I just navigated by several opportunities, let me call them “exits”- to listen to what someone else has to say, check my email or social media, pick up a book . . . and then I paused as I remembered the great poet’s words calling me inward:
“I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.” Audre Lorde (Sister Outsider, Transformation of Silence, 1978)
Indeed, I have taken this path tonight, avoiding distraction, offering myself compassion and committing to expression.
The previous blog entry I wrote was inspired by a creative spirit who died over a year ago. Her dedication to expression urges me into the writing chair now.
Back on the road . . .
Habituation leads me left then left again, then right . . . on the same route to work every day, simplifying my choices, reducing my exertion. Trash day and for a brief moment I stare at the large vehicle obstructing my usual path, then I turn my head considering alternate routes, adapting so that I arrive in time to open the office, warm it up, settle in and welcome my first client.
My inquiry and exploration leads me to these “choice points”. I may be “asleep” to the possibility of driving a different route or my thoughts may be too dispersed to temporarily set aside the stories, words and needs of others to give space and time to quieter whispers and longings.
I know from going down the Shenandoah River how wonderful it is to be both alert and settled enough to know when to lean so the current can carry our raft over the rocks and laugh in delight as it bumps and glides down the whitewater.
How to stay supple in the face of emerging needs, respond to surprises that arise during the course of my day, in my relationships, in my body? These questions are crucial to daily life.
Indeed, lifestyle choices have major and immediate effects on our wellbeing. Do I choose to exercise before or after work today? What do I choose to put in my mouth in the morning, after dinner? With whom do I choose to spend my time? And what do we do together?
I have identified two necessary steps:
(1) Noticing that I am at an “exit “or juncture where I could choose which requires:
- Being settled enough to perceive my needs and condition
- Turning my head to consider the options
(2) Harnessing my mental clarity and exercising the choice to take a route well-suited to my immediate and long term needs requires:
- Organizing my thoughts
- Feeling my body, for best results: sensing temperature and pressure in my head, torso and limbs and breathing
- Seeing where I want to go, and then
- Taking the necessary steps to get there.
Tonight, I sat in my study and breathed, looking at my phone and acknowledged I wanted to write. I looked at the time and considered reading, watching television and reaching for my computer.
I breathed again and noticed that I felt warm and cozy in my room, protected from the yet another cold snowy night. I envisioned myself writing and reached for my computer, opened it up, and began to write.
Now I am delighting in seeing these words on the screen and enthusiastic about engaging with you in a dialogue about choice points.
I invite you to compassionately consider your choice points as spring temperatures change and flowers choose to bloom.