I remembered.

I have been spread VERY thin lately.
I am not really sure if I have been coming or going.
I have been barely hanging on at times.
But one thing is for sure, in all the rushing and doing and fixing and arranging and scheduling and homework checking and bill paying and being in six places at once, something got lost.

me.

I have been so disconnected. So sad. So lonely. And so mean to myself.

One day last week on my drive to La Follette to round I listened to Bella Donna. The entire album. Over. And over. And over.

And I just cried.

I cried for the 45 minutes it took to drive there and the 45 minutes it took to drive back.

Big, ugly, gulping sobs.

I have NO idea why I was crying. Or exactly why I was sad. But I am guessing that I needed a good cry.
I never really cry for myself.
I never really have any compassion for myself.

My friends? Yes. My patients? ALWAYS. My kid? It goes without saying.

But not for myself.

But one little voice inside has decided it really needs to remind me that I need to caretake me. Even when care taking everyone and everything else, I have to remember i need it too.

Tonight I arrived at Asilomar on the Monterey Peninsula.
It is the first night of my fall retreat and it is a special session for those of us who have been coming a while.

As I sat in the huge hall and heard the waves crashing all around and the wind blowing and howling and the redwoods creaking and sighing. I realized there will always be things banging to get in.

And as I sat there and we started our evening meditation I got a warm glow deep in my chest. It was full and rich and comforting and it brought tears to my eyes. I felt surrounded by these women who have known my darkest secrets and most frightening fears and loved and supported me through everything.

They know me better than just about anyone on the planet. They make it safe to be vulnerable and powerful all at the same time.

And in that first sweet breath this evening, I was completely overwhelmed with comfort.
With a feeling that absolutely everything is going to be alright.
That there is nothing wrong.
That I have everything I need.
That I am strong enough and vulnerable enough to find a way.

And when the wolf is at the door and fear seems to make even the smallest step toward change insurmountable, that breath says no.

No we will not be held back.
No we will not be made to believe we are less than.
No we will not be convinced we are not worth it.
No we will not sit quietly by and accept so much less than we deserve.

And in that moment I know it is simple.
…but not easy.

I know it is all about allowing myself to have what I deserve.
And I deserve the good.

I don’t always know it.
I usually deny it.
But I can be aware and allow it.

 

Sleeping in the Forrest
Mary Oliver

I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.

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