Browsed by
Tag: heart

Gentle Brushstrokes

Gentle Brushstrokes

 

Solitude resides with a peaceful clarity, a sharp

 picture of what is and what might be

Only in this quiet can a heart beat freely, unbound by

the constant blur of thought running errant within

 

In silence, the tsunami of emotions

rubbed raw by the roughness of the day

subsides, leaving a softness, colored by

the gentle brushstrokes of a rolling hillside

 

-Lavinia Busch 2019

 

With the intensity of the lunar eclipse this past weekend and the air as vessel for all that remains, I find myself wishing everything to slow down, lending more time to consider things as they are. So often, when the stakes are high, I get caught up in the swell of emotion as if a leaf in a tsunami. Returning to the work environment has sent a cascade of ever turbulent waves my way and it is taking all that I have to swim rather than sink.

 

Honoring my need for quiet, I spent some time at Vasquez Rocks this weekend. The air was crisp and the hillside called. Acting as if young again, I found myself scrambling up the rocks wishing nothing more than to get to the highest vantage point. Feeling the cool wetness of the rocks against my hands, I climbed and climbed. As I reached the highest point my legs would allow, I took notice of the pools of emotion laid bare on the hillside. The surrounding area looked like a beautiful painting created with gentle brushstrokes rather than the jumble of people I had left on the ground below.  Perspective really is everything.

 

Storms will come and go. It is and has always been my personal work to weather the storms with gentleness and love. At times I fall short and suffer the consequences of reacting in an abrupt or harsh manner. In these moments, it is up to me to forgive myself and reset intentions. If history serves, there will be much more opportunity for forgiveness as I stumble along the turbulent shores of life. My salvation continues to be writing and nature.

 

To that end, a random flock of birds caught my attention while walking on a busy street in my neighborhood. The birds looked to be rehearsing a ballet with sharp changes of direction and shape. The whole spectacular took my breath away and for a brief time, the waves of turmoil quieted. Stopping to feel the calming heartbeat in all things has become my hope and aspiration. No matter the circumstance, beauty can be found in a morning sunrise, the whip of the wind or the quiet of a winter night. These gentle brushstrokes allow for a respite from the hardships of this flawed life and a reminder of the universal breath in the most honest of ways.

 

Find Your Magic

Find Your Magic

 

 

The Day Sky

 

Let us be like

Two falling stars in the day sky.

 

Let no one know of our sublime beauty

As we hold hands with God

And burn

 

Into a sacred existence that defies –

That surpasses

 

Every description of ecstasy

And love.

 

Hafiz

 

Life is funny. Everyone hopes to be seen in some small way. Moving through life feeling invisible is such a state of separateness, debilitating to both heart and soul. The dichotomy being we are all “seen” each and every day just by being ourselves. Lest we forget when dwelling in the space of obscurity, being here right now is profound and creates a spectacular energy. We are all a bit of magic, pixie dust, elemental and soulful. Our desire to be “seen” has already come to pass simply by being in this moment. There is nothing left to be gained, we are given all we need and will ever need.

 

It is so very easy to forget what a miracle it is to live this very human experience.  How fortunate that yet another day of a messy and unpredictable life is upon us. Many leave this world far too early, a sober reminder of the value of life despite the many peculiar and sometimes unforgiving detours it may take.  

 

 

“If a man is to live, he must be all alive, body, soul, mind, heart, spirit.”

― Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude

 

 

How do we best live with this knowing? I believe the only way to honor this universal connectivity is to be true to self and share this truth with a loving heart. Living in a modern and fast paced world, the simplicity of this becomes blurred in the busyness of a task-oriented lifestyle.  The ease in which we forget our magic is astonishing. As in the zombie movie trend of late, we are all the walking dead unless we stop to really “see” those around us.

 

 

“Many of us have made our world so familiar that we do not see it anymore. An interesting question to ask yourself at night is, What did I really see this day?”

― John O’Donohue, Anam Cara:

 

How do we see others? Stop this culture of busyness and breathe into your life. We are all wonderfully unique and a rainbow of precious personalities. I simply adore the weirdness, quirkiness and uniqueness of everyone I meet. As a subject of the human condition, it is perennially fascinating to hear stories, observe interactions and get a sense of another. Each time I do so, I learn more about myself in the process.

