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Shut down. Show up.

Posted On: November 20, 2020


Yesterday was a really hard day. And when I say day, I mean that by 9:30am it felt like 9:30pm, and I was done. Done like I was ready to put on my jammies, curl up with a whiskey, some bad TV and call it by 10am. This week my thoughts have been about the impending shut-down here in Philly and feeling, as so many of us are, that we’re being transported back to March and April when life swirled into the surreal.  Time feels elastic again, just as it did before. There are precious moments in life when we feel we are moving forward; we’ve shown up and put in the work. Whether the work is our movement practice and we are now able to do crow pose for the first time. Or we’ve made gains and growth at work. Or we have chosen to start a family. These forms of movement feel linear and hopeful, but as we’ve learned this year, time isn’t always linear and sometimes it feels like you’re returning back to what aches in you even as you move forward. Life can feel like a rubber band being pulled too tight, and boom, it snaps back into place and here we are again. Back to varying degrees of a shut-down, or to wobbly arms that won’t hold you up in that crow pose, or to doubts and fear about the future at work or at home, we get pulled back into a state of ache.
            Yesterday at 9:30am, the rubber band of time snapped me back into the throngs of grief. Again I felt the feelings of my heart being stomped on as my mother and I watched Matt carry black trash bags filled with Joseph’s clothes into the trunk of our car. Bags filled with button-down shirts that once cloaked a body with a heart beating and lungs breathing; a body and a person that I loved so deeply. These bags returned me to the loss that I felt so acutely this summer, to anger, to life not feeling fair; I was brought back to July when my life was forever changed. This return prompted me to want to shut out the world and curl into myself. I cried and cried but I also took Frankie to the park, AND bought cupcakes, AND got a new rug, AND, YES, I had that damn whiskey and I connected with the people around me. I moved forward, even though the pain of the past was strong within me. I went back and forth in this tango between past and present. The storm is once again approaching and, like before, we will steer our ship through these troubled waters but, this time, the waters aren’t foreign to us. We are passengers who are returning but we’re also moving forward.

Toolbox 🧰

“I am loving awareness”

All I am is loving awareness. I am loving awareness. It means that wherever I look, anything that touches my awareness will be loved by me. That loving awareness is the most fundamental “I.” Loving awareness witnesses the incarnation from a plane of consciousness different from the plane that we live on as egos, though it completely contains and interpenetrates everyday experience.

When I wake up in the morning, I’m aware of the air, the fan on my ceiling, I’ve got to love them. I am loving awareness. But if I’m an ego, I’m judging everything as it relates to my own survival. The air might give me a cold that will turn into pneumonia. I’m always afraid of something in the world that I have to defend myself against. If I’m identified with my ego, the ego is frightened silly, because the ego knows that it’s going to end at death. But if I merge with love, there’s nothing to be afraid of. Love neutralizes fear.

 Ram Dass