Reverb10, Day 04
Prompt: Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?
In the creativity course I teach, one of the most important ways of being is to ‘Pay Attention’. It is one of the keys to living a creative life.
Coming to our Senses.
For me, in this body, in this life, the real wonder of it all is that I am alive. That I exist at all. That this body breathes on its own, that the heart beats on its own, that thoughts come and go on their own.
Wonder doesn’t need to be cultivated. Wonder is present when I stop trying to manufacture things with my mind that already exist in a much more real way.
It is the doing, the trying to make things a certain way, that get in the way of the direct realization of what is already here. Like Grace. Wonder. Awe and amazement. Humility. Love.
If there is anything I do, it is the undoing. The unraveling of efforting, the trying, pushing to make it happen.
It is to stop, stand still and receive what is being showered upon us. Right now. Right here. With a wide open heart and body.
When I do, wonder is already present.
So here is the paradox. There is a doing, but it is an undoing.
Recipe for Wonder.
Skill level: You must be a beginner. If you’re not, remember you are.
Feel your feet on the ground.
Allow This to hold you.
Open your heart.
Open your body.
Know whatever it is you know, deep in the cells, down in the body.
The Queen of Wonder, Mary Oliver, says it all:
When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
Reverb10 Day 03 Prompt: Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).
I really like this prompt. Just reading it takes me back through so many experiences of 2010. As I do, I discover that, in general, I feel alive much of the time…much more than I used to before certain experiences awakened me to a different way to be in life.
Feeling most alive isn’t always the same as feeling good. For me, it’s not about peak experiences.
That being said, as I went back through the year to pick one moment, my mind went to peak experiences (it’s hard to teach an old dog…):
Today, the teacher asked if we had any requests for class (something she does when the class is small). A number of requests were voiced. Then she mentioned that usually when she asks that question, someone pipes up with ‘Power Yoga’. I realized that’s what I wanted today…to sweat hard and to push the boundaries of what my body can do. So I raised my hand to make it clear that’s what I wanted.
She seemed to fill all our requests taking us from intense twists, to shoulder openers, to hip flexor stretches, to optional Chaturanga, and even a one-legged Chaturanga for me, the one that wanted power yoga.
Then she led us into pigeon pose. And here in the intense opening of pigeon pose, I remembered the prompt for today. I sat with the question of what it is to feel fully alive as my entire pelvic girdle was responding to the invitation to open.
I could feel the tightness of those muscles hanging on as if to say, “It’s up to us to keep things under control.”. And, balanced with that tightness, I could feel my skeleton resting on the ground, responding to the muscles saying, “It’s okay. I’ve got it. You can let go.”
Alongside this conversation between the muscles and the bones, there was another conversation. I noticed that feeling of something deeper, what I can only call deep awareness, holding my mind as it flitted about, trying to manage the perceived pain of the stretch in which the body was engaged. This deeper place, this place of serenity and constancy simply invited me to let go, to drop in. I found myself dancing between simply being this place of invitation and being the mind with it’s manic need to manage the experience.
And then it happened. I let go. The muscles gave it over to the bones. The mind let go into the heart. The heart dropped into the body. Something deeper just held it all. And in this moment, I felt the physical palpable opening of the hips, where groin crease relaxed into thigh, and bones settled into the mat. Hot sweat dripped, while pain settled into sensation. Struggling to hold on let go. Cranial fluid softly pulsed. Joy surfaced on the waves of breath.
It all became simple. Personality acceded to Self.
In this moment, I could feel muscles held by the bones, and bones held by the earth. I could feel the mind held by the heart, and the heart held by the body.
One let go into the next, and before I knew it I felt deeply alive. Human. Open. Trusting.
Whatever it may be that holds you captive is nothing compared to what wants to set you free. ~ @GuyFinley
#reverb10 day two’s prompt is from Leo Babauta at Zen Habits:
What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?
Serendipity is always happening, just like Grace is always available…we just have to be open to receiving. Today’s reverb10 post is no exception. Yesterday, I came across the quote above by Guy Finley. It captivated me from the moment I saw it…it’s captivating because I know the truth of it. It is beautiful evidence of the creative power within each of us.
What wants to hold us captive is absolutely nothing compared to that which wants to set us free. And this has everything to do with writing…
For me, writing is a direct path to freedom. Dance is another. So is love-making. Play. Prayer.
We are meant to be free. We are free, except in our minds. It is only the mind, the conditioned mind, that holds me captive. And so it is in my writing. When I am not free in writing, it is because I listen to those small voices in my head that tell me all sorts of stories about everything but freedom.
I could try to eliminate the mind, the conditioning, the stories, but that would be a waste of my time, my energy, my life force. They aren’t going to go away.
It’s my choice which one I will feed…that which wants to hold me captive or that which wants to set me free.
Think of your own creative experiences. Consider the power of the force which yearns to be free. Consider the smallness of the voices that keep you captive. Consider that you might just be afraid of the power within you that longs to be free to move, to express, to voice, to sing, to love.
In Lisa‘s reverb10 post, Writer Love, she tells of how her “writer envy transformed itself into writer love” – beautiful evidence that “Whatever it may be that holds you captive is nothing compared to what wants to set you free.” And it will set you free, if you open to the Grace of it.
Today’s #reverb10 Prompt: One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
I am a writer.
It’s taken me a long, long time to own this one.
Yesterday, I had an email exchange with one of my mastermind buddies. In the last email from her, she remarked that she hadn’t noticed that I now sign my emails:
She asked when I started this. I replied that I didn’t remember, but that at some point during this year, I claimed it.