I attended a yoga and sauna retreat on Sunday led by my friend Amy Kessel. The retreat theme was “planting springtime seeds.” What did we desire to plant in our lives? As I listened to the women’s intentions, I was so struck how many were about pleasure and ease. Not about accomplishments or getting stuff done. Not about making anything happen.
One woman said:
“I’m not looking for any to-dos but for pleasure.”
Even the way she said it was pleasurable, like she was rolling the words around in her mouth, tasting them, before she spoke.
Another said, with kindness and wonder in her voice:
“It’s actually okay if I’m not doing any heavy lifting. I spent the last ten years lifting the heavy logs, clearing the space. Now I can wait for things to grow.”
Yes, the patient rest and waiting after the hard personal work.
Waiting for the ferry to take me home, I could feel in my body the deep knowing – that took me most of my life to recognize – that I really, truly can trust the rhythms of my desires and my life. That I can listen to when it is time to expand, to take action, to swim with the current and when it’s time to quiet down, go within, and follow the current of life.
I can put down (maybe not completely but more often than before) that what I want is impossible to have because first I have to _____ (fill in the blank).
I’m right there with the women on that retreat. Quiet and still. Pleasure and rest.
And… full disclosure: I did find myself fighting this natural desire to slow down and go within the next day, back in the studio. This thought started to poke me in the back and growl something like, “You have this new mission, to ‘Live & Create with No Holding Back.’ You better get going — where and when exactly is this no holding back happening?!! That climate change project you have in mind, you better get it launched and then there is TeachNow to need promoting…”
I took a breath, welcomed that voice, asked it what it needed and it unfurled a story of love and desire for making the world a beautiful place, for making a good living, for being useful. I gently told it, “You are heard and right now something else wants to happen. And you are so heard and loved.”
That part of me relaxed, knowing it too has a rhythm… and the pull of quiet returned to envelop me.
- What rhythm needs to be heeded in you these days?
- What way of being is calling you?
- What wants to be trusted? What wants to be acted upon?
It’s not about making a plan, it’s about listening moment-by-moment. Maybe having a few witnesses to reflect back to you what you are noticing.
Honoring what you hear and feel, honoring that sometimes your rhythm wants one thing and your life another, and mourning that divide… and maybe questioning if that divide is true.
Me, I’m going off-line for awhile. We will still have our Sunday guest posts (love them!) and I’ll check in on social media (here, here, and here) as I feel that rhythm. What wants to be fed right now is quiet. Yes, I will be doing what feels right to prep TeachNow for mid-March when we open for new students… but mostly I want to be listening. Deeply.
See you when the current flows out again!