The In Betweens

I once had a ballet teacher who said that the difference between an intermediate dancer and an advanced dancer is in how she transitions. An intermediate dancer will execute the big movements and positions beautifully, sure... but how does she move from one to the next? Is there awareness, grace, and dignity in her in betweens? Is she making a choice about the quality of her movement or are her transitions merely the residue of or preparation for the snapshot moments?

The same idea is present in some yoga teachings which suggest that the entire practice may be preparing us to transition through death with presence and openness, so that our last moment in this realm might be one full of love rather than fear.

In my experience, the really true truths are applicable in any circumstance, and I think this might be one of them. How do I carry myself through liminal spaces? Can I approach them with a present mind and an open heart? Can I have the courage to feel the waves of sensation as they come and let them wash over me, without resistance and without drowning?

I'd like to look back on this transitional time in my life and feel proud that I treated it with respect - not just as the necessary move from one thing to the next but as a thing all its own. I hope that I've learned how to give my full attention to the experience of turning the page. I hope I'm open to the beauty and thrill in the leap of faith. I don't want to miss it.

Make It Good

This is not about creating your life, it’s about choosing your life.

It’s not about creating your life because you’re already doing that. You couldn’t help it if you tried. Like it or not, your life is happening now. The moment that just passed, you’ll never get it back. That brushstroke is made. You can use the following moment to paint on top of it, cover it up, turn it into something new, but you can’t undo it. It’s part of the creation now, it’s part of this work of art called your life. Every moment.

This also isn’t about making your mark because, you guessed it, you’re already doing that, too. You have an affect on the world around you no matter what, like it or not. You can’t help but have an impact because you’re here. Your presence makes a difference one way or another, large or small. None of this would be exactly the same without you. You’re part of it.

So, the question isn’t whether or not you will create your life or make an impact. The question is: What kind? What will it look like? How will you do it? With what intentions? What’s the quality of it?

It’s about deciding. It’s about if you’ll do it intentionally, based on as much awareness and love as you can muster. Or will it be happenstance? The unconscious runoff of your past, your biology, your accidental habits, and your circumstances.

You’re doing it already, so you may as well do it in a way that you choose rather than in a way that happens to you. You might as well bathe it in your attention and see how beautiful you can make it.

I mean… Honestly… Do you have something better to do?

It's Time To Go Home

When you’re heart is broken, when nothing makes sense, when you don’t know what to do… Go to Church. I don’t necessarily mean an actual, religious church. Maybe. But not necessarily. I mean Church with a capital “C”. Go where you worship. Go where your soul speaks. Go Home. Get to the people, places, and practices that ground and support you. Because a grounded and supported thing… A thing that feels safe… will naturally open and flourish. Every time. I guarantee it. Every time.

It would be easy to let your fuse get lit and strike out in anger. It would be easy to blame and slander and throw a tantrum. And maybe you would be completely justified. But it doesn’t matter that you’d be justified… What matters is that it’s not useful. It doesn’t bring us any closer to the end we’re seeking. What’s needed now is not a further perpetuation of otherness. What’s needed now is that we get to work.

Get to work on discovering and making your contribution. Get to work on taking that hard, honest look in the mirror that you’ve been working so hard to avoid. Get to work on identifying what is meaningful and important to you and doing what’s necessary to make your investments of time, energy, money, and attention align with those priorities.

Sit in silence and ask yourself, “What is it time for?”

Don’t try to answer the question… Instead, listen for an answer that arises from, curiously, somehow, inside of you and Someplace Else at the same time.

No matter what work is ahead of you, the first step is to come Home. It’s where the warrior goes before and after battle. It’s where we go to prepare and recover. It’s where we go to remind ourselves of who we truly are, how we hope to show up, and what remains after the dust settles.

Art. Movement. Prayer. Meditation. Family. Nature. All good starting points if you’re not sure where Home is. Don’t worry, now that you’re looking for it, you’ll feel it when you get there.

Let’s not waste valuable time filling the streets with our fear. Instead, fill them with kindness toward one another. Fill the mosques. Fill the yoga studios. Let the concert halls and mountain trails spill over with your devotion. Because you know that the first place to go is inward… into feeling, into listening, into reflection, into study. It’s so tempting to look outside, I understand… The inside hurts so much. It’s so scary and it’s so much responsibility. But you know where you need to go. You know.