Folding In #31

How do we let go? A guided meditation on gently opening our hands, and reaching for grace with our breath.

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I've been catching myself lately in the mirror, glimpsing the slacking skin around my eyes and mouth, the fine lines telling me time is streaming, and I am changing with it. I look in my eyes, bewildered by the beauty and the sorrow that come through reflection—the story of me held in a simple gaze. And yet, as I ripen and age, I feel more and more like a child, awed and gleaming, and it feels strange seeing something weathered in the mirror when inside, I am growing backward. It's as if I'm recovering the wee one in me, the little girl, rolling like a pearl in the hand of the world. Wondering, just wondering at the beauty and terror thatched around her like a web, breaking the strands with her singing cheeks.

I've walked a few decades now and all along thought it was wisdom I was seeking. As it turns out, in my very heart was everything I left home to find. And so time wears away the features I hold as me, and I see a sweet thing alive and untouched, silken and bright, still very much in wonder. Still smiling, afraid, small, and brave.

While one part of me feels she is returning to innocence, another part struggles to find stability in a changing world. I work to let go and not fight to hold on so hard to the sand falling through the cracks in my fingers. I feel the coming loss and grief of each of our lives' inevitable change and fate. I want to look at this grasping soberly, not hold my breath or turn away in ignorance. I will practice being with this knowledge and use it to help me find the immovable me. Our discomfort is best used to discover the depth of who we are.

How do we use our awareness to move with the tide of our life?

I recorded this guided meditation while sitting next to the Shuswap Lake on the traditional lands of the Secwepemc Territory. I share a conversation between my sons and me about change and loss and what they believe they can rely on to stay grounded while it all whirls. There is nothing quite like what comes from 'the mouth of babes.'

Please forgive the wind and sounds of the changing weather.

Thank you for your practice.

love,

Sarah

~poem by Naomi Shihab Nye


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