SomaNews – September/October 2012
What lives do you want to be living?
“Sometimes I can hear my bones straining
under the weight of all
the lives I'm not living.”
― Jonathan Safran Foer
I've returned from my yearly trek to New Mexico, where I go to connect with community, nature and Spirit. It was a challenging experience this year because my body was showing me how there are certain things that are not as attainable as I move into my 60s.
Yes, I can’t believe it, but this year I am 61 years old. When I look in the mirror, what shows up is that 28-year-old cabinet maker with muscular arms, brown hair and strong legs, a young woman who jumped out of airplanes and spent four years in the U.S. Air Force.
As I stand and look upon what has come from those last 33 years, I realize it is not my body that is giving way, but the strain of not living my life to its fullest.
I really appreciate Jonathan Safran Foer’s quote because although I know I have lived and continue to live a full life, there are lives I am not living. The life of an artist, the life of a writer, the life of an elder whose wisdom is not of how many degrees I have or don’t have, but my life story. I see how this takes a toll on my body, my spirit.
I think about how I move through life to make others happy and how that history still lives so deeply in my bones. The work I do has been created to support that change, but it is an ongoing path — we must have resilience to make changes, and we must practice those changes to make a new life. I am not perfect and I am here to say that I struggle with practicing and being anew every day.
My bones lie deep in my body, and for me my body is about living authentically and in integrity. Every day I stand before those old stories that say "I am not worth anything", "I am not smart enough", "I am not young enough" — and I have a choice. I love my work and what I do, but there is more, there is always more, and that is what makes me grow and walk the path.
We all have days of delusion where the weight of not truly "living" has us contracted and our energy moving like molasses in our veins. This is when shifting your body and opening to new choices can be brought forward to support you in rewriting the chapter of the moment.
What lives do you want to be living?
As you stop to ask yourself that question, feel your body, take a deep breath. What stories are challenging you? Step up to the plate, my friend. Take a deep breath from the bottom of your soul. What do you need to do to live the lives that truly make you alive?
So in the vulnerability of exposing one of my lives that I do not live — a life as a writer and poet — I am offering this poem I wrote. As I take a deep breath and relax my belly, I give this to you.
Green sprouts among the dry brown leaves of oak
A lonely dandelion leans into the wind
most flowers brown but one tip of bright yellow emerges
A lone man sits in the cabana with a panama hat
His face drawn down in sadness?
His heart full?
No one speaks but the voice of the wind, which we can never stop
Three women approach bringing the feminine — drinking the roses as they pass
Bella Finds Her Body
Also in support of moving forward in my life as a writer, I've committed to start publishing short stories on my Web site. Look for "Bella Finds Her Body" in mid-October!
New One-on-One Workshops
As I open to greater possibilities in my own life, I sense the seeds planted long ago pushing up through fertile ground. For years I've wanted to offer one-on-one, customized half-day workshops at my home. That time has come, and I would love to support YOU in living your life more fully.
In our time together, we'll explore what matters to you most and identify ways to support your commitment. It may be a commitment to love and accept yourself, to develop appropriate boundaries, to practice compassion, to better lead at home or at work.
As a powerful reminder of your commitment, you'll have the opportunity to create a representative anchor or symbol — such as a staff, shield, spirit box, necklace, or collage. No artistic skills required!
To learn more, see details here.
* Power of Resilience Workshop in Petaluma
On Saturday, November 10 Jeannie Kerrigan and I will be presenting our day-long Power of Resilience Workshop. More details to come soon!
* Strozzi Bodywork in Washington DC and Southern California
I'll be in the Washington DC area October 22-27 and in La Cañada, California, November 5-8 offering Strozzi Bodywork.
If you're in those areas and would like a bodywork session, please call me at 707-480-3846 as soon as possible to schedule.
I would love to hear from you. Feel free to call or send an email.