January 16, 2022
As I type these words on the screen, I am imagining that this scenario is a template for many these days. It was another week of isolation, but now it’s beautiful outside and I feel great and have lots of energy. However having still tested positive, the great outdoors would have to wait. Oh sometimes harnessing the mind can be a rodeo show that becomes comical in its frustration. There were moments early in the week where I felt five years old and wanted to throw a tantrum or scream to release my frustration. Obviously in a silent monastery that would not be cool. However the sheer idea of it while looking at myself in the mirror was enough to make me laugh.
I had a moment in that agitation where I remembered how many times in my life I was overwhelmed with exhaustion for all I’d committed to or was expected of me. In those moments I would say, “oh if I had a cave to retreat in.” Then I remembered Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo’s twelve years in a cave. Four years where she had no contact with another person. All of a sudden, what is five more days? Jetsunma, a British born Tibetan nun said she was never lonely and never bored. That wasn’t because she had the best equipped cave in the mountains. She was 13,000 ft up in the Himalayas. Her first three hour meditation session would start at 3:30AM. She did four of these sessions everyday. Although, yes, not everyone has her aspiration for full enlightenment in this lifetime. There was a book written on her called Cave in the Snow that is an inspiring read. Even to just feel a true sense of wow.
I know that I am in the company of many others in isolation around the world at the moment and send strength and love for those who will struggle more than me. If you are sick, may you recover rapidly. If you are healthy, energetic and stuck, channel yourself inward. Channel yourself into your body, into your heart, blow the dust off your aspirations and stay out of a ruminating mind.
After the first day of frustration, I made a list of everything I desired to do but never had the time. Remembering to work with the present moment, as that is all we really own. If what you want to do isn’t clear, clean your way there. My mother use to say, if you can’t find something it’s time to clean and declutter. Cleaning and getting rid of physical clutter will also clear mental clutter. Promise.
Get into your body. Serena Ryder mentioned in a post recently when asked what her tips were in shifting her energy during these tough times. She found dancing to be one of the best ways to move emotions through the body, since cortisol can only be released through sweat and tears. Dancing made her do both. I started to put my AirPods in and play some dance music loud enough to connect with a physical flow until I’d get a little sweaty. I have now been dancing daily and always seem to ask myself why this isn’t an automatic daily practice. It such is a wonderful way to release any stuck or blocked energy and it brings you into the moment.
When not dancing, I’ve been studying Italian, working on details for the Spring retreats, practicing the native flute I bought but rarely pick up, cleaning up photos on the computer and enjoying phone calls with loved ones, savouring long showers and meditation. Even taking this time to tackle the very undesirable but necessary things is good. Checking off six months of taxes sure felt good.
Still I feel that when I am free to be in nature, these legs will start walking and not stop until they reach Rome. You may not feel it at the moment but each day is getting a little longer with the light. Soon we will learn how to live with this virus like we always did, but perhaps wiser in prevention. Soon we will be able to support one another face to face, up close and personal and share whatever the day’s unfolding brings. Can you imagine? I can and it's closer than you think. Hang in there.
Wishing you an abundance of peace and appreciation for your precious walk in life.
From Italy with love, a lotus and a smile,
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