Tonight is the first night of a week’s holiday.
I want to savour the opportunity to be without time pressure.
To relish time to be creative, I bought this new tray of soft pastels.
Settling in to the holiday house, a fire crackling, rain setting in on the coastline outside, I started reading Raphael Cushnir’s ‘The One Thing That’s Holding You Back’.
Drawing on the page, I was reflecting on the point about emotions being sensations in our body, and how habitually I might ignore or resist them. As the pastels moved across the page, I noticed how much attention I was giving to thoughts. I gently sought out what else was happening in my body – feet, sternum, ribs, chest, throat. I notice it was hard to feel those sensations as I worked.
I stopped and closed my eyes for a few breaths, checking back into my body. Belly burbling, some burning behind my breastbone and in my throat, tightness in my jaw, a buzzing and throb in my toes and ankle. Oh, once I start attending, there are so many continually changing sensations. I experienced some tears, a sense of apologising to my body for having resisted her so often and so long. And also tenderness for why I learned that from such an early age, as most of us do, for a multitude of reasons.
I’m safe now. Always. To be in my body. To survive at my most powerless, as a child, I learned to listen hard and racingly to all the opinions and actions and demands of those I depended on for love and safety. Wise body. Wise mind. Thank you for helping me survive. We know our history. I do not mock you for your racing mind and habit of dismissing your body’s sensations. I am your awareness. I am with you. I will be with you. I always have been. I am safe now.
The symbol on the left is an hourglass. An invitation to be with my feelings as they arise for long enough to connect with their wisdom. There is all the time I need. And I have the capacity to hold them as they flow through and reveal the information they want me to know about what I’m needing in this moment.
Anytime. All the time. It’s my ‘job’ to feel exactly what it’s like to be me. That’s why I’m here. I’m safe. And unhurried. I’m no longer at the mercy of big adults who at anytime could overrule my body, inflict welts on my skin, call me names in front of others, laugh at my words or emotions, withhold affection or lock me outside.
I am safe. Safe to be aware. Safe to fully attend to what I see, hear, feel and choose to do or be next. I can connect fully to all sensations in my body. I am safe to become aware of what I want. I can trust the wisdom that will help me discern what to do or not to next.
The rain is spattering against the window now. My lungs are wide and warm. My eyelids are heavy. The top of my mouth is widening. I am savouring being here, inviting myself to celebrate freedom to learn new skill, discover new parts of my being and to settle in and relax.
Enjoy the cosy warmth. The rain is falling more heavily. I feel a heavy was along my chest. I think of my cats at home and hope they’re cosy. I think of people on streets. May all beings have shelter from the rain, have warmth, have the comfort of contended company of family or a companion life nearby.
Now, always, it’s my own body I attend to and choose for. I’m the only one who can. And I want to savour this week of rest and creativity and unhurried curiousity.
I want to replenish the sense of being safe to be me when I return to a more scheduled life of deadlines, paid employment, commitments to school and home.