 

You see, in this magical tapestry, threads of myself are intrinsically woven within the seams of all else. I cannot help but marvel at the complexity of these interconnections. Be it the way someone catches my eye, speaks to a friend, walks to the store or holds a child close. Both the light and darkness of another have gifts of self-discovery if I choose to look closely.

 

Take a moment and look for the beauty in others. See the rainbows of colorful energy and honor what you see reflected back at you. Just as a mirror gives face to name, so too does the act of “seeing” another as part of self. Look for what is familiar and what is not. Remind yourself how absolutely special you are in your very own configuration. Don’t let anyone take ownership, criticize, assign blame or look down upon you as you are meant to be. Find your magic and carry it with you always. Shine brightly.

 

Head Versus Heart

Head Versus Heart

As one that is both an emotional being and a deeply intellectual thinker, I am in a constant search for the proper balance between the two approaches to life. My natural inclination is to lean into what my hearts says and follow my intuition, but even so this leaning is always peppered with a fair amount of intellectual analysis and strategizing of end results. This push and pull can be limiting and a place I try not to inhabit for very long.  Life having the sense of humor that it does, this analysis usually happens in the middle of the night when my mind is more prone to wander. As such, I am a frequent guest of sleepless nights and find solace in the wakefulness and introspection.   

 

Upon reading a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke I was immediately drawn to the first sentence, specifically “O Anxious one”. Anxiety is ever present when I allow my mind to take the lead and neglect the very important role of the heart.  The problem being the mind is extremely clever and can come up with a million eventualities before an event has even taken place.  If I resist this catastrophizing and allow my heart to lead, I am at peace with the unfolding and feel a sense of calm that the mind does not make space for.  This poem is a simple and beautiful way to facilitate a gentle drawing back to a state of equilibrium, especially in moments when the mind stubbornly races along.

                           

   I am, O Anxious One. Don’t you hear my voice

surging forth with all my earthly feelings?

They yearn so high, that they have sprouted wings

and whitely fly in circles round your face.

My soul, dressed in silence, rises up

and stands alone before you: can’t you see?

don’t you know that my prayer is growing ripe

upon your vision as upon a tree?

If you are the dreamer, I am what you dream.

But when you want to wake, I am your wish,

and I grow strong with all magnificence

and turn myself into a star’s vast silence

above the strange and distant city, Time.

   

Rainer Maria Rilke

 

In addition, the sentence that reads “My soul, dressed in silence, rises up and stands alone before you: can’t you see?” is like home to me. My soul is in a constant interplay with the exterior world, harboring a desire for others to “see” me by searching the silence of what remains unspoken within.  This is no easy task.  It is as if I am shouting from the top of a mountain to be seen, yet all the while hiding behind a cloud daring to be discovered. I suspect that when another chooses to look beyond my external self, they will begin to see shades of this declaration and be confused by my apparent waiving. The truth is that no amount of intellectual analysis alone will reveal the truths that I harbor.  Engagement of the heart requires a vulnerability that is not approached when using only the brain. This heart work requires strength of character, the ability to live in the discomfort of this space and even some grace. It is in the exposing of hidden truths that one really learns about themselves and about others, a lifelong task and one that is meaningful for all willing to dive in and take the risk.

 

You’ve got to get out of your head and into your heart. Right now your thoughts are in your head, and God seems to be outside you. Your prayer and all your spiritual exercises also remain exterior. As long as you are in your head, you will never master your thoughts, which continue to whirl around your head like snow in a winter’s storm or like mosquitoes in the summer heat. If you descend into your heart, you will have no more difficulty. Your mind will empty out and your thoughts will dissipate….

St Theophan the Recluse

 

As part of my journey, I continue to search for that balance.  Sometimes I lean into my heart as intended and other times I allow my brain to completely run the show.  Fascinating how we all choose to cope given any particular circumstance. Constantly striving for this balance, I will be silently drawn to the discovery of hidden truths; the simplicity of this affirmation is humbling. I find comfort in the solitude of this work with the intention to listen to my heart speak in the silence. For me this end is well worth the struggle.