Question: Is your life handing you a little too much dirt these days?
For me, some days I wake up and my first thoughts sink into this global pandemic we are still in the midst of, along with the horror show of trending news stories of virus-deniers, racism, martial law in action, etc… and I just want to cry. I have to force myself to get up, meditate, write, and think about the blessings in my life and the GOOD in the world; not the bad and the ugly. If I’m being perfectly honest, it doesn’t always work, and some days I do just lay there and cry it out.
When life hands you dirt, plant seeds.
When I first came across this quote from the Canadian philosopher Matshona Dhliwayo, it reminded me of “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade,” which never resonated with me, because making lemonade out of lemons is basically saying “add a bunch of sweet to the sour and all will be OK in the world.” I don’t buy into that philosophy. I don’t want to just wash this time in my life right now with sweetness and pretend all is OK. My mother is an eternal optimist; a glass half full, lemons to lemonade, a true Pollyanna, so I know how that works. And quite frankly, for me, it doesn’t. Yes, I need to be grateful for the blessings in my life, the sweetness if you will, but I don’t want to deny the dirt.
I spent many years denying my depression, and what good did that do me? Not a whole lot. It was still there, heavy on my shoulders, and I couldn’t just throw a sugary smile on my face and pretend it was all good. When yoga came to my rescue, I learned that befriending my depression, accepting it and learning from it, works so much better than pretending it’s not there. It’s part of who I am; some days it shows up front and center, and some days it stays in the background.
So, back to the dirt.
Do I accept what’s going on in our country right now? Hell no. But I don’t ignore it, either. I don’t pretend the dirt is not there. I do what I can, when I can, to plant a seed of hope. Hope as a quality is ephemeral, and at the same time it can profoundly impact how we experience our lives. Some days all I can do is plant the seed within myself by meditating and writing. Other days I have energy to plant a seed for someone else.
Today I would love to plant a seed of hope within YOU. You are here, you are breathing, you are loved, and you, like me, are navigating through this difficult time and will no doubt come out stronger, with more compassion, and perhaps more meaning in your life than ever before.
I would like to share a simple meditation and writing prompt that might help you connect with yourself and your stories this week.
Step 1: Meditate
(Set your timer for 5 minutes, or longer if you wish)
Take a couple of deep cleansing breaths; inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Lift your shoulders to your ears, and then let them go with a SIGH. Wiggle your jaw. Roll your neck from side to side to release any tension there. Clench both fists, then let them go.
Continue to inhale and exhale through your nose, slowly, feeling your belly expand on the inhale, and contract on the exhale.
Repeat this phrase to yourself as you breathe.
On the inhale: All is here
On the exhale: To pass
Step 2: Write
This week, think about what seeds you are planting for yourself and for others during this time in your life. Can you recognize these circumstances as opportunities to plant seeds of Resiliency? Courage? Seeds of determination? Seeds of happiness? Seeds of peace? Seeds of hope?
Set your time for 10 minutes, and write:
I am planting seeds of …
I am hopeful that …
Step 3: Share
I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to share your writing and your thoughts and, well, anything at all. If you are looking for a monthly writing group to connect with others, where you get weekly emails with a yogic writing practice and prompt, as well as a monthly zoom meeting to connect with other writers, and the opportunity to submit one story per month for a developmental edit, please consider joining my Yogic Writing Group. You can read more about it by clicking here.
I look forward to hearing from you.