilet paper, sanitizer. it was stunning to feel it all up-close-and-personal again, having had a bit of space and time since the absolute peak of the crisis. wow. we felt sickened to the core.
in those moments of watching we realized that there is likely no one who experienced this profound time of global pandemic who does not have some PTSD associated with it. how – on this good earth – could you escape that? the virus devastated people’s lives and livelihoods and isolation and worry tore apart the sense of community so important to all of us. we will all never be the same.
feelings have a way of finding their way. yes.
i am trying to establish a practice of mindfulness, a time of quieting my mind and body. in life – fraught with busy thoughts and lists and angsts of all sorts – this is not easy. there is a symphony going on in my mind at all times – many plates spinning in the air.
but i started listening to some guided imagery. quiet non-thematic music. a quiet voice.
the first time i listened, i wept. i thought it would be the exception. it wasn’t.
because, well, feelings are gonna find a home and, on the days you allow them, the days you grant space, the days meditation creates a safe haven, they peek out.
and, like a lazy river in the marsh, you can follow them or get out of the raft, disembarking for now.
either way, those feelings have all found a home. the gossamer-tied memories are all right there, somewhere. so is the grace.
maybe we all need be a little softer on ourselves.