February 06th, 2023
I am letting this word soak into my being. Allow has a slightly different connotation than letting go or surrendering, which both imply that you have to do something or that you are still somehow in control of your process. Even in the act of letting go, you are moving and working toward something. In allowing, you are letting whatever comes up for you move through you in its own time. Allowing completely releases you of all control. You simply stop any movement toward or away from the next obstacle or growth opportunity on your path and stay open to the present moment. In that moment, there really is nothing left to do, only allow.
I allow the words to come. I allow my light to shine. I allow this transition to reach completion. In my allowing, I get out of my own way.
I have been pulling inspiration from this beautiful poem:
By Danna Faulds
There is no controlling life.
Try corralling a lightning bolt, containing a tornado.
Dam a stream and it will create a new channel.
Resist, and the tide will sweep you off your feet.
Allow, and grace will carry you to higher ground.
The only safety lies in letting it all in –
the wild and the weak –
fear, fantasies, failures, and success.
When loss rips off the doors of the heart
or sadness veils your vision with despair,
practice becomes simply bearing the truth.
In the choice to let go of your known way of being,
the whole world is revealed to your new eyes.
Musings from Liminal Spaces
Transition happens at the edges. And transition literally means “to pass through a place without staying.” In this space, you come face to face with your values, your strengths, your weaknesses. You often feel scared and avoid the pull toward transition because it’s filled with shadows and fears that you don’t feel equipped to acknowledge.
This passage can alter you forever. Depending on the nature of the transition, it can feel as though you cannot catch your breath, will never be able to catch your breath, or never even knew how to breathe properly in the first place.
Though you can’t choose when the transition happens, you can choose how you move through it and how you respond to the ripples it creates in your life. During a transition, you may come face to face with everything you thought you knew about yourself.
This is what the past few years have felt like for me. I've felt my various identities dissolve, leaving me feeling exposed, vulnerable, and uncertain about how to move forward. Can you relate?
It can feel at first that we are falling, but really what we do is fall to the ground of the soul, where we have each inherited deep resources for life. - Michael Meade
Throughout my personal passage through cancer, empty nesting, and business closing, I’ve been quietly underground allowing my body, mind, and spirit to recover, waiting for that spark of inspiration when I knew that I was ready to rise again.
One thing that emerged during this time of restructuring, was the desire to return to school and feed my consistent desire for learning. Last fall, I entered an MSW program to grow my skill set to show up for others amid transitions. I’ve spent almost 20 years at the bedside of birthing families as a birth doula and now I’m experiencing my first internship at hospice, witnessing others at the opposite threshold. I know this experience will continue to teach me about grief and the power of witnessing someone in their process.
My own experience and training continue to influence how I show up for people during any transition they may be facing.
I can help prepare you for the journey into the unknown, but it's a place that only you can travel. My role is at the edge of the experience as a witness and a guide. I stay present to hold the space for you--to validate your experience. To remind you of your power. To offer a sip of water or a bit of honey. To encourage you to breathe and stay gentle with yourself so the fullness of your soul can enter the space--and, when the time comes, to remind you to let go and allow something bigger to take over.
Deep in our bones lies an intuition that we arrive here carrying a bundle of gifts to offer to the community. Over time, these gifts are meant to be seen, developed, and called into the village at times of need. ― Francis Weller
Well. Here we are. 2022.
As many of you know, for the bulk of 2021, I was walking the path of cancer diagnosis, chemotherapy, and endless doctor appointments. The challenges of this journey were compounded by my daughter leaving for college and the final closing of our Breathe Yoga and Wellness studios in October.
Though I have transitioned from active treatment into cancer survivorship, I’m still navigating challenges in my physical body. I’ve also been swimming through some mental fog (otherwise known as “chemo brain”) that creates slower processing and reflecting times. My natural impulse is to move faster than both my body and mind are allowing right now while I strive to regain my previous state of multi-layered, multi-dimensional thinking and movement.
And then I am reminded to practice what I teach: gentleness and slow, restorative movement to heal the body and nervous system. To help myself remember this intention, I’ve chosen the word Begin to anchor my year. So as I wait for whatever might be rising next, I’m returning to Beginner’s Mind in my yoga practice, my teaching, my writing, and my way of being in the world.
“The times are urgent; let us slow down.”